Thought Provoking

Mariner and his wife consider The Atlantic the premier magazine in print today. The Atlantic provides thoughtful, rational and valuable articles that cover society from one end to the other. Below, mariner presents the opening portion of an article by Eli Cook that tells about how in the 1700’s we measured people not by their worth in dollars but rather by other qualities.

The article starts here:

Money and markets have been around for thousands of years. Yet as central as currency has been to so many civilizations, people in societies as different as ancient Greece, imperial China, medieval Europe, and colonial America did not measure residents’ well-being in terms of monetary earnings or economic output.

In the mid-19th century, the United States—and to a lesser extent other industrializing nations such as England and Germany—departed from this historical pattern. It was then that American businesspeople and policymakers started to measure progress in dollar amounts, tabulating social welfare based on people’s capacity to generate income. This fundamental shift, in time, transformed the way Americans appraised not only investments and businesses but also their communities, their environment, and even themselves.

Today, well-being may seem hard to quantify in a nonmonetary way, but indeed other metrics—from incarceration rates to life expectancy—have held sway in the course of the country’s history. The turn away from these statistics, and toward financial ones, means that rather than considering how economic developments could meet Americans’ needs, the default stance—in policy, business, and everyday life—is to assess whether individuals are meeting the exigencies of the economy.

At the turn of the 19th century, it did not appear that financial metrics were going to define Americans’ concept of progress. In 1791, then-Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton wrote to various Americans across the country, asking them to calculate the moneymaking capacities of their farms, workshops, and families so that he could use that data to create economic indicators for his famous Report on Manufactures. Hamilton was greatly disappointed by the paltry responses he received and had to give up on adding price statistics to his report. Apparently, most Americans in the early republic did not see, count, or put a price on the world as he did.

Until the 1850s, in fact, by far the most popular and dominant form of social measurement in 19th-century America (as in Europe) were a collection of

social indicators known then as “moral statistics,” which quantified such phenomena as prostitution, incarceration, literacy, crime, education, insanity, pauperism, life expectancy, and disease. While these moral statistics were laden with paternalism, they nevertheless focused squarely on the physical, social, spiritual, and mental condition of the American people. For better or for worse, they placed human beings at the center of their calculating vision. Their unit of measure was bodies and minds, never dollars and cents.

Yet around the middle of the century, money-based economic indicators began to gain prominence, eventually supplanting moral statistics as the leading benchmarks of American prosperity. . .

. . . What happened in the mid-19th century that led to this historically unprecedented pricing of progress? The short answer is straightforward enough: Capitalism happened. In the first few decades of the Republic, the United States developed into a commercial society, but not yet a fully capitalist one. One of the main elements that distinguishes capitalism from other forms of social and cultural organization is not just the existence of markets but also of capitalized investment, the act through which basic elements of society and life—including natural resources, technological discoveries, works of art, urban spaces, educational institutions, human beings, and nations—are transformed (or “capitalized”) into income-generating assets that are valued and allocated in accordance with their capacity to make money and yield future returns. Save for a smattering of government-issued bonds and insurance companies, such a capitalization of everyday life was mostly absent until the mid-19th century. There existed few assets in early America through which one could invest wealth and earn an annual return.

By the Progressive Era, the logic of money could be found everywhere.

Capitalization, then, was crucial to the rise of economic indicators. As upper-class Americans in both the North and South began to plow their wealth into novel financial assets, they began to imagine not only their portfolio but their entire society as a capitalized investment and its inhabitants (free or enslaved) as inputs of human capital that could be plugged into output-maximizing equations of monetized growth. . .[1]

Stop article.

Mariner finds it almost inconceivable that commerce was once valued by how much it helped common man. Yet this concept existed at the beginning of our nation. Is this the concept that must return in order to balance fairness and human dignity in the future? Is that even possible? It is the nature of capitalism that more money and investment make more money – and limits human dignity to nothing more than a source to make profit for someone else. Common man may not be chattel slaves but it sure sounds the same. Are common people slaves to capitalism as an investment? In 1860, the nation fought a war about this notion. Mariner always thought the movie Matrix[2] was an allegorical representation of capitalism; humans are born and placed in a casket for life to be used as batteries. An artificial reality is fed into their brains so they think they are living a normal life. Don’t let this image frighten you; thanks to television, computers, the Internet and Amazon.com, it is how we live now.

In a related article from The Atlantic,[3] economic trust becomes a measure of benefit to the common man. Intellectually, ‘trust’ could include other values to the common man as well; not the same thing as pre-capitalist commerce but at least a distraction from capitalism.

