Bigsley the Oaf

Towards a Moral Vision for the San Francisco Bay Area

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on December 2, 2013

Required Reading: Inequality the Biggest Issue of Our Time

I have been slightly emboldened, recently, by the combination of facts that Pope Francis’s political and humanitarian beliefs are strikingly similar to my own, and that his popularity is large enough to be palpable. Articles such as this (look at the kindness in that man’s face) bring me to the point of tears and fill me with hope for the future.

My deepest hope is for a world of justice and peace. One in which our social and political institutions are made to serve us, rather than the other way around. One in which class difference is eradicated. One in which we can all slow down, enjoy our lives, and live in the bounty which exists on earth.

The Bay Area is tremendously powerful. We hold the keys to the nation’s information. Collectively, we understand how humans communicate better than any group of humans that has ever lived. Yet…

We revel in our meritocracy, while we forget that we are no more the basis of our merits than a tree is its own seed. We revel in our material success, forgetting our responsibility to our mothers, our fathers, our brothers and sisters. Instead of spending our time tending to the world’s most pressing and blatant issue – that of combatting inequality wherever it rears its head – we waste our time building gadgets and toys for ourselves. Instead of working to help empower and heal the population of the world, to raise our fellow man and woman to a higher plane of material, spiritual, and intellectual existence, we find new ways to entertain, advertise to, market to, sell to, capitalize on. We find new ways to use. We find new ways to extract value from the weak and vulnerable.

—–

I search and pray for a vision of how the Bay Area may renounce its collective immoral and unjust tendencies.

I see the use of information technology to create, for the first time in the history of the world, a completely transparent government. One which has no secrets, no room for corruption. A government which is a tool of the people. A government which does not incarcerate almost 1% of its population. A government which does not punish non-violent offenders beyond the point of reason. A government which is not beholden to the most despicable and low of corporate interests. A government which does not allow for discrimination by race, creed, or any other superficial trait – which helps each equally. A government which does not bleed its citizens of their wealth.

I see a population enabled to hold real, meaningful political discussion in which the sentiments of the people are distilled and displayed for all to see. Our minds are dominated by a media which doesn’t care what we think, who we are, how we suffer. Ours is a media which mollifies, placates, appeases. One which does little more than entertain. One which trains us to fear our sisters and brothers. Our political rhetoric is dominated by diversions, appeals to false dichotomies. As Pope Francis said:

How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?

We control the internet, and the internet is identically the means by which news is disseminated. Why do we continue to allow the pedaling of bullshit as truth, ignorance as reason? Why do we continue to allow the media to ignore inequality as the primary moral, social, and political problem of our time?

There was a point in silicon valley’s history at which it was beholden to old, entrenched, economic powers. We are now at a point in our evolution at which we can wrest our reins out of the hands of the oppressing class and use our collective intellectual, social, and material power to change the world in a truly positive direction.

The center of my hope for a new moral vision in the Bay lies in a belief that we have great and untapped potential for reflection and self-criticism. Let us be wary of recapitulating the moral mistakes of those who would strive to rise above their fellow human. Let us be gracious. Let us be humble. Let us serve.

—–

Bless the name of Pope Francis, born Jorge Maria Bergoglio. May he live long and bring hope to the many lost Children of this world.

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