The Human Condition

~ by Eli Stone ~
“I think, therefore I am.”  René Descartes, the Father of Modern Philosophy

     First off, thank you to The Mountain Jackpot staff for printing all views. It is good that we should read the points of view from the many readers. Remember the freedom of the press can only be projected by the press in that all issues and viewpoints are aired. After all the freedom of the press, protected by the first amendment is not there to protect only those with whom I agree.

            Philosophers have provided many perspectives of what the human condition consists. Plato’s ancient view detailed in Republic, explored the question “what is justice?” and postulated that it is not primarily a matter among individuals but of society as a whole, prompting him to devise a utopia. Two thousand years later René Descartes declared “I think, therefore I am” because he believed the human mind, particularly its faculty of reason, to be the primary determiner of truth; for this he is often credited as the father of modern philosophy. One such modern school, existentialism, attempts to reconcile an individual’s sense of disorientation and confusion in a universe believed to be absurd. I agree that the universe can be absurd. The human condition makes the universe absurd.
            For instance, let’s take Utopia. Utopia doesn’t exist. In fact, Utopia is derived from the Greek language and literally means “no place”. Utopian ideals often place emphasis on egalitarian principles of equality in economics, government and justice, and not exclusively, with the method and structure of proposed implementation varying based on ideology.  There is the crux, ideology. There are socialist, capitalist, monarchical, democratic, anarchist, ecological, feminist, patriarchal, egalitarian, hierarchical, racist, left-wing, right-wing, reformist, free love, nuclear family, extended family, gay, lesbian, and many more utopias (no places)”.
            What we are left with is dystopia, which is disharmony and discord, a society characterized by human misery, squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding. You can inform people, you can teach people, you can cajole people, but what you can’t get people to understand is that you can’t please everyone. You cannot get everyone to invest the necessary time and energy to give themselves the best possible life and living conditions. There are those who think everyone is entitled to all the wonderful amenities that money can buy, whether that person works for it or not. What you also can’t convince them of is that eventually, you will run out of other peoples’ money.
            Money is a symbol, it symbolizes effort. Once upon a day money was made of gold, silver, copper, and bronze. Prior to that it was barter in which men traded things they had either made or grown for items that may have been outside their capability to make or grow. Each one had useful functions and therefore had value. Values were always relative to the metals or items abundance and ease of access. For instance, gold is a scarce element, with special properties and requires a lot of effort to produce just small amounts of gold. Therefore, gold was prized and became the stuff of which wealth was made. Today, there are those who will work to earn gold, there are those who will work to earn silver, and there are those who will work to earn iron.
            One thing I am privy to is that the harder you work, the more there are those who want a piece of that pie. They don’t want the whole pie, they just want enough of that pie to get what they need (an apartment), and some of what they want (cigarettes and some alcohol maybe). There are those whose wants are great (say a yacht or a mansion) and they are willing to go to great lengths and pay the great fealty (taxes) to the money controllers to obtain those great wants. But then you have those people (socialists and liberals) who see the great effort put forth by accomplished people who have great wants and all they see is greed and abhor the fact that they cannot force the accomplished person to give up the fruits of their labor because somehow, the liberal or socialist think, that fruit belongs to everyone.
            Are you thoroughly confused by the human condition yet? I find it absurd to work my butt off in the orchard I planted and cared for just to be forced to give away most of the fruit that nature gifted me for being a good steward. Being forced to give to those who feel entitled to the fruit because they were born, and did not care to move from being wanton and needy. The needy know that because they think, therefore they deserve, therefore they shall receive, if they cast the right vote, or in this case vote for the proverbial left.
            The human condition is absurd, one of our own creation. People learn how to play the system (think the goose that lays the golden eggs), and when the system doesn’t lay golden eggs fast enough, because it cannot glean enough fealty, because no one is any longer interested in producing fealty, because they must pay all that they earn in fealty, then those who lived from the fealty will cut open the system (goose) and destroy that which fed them.
            There is no free lunch for any of the above mentioned special ideological groups. I don’t get a free lunch because someone put effort into making my lunch from the time the seeds were put into the ground to the time it was set in front of me.
            My latest favorite is the Colorado voter referendum on minimum wage. Twelve dollars per hour by the year 2020. What the regular day laborer doesn’t realize and probably the government doesn’t realize as well, is that a business must take in more than it pays out to remain operational. All costs must be captured from the consumer, so prices will rise commensurately. In fact, the average twelve dollar per hour employee will have less purchasing power in 2020 than they had in 2016. This is because the ancillary costs of doing business that are percentage based such as FICA and unemployment insurance will cause the price of goods even higher.
            Those working full time earning almost twenty-five thousand dollars per year will also no longer qualify for many forms of public assistance. Prices will increase and the result will be people with less purchasing power. I personally think public assistance should end anyway.
            In fact being my hateful racist self I think that the federal government should get out of the business of public assistance and leave that to the states. Then when places like Illinois who lean way toward the public assistance factor find everyone who prefers living on public assistance moving to their state, the message might become clear.
We have put too much faith in government to cure our problems. What I see is that government, instead of knowing where to draw the line on how much government can do, is that government tends to perpetuate the human condition making the universe even more absurd. No matter how much government tries to take care of us from cradle to grave, government will always fall short.