People must learn to work together

Posted: Tuesday, September 08, 2009

We're about to be disabused of a long-held notion: That due process, law and the machinery of representative government gets things done.

And we're going to unlearn another notion: That the wheels of big business power American innovation, and are the true movers and shakers in our society.

We're going to be weaned of these ideas by something that will be increasingly conspicuous through its absence: That what really accomplishes things in our society is people, working together in common cause. Governments don't make things happen, corporations don't make things happen - people make them happen.

But as civil discourse and civil conduct are thrown out the window in our everyday lives, our power to accomplish anything is going to grind to a halt. Our society's ability to solve problems will vanish, our political institutions will break down, and all those "mavericks" out there who have been "going it alone" without government interference or help are going to get the chance to show us what they're talking about.

A reality check: Our ability to field a world-wide military force will be the first to go, followed closely by food production and distribution networks. Infrastructure, which has been mostly maintained by our government, will decay so quickly it'll make our current potholes look pretty good. We've also begun the slide down the slippery slope of degradation in the public school system - this further fuels the breakdown of social discourse at a geometric rate.

The result in this country is that we'll be a bunch of well-armed idiots with nothing to fall back on and nothing left to lose.

Take a look around you, at your neighbors, the people you interact with - are they black, white, short, tall, fat, skinny, gay, straight, religious, atheist, liberal, conservative or somewhere in between? Do any of these distinctions matter as much as the fact that you're standing, walking or working right next to each other?

These are the Days of Dissolution; our civilization is hanging by a thread, and that thread is our ability to get along with each other, despite our differences; to work together in common cause. When it goes, we go.

Jamison Paul

Juneau



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