Sunday, 27 November 2016

You Think You Know Where We Are Going?

Dear Reader,

Despite that time in the early 60s, when we seemed to be at the edge of World War when the Russians were sending ballistic missiles to be installed in Cuba, Cuba under Castro was well-led and to be admired in many respects: in my opinion. Certainly, there were articles appearing in the liberal press postulating the view that the country was the best led country in the world!

After all, education, health and the economy were all looked after well, with no reports of corruption nor, even, any secret police to spread terror - and certainly no extreme materialism. The Cubans that had fled their country at the time of the 1959 Revolution have never been happy with Castro's presence, of course, but those that remained seemed to be happy under Fidel's regime.

But Trump the Philosopher sees things somewhat differently. To him, Castro removed people's rights and was - in his words - "an evil person". But I have to ask the question, what "rights" do people really need? The attitude seems to suggest that "rights" are to actually supercede "duties", but, surely, we have to earn - through duty - our rights: yet there is a prevailing tendency to expect an easy life with the minimum effort, which has been one of the drawbacks of our Welfare State. And, in around 1970-time, it became so much easier to have abortions and divorce without thinking through the consequences of such action.

Now, I understand the basic reasons why abortions and easier divorce came into being - and I have the utmost sympathy with those reasons - but, to me, both "rights" have been vastly over-utilised and these and other moral issues no longer seem to be discussed, as though we have moved into an age where everything goes. But without morality we cannot call ourselves civilised, I suggest. And our sense of community has, sadly, largely dissipated.

There may be those who think that "civilisation" simply means freedom and the advancement of the arts - of any description - but was that the case in ancient advanced cultures, in India, China and Greece ... and even the Islamic era of the Middle Ages. Of course not - philosophy and ethics were of prime concern. And in the case of most of the ancient great cultures, a deep spirituality underlay their philosophy and ethics.

Our Western "civilisation" now rapes the earth, the air and the seas and follows a vision of continued growth, but (in the UK, for example) how many HS rail projects can you have before they start having to be built on water once the land has been used up?

Today, the Meaning of Life seems to be disregarded ... we are, they say, to follow the American Dream, or versions of it, modified to the way of life of each country but essentially still the same variety that seems to have propelled Trump into the White House ... or Trump Hotel, whichever he chooses to reside in. That in itself is a clue as to Trump's way of life. "Me, me and more me". Would the great American fathers be happy with this kind of vision? Is this what we really want?

Thank you for reading this.