The Available Panacea

by Richard Kovac

Someone suggested that all medical problems could be solved, and all social anomie healed easily, except that a practitioner class of medical doctors and social workers needs to be paid, and so they conspire to keep their clients ill. The need to make money requires a victim class.

This is probably an exaggeration and very cynical, but there is some truth in it. Doctors and social workers don't get paid by patients and clients who get better. Therefore it is in their vested interest to create a hard core of recurrent client customers. The medical profession seldom scorns hypochondriacs either. It says it is humoring them.

Is money, on another track, the available panacea? We say more money should be spent on education. Maybe so. But who is going to work on the character of the teachers if all they are working for is a higher paycheck? Do we educate children to make money or to have learning with intrinsic worth? I know, we have our pragmatic criterion of cash value - and what's wrong with that?

We deify money. Money is the measuring stick of all men. It is apt that our currency says, "In God we trust" for this is a Freudian slip. Money is in fact, as it says, our God. Who does not kowtow to it?

If you happen to be rich (as most of us are in this country with forty percent of the world's wealth and only four percent of its population), then at least share it with the poor. I don't care whether this is done by government or individuals. It must be done, because it is just. One person in seven goes to bed hungry, and 1.1 billion have inadequate drinking water. We, by comparison, are sybarites.

Those of you who think I'm too preachy must also concede that I'm cynical. I think we are hard-hearts, unwilling to make much sacrifice at all. "The Americans are all liars, lazy, and gluttons," to paraphrase what a Cretan poet said about the Cretans. I say it about us...

The famous Fremont Toast, during the Mexican War, can be taken as the archetype of the American patriotic fallacy: "My Country! In its dealings with foreign nations may it always be right. But my country, right or wrong!" This very wrongness saturates our domestic and international existence today, and at its heart is the love of money.

We are a nominally Christian country steeped in the idolatry of materialism.

We do not manage money...

Money manages us.

What is to be done? I'm not urging a violent revolution. I'm encouraging a change of heart, beginning with each of us. When this transformation is accomplished, Man will again be the measure of all things.

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