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No Bad Guys, Only Us

We've been hearing some stuff in NSPPBC about corporations being bad, really bad. "If you'll pick and carry two tons of tomatoes we'll pay you $50". NSPPBC is expressing outrage saying they should get another penny per pound and thus get $88/day. We're hearing outrage at this injustice and an admonition that corporations are "bad" and need to be made accountable. This is lazy thinking. Corporations are aggregations of people and can be out of balance, can be greedy, can be cruel just like individual people. But, why should we feel that corporate behavior in general is more outrageous than

  1. Jack Abromoff among lobbyists.
  2. PBC Culture of Corruption in politics.
  3. Halliburton in Iraq as a combination of politics and business.
  4. ....in culture and art.
  5. ....in religion.
  6. ....in charity.
  7. lots of other stuff (guys, help me find examples to make this clear)
It is not corporations that are bad, it is also politicians, non-profits, charities, and whereever else that men and women gather. It is also my possibility. It is especially my possibility when I cannot connect with you as a human being that is capable of being part of the Beloved Community.

Let's not fight any less vigorously to get Burger King to pay another penny per pound. But let's not be so lazy as to suggest that we can neatly label corporations as the bad guys and imply the rest of us are OK. Let's find ways to invite all of us and all our neighbors to join us at the table.

It has been suggested we are following Michael Lerner in holding corporations up as the bad guys. I don't think so. Self-interest, greed, unkindness and exploitation have been around lots longer than corporations. Corporations are just a convenient target. Meanwhile, some of us use our physical size, our manipulative ability, our power from family or social or institutional connections, or our money to gain advantage. I think Michael Lerner is addressing kindness, peace, justice, consideration, fairness. I don't think he is focussing on whatever target is most obvious this week.

You'll be more effective if you come from the love that is within you rather than from your anger even though your anger is completely justified. (Erika Kraft) or, submitted another way We have met the enemy and he is us! I've been trying to convince a friend that we elected George Bush to be president of our country. She vigorously denies it. But another friend says that if you take the Tao seriously, you and Sadaam Hussein are one. Bonhoeffer said "action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility. All these ideas are telling me there is more value in connectedness than in distance. There is more value in taking responsibility than in denying responsibility. These ideas are telling me that my well-being is connnected to your well-being and to the well-being of the planet and all it contains. I respect Burger King and I know there are forces for responsibility inside that aggregation of people just like there are forces for responsibility in the Network of Spiritual Progressives.

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