Ancient Mariner

 

[1] How Money Became the Measure of Everything: Two centuries ago, America pioneered a way of thinking that puts human well-being in economic terms. The Atlantic, Eli Cook Oct 19, 2017. See:

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/10/money-measure-everything-pricing-progress/543345/?utm_source=nl-atlantic-daily-101917&silverid=MzEzNjI5ODkxNjczS0

 

[2] Released in 1999 with sequels; available online.

[3] Reimagining Money: What if markets were designed to build trust instead of wealth? See:

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/03/douglas-rushkoff-reimagining-money/472335/

 

Political Nits

One has to hand it to Donald. One of his personally owned golf courses claimed a charity donation of five million dollars. NPR dug into it and could only find $80 thousand. The golf course and Donald have ignored questions about it. Mariner suspects the five million dollar gift is on Donald’s tax form to cut taxes owed. Pardon the use, Robert, but it will be an awesome day when Donald’s tax history is revealed.

The Gold Star issue laid bare Donald’s inability to feel empathy. Even in defensive comments, he can’t find something to blame it on; as in past presidents, generals and other leaders who have suffered the fallen, compassion comes from one’s own heart – nowhere else.

Mariner marvels at the inadequacy of nations to properly respond to the new age of globalization. In China, Xi Jingpin is moving the nation toward the glorious days of communism in an effort to make China Great Again (familiar?); in China, free press is disappearing, civil rights are disappearing. To maneuver around the leadership of the Communist Party, Xi has made himself chairman of several key committees. Other nations actively engaged in isolationism are Great Britain (Brexit), Spain, the United States (at least Donald says so), and the entire European Union – stressed by the wave of immigration and economic conflicts with Eastern European nations.

Globalism requires a market-based economy, not a nation-based economy. The TPP, which has serious civil rights flaws, nevertheless is a model for globalism. Nine nations were about to sign an agreement that bound them to an economic relationship where each nation shared a global market and agreed to a fair distribution of profit.

One of the shortcomings in the TPP is labor distribution. The reader may have noticed that over the past fifty years, corporations are doing everything they can to shed employees, minimize salary and benefits, and hide profits. While the concept of shared profit sounds good between nations, it does not require that job distribution is employee oriented or that corporations, either through taxation of actual profits or through internalized policies, seek to optimize employee participation (jobs). Nevertheless, we should understand that we will share GDP with other nations. Those nations seeking isolation are going in the wrong direction.

The Democratic Party shows signs of hope and increased energy but what is the message? What is the theory of social equality that binds Americans in a democratic society? What are the examples of civil liberty and equality? In mariner’s county, the focus still seems to be on petty local issues. This may be appropriate under general circumstances but today, with conservative policies running amuck from Libertarianism to Reaganism to white supremacy, voters need a new national message. Where is it? Voters already identify with the Affordable Care Act; what else is in the Democratic Bag?

The press recently called Donald the ‘destruction’ President because all he does is undo Obama’s legacy and destroy principles of democracy. But his Cabinet members also are great ‘destructionists’. Put together, our country rapidly is returning to the 1920’s. Mariner wouldn’t be surprised that new racist statues will be ordered and we shall become an archipelago nation as the oceans rise. We will not be a nation of rich-hued skin but a pale whiteness preserved from an ancient era – like a pod of Beluga whales.

Ancient Mariner

 

Each Brain Talks Differently

We are not aware that we talk the way our brain thinks. For example, if you are a good administrator, it’s because your brain thinks procedurally. If you feel a duty to always complete tasks, it’s because your brain thinks in terms of accomplishment. If you are good at abstract conversation, it’s because your brain thinks in an abstract manner.

This approach is different than the old version of ‘why’ people, ‘how’ people and ‘what’ people that described how people solve problems. The ‘talking’ brain approach is a combination of thought and communication – the vocalization of thought rather than the application of problem-solving.

Before we begin, mariner wants to emphasize, quite adamantly, that none of this relates to intelligence! The subject centers on persona and the manner of communicating within that persona.

To consider the relationship between brain and communication, we must be aware of our standing prejudices toward people. Politics, interpersonal experiences, and psychological comparisons easily affect our interpersonal communication but the goal here is to focus only on the influence of the brain as it attempts to communicate.

