Capitalism and democracy make strange and uneasy bedfellows. Underlying one is the principle of competition for scarce resources, while the alleged foundation of the other is providing a voice for everyone, endowing each of us the inalienable right of the pursuit of happiness. These days, the fault line between the conflicting assumptions has become ever more exposed, as democracy has given way to more of a zero-sum competitive blood-sport, and the triumph of capitalism is felt by only the privileged few.
We may well ask: when everything (including democracy) has a price, what values are lost? What is the cost of consumerism on the consumer?
Meanwhile, Dwight Eisenhower is quoted as having said, “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.” The seven principles of Unitarian Universalism provide an important and timeless counterpoint to the urgent optimizations and technologies of modernity. How do we retain the split focus between these values and staying afloat in the modern world?
Looking ahead to the summer, when we may be driven less by the harried economies of consumerism and more by the slower and deeper ecologies of the soul, the last Big Questions Forum of the year will be devoted to this question: When everything has a price, what’s the cost?
We hope you’ll join us in the discussion on Tuesday, May 28th at 7:30 in the Parlor.