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View Diary: Allow This Brit to Remind Some of You What Matters to Americans (205 comments)

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  •  Actually, I always keep Maslow in mind. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sylv, Satya1

    The problem is that most people aren't ever shown why the things they 'don't give a rat's ass' about directly impact their ability to survive, or the course of their lives.

    I'm not going to 'lecture anyone' about how stupid they are - but I'm willing to tell them why those things actually matter if they want to climb the pyramid a few steps.

    •  Those things matter IF you've satisfied (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Satya1, Sylv, WB Reeves, Larsstephens

      first and second tier needs.

      If you need it to keep your kids alive, you'll eat your seedcorn.

      •  exactly. the ideological stuff may be vitally (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Satya1, Larsstephens

        important to activists (who are all idealists to begin with), but they don't matter diddley-shit to people who don't have jobs, can't eat every day, have no hope for an education for their kids, and may lose their house any day now. Tell them "the government is spying on your emails !!!" and they'll just shrug (as we can see just by looking around). They have far more immediate problems to worry about.

        That is the difference between "idealism" and "the real world". And the real world always comes first.  

        That is also why revolutions never happen when people are in the lowest deepest nadir of crushing poverty--people are simply too busy trying to stay alive in times like that.  Revolutions happen AFTERWARDS when things are getting better--but not getting better quickly enough.

        •  I've been an activist for 40 years but I'm no (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:


          It seems plain to me that, generally speaking, people are as good or bad as material circumstances allow. Three hots and a cot trump ideals for most folks who don't have them.

          Are there exceptions? Sure but that's the point. They are exceptions, not the rule.

          If the social/political changes we need have to rely on a mass upwelling of idealism overcoming people's instinct for survival, we have a long wait ahead.

          Nothing human is alien to me.

          by WB Reeves on Mon Aug 26, 2013 at 04:51:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  That's my point. (0+ / 0-)

        That government works, and how it works, is essential to making sure you don't simply have to eat the seedcorn.

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