Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Bad things are happening with respect to our most important public institutions in this country. This example was brought to my attention by Boing Boing:

The public library system of Philadelphia is scheduled to end operations in October.

I think that the country has had enough of the absurdist anti-public rhetoric of the far right.  It is time for normal people, the other 70% of us, to start re-framing public discourse in our country.  We need to reaffirm the values that we share and shun the purposefully divisive, hateful, and disingenuous ideology of Ronald Reagan and Sam Walton.  We need to overcome our debt culture.  We need to care for the elderly, the poor, and the sick.  We need to value education.  We need to embrace logical debate and science, not ignore it in favor of manipulative dishonesty.

How do we do this?  We need accept that we are all in the same boat.  we also need to abandon the well-crafted language of the right-wing. Public is a good word, and so is privacy, but private is exclusive.  Remember that the right wants to put PRIVATE signs on everything.  If a nationally renowned library system shuts down, we don't have far to go for municipalities close to home to lose control of public schools.  Or sidewalks, streets, or public beaches for that matter.  Wouldn't it be awful if we couldn't afford to use a beach? What would that mean for nature?  I'm sure some owners would value conservation, and maybe even free access, but it is better if EVERYONE owns the resources that we have always enjoyed sharing.

1 comment:

  1. Here, here!

    The free market works well enough for goods only one person can enjoy, but the idea that its a remotely efficient mechanism for things that aren't destroyed by use is absurd. How limiting the access of people in Philadelphia to literature is benefiting anyone, I can't understand. With computers we could all access the sum of human creation, but for some reason that'd apparently be bad.

    Similiarly for natural vistas. There's plenty of beach for everyone to enjoy, and its not like once I've visited it nobody else can. Artificial restrictions are no better then pretending real ones don't exist