Communities Change Fierce Civility
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Joe Weston
What’s Wrong With Sharing?

Is anyone else as perplexed and discouraged by the current response to Obama, and more specifically by the “tea” parties and the complaining about taxes? Is it too much to ask for a bit of common sense? Are we that frightened and angry that we can’t see that Obama is simply doing his best to pick up the pieces of 30 years of a way of governing and doing business that has resulted in the mess we are in?

And is anyone else shocked by the strong resistance to contributing to the good of the whole? We keep hearing that raising taxes and supporting social programs makes people lazy and kills the creative, entrepreneurial spirit. Well, that’s just not true. That’s based on fear and inability to let go of control. It has been proven to work around the world. I have proof. I lived in the Netherlands for almost 18 years and I see how a more social system can both take care of those in need and support the uniqueness and success of the individual.

What ever happened to sharing? All religious and spiritual traditions advocate it. The Christian bible emphasizes the holiness in giving to others and sharing. We are taught as children that sharing is a virtue. And it is part of the blueprint of a society based on higher consciousness. Wouldn’t you say? So what are we so afraid of?

I think I know. I think it has to do with the fact that since 1948, we Americans have been so brainwashed that we can’t see reality anymore. We have been bombarded with images, propaganda, movies, TV, books etc. that have convinced us that the Soviet Union and China and any country that supported them were inherently bad and that their main objective was to destroy the United States and “the free world” (whatever that is…) We were told that Communism and Socialism was the way of the enemy, and anything that resembled these systems were evil. This was finally crystallized with Ronald Reagan’s speech in the early 80’s when he called the Soviet Union “the Evil Empire.”

Think about how brainwashed we all were. We either believed him or we actually let him get away with it. Clinical psychologists would call that sociopathic behavior, right? Yet, we accepted it as normal. And how could we not? Look at all the rhetoric and propaganda that was created to justify our actions at home and around the world. Look at the horror of the House Un-American Committee in the 50’s. Look at the destruction that the US created in Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America. All in the name of democracy and freedom. Look at all the movies and books of the 50’s and 60’s that all had to do with some kind of evil force from the outside, whether human or extraterrestrial, that tried to take over America and “American values.” Look at the proliferation of nuclear weapons creating a reality on this planet that no human being has ever had to face – complete annihilation. We had no choice but to be traumatized.

Well, times have changed. Now is an opportunity to wake up out of the 60-year nightmare and take a good look at the facts and common sense. The first thing we need to realize is that Communism and Socialism are economic systems and not political. The “evil” of the Soviet and Chinese regime was not how they distributed wealth, but the dictatorial, tyrannical tactics of power hungry, ideologically blinded men who had no problem murdering and destroying to maintain power. Communism doesn’t kill and take away freedoms, people do.

So, what we all should do is some soul searching and find a way to overcome our Pavlovian Dog response to the words Communism and Socialism, and realize that supporting and voting for programs that strengthen social programs and ask us to pay more taxes won’t annihilate us. And I’m not only talking to my Conservative brothers and sisters out there, but also to my Liberal ones as well. You may talk the talk, but look down deep and feel deep in your body how you still flinch when you hear the C word or the S word. When we can let go of this trauma and reactive response, we will see how powerful sharing is and see that an individual can be strong only if the entire community is strong.

Yes, it is possible to pay a lot of taxes and still follow your entrepreneurial spirit and realize your personal goals. It is possible to get welfare for a while and be a vital part of society. Yes it is possible to have governmental social programs and still have freedom. I know it to be true. I lived for 18 years in a country where it happens. And if you look at your statistics, the people of the Netherlands and Denmark (two examples of socially free-market societies) are the happiest, healthiest, and financially stable in the world. Look at the facts! And if you are one of those who say you don’t care how other countries do it, you are only interested in what is happening here in the United States, then remember – that’s sociopathic behavior according to clinical psychology.




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Communities Change Fierce Civility

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