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View Diary: The Weaponized Lie of Self-Reliance (59 comments)

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  •  nice diary.... (3+ / 0-)
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    The Geogre, Chi, Gay CA Democrat

    read it through in the insomnia hours.

    My dad (whom we used to call the Catholic Maoist) used to say Americans hate the poor.  He would remind us of our duty to take care of the mentally slow and ill, the children and the elderly.  Jesus said, the poor are always with us.  But the continued existance of the poor is an insult to our ideas of self control of our destiny (which is an illusion).  Not everyone can work for a living, and expecting children to work in school because their parents are not working is typically short sighted and bizarre.  My mother used to say, upon seeing the misfortune of others, "There but for the grace of God go I."  she meant, this could be you tomorrow.

    It is hard to give up addictions and hard to escape having them in the first place.  And somebody made lots of money selling all that lovely tobacco and alcohol and heroin and Oxycodone, not to mention french fried potatoes and fried chicken.  

    The necessary judgment that the poor are lazy and must be made to work is counteracted by the corrollary that the rich must be morally superior and must work harder than anyone else.   How to explain Ms. Paris Hilton or and other son or daughter of a wealthy family who can monetize the family name and live off their trust funds?  Working a 12 hour day doesn't make you wealthier in all instances, and it certainly doesn't make your healthier.  

    It is financially advantageous to let your poor relatives suffer the consequences of their bad choices and it may even be morally correct, depending on the bad choice made (murder as an example).  I would find it hard to support a murderer.  But an elderly tobacco addict from a time when tobacco was legally sold and made even more addictive with breeding high nicotine tobacco- that person became an addict at a time when society was sold the concept that women smoking was freeing and modern.  And we have all paid that price.

    But still the lovely Duke University spires arise in North Carolina from that tobacco money and now the drug industry money.  The heroin dealers mostly keep their money.  Are they morally superior than the minimum wage worker?

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 02:28:00 AM PDT

    •  I cannot judge addicts (0+ / 0-)

      Further, I would not. Not only would I go there but for the grace of God, but I have my own version of tobacco's ills. So does my brother. He simply imagines John Wayning the thing (without knowing how Marion Morrison dealt with his cancer, or Steve McQueen his mesothelioma).

      My mother, for her part, had expected lung cancer and a short struggle. She had planned for it. Lingering disease is another matter.

      I read a wise doctor once who pointed out that cancers do not come with little flags that announce their etiologies. A tumor will not say, "I was caused by cigarettes," and I had a friend whose mother died of mesothelioma when it was her husband who worked for Johns-Manville (the asbestos folks). I also recall the Big Smoke companies using decades saying, "How do you know the patient died because of our product, instead of industrial pollution?"

      We are a society singularly unprepared for lingering disease, for long term care (not medicine, but care), and for the sorts of lives we will have in thirty years. Alas.

      Everyone is innocent of some crime.

      by The Geogre on Thu Apr 25, 2013 at 06:26:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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