Contemporary Experiences

֎ Mariner had his first conversation with a relative of Nadine. Her name is Marisol; he had a chat with her today about Medicare coverage. Mariner didn’t see her face because it was a chat format but she understood context well enough to narrow the conversation to his specific question. Essentially, Marisol did mariner’s internet search for him. She sent mariner to a specific web address that answered his specific question. Hmmm, mariner wonders what she looks like . . .

֎ Mariner reads several websites that study America’s culture and its values. He noticed that two different sources were doing in-depth studies on how Americans feel about their personal quality of life in today’s unsettled society. The websites get their information through polling and interviews.

The redundant point from both sites is that there is a firm separation between citizens with college degrees and citizens without college degrees. College graduates are far less satisfied with the state of affairs in the world and in the United States – to the point that they have little confidence in satisfactory lives for their children and for their own retirement.

For their future, citizens without college degrees felt more comfortable with their personal circumstances. Both websites made assumptions about the source of satisfaction for each group: College graduates tend to work at jobs that are entwined in broader aspects of the economy and with multiple perspectives on society; further, the graduates feel an obligation to pursue a continuous effort at achievement [mariner recently used the term ‘aspirational’ as an earmark of the Democratic Party].

Citizens without a college degree tend to be employed in skill-based jobs that are more important to the immediate environment, e.g., not requiring a perspective beyond the current task. Gratification for work well done is more easily at hand and does not require the pressure of continuous aspiration.

The firm separation between the two groups is manifest in the evolution of the Democratic Party from one representing labor and socialized policies to one of pursuing success, leaving the labor tenets behind in favor of continuous achievement. Continuous achievement is very close to capitalism’s mantra about profit – grow or die. Hence the modern Democratic Party has a pink shadow. This self-importance may also be a reason that non-white citizens are not particularly eager to join the party.

Back in the day the United States had five legitimate political parties. Is a new one in the making?

Ancient Mariner


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