the real clash of civilizations
THE CARES VERSUS THE CARE-NOTS
ROBERT J. LEWIS
. . .
he that can see submissive misery without relenting,
and meet without emotion the eye that implores mercy, or demands
will scarcely be amended by remonstrance or admonition;
he has found means of stopping the avenues of tenderness,
and arming his heart against the force of reason.
war against human nature is taking place on many fronts in the
trodden down fields of human endeavour. Some of the battles are
of course more consequential than others. If we are indeed a species
in peril, as many climatologists and nuclear war professionals
propose, and if individuals, en masse, through subtle coercion
(advertising, peer pressure) are being inveigled into making decisions
that compromise not only individual health and happiness, but
the health of the environment, we can propose as a subject for
debate that there are two major opposing players that will determine
the destiny of the species and the planet earth: the ‘cares’
and the ‘care-nots.’
letter to Hannah Arendt, the philosopher Martin Heidegger writes,
“we change ourselves into that which we love.” Allowing
for individual experience to occasion the universal, how does
this very personal and deeply felt observation implicate the cares
above every other consideration, care for themselves. The world’s
most influential care-nots (see Forbes
500), by channeling their discipline, dynamism and aptitude
into amassing all that the accumulation of wealth converts into
easy purchase (a fleet of Rolls-Royces, golf courses, yachts,
islands), declare before the twin altars of self-aggrandizement
and instant gratification that they love themselves, their possessions,
power and influence more than all the world’s human and
natural resources that provide for them.
in turn love the things we all love and want for ourselves and
our children. They care about the air we breathe, the quality
of foods we consume, the respect and minimum consideration owed
to strangers, the elderly and infirm who cannot help themselves,
and prior to the things of the world in their aggregate, cultivating
and propagating those ideas and ideals that vouchsafe for the
dignity and betterment of mankind: freedom of speech and assembly,
universal health care, equal opportunity under the law, equitable
care comes from Middle and Old English Caru; akin to
Old High German kara, to lament, to sorrow, grieve, be
troubled, be anxious, to offer mental attention, to heed. In Swedish,
kära means to fall in love.
presupposes anxiety, concern. In our present century, among the
countless number of disquieting developments over which the cares
are concerned is the rising sugar content in food (its deleterious
effect on dental hygiene, type II diabetes and obesity). The cares
want food manufacturers to reduce or eliminate altogether sugar
from most foods.
Sugar, Brian McKenna lays bare how the sugar
barons periodically contribute to Kellogg’s coffers and
are handsomely rewarded for their largesse: the sugar content
in Kellogg’s Corn Flakes has doubled since the 1950s. According
Telegraph, the sugar content in children’s
cereals has gone up by 33% in the past three years.
pursuit of profit for its own sake, the care-not sugar barons
advertise to the world that they don’t care about the adverse
health effects of their products on consumer health, and neither
do the companies that agree to spike the sugar content of their
imbibables and edibles. For both cane growers and retailers, it’s
a win-win proposition that trumps all other considerations.
other big winners are our much-in-demand dentists whose livelihood
is directly related to the cultivation of sugar dependency. Sweet-toothed
Canadians consume an astounding 88 pounds of sugar per year. In
the acid light of what some psychologists have characterized as
suicidal consumption syndrome, it constitutes a dereliction of
professional duty if your dentist hasn’t advised you to
use a water pic. Every dentist knows the water pic is the first
line of defense against tooth decay and especially gum disease
(periodontitis). Every dentists knows that periodontitis reduces
life expectancy between three and seven years. Your dentist’s
silence is nothing less than a crime of omission, and confession
that he doesn’t give a damn about your teeth or your life.
His sweet life is guaranteed by your addiction to sucrose, refined
white sugar. It wasn’t so long ago that a person would have
to chew three
feet of cane for the equivalent of one teaspoon
of sugar. Skipping dessert was not an option.
leaf, in its natural state, isn’t nearly as harmful as its
sundry adulterated derivatives: pipe and chewing tobacco, cigarettes,
cigars, snuff. According to the
WHO (World Health Organization)
there are 50 known cancer causing chemicals in tobacco.
Smoking will result in the death of 1 billion people in the 21st
century. The business model that grows, refines and disseminates
the leaf speaks in a single voice. From the top down, the CEOs
don’t give a damn about the state of the nation’s
lungs as they continue to lobby for the right to develop and insert
addictive chemicals into their products. They only care about
the number of zeros in their bank statements, most of which, pace
Papers, ends up in off-shore tax havens.
their lack of funds and agency, the cares, many of whom are volunteers,
whose collective voice is but a whisper next to the powerful care-nots,
have made it their mission to stand up to the tobacco producers
in order to save the world’s most vulnerable (our children)
-- one million of whom will perish from second-hand smoke.
which side is likely to emerge victorious in this and other care
versus the care-nots conflicts, a quick survey of the state of
the planet earth confirms what we already know anecdotally. The
world marches to the drumbeat of the care-nots for whom all selfish
ends justify the means. If a particular law or regulation is at
odds with a financial objective, the care-nots will do whatever
is necessary to have it annulled or modified in their best vested
interest. We all know that the paperboy and parking lot attendant
didn’t lobby for the establishment and legalization of off-shore
and beyond the obscene power and financial differentials that
estrange the cares from the care-nots are their respective moral
compasses. The cares act according to what they know is right
while the care-nots according to what is right by human nature.
