Many on the modern far right would have us believe that human nature and society are essentially immutable — that we are all slaves to social “laws” bequeathed by Milton Friedman and/or the Almighty and there is nothing we can do to collectively, intentionally improve the world (other than to get out of the way of “the invisible hand”).
Fortunately, reality continues to intervene and remind us of myriad ways in which forward-thinking humans continue to intentionally and collectively improve the world.
I was reminded of this hopeful truth today when I saw this release from the good people at Action for Children North Carolina documenting the decline in state-sponsored child-beating in North Carolina. As the graphs make clear, we are are well on our way to eradicating so-called “corporal punishment” in this state.
But, of course, this isn’t the only area in which caring, loving, forward-thinking people are making real progress in our state. Look at today’s new poll numbers on the public’s aversion to the marriage discrimination amendment. Look at the ongoing demise of the death penalty and the recent drop in violent crime that has coincided with de facto moratorium on executions.
Of course, there’s plenty of bad news to counter the good. When it comes to economic justice and progress, millions of Americans continue to fall for the manufactured misconception that the current national plutocracy is somehow “natural.”
Even here, however, there’s some consolation to be gleaned from the fact that this popular misunderstanding did not happen by accident — that it too is the byproduct of years of intentional and collective (if tragically idiotic) action by those who would take us back to the 19th Century.
Bottom line thought to keep in mind as you head into the weekend: Hard working people of good will are still making a huge and positive difference in the human story (even here in North Carolina) and will continue to do so.
Hang in there. and keep plugging away.