Our American Class System

Back in the 1970’s, Andy Warhol made this observation about American society:

What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good. Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.

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More Love

“Any attempt to expound on the subject of love must first come to terms with the problem that we use the word in many different ways and situations. There is romantic love. There is sexual attraction. There is the love of a parent for his or her child. There is the feeling we have for a great work of art. There is an appreciation we have for the natural world around us. Which of these sorts of love are we talking about?”

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The Value of Individuals

“We believe that ordinary individuals have the power to shape our cultural evolution and influence our human condition in ways both positive and negative; our goal is to help all of us make broader, better informed, more deeply felt, more conscious decisions that will help us advance towards a more positive future.

“It is sometimes tempting to feel that we are being swept up in forces beyond our control. And while we are all in many ways products of our environment, we should never underestimate our abilities as individuals to contribute to the health and happiness of others.”

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Calling for a US Sustainability Initiative

“Instead, I want to ask the question: is there a great common cause that can help bring us together today? And I ask this knowing in advance that no possible initiative will begin its life with universal acceptance, but that instead any such proposal will start out encountering a great deal of opposition.

“When I look at possible candidates for some sort of great national enterprise that might bring us together in this way, I can think of only one that is likely to succeed: a National Sustainability Initiative.”

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A Broadcast Consciousness

“This communications strategy has been so omnipresent for all of us alive today that we no doubt take it for granted. And while we tend to think of broadcasting in terms of radio and television programming, it is clear that these sorts of one-to-many communications are now showing up in telephone calls, in text messages, in emails, in app notifications on our personal devices, as well as in purportedly ‘social’ media such as Facebook and Twitter.

“So, coming full circle in our inner-to-outer journey, it might be reasonable to ask whether there is a corresponding subjective state that matches up with the broadcasting communications strategy. In other words, is there a broadcasting ‘consciousness’?

“Unfortunately, even though it’s hard to peg this as an advance on any kind of upward moral trajectory that I can identify, I’m afraid there is.'”

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