Justice

in #justicelast year

Our young people have thought and written much on labor and reform, and for all that they have written, neither the world nor themselves, have got on a step.

From "Experience," Essays, Second Series by Ralph Waldo Emerson

This essay was was written in 1844. I was drawn to his comments on labor and reform. It could have been written today.

Intellectual tasting of life will not supersede muscular activity.

He argues that it isn't enough to think and write - things must be done! So as I consider the current political climate - support for Bernie Sanders, in particular - despite his not being the nominee, should not be an excuse for not doing the work.

But here Emerson is, writing in the 1800s about labor and reform, and collective efforts on behalf of labor remains a "socialist" position. While most laws are designed for the benefit of a collective class of owners, it is interesting that anything organized on behalf of a collective class of workers, is political poison. Clearly, derision or praise depends on how wealthy the collective class is - not that they are working together for mutual political representation and related laws.

When tech leaders comes together to oppose laws that do not benefit them, when they put money behind their collective political ambition - is it socialist? If not, then why is it socialist for labor leaders to come together to oppose laws that don't benefit them? Is it because the less wealthy person's vote represents a cheap substitute for money? Is the vote just a poor person's attempt at checking capital power? And unless a candidate actually has the interest of the vast majority of citizens, voters are left to choose between candidates that will take more or less as compensation that only marginally and weakly benefit people who work for a living.

There are objections to every course of life and action, and the practical wisdom infers an indifferency, from the omnipresence of objection. The whole frame of things preaches indifferency. Do not craze yourself with thinking, but go about your business anywhere.

I was reviewing "accredited investor" qualifications. For the most part, qualifications align with either education or training, except if one has over $1 million not held in real estate. To participate in, currently, the only game in town to make money, i.e., the stock market, remains out of reach for those who are not in a position to petition for laws that are designed to benefit very few trained people with an exception for the a wealthy person who may be an unsophisticated participant. This is how capitalist society is engineered. https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2020-191

Recently, regular people were criticized for not having enough money in savings to withstand the economic ravages of a pandemic - when stock market investors are making ridiculous gains in this speculative stock market. Savings account interest rates are at almost zero which encourages an even modest investor to speculate in the stock market, or cryptocurrency, in order to "save" for the future.

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Without any shadow of doubt, amidst the vertigo of shows and politics, I settle myself ever the firmer in the creed, that we should not postone and refer and wish, but do broad justice where we are, by whomsoever we are with, accepting our actual companions and circumstances, however humble or odious, as the mystic officials to whom the universe has delegated its whole pleasure for us.

When you start looking at laws as a form of social engineering - sticks and carrots to encourage "approved" behavior, you start looking at things differently. Sure, there are health, safety and welfare laws that purport to be for the benefit of everyone - but those laws were likely seen as a necessary evil in order to continue down a path, and likely represent a compromise to allow a path, in favor of those who would otherwise oppose.

As I thought about that, I read further and found that Emerson tempers my discouraging line of thinking with an admonition - not to waste what you have right now. Complaining is not effective. Action is.

If you are going to start anything, now is as good a time as any and may be the only time - do not "postpone and refer and wish, but do broad justice."

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