Monday, May 20, 2013
Letter to the Editor
Recently a friend noted the existence of some particularly undesirable inequalities and wondered if natural change would "even out" the world. My response follows.
Change is an interesting thing. History tells us that change is driven by people who, in turn, are driven by their wants, more so than their needs.
In rudimentary societies, the wants tend to reflect attaining the basics -- food, clothing, shelter, etc. As the basics become achieved, the focus migrates to ease of life -- less work, better food, better medical care, etc. As this stage is achieved, the focus migrates to "something for nothing" -- free food, free shelter, free medical care, no work, etc.
Astute overlords prey on these wants and promise all for nothing. The result is that the overlords line their pockets by gathering what wealth the people have left. Tyranny takes over and the system collapses. Back to step one.
History shows that all great societies have followed this sequence.
A concept in physics called entropy deals with change. Taken to its logical conclusion, entropy predicts that, in the end, the entire universe will become one homogenous mass.
The moral: If there is something you want, don't wait for your geo-social environment to provide it. Do what you can to achieve what you want through your own efforts, not by riding on the backs of others.
Charles C. Packard