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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 387: Oh Great Economy, In Thee We Trust

http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/21/investing/stocks-markets/index.html?hpt=hp_t3

The Federal Reserve chairman clearly spooked the market this week. Simply hinting that the Fed might wind down its stimulus program later this year was enough to lead to another week of losses.
The three major U.S. stock market indexes ended the week down between 1.8% and 2.1%. - CNN

We have placed our trust in our society, in our economy, in our government - but did we do our due diligence? Did we investigate fully the institutions we have invested our faith and futures in? Did we ensure that we understood the workings of each institution we placed the well being of our very lives in?

And now, how do we live - we defend and fight for these institutions, because we trust these institutions, but we fail to recognise the harm that comes from our blind faith. We fail to recognise that there are direct and tangible consequences such as poverty, crime, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, violence, inequality, segregation, war... We fail to recognise because we stubbornly believe that these ills are a part of life and cannot be changed. We believe that poverty is a natural occurrence and that we cannot do anything to stop it. Furthermore, no one believes that it is their responsibility to institute any changes, or no one believes that there is a possible solution. We will easily demand and welcome changes made to our lives and lifestyles that make our lives more comfortable and convenient, but we are hesitant to investigate any course of action that requires us to give up what little we may have, even if the solution would entail a better life, if not just for ourselves but for everyone and everything.

Why do we continue to have such faith in our economy and societal systems if they do not truly serve the purpose they were created to serve? We fear change - we cannot bring ourselves to consider and investigate alternatives, never mind recognise that there is a problem in the first place. We have now reached a point in our way of thinking wherein as long as we are safe and surviving, we should not challenge anything for fear of losing what little we have. Consider also the mass production of propaganda campaigns where governments and the media will tell the people only what they want the people to hear and then block out all other sources of information - especially those that may contradict what the government and media is saying. Consider movies, story books and TV shows that teach our children that the only things that matter in life are finding love and being happy, and that nothing else matters and no cost is too high. Consider the education system: each child learning the same things, being forced to do and repeat what they are told without question, without developing critical reasoning.

This is what makes the internet so useful: we now have a platform from which to educate ourselves about what is really happening in the world, how things really work. We do not need to be at the mercy of sources of information that are controlled by a few powerful figures. We now each hold the responsibility to teach ourselves how to develop our critical reasoning skills and skill of investigation and research, so that we may actually find out how the system works in order to develop and implement practical solutions.

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