The two words conflict and separation don’t have the same meanings, but may be seen as a part of the same process. Conflict, for example, may be more of action term thus using more action words to give it definition, but it may also refer to a physical-social-attitudinal-economic state or field of human existence.
On the other hand, to say one thing is separated or divided from something else it’s very plausible that conflict may have caused the separation or division. Could it also be true, however, that active, lively conflict may be the consequence or result of separation and division. If both of these notions are true we might speculate that they may both be integral to perpetuating both conflict and separation between people, groups or nations.
This writer has usually rebutted the idea of “the shrinking middle class,” or “the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots,’ because it had always appeared to be a vague, sort of ghostly, “glossing over,” and maybe a cop out to really do anything about a problem or conflict at a grass roots level.
The December 18, 22011 issue of the New York Times (www.nytimes.com) ran an Op-Ed piece by Charles M. Blow (p. A25) entitled “Inconvenient Income Equality.” Blow suggests that the current, popular idea of “have and have nots” is akin to the global climate epidemic. There’s so much that has been written about is, wrote Blow, that people don’t seem to really believe it, or are numb to its effects, or (this is the author’s own paraphrase) maybe they reason that it’s just too huge an issue that they simply don’t want to hear about it anymore. They’ve become de-sensitized to it so aversive tactics no longer work. The signals are also jammed by the far right. Scientific facts about it are yawned at when people distance themselves from these robust environmental issues and causes. Blow wonders if the same thing has happened with the gaping gap between rich and poor in the United States.
Drawing upon different reports and data, the journalist synthesizes a factual and scientific sampling and summary of where are, in terms of economic equality. This is key information because it lays the foundational premise of classism in our culture. The statistics indicates the generation and perpetuation of more classism to come.
A few of these statistics may be observed and are listed in the article:
Blow uses the Gallup charts in the article to show that between July 1998 and December 2011, respondents who think that we’re not divided decreased from about 70% to about 40%; whereas those who responded affirmatively that our economic realities are telling in demonstrating we are divided increased about 30% to almost 60%.
All of this data gives us a fairly realistic appraisal of our ongoing economic story at this time. Asked if people had to say whether they were in the ‘haves’ or ‘have nots,’ those who think they’re part of the ‘haves’ group remained fairly consistent, whereas those who perceive themselves as ‘have nots’ rose from just under 20% to about 30%. In so many words, the economic downturn has impacted and increased so that people in very vulnerable, financial situations, or the working poor, for instance, have absorbed in their lives the effects of our economic crisis.
Murray Bowen, the father of Family System’s Theory, used the term social regression when society goes through the kind of economic mud slide that has confronted us. When this occurs, anxiety increases in the culture and people’s lives and families. It can also create divisions and separations in inter-ethnic relations. Blow’s reports on the data appear to this writer to bear witness to the factual, economic changes that have been recently mapped into our culture.
Because our economic problems are systemic in nature, they ought to be examined by interdisciplinary tools, critical thought, and rely heavily on causal reasoning and research; they should never be discounted or played down.
In this author’s mind, the Occupy Movement’s presence in our major, urban centers can be viewed as a barometeric mirroring of our economic quagmire—we seem to be stuck in this place for now.
As the writer mentioned above, these factors also lead to another social triggering of class warfare. The need to express dissent towards the widening gap between rich and poor finds its way into the market place in a variety of ways. The primary catalyst in revolutions is usually inequality and unfair distribution of wealth, resources , and corporate-centered capital. This seems concurrent with what the Occupy Movement is saying in their resistence to corporate power. Resistence in diverse ways is from the bottom-up and includes many people from various political persuasions, and those simply trying to survive.
© Christopher Bear-Beam December 28, 2011