Mariner stumbled into this pop-psych approach when contemplating his own speech patterns. The two vocalization patterns that provoked this line of thought are the mariner’s inability to participate in ‘show and tell’ conversations, and secondly, the ability to listen closely to what certain people are saying. To the second pattern, a clear example is Hillary Clinton: Hillary’s accomplishments are lauded, her ethic is humanistic, and her work is thoughtful and substantive. Mariner holds her in appropriate recognition – but he cannot listen to her. After one paragraph he finds his concentration is wanting and often drifts into other thoughts. He has known this about a number of men and women over time but only recently has he noticed it as a major behavioral issue.[1]

The first pattern, conversational skills (show and tell, S&T), is most obvious at social gatherings. Everyone is eager to tell about an experience, share knowledge about things, places, and reminisce about the past. There is nothing wrong with this social sharing. Certainly it is rewarding and fulfilling to the sharing person and further is a form of inclusion and acceptance by everyone. Mariner listens . . . but mariner is not provoked to participate.

He wonders why this affect exists. Certainly he enjoys the friendship, he enjoys inclusion within the speaker’s realm, and he respects the speakers as wholesome and valuable people. He just can’t respond in kind. Most obvious in one-to-one S&T conversations, when the speaker pauses with an expectation of a response, mariner is hard pressed to continue the dialogue.

Mariner began to pay attention to his listening, speaking and thinking patterns as a unit. He began to realize that he is glib and filled with active thinking when the subject is about philosophy, sociology, cultural machinations and other broad, thematic issues. Clearly, he is not a procedural thinker. Aha! This is why he cannot listen to Hillary. Hillary is quite intently a procedural thinker. Thoughts, solutions and the attendant speech are bound to procedures rather than to the ideology that validates them. He and Hillary are of mutual intent but on different trains. All of us are bound to speak our mind – making each of us different than others and therefore susceptible to unnecessary prejudice.

These differences are important. The difference between Hillary and Bernie is how they think, ergo, how they speak about goals and objectives. The humanistic content of their speech was similar but their brains considered different perspectives for a solution.

No expert for sure but mariner has a new insight into how prejudices grow. How we receive others and categorize them is heavily dependent on their persona and the projection of that persona into speech. It is a genetically mandated behavior that we classify other individuals in some manner. It is how we treat other individuals that counts. Your brain and its accompanying communication skills have a large role to play in that treatment.

Consider how you accept the personalities on ‘Big Bang Theory’. They’re bound by the way their minds think – an element of persona that the actor must understand. Have you mentally classified them in terms of your opinion rather than accepting without judgment their persona and communication as a normal human being whose brain thinks differently than yours?

Our President, too, has an eccentric way of communicating. That eccentricity is understood only if we can understand how his brain thinks. Doing so makes us realize that his brain is damaged and incomplete.

In every moment of communication, we must acknowledge a person’s persona and communication without prejudice. If we must, we must reserve prejudice based on acts and ethics, not the way their brain talks.

Ancient Mariner

 

[1] We must discount Hillary’s responses to interviews because the content is written by speech writers and often is too familiar to listen to again. Nevertheless, over time and given the focus of her public service, her thoughts are fully contained in each sentence without the need for speculative content.

The Basic Donald

If one believes in an Old Testament God, one would join Job on his pile of dung and lament the incursion of Donald at such a critical moment in global history. Change in culture is painful enough. Why, God, have you visited this plague upon us?

Fortunately, the Wizard of Oz facade is wearing away rapidly in recent weeks. Voters who are capable of comparative thinking have begun to see that a terrible situation is at hand. Truly, the United States and the global community are witnessing a bull in a china shop. We have learned the following about Donald:

  • He is narcissistic. Donald is incapable of sympathy and empathy. This condition greatly diminishes both his judgment and his decisions; Donald can only be King. A White House informer said the most irritating event of all in recent days was the appearance of Rex Tillerson’s face on television instead of Donald’s.
  • Donald’s motivations are simplistic and unaffected by the reaction of others. A blatant example is his desire to eliminate Barack Obama from the history books. Beginning with the birther attack and continuing immediately upon becoming President, it is obvious that Barack is his nemesis. Donald desires only to purge Obama’s policies and submit unreasoned Executive Decisions but does not have the ability to supersede Obama policy with newer policy; that would require an awareness of other people’s needs, that is, political motivation. Donald is not political – he is King.
  • The only interpersonal skill available to Donald is character assassination. Think back… Has Donald ever defended a policy in all his pontifications? No. He can only attack character, not substance. His latest example is tweeting that “Liddle Bob Corker was set up by the New York Times…”
  • Being King, Donald can do no wrong. In every interaction – without fail, not even one exception – Donald responds to failure by placing the blame on someone else or another situation. The reason Donald must always have a scapegoat is it is the only situation where he can apply character assassination; for example, ‘Fake News’ and Congress. However much we may wish that Donald would consciously acknowledge personal failure, he never will. His ego cannot allow it.
  • Donald has no allegiance to anyone or anything. His narcissism does not understand loyalty to anyone but himself. Evidence is the ease with which he switches back and forth on his own comments and his broken promises to others – to say nothing of nuclear war if that is what it takes to win the match of character assassination with Kim Jung un.

