Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The bungled and the botched

Most people on the so-called Right assume that your life is 100% your own responsibility-government or other organizations do not play any role in shaping your destiny-you are on your own. The boot strap, or the self-made man theory, does not seem valid. If one has a serious disease, and the clinic you need shuts down, The Right tells you that it doesn't matter, your fate is completely up to your next decision. Can you then decide to magically heal yourself, since the clinic is no more, the necessary drugs or surgery that you needed are gone?

How many people are actually willing to hire the homeless person they sometime see on the street? Not very many regular folks would take the chance- the members of the underclass are nasty. They are crazed and violent, and not too bright....This is how most people feel about them, whether it is true or not. So where do the homeless keep their 'bootstraps'?

Most people still rationalize the situation- the disadvantaged person must have done something to trigger their downfall. This could be true in many cases- but do things have to be made worse by removing the opportunities for recovery and instead handing out imaginary bootstraps? Are the homeless really deprived early on, have they received a callous calling beyond their control? Why do the numbers seem cyclic? Is the gene pool cyclic? Or is it the attitude and policy that is cyclic?
Many industrial societies have never experienced homelessness-Scandinavia, and the Soviet bloc. When I was a student in Russia, I hung out with two Swedes- we saw beggars in Moscow (this was during the 1990's). My friends reported that they had never seen a beggar before, and they came Stockholm, a large city.

If diseases are kept off the street, don't we all benefit?

Historically,most members of most ethnic groups have known deep down in their bones that they are intimately connected to the community, and alone they would never survive. 'Rugged individualism' is an almost uniquely (peculiar) American attitude.

From about 1864-1943, about one American male in nine was homeless for a large part of his life. Most cities had sections where day labor and temporary night lodgings were available, and the 'homeless' had their own culture with bars, brothels, etc.


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