Tag Archives: DIGNITY

Quote [64] – Society, Dignity & Social Security

We must turn the power and resources of our private enterprise system to the underdeveloped nation within our midst.  This should be done by bringing into the ghettos themselves productive and profitable private industry – creating dignified jobs, not welfare handouts, for the men and youth who now languish in idleness. Make gentle the life of this world
The jobs have fled to the suburbs, or have been replaced by machines, or have moved beyond the reach of those with limited education and skills …

The fact is, if  we want to change these conditions – those of us here in this room, those of us who are in the establishment, whether it be business, or labour, or government – we must act.  The fact is that we can act.  And the fact is also that we are not acting.

Make gentle the life of this world
Our society – all our values, our views of each other, and our own self-esteem; the contribution we can make to ourselves, our families, and the community around us – all these things are built on the work we do.  But too many of the inhabitants of these areas are without the purpose, the satisfaction, or the dignity that we find in our work. Make gentle the life of this world
And there are others: on the back roads of Mississippi, where thousands of children slowly starve their lives away, their minds damaged beyond repair by the age of four or five; in the camps of the migrant workers, a half million nomads virtually unprotected by collective bargaining or social security, minimum wage or workmen’s compensation, exposed to the caprice of fate and the cruelty of their fellow man alike; and on Indian reservations where the unemployment rate is 80 percent, and where suicide is not a philosopher’s question but the leading cause of death among young people. Make gentle the life of this world
And the effects of the shortage of meaningful employment are reinforced by a welfare structure which is frequently destructive both of individuals and of the community in which they live.

More basically, welfare itself had done much to divide our people, to alienate us one from the other.  Partly this separation comes from the understandable resentment of the taxpayer, helplessly watching your welfare rolls and your property tax rise.  But there is greater resentment among the poor, the recipient s of our charity.  Some of it  comes from the brutality of the welfare system itself: from the prying bureaucrat, an all powerful administrator deciding at his desk who is deserving

Make gentle the life of this world

 

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Quote [46] – Dignity, Security Individuals & Rights

“Let us now consider the times in which we live.  How does society fare, how the individual?  The population of the civilised countries is extremely dense as compared with former times; Europe today contains about three times as many people as it did a hundred years ago.  But the number of great men has decreased out of all proportion.  Only a few individuals are known to the masses as personalities, through their creative achievements.

Organisation has to some extent taken the place of the great man, particularly in the technical sphere, but also to a very perceptible extent in the scientific.

The lack of outstanding figures is particularly striking in the domain of art.  Painting and music have definitely degenerated and largely lost their popular appeal.  In politics not only are leaders lacking, but the independence of spent and the sense of justice of the citizen have to a great extent declined.  The democratic, parliamentarian regime, which is based on such independence, has in many places been shaken, dictatorships have sprung up and are tolerated, because men’s sense of the dignity and the rights of the individual is no longer strong enough.

The world as I see it
In two weeks the sheep-like masses can be worked up by the newspapers into such a state of excited fury that the men are prepared to put on uniform and kill and be billed, for the sake of the worthless aims of a few interested parties.  Compulsory military service seems to me the most disgraceful symptom of that deficiency in personal dignity from which civilised mankind is suffering today. The world as I see it
No wonder there is no lack of prophets who prophesy the early eclipse of our civilisation. I am not one of these pessimists; I believe that better times are coming.  Let me shortly state my reasons for such confidence.

In my opinion, the present symptoms of decadence are explained by the fact that the development of industry and machinery has made the struggle for existence very much more severe, greatly to the detriment of the free development of the individual.  But the development of machinery means that less and less work is needed from the individual for the satisfaction of the community’s needs.   A planned division of labour is becoming more and more of a crying necessity, and this division will lead to the material security of the individual.  This security and the spare time and energy which the individual will have at his command can be made to further his development.  In this way the community may regain its health, and we will hope that future historians will explain the morbid symptoms of present-day society as the childhood ailments of an aspiring humanity, due entirely to the excessive speed at which civilisation was advancing.”

The world as I see it