[index]

Wed Jul 26 00:38:15 CEST 2006

ignorance

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Something which surprises me again and again is how
ignorant rich people can be. They have all the resources
available to them, but somehow they have no idea about
critical subjects such as poverty, politics, international
injustice, and what not.

It really shouldn't surprise me anymore.

What really bugs me is that their ignorance is so deep that
they have no idea that they are, in fact, no more than
nincompoops with money.

I feel that it is unfortunate but not irritating when
uneducated people or poor people show ignorance on current
political matters. They have other priorities, like placing
food on the table. But the middle and upper classes (in
particular) have the power of choice. I'm not saying that
everyone should become experts at these kind of issues; all I
want is the base competence; I want people to understand the
hidden intrecacies behind such simple questions as 'What is
poverty?'  and 'Why should we care about it?'

Some people answer by saying "I don't care, and its my
right to not care". This is such a pitifully ignorant thing to
say. The day the majority of our population thinks this way is
the day our hard-won democracy will fail. Democracy is not
something you can keep for good once you attain it. It is
something which will slip from our fingers the moment we relax
our grip.

Why this sudden outburst? Well, we were out on a break from
work today, and we saw a greyfaced old man picking the garbage
for empty cans. In Sweden you can get up to 50öre (thats
like 0.07USD) for recycling used cans. After he passed us, I
noted that I never saw this when I first moved here to Sweden
back in 1986.

One of my collegues then said, in an attempt at reason,
that theres quite a lot of money in collecting cans. Just that
one statement hit me like a bat to the stomach- I just stood
there, dumbstruck. How could anyone show such incredible
ignorance? Its not like this man chose to become a bum,
he's not working his way up the career chain of
can-collectors in the can-collector industry. Noone wants to
be pitied, scorned and trampled upon. 

There are underlying problems in our society, both Swedish
and otherwise, which give rise to poverty. Sure, all nations
have groups of people who have been conveniently 'forgotten'
by everyone. But this level of poverty is on the rise in
Sweden, and here's a person who just doesn't understand nor
care. I could weep in frustration.

I digress now from the original issue, but I just can't
resist a poke at the current government- can't people see that
Sweden is not quite what it used to be? That the Social
Democratic government, sworn to protect and tend the weak and
needy, have betrayed their ideology?

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