“Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage’s whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men.”
AYN RAND, The Fountainhead
What is freedom? What does it mean to be free? How civilised are we in a world where there exists such great wealth and yet we allow such devastating suffering to exist?
A person cannot claim to be civilized if they do nothing to improve the conditions of life of the destitute and the downtrodden. Most people I know believe themselves to be civilized. Because they speak politely, dress well, eat with etiquette and generally are unoffensive. They spend their lives lamenting the ordinariness of their accomplishments and brood over why some have it so good, like the Sultan of Brunei or the Queen of England.
They aspire towards a better life for themselves – don’t they deserve it! I find such people despicable – and I am afraid may be one of them. Just juxtapose these two images and see if you can find what wrong with the picture that emerges.
What noble ideas I had when I was younger. I believed and still do that to be civilized one has to believe in a ‘human race’. One in which each and every human being has the opportunity to live a free from poverty. Empowered to pursue their dreams and realise their full potential as individuals. A world in which each individual is treated with the same respect for his individuality and enjoys the same quality of life. People are uncivilized and vulgar to the extent that they allow others to suffer without rendering any assistance – regardless of how polite they are, how they dress or how they eat.
Capitalism without conscience has perverted human condition and what is happening on Wall Street today is a vindication of those who believe this to be the case. It is a case of ‘false’ wealth created by the greedy for the even more greedy. A case of an edifice without a base. How easily it crumbles. These people have led enterprises that have derided the human condition.