Two things that have grown out of our capitalistic economic system are: 1) powerlessness; and, 2) family struggles. According to Zinn (2005), the powerlessness of the worker class leads to pent up frustrations that can then lead to anger problems within the family. Zinn (2005) states that, “one of the ways of giving some satisfaction to men who are themselves exploited is to make them masters of their own households. So they may be humiliated on the job, but they come home and humiliate their wives and children” (p. 196). The struggle of the working class here is shown to be a contributing factor in family trauma. What Zinn (2005) advocates is dialogue among all classes from a perspective of empathy so that understanding the conditions that lead to the struggle can lead to some solutions. Democratic action after critical understanding is the main ingredient for reducing the power differentials that have emerged within society (Zinn, 2005).
The thing is, I have never wanted, nor do I want now, to enforce power systems that I see as corrupt and ineffective. It seems that institutions seek their own survival, above all else. There are those that might suggest that there are three (3) types of people in any given society: 1) the haves; 2) the have-nots; and, 3) the have-a-little-want-mores. I cannot disagree more with this view because from my perspective, everybody HAS. Whether or not it’s what others want is not really my concern.
To me, the “have vs. the have-nots” fight is a myth that I think philosophers and politicians continually reinforce and recreate all the time. There are obviously people who aren’t as rich as other people. Actually, there are more financially poor people than there is anything else. Just as obviously, there are quite a few morally bankrupt people who have all kinds of money. The problem comes down to, very simply, getting and keeping any kind of power.
For example, take any religious zealot after his/her conversion. it seems that they are on fire and ready to do anything to share their new-found salvation. However, if you disagree with the zealot, you’d damn well be ready to defend your own soul. The zealot, it would seem, is interested in extending, and therefore maintaining his sense of salvation by converting you. I believe that people, like the new zealot, want a sense that they matter and religion will provide that sense for someone who holds very little actual power.
We all matter. Regardless of what we have, don’t have, or want; we have life. Whether we judge our lives or the lives of others as “good” or “bad” is the issue we have to correct. We should neutralize our world such that we see each other as human, first, and everything else as secondary. Regardless of ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, or financial standing, we share the planet whether we like it or not. We all have. We may not have all that we want, but we are here, right now, and that’s all we need to build and become that which our mission should be. We should wake up and quit judging our success or status in life by comparing our lives to those of others. I hate the “more fortunate” myth because we are all fortunate to live in a time of great change and hope. We just need to recognize that life, all life, is worthy of respect. If we do, there will be no need for the religious zealot to scream about Hell because we will have all created a world in which Hell becomes irrelevant.