Everything is equal opportunity here on this blog. I welcome comments from individuals of every ideological stripe, every religion, every race. Even Romulans and Volcans are welcome. I am a libertarian, but readers don't have to be. I value industriousness, personal responsibility, and individuality. Readers and commenters might be collectivist by inclination, and believers in the notion that we need a nanny state to take care of our neighbours and ourselves if we stumble and fall. I don't care about our differences. To me, this blogging stuff is all about an exchange of ideas.
When I cruise around on some of the blogs on my blogroll, I read posts that are sometimes touching, sometimes infuriating, sometimes hilarious, always edifying. Want to cycle through every possible emotion in thirty minutes or so? Sit down with your favourite drink and read some blog posts. Make it a policy not just to read posts by people who think just like you. Give yourself some variety. Be prepared to be surprised that at the core we are all simply human beings, doing the best we can for ourselves and our families.
Of course, whether we meet in person or in cyberspace, our core is not immediately evident. It is the facade that we experience first, the face that we each present to the world. Our facade is the result of years of experiences, good or bad; our education; where and how we grew up; and even some characteristics that we can simply and justifiably blame on our genes. Our facade is how we are judged initially.
Sometimes, we never get a second chance to be judged. Impressions based on our facade is what others carry with them, and account for how they act with us or react to us. Is this fair? Maybe not, but it is a fact.
I am one of those weird characters who thinks that we are headed for disaster in North America and that we are close to, or maybe even past, the point of no return. There is a moral decay everywhere. Values like honesty and industriousness are disappearing. We have changed from a society of achievers and doers to a society of slackers and do-nothings. We expect to be taken care of, cradle to grave, and think that we can safely squander our income because ultimately, when we need help at retirement or in ill health, the state will be there to take care of us. We all know that the state has no resources of its own, and that in order to give to us it first has to take from someone else, but we don't care.
What does any of this have to do with cores and facades? Keep reading.
What is going to happen when the well runs dry, when it becomes evident even to the thickest and most uninformed among us, that what we have grown to expect over the decades as our just due is simply not there? The American government not only spends all of its tax revenue every year, it spends hundreds of billions more. No money is set aside to pay for the retirement needs of its citizens, nothing is invested for the health care they will need. Instead, the national debt grows larger and larger, and the percentage of tax revenue needed to pay interest on the debt grows along with it. Soon, Americans will all be up that proverbial creek without a paddle. Will Canadians fare any better? Our national debt is actually decreasing, but most provinces, including Ontario, where I live, have debts that are out of control. Alberta is an exception. It has no provincial debt.
When the excrement hits the whirling blades of excess, as it will sooner or later, we will all be in the same boat. Our facades of liberal, conservative, libertarian, communist, or i-just-don't-give-a-damn-ist will all become irrelevant. We will all be scrambling to find ways to mitigate the disaster that we face. We will all be trying to pay our bills and feed our families, and will need to do so without help from anyone else, governments in particular. We will need to protect ourselves, at a time when social unrest will likely be at its worst, when municipalities will have very little money available for police forces. When all this happens, it is what we all are at the core that will matter. Will we stop blaming everyone else and concentrate on taking care of our families, or will we still be out there demanding more slop from the government troughs that have long since run dry?
I truly hope that the values we will all need to survive cooperatively, the core values we all have, will triumph. The day of financial reckoning gets closer every year and with every year that passes the average person is even less prepared. Governments will not, cannot, be the answer. They will be broke. We will have to look to ourselves and summon our inner strength to survive. And when the worst is over, when the excesses have all been purged, we must all resolve that such a thing will never happen again.
And when we rebuild, as we will, those core values that we all have will help set us straight for a few dozen years. After that, if we have learned nothing from the dreadful experience we will all have shared, the cycle will begin all over again.
I am not a soothsayer. I have no crystal ball. I don't know when things will fall apart. I just know that it will happen, sooner or later. When it does, I am not going to be checking your political affiliation and, I suspect, you won't care about mine either. We will simply all put our minds and shoulders to the tasks at hand and we will survive, and it will be what is at the core of each of us that will help us do so.