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Hierarchy vs. Equality

글쓴이 : 이명동 날짜 : 2014-01-16 (목) 08:21:08





Our society should always have dynamism, creative enthusiasm, belief in better future, and empathy for the fellow humanity. We need to have goals and visions even though they may never fully come true. There is the need to analyze and discuss honestly and not trying to justify and defend a particular political, economic, and social view. This is not easy because the entrenched interests have their own agenda and have convinced themselves of their positions as good for most people. Once they establish their positions, it is no longer what is better for the society. It becomes a game that has to be won. That's why we see the paralysis of political systems in many parts of the world. It is very easy to be cynical, pessimistic, and apathetic because people's greed, inhumanity, and stupidity are staggering. But these are the realities of our life and society. In spite of these human conditions, we still need to have visions and optimism.





On 12/4/13, President Obama declared that "Inequality is the challenging issue of our time." The title of this column could be Equality vs. Inequality, or Vertical vs. Horizontal, instead of Hierarchy vs. Equality. President Obama was talking about the economic inequality. When I say hierarchy I mean economic, social, and political inequality. The important point is that they are closely interconnected and mutually support their own rationale. To have social equality, we must have economic equality. When we have economic and social equality, political equality will follow naturally.





The economic hierarchy is becoming the "challenging or defining issue" of our time. Many people are talking about it and it is undeniable that the importance of the issue is in the air. From Nobel prize winning economists to minimum wage earners and to the shrinking middle class, the status quo is more and more unacceptable. The political wind is definitely shifting toward fairness and less polarized hierarchy. In the early 20th century, there was the progressive movement to rein in the 'robber barons.' There was the political will and the government played a definitive role in improving the situation for more people. The beginning of 21st century is facing a similar problem if not the exact same problem. The economic hierarchy is the issue to tackle for better 21st century. There are the definitive solutions, only if there is the political will.





Hierarchy is a part of human nature. It will always be with us. But we should make an effort to reduce the abuses of hierarchy when it suffocates most people and stifles dynamism and creative enthusiasm. The entrenched social hierarchy with long history and tradition should be examined when it interferes with positive progress. One classic example is the "cultural revolution" of China. The communist party tried to escape from 'four olds'; old customs, old culture, old ideas, and old habits. They had good reasons for running away from the 'four olds' because they didn't work for them. But after Tiananmem protests of 1989, the communist government tried to embrace Confucius with mixed results. Chinese don't seem to have found the way forward for their country, and still struggling with the hierarchy of social , economic, and political nature.



 
www.en.wikipedia.org





One popular view of the world in the beginning of this century is that the world is more and more a horizontal place. This view is based on the easy access to the informations by anybody in the world. It assumes that there is no hierarchy when it comes to access to the informations. The question is how it can be used to bring about the tolerable level of hierarchy in economy, social norms, and politics in the different parts of the world. Another interesting question is whether a universal vision will fit equally in every part of the world.





The underlying principle is that we want to have a society where chances for fulfilling one's potential, aquiring and maintaining one's integrity, dignity, and decency are available and protected.





The suffocating, brutal, and total hierarchy is showcased clearly by the criminal Kims. When economic, social, and political hierarchy is total, there is the total failure. This is the ultimate 'winner take all.' It doesn't work, period. It is very clear which path we have to take.










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