Bidding Bad Ideas Farewell
"Individuals can denounce and resist a way of life; Only a community can live a way of life into being and then bequeath it to succeeding generations."
-Jim Corbett, Sanctuary for All Life
The marketplace has sent many ideas to the boneyard. We don't drive around Ford Pintos anymore because they blew up when rear-ended. Through both legal means (thank you Ralph Nader) and a lack of public acceptance the Pinto is no longer on the road.
But not all bad ideas make it to the bone yard. We still have xenophobia and racism alive and well in our politics today with entire political parties defending its right to exist. We fought a world war over Nazi's thinking they could exterminate an entire class of people just because of religious and ethnic affiliation and now, 70 years later, we have witnessed the resurgence of the Alt Right.
The question we need to ask ourselves is why?
Why does the Pinto die and racism and xenophobia survive? If we start with the preposition that ideas serve a purpose and play an important role in society then we must (whether we like it or not) accept the fact that people are getting some value out of racism and xenophobia.
Now don't misunderstand ... I am no advocate of these bad ideas ... but to understand this issue and build a more inclusive and equitable society we must provide that same unmet need with a better and more functional idea. The square wheel works, but boy oh boy the round wheel is so much better!!
So what is our round wheel?
What can Quakers offer the world that takes the place of tribalism and circling the wagons?
In this particular question, I think, we Quakers have much to offer. Some very good round wheels!
Queries about bad ideas:
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