Every time I open my mailbox, out come tumbling desperate pleas for money, like so manhy outstretched hands. First I wondered why we need mail service if nine-tenths of what it delivers are either advertisements or pleas for help. Then I began to wonder about the organizations sending out those pleas: they are in fact doing what should be the work of the entire polity, represented by the government.
Then I begin to wonder why we have so many volunteer organizations. That’s another way to keep rich people’s taxes low: they don’t like handing over their ‘hard-earned’ money, but volunteering – a form of charity – makes them feel good.
And when I receive please from NGOs, I further wonder whether they would be so ubiquitous if governments were taking care of the world. I don’t mean organizations like the Red Cross, but Oxfam and all those others that try desperately to save lives in war or disaster areas. Governments and international governmental agencies such as the UN should have sufficient budgets and personnel to take care of the world’s victims.
Think of all the paper, ink, postage, carriers needed to turn your mailbox into the equivalent of the beggar on the street, as our political parties dispute the role of government. That battle is actually going nowhere, because the Democrats want to provide safety nets while saving cowboy capitalism – much as Gorbachev hoped to save Communism – with too few innovations too late.
During the Cold War academics argued over whether the two systems would one day ‘converge’. What’s happened is that both have accepted to subsume human needs to those of capital, and now their respective peoples, together with most others, are working to create societies based on direct or participatory democracy rather than the representative democracy that are more or less a sham everywhere. That’s what the Occupy Movement and the revolts spreading over the globe like wildfire are about.
And if they succeed, we won’t need mailboxes anymore.