The important thing for us all to learn from the Capitol invasion of January 6, 2021, is whatever is the truth. The saddest part of Trump’s four years is that he gave us little truth. Not that I count on Biden to give us the truth every time. Because that is the greatest human failing. We lie to protect ourselves. We must learn that we shall protect ourselves when we band together with others and trust them even as we would want to be trusted.
Humanity has been developing over thousands of years. We have become the most powerful creatures on the planet earth, and we are taking baby steps out into the universe. And yet we still have not learned to get along together. We tried after the First World War with the League of Nations, and then after World War II with the United Nations. But still, we bicker and bomb. What we have not learned in a decisive way is that being together is far better than fighting apart. Instead, we lie and cheat.
The same is true within our individual societies, like the United States of America. We call our country “the United States,” yet we have become disunited. Part of the recent problem has been the lies and misleading statements by President Trump, but more important is the unwillingness of Republicans and Democrats to work together. The Congress is blocked and little gets done concerning important issues, like climate change.
Of course, speaking of climate change, Republicans in many cases do not believe that this issue really exists, Democrats think that the Republican attitude stems from their support of the fossil fuel industry. Yet this is a very important issue, because it threatens the continued survival of humanity. Even if you disbelieve the warnings, it would make sense to test the waters, as it were. We do know that there is smog from fuel, and clearly, this makes life more difficult. You don’t have to believe that the smog is changing the climate; the smog in and of itself is extremely bothersome. So you can reach a compromise to see whether smog can be reduced.
Moreover, we are now developing electric vehicles, and those vehicles cause less smog. Yes, they are expensive, but they will become less expensive as more people use them.
Let’s talk a bit about Americans’ devotion to private property. We have had a history of public lands and parks. But now Republicans want public lands to be private, so that the land can be sold for development. What could a compromise be? Make the public lands private, but open to the public, and without selling the lands for any use except for the exploration of nature. And regulate how much the owners may charge in allowing individuals to enter and explore. If the private owners must maintain the lands in the same way that the government has done, and if the lands are open to all with minimal charges for entry, then it’s fine if the lands are technically private.
In fact, one can say the same thing about any goods or services. You could make all the fire departments private, but if the compensation they receive is the same as the public fire department receives, and if they have to provide the same services as the public department, the fact that they are owned privately makes little difference. The real problem with any private business is that they can try to rip off customers or their employees. If they are required to follow a public business model, then there is little difference between public and private ownership.
This brings us to the essential point of our discussion. Enterprises should not just be for the benefit of the capitalists, but also for the workers and the customers. Yes, you can be a baker and make bread and sell it, but in doing so consider how much you charge, how much you pay your workers, and whether your bread contains bad ingredients. If your bread is appropriate in price and you pay your workers decently, you have done your duty.
In theory, your profits should be reasonable. You shouldn’t make a killing, but you should be able to support yourself and your family. If that happens, your enterprise is no better or worse than the same enterprise in a socialist economy. And that’s how it should be.
To be better humans, we need to tell the truth and not let ourselves fall victim to greed and corruption. That is what has happened to the United States. No longer united, it has fallen victim to greed and corruption. We have seen how this happened to Trump. Will it happen to Biden, too? One doesn’t know. But if it does, there is only one answer for the rest of us. BAND TOGETHER, and start something new that avoids the trap into which we have fallen. Only truth. No more lies, no more greed and corruption. If we don’t do that, then America will collapse. Really and truly.
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