It's not about winning
America is in the throws of its quadrennial presidential campaign. And, as it has been for two hundred years, one camp is all about winning. It’s not about winning in the winning of the votes sense, it’s winning in the ‘we shall prevail because we believe in the winning spirit.’
This is a critical century. It is a century in which we no longer need winners, we have already lost, all of us have lost. We have lost the balance on a once perfectly balanced ecosystem. Our society is entirely off balance with rich and poor, obese and starving, employed and unemployed, healthy and abandoned. What we need now is not a winner mentality, we need a normalization at best and, frankly, a savior if possible.
A civilization is not built on one system alone. It is the compendium of multiple systems. In our case, in humanity’s case, we’re talking a quasi infinite number of systems. And, as I have contended for years, these systems are mostly in a state of chaos. Waging a battle within a chaotic system is futile. It is unbalancing by definition. What we need is someone who can pragmatically, but quickly and efficiently, steer us on a course of repair. I think that the Italians may have picked well with Prime Minister Monti (granted, after Berlusconi…). But frankly he seems to be a manager without grand ideas. That’s good. We do not need grand ideas. Grand ideas take too long to implement. Grand ideas cause more chaos.
Just today, I was reminded of the Cheech and Chong parody about the feces. If it looks, feels and tastes like it, it must be it. Some solutions are just as obvious and yet we reject them in block. We are not willing to espouse public transport over a convenient private car. We insist on taking one and often two long hot showers every day. We water huge, useless lawns in front of disproportionate government buildings. We need scale; scaling down that is. But we also need growth; but we only need it in certain places.
This is not a piece that aims to bring solutions per se. This is a piece where I simply ask the question: do we really need to win? I don’t feel the need to be the absolute best, strongest, richest country, county, city or citizen on Earth. I just want to eat tonight, feed my family, grow old with some security and otherwise contribute to society.
We’ve won so much, there are no more medals out there. Maybe it’s time to start losing.