I am heartbroken.
I’m having a difficult time accepting what we are, and it’s becoming harder and harder to deny. That humans are always flawed and often ugly is not a realization that I’ve come to for the first time recently, but my hopeful faith that there’s enough goodness buried inside us to at least balance us out is waning.
As a young man, after recovering from the harsh slap of reality that initially steals the doomed innocence of all aging children, I comforted myself with the idea that some level of goodness must still be inherent — that there was a small, virtuous voice inside most of us that could not be silenced. While I knew it couldn’t always win out, I elected to believe that it would choose its battles, that it would bide its time and then surface when necessary.
“We’re comfortable sacrificing the lives of others to maintain our own luxuries.”
The idea that an entire society would agree to make sacrifices for the good of all of its citizens appealed to me. Agreeing to eschew individual power and privilege to ensure that everyone ate and had shelter seemed like a no-brainer.
I remember being devastated by the realization that it couldn’t be made to work. Despite our promising words and, in some places, impressive displays of commitment to the cause, on a day-to-day basis, the idea of societal dedication to comprehensive communal care crumbled beneath the weight of greed and exposed a dearth of personal motivation.
The concept of Marxism itself had been warped and bastardized everywhere it had been put into practice, usually at the direction of those whose dreams of earthly superiority compromised their words of universal equality. Too many leaders prioritized personal privilege over communal well-being; too few doctors found sufficient motivation in healing the sick without enviable compensation; the satisfaction of a “job well done” proved too fleeting to permanently energize laborers.