Class Issues

Posted on October 28, 2013 by Submitted

Editor:I think anyone would acknowledge that class is part of the mix in Sonoma. Class is like taxonomy in biology, not good or bad, it simply is. The whales and top predators occupy the Wall Street ecosystem and have 100 million dollar nests on mountaintops. Plaza rental owning is only for super big fish who live in secret locations camouflaged with regular pigmentation. Fish a little lower down have the gated homes with personal vineyards in the valley. Below them are residential reef fish that benefit from the cover provided by bigger fish. Cleaner fish, scavengers and bottom feeders fill out the local Sonoma econosystem. These live wherever possible so as to be able to collect scraps from the bigger fish. Cleaner fish have to make dangerous migrations of long distances to feed and for peculiar reasons, cannot inhabit the same nesting sites as the larger fish, as they will not be tolerated. As well, cleaner fish nests are more insecure and open to predation.

Matters of justice do not apply; as with ecology, all fish have a place and a right to live just by their very existence. All participate in a web that sustains the whole. Each type takes up a peculiar econological space that they have adapted to naturally. This web does not justify any one over the whole and the system generally needs to keep a certain equiibrious balance or it will be punctuated by an extinction event. The recent fate of the Pleistocene mega fauna is a good case in point. The myth of the sword of Damocles brings such extinction events into a human context

So, class is an issue insofar as it is woven into the fabric of our existence. As with ecology, when things change, some species thrive, others go extinct. Life is a constantly changing mosaic. The underlying rules are a complex mix of competition and cooperation. With people, class hierarchies came with the advent of civilization. Certain classes specialized at the top of the pyramid: kings, priests, administrators, and down the line to smiths, scribes etcetera while the bulk of people stayed at the wide bottom to produce the primary goods needed by all to survive. You can’t have civilization without this built-in hierarchy, and inequity. Civilization allowed people to exist at a larger scale, and to survive periods of drought and environmental instability.

Various moral programs evolved to protect the little fish from being stepped on too badly as the big fish have a tendency to exploit the little ones, because they can get away with it. Various revolutions have happened to gradually improve the lot of little fish, one step at a time. And that brings us to today where the dynamic tension between all the fish is a constant issue to be worked out as power and control waxes and wanes between various stakeholders in the human system.

My point here? Everyone should have their place acknowledged and honored and everyone play the game with honor and grace, that will keep us all going on an as even a keel as possible so we may enjoy in happiness our brief time under the sun.

Fred Allebach

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