In another time with a different Congress, Donald would be under impeachment proceedings by now. However, the current Congress needs the Trump base to survive elections in 2018. This Congress is one of the entities that feel the pressure of change in today’s world. Members have lived a life under Reagan economic policies that are brittle and dysfunctional today. Members are old. Members have served in an era of abundant wealth and kleptocracy. They hide behind Donald – a windbreak against the inevitable winds of change.

Ancient Mariner

Health Care – Captive of Capitalism

 

Mariner wrote a post recently that said the first thing to fix in health care is its costs. In the nineties, administrators and a new breed of eager MBAs decided to change how health care was billed. Instead of the old-fashioned idea of billing based on cost, health services henceforth will bill what the market will bear.

Mariner visited a health care person (doctor) who prescribed a medicine (pharmaceutical industry) that costs $10,000 each month. Health insurance companies don’t cover this medicine – even they recognize fraud when they see it. Mariner does not intend to accept a health care policy that says, for all intents and purposes, “Wait. Don’t die yet; let us take your assets first – then you can die.” Mariner has no intention of following this advice.

Nevertheless, Chicken Little is pacing about. The destructive President, GOP controlled Congress, state governments, and a conservative Supreme Court bode disregard for common class quality of life in the future. The primary advisors to Congress are the health insurance companies who desire only to maximize profits with no regard for social responsibility – after all, it’s a health service… Of course, all US governments are not interested in social responsibility either – only profit. Obama took the leash off Big Pharma in order to pass the Affordable Care Act; someone must catch them soon and put them back on the inadequate leash they had.

Health insurer CEOs made big bucks in 2016:

Michael Neidorff     $32,161,754

Centene Corp.

Bruce Broussard    $17,019,300

Humana

Mark Bertolini        $41,676,887

Aetna

Stephen Hemsley  $33,368,652

UnitedHealth Group

Joseph Swedish      $17,057,940

Anthem

David Cordani        $21,990,392

Cigna Corp.

Dr. J. Mario Molina  $3,816,395

Molina Healthcare

Kenneth Burdick      $4,687,059                             Source: U.S. Securities and

WellCare Health Plans                                            Exchange Commission documents

Ancient Mariner

Moments that Shape Our Lives – Santayana

Every one of us at times has learned something from a person, a book, an event, a family circumstance, that changes who we are, what we believe, how we behave. Often the person is a mentor – someone who exposes a new awareness within us. Often the event is harrowing or of high achievement; an event that opens up new feelings about who we are and how we behave thereafter.

Knowledge is a frequent source that shapes our religion, philosophy, ethic, and introduces sophisticated perceptions about reality.

Mariner had an experience where knowledge from a book established his basic understanding of existence and reality and even today constitutes the foundation of his understanding of reality and the manner of human behavior.

When mariner was a young teen, his father was attending a Methodist seminary. One day his father brought home a textbook: “The Life of Reason, the Phases of Human Progress” by George Santayana. Mariner read the book with unusual interest; being a teenager, one’s mental attention more often is directed at social development and athletics. Amid those activities, mariner stayed with the book for a summer and finished it.

To avoid writing another tome, mariner will paraphrase George and express only the most significant points that have had a lasting influence on the mariner.

George was always about reason. There must be a reason for everything. He was suspicious of idealism. Assuming beliefs and myths as a permanent foundation for reality was an incomplete reality to George. George said that a rational morality has never existed in the world. One draws what morality exists from family life and is not universal in its definition.

George did believe that love was real and the most satisfying human experience. While believing love’s roots and its role in society was established in the family, he maintained love is the foundation beneath all social structures.

