Alice in Blunderland

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“But I don’t want to go among selfish, greedy people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you ca’n’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all selfish and greedy here. I’m selfish and greedy. You’re selfish and greedy.”

Today, in a thread about ACA and profit in healthcare I questioned the foundational American belief in the nature of capitalism and decided not to respond to a comment about the futility of trying to “escape the trap of money” in a “ridiculously hedonistic, unhealthy narcissistic society” written by a woman who listed her current occupation as “artist” (she apparently worked in gems and precious metals) and her previous occupations as a manager of a Lexus dealership and “private jet broker.”

Private. Jet. Broker.

This is why some people don’t think there’s any room at the table. Because someone took up all the space with a private jet.

The woman in question seemed to consider herself fairly liberal, politically speaking. I didn’t know her, except I felt like I did, because I grew up in  place where money–not just enough money, or a comfortable amount of money, but ALL the money, as much money as a person could get, and then more money on top of that–was considered paramount. Not that they were bad people. The rich people I grew up around gave lavishly to charity and voted in favor of social services. But they lived in another world, and their children didn’t understand how ridiculously much more they had than everyone else. They knew they were rich. They just didn’t understand how poor so many people were.

This weekend I had a couple comic ideas around the theme of people debating whether or not the president-elect is fascist, whether the people who support him are nazis, and my thought that this kind of labeling/identity politics/name-calling is pointless. I don’t care whether or not a regime’s qualities align 100% with those of the 3rd Reich. I do care whether or not their actions result in .01% of the atrocities of World War II. So I’m trying to stay focused on a discussion of what people do, whether it is kind and helpful or selfish and greedy.

I maintain that 1) money is only one possible way of dividing resources, not a necessary evil, but a cultural system that exists because enough people want it to exist, and 2) that there are sufficient resources on planet Earth that everyone could have everything they needed if we all chose a more equitable way of distributing good and services while communicating the value of community and meaningfully contributing to society, but that 3) the reason we don’t usher in a true utopian era is because most people are greedy and selfish.

We’re almost all at least a little greedy and selfish. Even if we love our fellow human and wouldn’t personally wrong them, we accept a system in which some people can be a lot greedy and a lot selfish and love their fellow human not at all, and have no compunction about personally wronging them if it could be done for profit and power. We say it’s OK for one person to earn a private jet while many more people cannot earn homes for their family and food for their children even though they work 40, 60, 80 hours a week. We don’t have to accept this system as the only possibility, but the vast majority of us do. We could change that. For sure we could work out a system where everyone receives healthcare.

I’m afraid my Alice looks too much like Janet Jackson. I was going for Latinx. But you know I made the Hatter’s hands small on purpose. That’s not like calling someone a fascist. That’s comedy. The Putin-Hare kind of creeps me out. Also, I did this Tenniel drawing before, in a Dragon Comic. I already had the “Alice in Wonderland” tag.

 

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