13 March 2007

Where's the profit motive?

One of the best parts of working for a Catholic paper, which I did for about 16 years, was hearing stories of people doing good. The profit motive was rarely involved.

OK. Never.

I remember marveling about the farmers who would give so much time and treasure to build churches — and hospitals, as in this corny Canadian promo for universal healthcare being part of their traditional values — their heritage.

In any case, I'd look at how magnificent Mount Angel's church was, for instance, and I could see that although communities working together was also part of our heritage, we, their descendants, weren't likely to give so much.


Could the conservatives be right? Has there been a disintegration of values? What did happen to our community values? Our "We're in this together," golden rule values?

Now here's another question. Could it be that the Right is actually more to blame than the Left for this? Did they get so scared of communism that they tossed the baby right out with the bathwater?

1 comment:

quixote said...

Kristen, I'm not sure how old you are, but--it sounds strange to even say it now--back in the day it wasn't respectable to be selfish. Sure, people *were* selfish, but they had to pretend otherwise. They had to pay lip service to doing the right thing.

Ronald Reagan was the one who made selfishness respectable. You know: He was such a "nice guy". He was saying exactly what everyone wanted to hear. "Go on, get yours. It's a Good Thing. It's the free market. Nothing wrong with that. It's free!"

And it didn't take all that long to find out why getting yours hasn't been considered good in any societies that planned on surviving more than a few years.

I keep wondering whether we'll be able to backtrack, or whether we're already too far down the rathole.