The pragmatic need for institutions and government outside the home justified politics but only weakly. George felt that equality among unequals is unachievable; he distrusted democracy as a fantasy of unequals. Government should be run by those who are capable but the population is not restricted in its interaction with the government. George dodges capitalism by stating that all citizens must be guaranteed equal opportunity.[1]

George said the American Dream was a fantasy; since the age of industrialism, materialism sits on the backs of citizens rather than citizens gaining a laissez-faire life.

Finally, George by definition was a metaphysical naturalist. Broadly speaking, everything that happens in reality is part of nature and automatically adjusts to interaction with other natural elements. Human behavior is a constantly adjusting phenomenon with other natural elements (reality). What does this mean in terms of ethics and morality? It means that ethics and morality are subject to the reality of the moment. A friend of the mariner once commented that under severe circumstances, cannibalism is moral.

George was an atheist. The closest he comes to godliness is his definition of reality as the cause of all events and conclusions, circumstances and behaviors. Yahweh was close but not the same.

Ancient Mariner

[1] For mariner, it is this section in the book that slowly has evolved into what he calls ‘sharing’. Another mentor is Will Rogers, who believed in equal sharing of profits. More about sharing will be in another post.

Still Visiting Nova

Mariner begins to understand the virtues of being a grandfather. He and his wife have lived a long life and have become wise in observing the Yin-Yang, the flow of timeless bonding, the energy of living an active life. Indeed, they have lived Joseph Campbell’s Arc of Life – the Hero’s Path. The wife still has many integrated experiences bonding with and caring for Nova. Indeed, she is welcome relief for our son and daughter-in-law.

Clothed in his veneration, the grandfather struggles to stay out of the way; he is welcome, included in conversation and has a seat at the dinner table. But grandfather is useless. The family dog, a large puppy, does not agree. Everyone, including the grandfather, are toys with which the puppy entertains herself. Grandfather made the mistake of sitting by the balcony door. His job is to open the door each time the dog wants to go on the balcony and when the dog wants to come back in. This whole process – in and out – takes about two minutes every ten minutes or so.

The noise level is louder than grandfather is accustomed; he wears hearing aids but the cacophony prevents clarity. Grandfather is useless.

Nova is a pleasant child who, like any three-week old, makes it clear that she is not satisfied with the situation. Grandfather realizes that everyone is born to be a King or Queen. As Nova speaks, the parents, dog, and wife leap into action.

Further, the family has two cats. They are silent stalkers and fight with the puppy. Grandfather feels for his son because he works at home.

The fact of the matter is grandfather has no role except to engage the dog – whether he wants to or not.

Nevertheless, this is a happy home. This is a socially active home. There is love all around. In fact, in a few weeks grandfather willingly will return when his daughter and her husband come to join the fray.

 

Ancient Mariner

 

 

Visiting Nova

Mariner visited his newly born granddaughter for the first time yesterday. Ever since he was four years old he has developed a reputation for speaking of newborns with ignorant, perhaps unwarranted, certainly not accommodating remarks when viewing babies. Just one example will suffice: mariner’s father was a Methodist preacher. A proud set of parents showed off their baby after a Christening; many of the congregation were awing an oooing the baby and the new parents were bursting with pride. Mariner was eleven. With genuine innocence, he said, “He looks like a turtle.” Afterward, his father educated mariner on the rituals of socially required etiquette. As he looks back on that incident, mariner feels doubly bad because he placed the child in the same category as Mitch McConnell.

In this regard, mariner has not matured. His comments always are intended with genuine, gracious intent. So as he walked down the driveway to greet his son and family, mariner sees the proud daughter-in-law waiting to greet the grandparents; she is holding an armful of blankets and other swaddling clothes – no baby to be seen – mariner says with a disarming tone and happy grin, “Is that laundry or is there a baby in there?”

Nova is a marvel to see. She is so tiny. Her color and bombastic nature are in excellent form; all the physical appurtenances are present. Fortunately, or unfortunately, her parents and both families are riddled with an intellectual bent. Mariner feels however, that Nova will be up to the task.

One wonders how humans have overpopulated the planet given the odd and risk laden process of giving birth. When observing other species, one is aware that birth is quick and the newly born can walk immediately. Birds are willing to leap off a towering nest into adulthood in only a week or two. Any young one hatching from an egg must engineer its own birth and survive on its own merits immediately. Then there are the species with pockets, or sometimes mouths that serve as nurseries. Typically, Homo sapiens has the hubris to say, “We’re doing it differently.”

Nova was born a year before her physical abilities are prepared for such an alarming transition. Humans decided to require a head too big to pass through the mother’s pelvis so the baby must be born when only half the preparation for facing the outer world has been accomplished.

