We are clearly going the wrong way in our collective efforts.
The plutocrats running this country, for example, have seemingly convinced us that the only reason for a corporation to exist is to make more and more money. This is a bogus idea in the first place and valueless in the second. This only makes sense if you believe that when a company makes more and more money, that means more and better jobs for its employees, more and better service to its community, more and better effects on the planet, etc. If you actually believe this idea, I have some tooth fairy stock you might be interested in.
Do we really expect our corporations to be so shallow? What about in recent times when corporations listed “being a good corporate citizen” in their glossy brochures? What about existing to provide quality jobs for citizens as some Japanese corporations did? What about a stated ethos similar to that of backpackers: “to leave the world a better place than we found it.”
If all we expect of corporations is to make more and more money as their sole goal, we will end up with corporate executives using how much money they make as the sole criterion to establish their merit and worth to society … oh. So, instead of pissing contests and “my dick is bigger than yours,” today’s plutocrats establish their dominance by how much money they or their corporation makes. The money is just a symbolic stand it for a businessman’s dick. This is how we get Bill Gates meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and then likening him to JFK. (Bill Gates was 6 years old when Kennedy was elected president and, hence, has no direct memories of that time. So, he really knows neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Kennedy all that well, but they were both rich, so they both must have big dicks, just like Mr. Gates.)
In another arena, the religious right in this country is burning the midnight oil to transform the public education of our children. They want all schools to teach the core concepts of their religion: the existence of God, creationism, etc. and having failed that, they are trying to make sure that their local schools do. So, they are “all in” for school vouchers and charter schools with no state control over curriculum, funding, etc. The state, the representative of all of the people, is just supposed to supply the public funds for their religious schools and then go away and shut up. Where these policies have been implemented, corruption has soon followed, but ignoring that for the moment, consider what the consequences of this “movement” are. If vouchers and charter schools become common then every community will have their own version of religious schools. We have always had religious schools, but they were “private” and not funded by the state. Since they were separate and not publicly funded, they were not regulated at all like secular public schools. Once we have public religious schools, all Hell will break loose. In any sizeable community, if the religious right have their way and if, say, a large middle school is serving their religious needs, then we will have problems. If the curriculum is Protestant, then Catholic parents are not going to want their kids going to that school, so they will open their own school (or if they already have a private Catholic school, it will “re-open” as a charter school and be supported by public funds. And then Muslim parents will not want their children to go to either of those schools, etc. And will Seventh Day Adventist parents want their kids going to a Baptist school? And those Mormon parents, will … I think you see the problem. This “movement” toward school vouchers and unregulated charter schools is not one that brings people together, and by sharing their thoughts leads to better understandings between and among people. This is a movement that leads to separation, a separation that doesn’t cause interactions that lead to more understand between people. Imagine if kids going to religious schools never have to go to a school in which other students accept the Theory of Evolution as being valid, or that the Earth actually revolves around the Sun, or that the planet is over four billion years old.
“Once we have public religious schools, all Hell will break loose.”
This “movement” is inherently anti-democratic. I grew up in a world in which the public schools taught a secular curriculum and parents were in charge of the religious instruction of their children. Their churches provided Sunday Schools and other education opportunities, supported by subscription of the membership. In this “separation of church and state” fashion, significant economies of scale are available because all of the kids in the neighborhood can go to the same secular school to learn secular things. In the “new world” of vouchers and charters, those economies of scale will no longer exist and we will all be the poorer for it.
Please notice that this “movement” was not caused by science making war on religion. It was more a matter of reality making war on religion. When people were more isolated in relatively small populations, the messages to children were more controllable. Now with TV, the Internet, and more than half of U.S. citizens living in cities, the message can no longer be controlled all that easily. And some religions have noticed that if the Theory of Evolution is accepted, then all fundamentalist literalist Christian denominations are wrong and if they are wrong about one thing, they may be wrong about others.
So, the religious right has started an existentialist war in the realm of public education. If they win, we all lose. We lose democracy. We lose the United States.