Class Dismissed!

   I was born into a well-off and well-educated family, but due to circumstances beyond my control or influence grew up and lived mostly among the group known biblically as "prostitutes and tax collectors." However, the advantage of that path through, and perspective upon, life was to learn quite readily that social classes are illusions, and that we're all prostitutes and tax collectors to some degree, even and especially the "one-percenters". Tax collection and prostitution are the two oldest professions, of similar respectability, upon which our entire global society has operated throughout recorded history, and most probably long before that.
   Class distinctions are not validly made with solid lines, fences, and walls. If you must have a container for your perceived or imagined class, it needs to be of a fully permeable material. So let's give up the whole silly idea of social class. It isn't a matter of either/or, educated or not, rich or poor, white or black, Christian, Muslim or Jew, or us against them.
   Being born into either privelege or poverty, or somewhere in between, is a fact of our pernicious socio-economic structure, but being born a natural and rightful ruler or leader is as large a load of horsecrap as is being born for the purpose of serving the more important and/or deserving..
   With relatively few exceptions, notably and most importantly indigenous peoples, we in the Western world are all born or adopted, or have pushed our way into, privilege.
   There's nothing morally wrong with being born into power and wealth. In fact, in the big picture that's as much of a handicap as anything else.You can't help it if that happened, but then you need to give up any conceptions of class distinction, and resulting authority and entitlement. Instead you should cultivate a constant awareness of the moral responsibility of your position.
   As for leadership and control, being a ruler or leader is not a distinction, not a yes-or-no condition, but a proportion or a percentage, depending upon who or what is being led. No one is better than everyone else at everything. There will always be better and worse "rulers" than you are. For example, you may be better at ruling finances than I am, whereas I may be better at managing my children's education than you are. Overall rulerability can only be measured - if anyone really can or needs to do that - by combining readings along many sliding scales. No one can ever force anyone else toward the "subject" end of any of those scales - although they can make it appear that way. If you position yourself as a subject, it is because, rightly or wrongly, you have been convinced - or have convinced yourself - that you should do so. But such a conviction is normally only situational, that is, instance by instance. You never choose to be ruled in all matters for the rest of your life unless your spirit has been completely destroyed, in which case you're dead already. Not necessarily forever, so there's still hope for you - but that's a somewhat different topic.
   No adult individual naturally and normally chooses an absolute ruler. Those authoritarian and totalitarian politicians that keep manifesting throughout history have positioned themselves not just by skill and cunning but primarily by force. Therefore, no matter how justified their appropriation of power may have been originally, they maintain that power undemocratically (an adequately functioning democracy hasn't been established anywhere yet), and thus immorally.
   In a better world "rulers" will be nothing more than managers or editors. And they will have attained that position primarily because they have shown to their peers that they can maintain the proper moral and ethical direction in most situations, without being swayed by anyone else's defective moral or fiscal compass.
   But who or what determines the proper moral and ethical direction?
   There are three possibilities.
   We could leave it up to the government to decide. Not a popular choice, except perhaps among the so-called ruling-class.
   Or, we could ask our philosophers, religious leaders, politicians, or other professors, and each will likely tell you that it is he or she, and not the others, who is eminently qualified to determine moral standards.
   Or we could just feel it in our hearts.
   Not in our physical hearts, of course, but in our very cores of being, which each of us has, and we know it, even though we may not be able to figure it out.
    In our hearts where everything we feel, if stripped of ego, boils down to the Golden Rule, which is about empathy.
And when we feel the truth and bearing of that spiritual compass by allowing it faithfully and without prejudice from moment to moment, we find that it is a higher value, above natural laws, instincts and reactions, which is held in common by all of mankind.
   Empathy is the only basis upon which any society can hope to survive. But leave our scheming brains, our egos, out of it. Those are what produce the fear, the worry and the illusions of superiority and natural enmity, They produce the greed, the aggressiveness and the possessiveness. It is egos that produce the fixed religions, boxes, borders, fences, pigeonholes and the self-appointed "ruling class."
   Extinction will be the result of misguided class-perception, of us-against-them and finger-pointing instead of brainstorming.
   There are no classes. There are only classifications, which are often an unenlightened way of focusing on differences without admitting the similarities that bind us together. There cannot be a "ruling class" without a weak, vulnerable, submissive, apathetic, and/or self-indulgent class. And when an oppressed class eventually defeats its oppressors, it becomes the ruling class, and usually oppresses anyone who is not a member. The same self-serving instincts and tendencies exist in each and every one of us - and "them." Contrary to popular belief, that is not human nature, but animal nature and natural politics. Human  nature would be something that distinguishes us from other animals. (But not something that denies our physically being animals - which is impossible anyway, in light of the evidence.)
   Ultimately there is no class struggle. Every struggle is exactly the same one: that of self against other, of individual (or specific group) against society, of fear against love. No matter how you describe it, it's the same struggle, and always has been. In the big picture there were no World Wars I and II, and there will be no World War III. There was and is only one Eternal World War, which is the battle of the human spirit against its own animal nature. That battle has been raging since the beginning of history. The only way to stop it is to overcome your ego and call a truce within yourself.
   Human nature operates in a realm of consciousness above and beyond our natural instincts and concern for physical survival; a realm which can be described in words like "morality," "spirituality," "conscience," "meaning," and "purpose." . Even those people who consciously deny the validity of those concepts are still human, and cannot escape the consequences of a guilty sub-conscience which usually manifests in physical and mental illness and disease.
   All those people perceived as belonging to other classes have the same, fundamental driving spirit, which seeks personal survival, freedom, understanding and security. On the other hand, the same evils and temptations which are found in "the enemy" are found as well within each of us. How we respond to them as adults depends on many factors, including but not primarily the circumstances into which we are born.
   The "others" are subject to exactly the same kinds (or classes) of temptations and mistakes as you are.
   Class dismissed.

 

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