Another Pearl Found In The Wall Street Journal

by Sig6. November 2012 21:11

I cannot imagine what my mornings would be like without the Wall Street Journal. The pearls I find therein are well beyond the realm of ordinary papers. I find myself going blithely on thought-provoking journeys stimulated by reports. Best of all, the fare presented is fairly balanced between the liberal and conservative outlook on the world. In the Saturday /Sunday, October 12, 2011 edition, I found an intriguing book reviewby Paul Ryan of Jeffrey Sachs’ work, The Price of Civilization.

Mr. Sachs’ work concerns itself with the evils of free enterprise and the acquisition of material and monetary wealth to the detriment of moral character, the environment and the lower classes, versus the federal government which, although “incompetent and often corrupt” is still the better alternative and one should have more of it.

As I joyously romped through the cerebral review, I found myself once again contemplating the vexing dilemma of mankind. Everything a human hand touches and a human brain designs is inherently flawed by restrictions set upon us. Whatever system we choose, however hale and moral it may be in its antecedents, sooner or later enough quarreling over spoils, laurels or power will ruin the grand design. We are always left with Hobson’s choice—which system is the lesser evil of the two. We have all felt being in a quandary when choosing a president. Bifurcated are our thoughts on many political issues. As human beings we often cannot foresee the end result of our best laid plans. Who would have thought that gunpowder invented by the Chinese and used for entertainment would soon power weapons of war? The same formula holds for the splitting of the atom. I doubt Madam Currie had in mind the creation of atomic weapons capable to destroy all of human kind. Yet, clever, ruthless people soon found a way to split atoms for arms.

In his review Mr. Ryan states that Mr. Sachs carries into our day, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s reasoning that people in a commercial society are:  “scheming, violent, greedy, ambitious, servile, and knavish.” Yes, they are and always have been no matter the social system in which they function. Unfortunately mankind is not created equal, except for the inalienable rights granted by their creator, and we all know that tyrants do not care about that which is granted by God.

Since we are not equal in any other way, but are uniquely different, as different as splicing genes can make us, we will always suffer from different desires, wants and beliefs. Just give me a group of twenty people and they will often hold twenty different ideas on subjects important to their well-being. Just look at general elections. California has some of the highest taxes in the nation, is deeply in debt, with fraying infra-structure, oppressed by unions, with a student population of which almost half is certifiably unable to speak the English language and in need of special tutoring for years to come. Therefore, it boggles the mind to observe how the populace elects the same corrupt governing body again and again.

It has been said that it true insanity to repeat the action over and over again with disastrous results and expect different results. Well, maybe we have grown comfortable with elected officials who treat the populace like a stupid herd of cattle, because we let them do exactly that. In his book, Mr. Jeffrey Sachs utters precisely this kind of reasoning. Although he acknowledges that the governments, large and small, in the US of A are corrupt and incompetent, he would have us believe that more of it is better.

Thank you very much, dear author, but I for one want less and less of the overwhelming load of bureaucrats that is crushing us under their salaries and retirement accounts. I want fewer rules, fewer Tsars, fewer laws, lawyers and regulations. I have lived through a government of Socialists once before under Communism and once was more than enough. I happily throw my lot in with the free enterprise system that I recognize as the only system to have enriched the most citizens of any country in the world. While travelling all over the world, I have seen with my own eyes that our poor are still richer than 89%, or thereabout, of the people in the world.

Mr. Sachs alludes to the constitutional right to happiness. He wishes, according to Mr. Ryan to establish quantification of America’s citizens happiness and what is lacking therein, and then, have the government do everything to make them happy. What a pathetic dreamer!! I have never in my long life met anyone who was made happy by the efforts of another man. Sorry! One must go out and smell one’s own roses, hike one’s own mountain and decide that it better to love and get hurt sometimes than to sit back and wait for someone to bring perfect love. And with this morsel of hard acquired wisdom I will leave you for today.



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About the author

Born in Germany in 1941, Sigrid Weidenweber remembers the horrific aftermath of Fascism. At the end of the war, she found herself living under Communism. Both of these totalitarian regimes left indelible marks on her psyche and a healthy distrust of government’s, usurping too many powers to control people, supposedly for their own good. After the Berlin Wall was built, she managed to escape the repressive environment with the help of friends and a French passport. To this day she does not speak French.

She holds degrees in medical technology, psychology and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Concordia University of Portland, Oregon for her trilogy "The Volga Flows Forever."

 Her first published book, “Escaping the Twilight,” deals with aspects of medical anthropology in an Islamic culture. In her trilogy the Volga Flows Forever, she brings to life Catherine the Great in her multiple roles as monarch, woman--lover, mother, grandmother and head of the general staff of the army, in volume one. The following two historical volumes deal with the Volga Germans brought to Russia by Catherine's edict.  The last book, “From Gulag to Freedom,” describes the lives of Russian-Germans and minority populations under Stalin’s regime and the systematic eradication of these minorities. The last part of the book is a comparison of communism, Russia, versus free enterprise in the USA. The heroin of the book settles in Fresno, California.

Three years ago she moved to Santa Rosa Valley, California from Portland Oregon. She has passionately embraced California together with her family that also resides here.

Always active, lecturing on historical and anthropological subjects and being a part of arts and culture in Portland, Oregon, she bestrode the same path when she came to California and is active on the Northwest Symphony League Board.

At present she is writing a memoir of her early childhood during WW I and later young adulthood under Communism.


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