Let's try to work out our maze map.
A map will tell us everything we want to know except how to fold it up again.
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. If platitudes were coins, the Earth would be submerged by money.
Our present time will probably be remembered as the century of platitudes. Some of them are more obviously silly than others, and the air we breath is refreshed by the hilarity they can cause. However the summa of all platitudes is generally accepted as "common wisdom", it contains old proverbs adapted to the current politically correct fashion and much else: Poverty is not a Sin but something worse, The Man who was born in a stable is not a Horse, when all you have is a Hammer everything looks like a Nail... common wisdom asserts, among other unproven truths, that we are living in the worst time of all past times, our overcrowded Earth is on the point to blow up, catastrophes by far worse than any seen before are looming on us because of our selfishness and if we do not redress all wrongs we did (or our ancestors did) we will be punished; and with the blame for our [supposed] guilts comes a long obvious catalogue of ecologic dramas and [real] injustices, which are authentic enough: there are millions of persons in our Western countries who spend all together millions of dollars to keep down their weight, while billions of people elsewhere just would like to have food enough to survive, let alone to put on weight.
Yes, people in the West enjoy a lot of superfluous gifts, while in the Rest of the world too many are literally starving. Thus, says common wisdom, the reckoning might be in sight: be it the Turban plus Beard plus Bomb of Islamic terrorists, or uncontrollable overwhelming flood of hungry frantic desperados through our porous borders and undefensible beaches, the scourge is arriving.
So what? The proverb "trust in God and keep your powder dry" seems a bit outdated, and perhaps after the advice of some prominent missionary of political correctness at the Rethoric Department of the University of California at Berkeley, the words In God We Trust are going to disappear even from the Greenback. So what? Are we all Babes in the woods? The woods are very dark, sure. We are in a foggy maze indeed, my friends. And our nice picture of the Rich inner stance seems rather incongruous when you watch pictures of teenage boys in Sierra Leone brandishing their Avtomat Kalashnikov assault rifles in the attempt to plunder from each other any remaining spoil they are looting in the unmanageable desolation of their Country.
Does common wisdom suggest any way out? Not precisely. The general vague opinion is that something must be done, to keep the threatening angry fellows quiet. And apparently the people equipped for help are to be found within our middle class, where commonsense and generosity are supposedly widespread. Where else? Hence some sort of incitement to Do, to Give, to Strive to save humankind from Armageddon. Though not often clearly uttered, the general-wisdom conclusion seems to be that our middle class Virtuous Readiness to Give (practically: to support government policies of solidarity and financial aid, maybe even volunteering at personal level to help the less fortunate) is the thin wafer between "us" and our destruction. Are we going to play any role in this, we the Rich?
Waiting for your comments, I might say that probably there is a bit of confusion, identifying the "virtuous" middle class tout-court with us the Rich and I would like to find out an answer to some deeper questions: is it the most important thing to worry about, this economic unbalance between Haves and Havenots? Is Armageddon itself anything so momentous that it can paralyze our inner faculties on its focus only? It seems to me that the meander we ought to explore is much wider and more intricate than solely the dark woods of uncertainty about our socio-economic future. Are illegal immigrant multitudes, crime in our streets and terrorist cheap weapons our main problem? or our first issue is to understand the larger picture, of which these details are only a part?
In other words: our main concern should be to understand who we are, what we are about. And before committing ourselves to any choice, we ought to understand the labyrinth we are moving in.
So, let's step into. Walking through the fog we will try to help each other, keeping at voice's range. The ideal thing would be to find a ready available guidebook of the maze itself, that apparently doesn't exist. But I found in the past some publication which might come in handy, and I am sure that many among you will suggest to me other readings: everything could help.
(5.To be continued)