[Sherry Jackson’s famous turn as a comely android in the original “Star Trek” is a bit of a stretch to illustrate this post, but Sherry was a long-time crush (dating back to her role as Danny Thomas’s first daughter in “Make Room for Daddy”), and I always felt she deserved a better career than she ended up with.]
The tale of Jennifer Angel, the Oakland baker and social justice warrior who was killed in the course of a robbery and whose family asked that her killers not be subjected to punitive justice because that’s how Jen would have wanted it, generated a superb and varied discussion: Well done! The comments to “Dispatches From the Great Stupid, An Ethics Dunce Family, And West Coats Bizarro World” even took a side trip to Star Trek lore. One of the stand-out comments in this stand-out comment-fest was that of A.M. Golden, who generally delivers quality analysis—it also launched the “Star Trek” tangent. I immediately identified it as a Comment of the Day, and over the last eight days, as the metaphorical roof fell in here in Alexandria, my daily failure to post it (for eight days) has rankled me like the knowledge that one has left the bathtub faucet running.
Finally I’m getting A.M.’s COTD up; I apologize for the delay. Here it is (and you might want to check out all the comments; I just re-read them, and the array demonstrates how fortunate Ethics Alarms in its quality of readers):
This kind of philosophy comes out of the belief that humans are naturally good and that all that is required to make them eternally noble is meeting their basic needs by providing free food, shelter, clothing, education and medical care. Providing these needs will, ostensibly, end poverty which will, ostensibly, end crime and war.
They think they can educate people into rejecting wants, ignoring the example of every socialist country in the 20th century that failed to prevent people from wanting cars, designer jeans and meat.
It is the philosophy behind “Star Trek” and every other utopian futurism that has secular humanism at the core of its philosophy.
Human beings are not good at heart. No one has to teach a toddler how to draw on the wall or run into the street. It’s in our nature to be selfish. We have to discipline ourselves to be kind, to be moral, to be ethical.
This is easier for some than others.
Compared to the populations of many countries, citizens of this country have one of the highest standards of living in history.
Even the poor of our country have four walls, a real floor and ceiling, indoor plumbing, running water, electricity, enough food to make one fat, Medicaid and a free public education through high school. The quality of above said benefits may not always compare favorably to what others have but they are far better than what is available in third world countries…which is why people are desperate to come here rather than stay where they are.
Yes, we do have very poor people in this country that are homeless. Some of those people are homeless due to the consequences of their own choices (and some of them aren’t). Some are mentally ill and cannot be committed or treated without their consent ( and some of them aren’t).
But we still have a high standard of living. Despite the welfare state and free public schools, however, the war on poverty has failed. Not because it lacked money but because it didn’t acknowledge human nature.
Abe Lincoln could have continued to slave for his father, split rails and ignored books, taking only the paltry education he was offered, but he wanted more. He read as much as he could and educated himself. Lincoln was ambitious, aspired to better himself and we are the beneficiaries of that improvement.
Most people aren’t like that.
Which is why all the free public education in the world hasn’t stopped graduating classes of increasingly ignorant students, Medicaid has not produced a healthy population and neither has stopped crime.
Because human nature was ignored. Students don’t learn if there’s no work ethic instilled. People don’t get healthy by making poor food and exercise choices and choosing to skip free doctor appointments for themselves or their children. And they don’t get out of poverty by being given taxpayer dollars that incentivize staying at home and spending money profligately.
Devoid of instilling morals, values and ethics, among which are respect for the law and other people, all the taxpayer-funded programs in the world won’t improve the human condition. All the restorative justice will not stop incarceration.
Some people don’t want to improve.
Which is why Jen was a crime victim and why she is dead.
4 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: “Dispatches From The Great Stupid, An Ethics Dunce Family, And West Coast Bizarro World””
I’d say the commentariats holds these truths to be self-evident.
Very elegant, AM.
Continuing on the Star Trek theme, a line from Deep Space Nine comes to mind: “It’s easy to be a saint in paradise.” If you are only ethical when all your needs are met and you suffer no hardship, then your ethics are extremely fragile, and the slightest bump of adversity can shatter them.
As a, I am honored. Thanks for the photo, too. That’s Sherry playing Andrea in the episode “What Are Little Girls Made Of?” in which she played a robot.
Sherry also appeared in an episode of the original “Twilight Zone” (my all-time favorite show. Yes, I like it even more than “Star Trek”) as the girl of James Best in the memorable episode “The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank” about a funeral that ” did not come off as planned “.