Monday, December 05, 2005

Vonnegut

It's been awhile since I laid down some Kurt Vonnegut on everyone, so here's something I found in Jailbird that I quite liked:

"What could be so repulsive after all, during the Great Depression, especially, and with yet another war for natural wealth and markets coming, in a young man's belief that each person could work as well as he or she was able, and should be rewarded, sick or well, young or old, brave or frightened, talented or imbecilic, according to his or her simple needs? How could anyone treat me as a person with a diseased mind if I thought that war need never come again--if only common people everywhere would take control of the planet's wealth, disband their national armies and forget their national boundaries; if only they would think of themselves ever after as brothers and sisters, yes, and as mothers and fathers, too, and children of all other common people--everywhere. The only person who would be excluded from such friendly and merciful society would be one who took more wealth than he or she needed at any time."

You're right, this probably isn't possible, but it's an ideal we can work towards.

Things would be a lot better.

2 comments:

T.R. Grover said...

This kind of stuff always sounds nice and gives fantastic warm fuzzies.

The only problem is that in this shangri-la of communal living there is no incentive to be productive or effecient. Furthermore, lack of clearly defined property rights (especially in regards to discerning wants and needs) will inevitably lead to conflict as each person will offer their own conflicting perspective.

VeeEss said...

I argue that there is/would be IMMENSE incentive to "be productive or efficient" if society was changed so people could think of themselves as Vonnegut says: "...if only they would think of themselves ever as brothers and sisters...and as mothers and fathers, too, and children of all other common people--everywhere." If people would truly realize in their lives and minds and self-knowledge that they are "children of all other common people everywhere," there would be IMMENSE INCENTIVE to be "productive and efficient," since there are others to care for and about. Same INCENTIVE and natural drive for being in and protecting loving relationships/families as now, but stepped up a notch in integrity and humanity with the knowledge of the connection with "all other common people---everywhere."