Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can't Pay, Don't Know, Don't Belong

Something happens to a society when its wealth is reckoned in commodities, and it is stashed away for some to have and some not to have. Some can pay and some can’t.

Something happens to a society when its ‘know how’ becomes sophisticated and mystifying and technical, and it is possessed by some and not possessed by others. Some know and some don’t.

Something happens to a society when a sense of solidarity among persons yields to a kind of individuality, when a sense of belonging with each other is diminished and a sense of being apart from each other takes its place. Some belong and some don’t.

Whatever it is that happens is happening to us. And there is the new, powerful emergence of those who can pay and those who know and those who belong. Very often the paying ones and the knowing ones and the belonging ones are the same ones—or at least they talk only with one another and trust one another. They are content to be left to their own resources, which are ample. And so the others—the ones who can’t pay and don’t know and don’t belong—are left to their own resourcelessness.

                 -             — Walter Brueggemann

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