"The only task worthy of our efforts is to construct the future." -- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Ah yes, but isn't the rub in what kind of future we are wanting to talk about? If you listen to just about anyone on the world stage who represents what is termed the "right-wing", what would the characteristics of that future look like -- based upon current policy recommendations? We would have to start with a minimalist government: one that taxes less and does less; a government whose only significant responsibility would be to provide for the common defense: and the practical effect of such policies? Wealth and power would be concentrated into a few corporate hands; free market globalism would control economics; technology and bio-technology would be in service to the corporate state; poverty and hunger would likely grow significantly without governmental safeguards; the stewardship of the Earth's environment would be at the discretion of the profit margin; and, if one was supremely lucky, one might be able to "ascend" to the upper-ranks of the Corporate Kingdom: religion would be the opiate of the people / "pie in the sky when you die"... If one looks honestly at the economic and power trends of the last forty years, "trickle down" and all, free trade agreements, and attempts to roll-back environmental protections, is another outcome likely if the right-wing seizes world-control? Has anyone ever got a clear and concise answer from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, the Koch Brothers, Karl Rove, Jim DeMint, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul, as to what would the world of their honest intentions actually look like? How would it function? Who would have access to power? And lastly, just who it is that they represent?
I'm not much more interested in the ideas of liberals, although for the most part, I have a greater trust in their intentions, and probable hope in their concerns for the environment, for women's issues, and for the suffering poor. But I'm not particularly impressed with their policy recommendations, which altogether, amount to a high-wire act between opposite interests: corporate power and human culture. Huh? "Human culture"? What do I mean by use of those words?
A "human culture" is that which honors the Sacred in the "being-ness" of humanity: this is the root -- and all of us possess it in common: woman and man, rich and poor, north, south, east, or west: we are all the same. A human culture recognizes our "place" in the living-systems of Life on Earth: ecology and stewardship, protection of our soils, seeds, waters, and air is an essential core to human culture. A human culture vigorously endorses equality between the genders and equality between races and equality between the nonviolent expressions of our sexual identities. A human culture vigorously protects its children from all abuse, exploitation, or oppression; a human culture vigorously strives to ensure the full development and liberation of every child and person into the fullest expression of their possibilities. A human culture vigorously pursues a balance between personal pleasure and social responsibility: we are all in relation to, and responsible for the well-being of, our neighbors: mercy, justice, empathy, and compassion are the driving forces of a human culture. A human culture vigorously pursues the economic and political liberation of women and children: an educated and empowered woman is a village of opportunity for everyone. A human culture vigorously pursues economic justice: the divide between the "top" and the "bottom" is limited to a reasonable difference (four to one?): a human culture has recognized that true wealth is a caring community, social responsibility, the cultivation of the arts and pleasure, and just work to ensure a better future for every child and person. A human culture is one which recognizes that daily life is true religious practice and that kindness is the essence of every religion -- and of the "no" religion of simply being "human"... These are just a few seeds for your contemplation...
So, if the only task worthy of our efforts is the construction of the future, what is the future of your dreams, and how are you directing your efforts? Which way forward? What do you say? (Don't worry, perhaps only the entire Universe is watching and waiting for your answer...)
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.