Even our esteemed physicians, who are handsomely paid for their
expertise, are implicated.
Sacker family (Purdue Pharma) is
being sued by the Massachusetts Attorney General for hiring 100ds
of workers to push doctors to put more patients on opioids at
higher doses and for longer intervals. Thankfully, not all the
doctors signed up. Those who count themselves among the cares
refused lucrative financial incentives while the care-nots, for
whom self-interest counted more than the health of their patients,
toed big pharma’s bottom line. Their dereliction, their
desecration of the Hippocratic oath has resulted in the lethal
overdose of thousands of users – and counting.
eminent of the care-nots are the world’s elite billionaires
who avoid paying trillions of dollars in taxes by paying off lobbyists
and politicians to write tax laws in their favour. Much of their
success is owed to their extensive legal teams, the cozy cabal
of care-not lawyers whom only the rich can afford. Convicted and
pardoned (2019) felon, and Canada’s most articulate voice
in journalism, Lord
Conrad Black, who is all too familiar with the
$500/hour fee lawyers routinely charge for the privilege of receiving
their advice and consent, acerbically notes:
legal profession is a 360-degree cartel that bilks society,
self-proliferates through its incumbency among legislators
and regulators, and has got away with class robbery greater
than that of the first two estates in pre-revolutionary France
behind a smokescreen of pious claptrap about the rule of law.
above impartial portrait notwithstanding, the lawyers, including
those in Lord Black’s employ, are the great enablers, just
as the billions in tax dollars that have been diverted from government
coffers into the deep pockets of care-not billionaires are monies
not available for health care, dental care, child-care, vital
infrastructure and many other government services.
wealthiest, that number in the hundreds, own 99% percent of the
world’s wealth. And while they speak in different tongues
and disagree in matters of culture and belief, what unites them,
what defines their brotherhood, is they don’t care –
an attitude or manner of being in the world that derives from
their brilliance and acumen which includes the uncanny ability
to obfuscate their unholy hoarding by engaging professional publicists
(glibsters) to wax loud and sympathetic over the plight of the
poor and disadvantaged.
cares aren’t going away. They remain the stubborn weeds
the care-nots can’t root out. And while the former correctly
regard the cares as aberrations of human nature, the latter's
numbers and ubiquity (through social networking) are such that
they constitute a credible threat to the care-nots’ hegemony,
while recognizing that caring, on the scale required in today’s
world of withering values, is an ask that must fall well short
of what is realistically attainable. Seen from afar as it concerns
the destiny of the species, the cares are drowning in a sea of
care-nots, and their rescue is becoming more and more problematic
as the world’s wealth becomes more and more concentrated
in the hands of a few all-powerful care-nots (Bezoz, Buffet, Slim).
is a broad based consensus that the world is increasingly spiraling
out of control, should the cares, despite exemplary dedication
and exertion, be held responsible, or better yet hold themselves
responsible for a strategy that manifestly isn’t working,
for not having figured out how to best the care-nots?
we are not constitutionally wired to care for others outside of
family and friends, is it time (if there’s time enough)
to consider tweaking our constitution?
near future bio-geneticists will be able to intervene and reconfigure
the human genotype. Should the cares seriously consider channeling
their focus and energy into biogenetics in order to right what
is all wrong in the species? Is this man’s best, last hope?
Or are the moral and ethical dilemmas posed by such an intervention
a burden that no human being should have to carry? How confident are we that a world without care-nots would be a
better world? And yet if
caring were not an artificial construct but a constitutional given,
the well-being of the world would not be an issue.
be discounted is the remote possibility that the care-nots will
take what matters to them in their own hands and decide not preside
over the toxification of the planet if their own demise is implicated.
Death is a deterrent no one can afford to ignore.
of rewiring the species, the great challenge of our times is to
convince the care-nots to care for all that which they presently
don’t care for. But they are ensconced in unassailable fortresses
of wealth, and their mandate into which the very meaning of their
lives is woven is a tried and tested carapace that conscience,
thus far, has not been able to penetrate.
it is time for Nietzsche’s new man to appear on the world
stage. Are we ready to make ourselves complicit in his coming?
proposes that the asking of the question is already a new beginning,
a point of departure that implicates a new way of thinking. The
author of What Is Called Thinking, Martin Heidegger,
writes: “To think is to confine yourself to a single thought
that one day stands still like a star in the world's sky.”