We shall shortly see a massive transfer of wealth from one segment of our culture to their peculiarly chosen beneficiaries. Persons who benefit from our free system, their own hard work and some good fortune, plan to hand over billions of dollars to various charities. Some of these charities will be so well funded they will actually not need to ask for more from anyone for a century.
What is the moral philosophy undergirding this transfer of wealth? One fellow says his money, hundreds of millions, will got to a Gay and Lesbian Rights Task Force. He is free to make this distinction in his philanthropy. My point is this; wealth is power, wealth is about to be transfered and power with it and the power will last a long time.
Now, who makes the moral decisions about who should have power/wealth? Fine and good to say we are redistributing billions to charity, wonderful to think our society will change the way it rations health care, child care and employment but who makes the choices about how the changes will take place? Granted, most of them will come out of group-think, so we will get redistribution of wealth by action of popular culture functioning as a committee of the whole.
Hilarity may ensue.
In olden times, which is any era before disco, mankind made use of philosophers who practiced a form of thought called "philosophy." Philosophers were persons who thought deeply, but broadly and fundamentally, about the nature of the human condition. Specialists were not eschewed but were not so highly prized as today, either.
Today there is so much available information that specialization is God. Specialists have a protocol in their specialty, whether that is medical, legal or church growth. Specialists follow their protocols in order to first avoid causing harm. They treat symptoms in their area of expertise in hopes the system improves as symptoms abate.
There is less broad, fundamental, general thinking of a deep nature. One supposes there is just as much thinking, actually, but the culture pays less attention to the generalist, preferring the fellow who can show them how to catch technological lightning in a bottle for the purpose of poorly regulated capitalism.
As a result, we live in a world that knows how to do a lot of "stuff" predictably but knows less and less about "why" to do this "stuff" and even less about "what might happen" if we keep repeating these behaviors. As one learned fellow said recently, "The economy is not going anywhere for a very long time and I don't know what we are going to do about it."
There is a baleful tint to the weary loneliness of the specialists who brought us to the cusp of this melt-down. One could feel a deep sympathy for them if they had not killed the prospects of a generation and pushed us toward a formalized socialism we will be three generations breaking.
So, I come to this screen, again and again, trying to say, there is a moral vacuum unfolding because we have lost the urge to think with deep, broad, fundamental strokes about the overall human condition. We have specialists to tell us we are not going anywhere and they do not know what to do about it because no one has ever seen this before but we lack any real moral leadership. By moral leadership, I mean the Golden Rule generalizations that remake human motivations to help individuals exercise control over their conscious lives.
I try to point a way here.
Opinions expressed here are mine alone.