Friday, January 27, 2012

Life Aint Fair

Conservatives are upset at the number of references to "fair" in the SOTU speech. "Life's not fair!" they claim. On that very narrow point, I agree with them.

But here's where their argument falls apart.

Life is not fair. In a strictly Darwinian sense, life in the jungle, life in the caves, life on the African savannah was not fair. But one of the reasons that we are all here, able to have this conversation, is that our ancestors worked to make life a little more fair. They banded together for protection; they worked together at hunting and gathering - and later at agriculture. They helped the old, the young and the sick not just because it was the "right thing" to do, but also because those who might have been seen as a burden in the days of roaming the savannah were now able to help on the home front.

Just about every societal advancement our ancestors worked so hard to create was in an effort to make life more fair. A conservative commenter on one of my Facebook friend's posts about the SOTU - in reference to fairness - stated "when YOU feed a poor child that's [good], when government does it that is... evil."Really? When only the government has the resources to reach all of those in need, even then their feeding of a hungry child is evil?

I want to live in a fair society. When conservatives can look around the ideological blinders even they want to live in a fair society. Can anyone really imagine that they want to live in a truly Darwinian society where only the strong survive?

3 comments:

Steve Bates said...

The height of irony is that most of the hardcore "conservatives" I know are far, far from what I consider the strongest people; all of them... all... are more dependent than they'd ever admit on help from either their government or their chance connection with someone wealthy. Fairness? they couldn't survive strictly enforced fairness!

Charles, it is really good to see you blogging again.

Charles2 said...

Good to be back, Steve!

It's like Romney's recent insistence that he "didn't inherit." It's like Clinton's "I didn't inhale." His old man bought his first house for him after graduating from a prestigious university (guess who paid?), etc. etc. He finally did inherit a boatload of money when he was in his 40s. What a tough life.

Erik Perez said...

You have a total utopian view of the world that assumes government is baneovolent and infallable. In reality, government is made up of people who are 50% corrupt and power hungry, 30% good and decent and 20% just stupid. (on both sides of the fence). 

Who gets to decide what is fair? You? Them?