Thursday, June 23, 2016
Love or Hate?
Some might argue that there is something wrong with our mental health in our contemporary society. Could it be that it’s really about the nature of man or could the dynamics of the socioeconomic and political society be the issue, or some combination of the two be the blame? Let’s look at a few facts. The United States has the highest gun ownership rate in the world, along with the highest per capita rate of fire arm related murders of all the developed countries [88.8 guns per 100 people, or 270 million civilian guns]. According to the World Health Organization, the US ranks 14th in teenage suicide and 20 out of 27 in ranked nations in that category [10.2 per 100,000 people]. Further, the abuse of tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs overall total more than 700 billion annually in costs related to crime [Tobacco, 295 billion, alcohol 224 billion and illicit drugs 193 billion]. As far as discretionary spending, [1.1 1 trillion} was spent in the fiscal year 2015 or about 55% of the budget going to our military. On the other hand, only 69.9 8 billion or 6.28% was spent on education. And, a whopping 82% of students graduated from high school during the 2013-2014 year. Certainly, our values seem clear. We are the military giants and police force of the world. It seems, in my lifetime, that we have always been at war or told we were threatened by the possibility of it. One positive value, previously, was the fact that we were the first country to provide free universal education from K to 12. We did damn well under that condition. And now, some are discussing free college education. That does not sound radical or socialistic to me- just smart. Some might argue like Rousseau, Darwin and Hobbs previously that man’s nature-competitiveness aggression antagonism toward others, restriction of sexual impulses or instincts by society are explanations for our countries mental health ills. Certainly, primitive man fits some of that description. Others might argue that some individuals, as society has evolved, have not developed significant reasoning capacity along with an ability to love and ability to relate to others in humane ways because of a regression into an artificial rootedness in state or race. Currently, we have a fairly significant progressive movement [nationalism] based on blood and soil as an individual orientation. This means that things like blood, religion, political party, race, social class, country, sexual orientation or home team relate to identity and result in separateness between people. This separateness becomes associated with hate, stereotyping and prejudice. This development significantly interferes with the development and capacity for brotherhood, love, and good interpersonal relationships among peoples. To be continued