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Cold • Posted: Jan 16, 2012 08:39:25Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

Though the above scene may resemble a penal colony in communist Siberia, it is, in fact, an abandoned industrial facility just outside Louisville KY. Still, one wonders what effect such chilling dismal surroundings had upon the psyche of those who inhabited its buildings and grounds.

Anti-communist propaganda would have us all believe such scenes are the inevitable consequence of any system of government that inhibits or fetters capitalistic private enterprise. But the truth is, as the above scene demonstrates, that unfettered capitalism lays waste to far more land, resource, ecology, health, and lives than any communist or totalitarian state ever dreamed of. Why we all refuse to see that is, no doubt, a puzzle our grandchildren's grandchildren will shake their heads over for as long as they wander the rubble we leave behind.

Capitalism is like the leading edge of an out of control forest fire, consuming, charring, and dispelling everything in its path, all fueled by human want and short-sighted aspiration. There is no plan, no accounting for consequence. There is only the belief that whatever results is what has been ordained by God, for the best and brightest will have triumphed over all that is not the best and brightest. How very very self-serving.

It is a curious fact of social psychology that cold and lack of sunshine often drives us from each other, makes us less interested in competing with each other, less worried about getting ahead of each other. Instead, interactions with our fellow humans are more tentative, cautious, tending toward highly efficient cooperation and tolerance for difference. We are less likely to club each other to death over who gets the last drum stick. We wouldn't want to waste the energy or diminish the possibility of getting help should we need it. Only in warmth and abundance do we begin to suspect each other of subterfuge, evil intent aimed at undermining our existence. Bring on the cold and our priorities change. Bring on the cold and our fellows have value.

May the lessons you learn enduring the bitterest of cold this winter stay with both you and your fellows throughout the warmth of summer.

Friday, January 30th, 2009
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