Prof. John G. Fike
Humanity’s uniqueness is being used against us. We’re manipulated daily to believe and act in ways that can harm us.
As Judge Steven W. Rhodes of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ponders how best to make Detroit’s debt manageable and restore urgently needed city services, it is appropriate to look ahead to see what the future might hold for the city and its people.
In my last column, I suggested that business enterprise is not a suitable partner for governmentagencies delivering public services. My argument was that Big Business is oriented toward money, shareholders, hierarchy and authority.
Why is it so difficult today to mobilize American citizens for political action? We face critical issues like education and health care, poverty and mass incarceration, the worsening economic divide and possible human extinction due to climate change. Why aren’t people scrambling to vote in every election, participating in demonstrations, telling our political representatives what we want done to make society better?
We humans are great toolmakers. We’ve got fire, wheels and pyramids; guns, germs and steel.We’ve built railroads, airlines and instant communication, chemical warfare and atomic bombs. We can make artificial hearts, lungs and limbs; we have harnessed the elements of air, water, coal and oil to make electricity to power looms and assembly lines. We’ve even put humans on the moon.
Other countries care about their societies and their unique culture, but we in the US don’t seem to care about ours. Why not?
Should the United States rule the world through economic and military might? Or should we lead by creating a new economic and social model where true equality and democracy exist alongside justice and environmental stability?