Monday, November 2, 2015

On interdependence............................

      Confronted with the materialistic decadence of the status quo, one should not be surprised to find that all revolutionary movements are primarily generated from spiritual values and considerations of justice, equality, peace, and brotherhood.  History is a relay of revolutions;  the torch of idealism is carried by the revolutionary group until this group becomes an establishment, and then quietly the torch is put down to wait until a new revolutionary group picks it up for the next leg of the run.  Thus the revolutionary cycle goes on.
      A major revolution to be won in the immediate future is the dissipation of man's illusion that his own welfare can be separate from that of all others.  As long as man is shackled to this myth, so long will the human spirit languish.  Concern for our private, material well-being with disregard for the well-being of others is immoral according to the precepts of our Judaeo-Christian civilization, but worse, it is stupidity worthy of the lower animals.  It is man's foot still dragging in the primeval slime of his beginnings, in ignorance and mere animal cunning.  But those who know the interdependence of man to be his major strength in the struggle out of the muck have not been wise in their exhortations and moral pronouncements that man is his brother's keeper.  On that score the record of the past centuries has been a disaster, for it is wrong to assume that man would pursue morality on a level higher than his day-to-day living demanded and elevate it to a plane of altruism and self-sacrifice.  The fact is that it is not man's "better nature" but his self-interest that demands he be his brother's keeper.  We now live in a world where no man can have a loaf of bread while his neighbor has none.  If he does not share his bread, he dare not sleep, for his neighbor will kill him.  To eat and sleep in safety man must do the right thing, if for seemingly the wrong reasons, and be in practice his brother's keeper.

-Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals:  A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals

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