The baby’s tools for survival are a horrendous screeching that cannot be ignored. The child makes it clear this new environment is not to its liking. Further, it insists on being attended to the point of diaper management, which all fathers must endure.

Referencing a recent post about the term ‘grandfather,’ it is quite obvious as mariner and his wife visit Nova, that all that is required of a grandfather is a nice picture to hang on the wall and stay out of the way. It doesn’t bother mariner at all – he knows he is a member of the hall of fame.

Ancient Mariner

 

Whence the Next Religion?

Throughout mankind’s current history, that is, since about 10,000 years ago, some form of religion has guided culture’s behavior. Even in the days of Cybele eight millennia ago, the original mother of creation represented a need by Phrygians (Eastern Turkey) to have a bond with something beyond human capabilities.

Western civilization combined religious mandates with civil mandates creating theocracies that clearly were oriented toward human and governmental desires but nevertheless acknowledged ethics, morality and theology in their courts of justice. Sudan, Egypt, Babylonia, Greece and especially Rome spread Christianity/Civil Rule into Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and to the northernmost lands of Scandinavia. Even Russia depended on the Russian Orthodox Church from time to time.

But as Cybele lost the power of her myth, so, too, over time, Moses, Jesus, Paul and Augustine have paled as the powerful Christian and Hebrew mythic theology is confronted by time and knowledge.

Most telling is the separation of Church and State across the West. Always integrated in the past, modern constitutions and governmental ethics continually expand the civilian control of culture while excluding the moral authority of religion. It is a common opinion that the preferred religion is capitalism.

While practiced in the manner of a religion, Capitalism fails as an extra-human force that promotes ethical principles and meaning to individuals as a species, as individuals of common value, as an engine of virtue rather than wealth.

As mankind enters the new millennia, it enters without a true religion. Certainly Christian and Hebrew practices and beliefs still prevail but in a weakened state. Civility is not a central force today – especially in government – perhaps unaccustomed to managing culture without religion.

Whence the next religion?

One can take hope in the continuous improvement of special interest organizations. Everything from environmental organizations to racial and alternative living groups to human rights groups to equality of life groups are organized, funded, active, and importantly beginning to bring ethics and morality back into civil life. Humans are beginning to realize that today the onus is on them to sustain a quality culture – a function that was the role of the church in times past.

But what of Moses? What of Jesus? What of God? How must Christians breathe life back into the Holy Trinity?

We must create a new myth that unifies mankind with something beyond human control.

Ancient Mariner

 

As Guru prepares for his Flight

Before Guru leaves on his flight around the world, mariner asked him for a few markers that may be too imminent for a long study of the world’s circumstances. He commented on a few while he dressed in his flight suit:

It was Hugh Kingsmill who said, “A nation is only at peace when it’s at war.” In history, most top-of-the-bunch empires felt this way. With luck, world wars could be behind us as globalism evolves. Nevertheless, today there is a heightened spirit in the world community that longs for a war to resettle things. Clean the closet of old rivalries and international unrest due to major errors in the past similar to the Sykes-Picot treaty that ignorantly redefined borders in the Middle East in 1916. Donald and Kim are a test case to determine whether war is still needed to resettle things.

Around the world, wealth and economic wellbeing are available to fewer and fewer. From somewhere, humanist behavior must readjust the phenomenon of money, how it is assimilated, leveraged, and distributed. This is a looming threat to the United States and other nations where governments turn their head to allow oligarchical culture.

In the long history of Homo sapiens sapiens, an element of tribal sharing has waxed and waned: are all humans worthy of their birthright? Are they to be cared for during stressful times? Conservatives say no and liberals say yes. This is an unresolved philosophical point that may in its own right supersede nationalism, authoritarianism, capitalism and socialism as a form of survival. Today, September 24, 2017, there are 842 million individuals around the world who suffer from malnutrition. That’s 12.5% of the world’s population. We have witnessed the results of prolonged hunger in Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Chad, and more; it leads to war and destruction of any capable government. Recovery does not follow.

As the world moves toward a new global reality, opportunity will exist to pursue both avarice and restitution. The news media does not cover the issue of sharing as a political philosophy but it is a real war of its own.

The last comment from Guru dealt with the role of the United States in the world:

For nearly 200 years, the United States has speculated on similarities with the Roman Empire. Now it is time to speculate on similarities with Ancient Greece as it mastered esoteric reality but simultaneously fades as Rome becomes dominant.

 

Ancient Mariner