This post is in response to Oh, How I Long for the Good Ole Days by Kathryn Seifert

I recently discovered that you can go back to the good ole days by going to one of the less developed countries in the world.  You will have idyllic scenery AND wonderful people, but often unstable electricity if any at all, water shortages, no internet, unavailability of common goods and services, and few jobs and commerce.  The rights of women may be less than those of men.  It is a much simpler way to live.  Everyone knows who is in charge and few question it.

In some of these countries, women are raped or killed without consequences for the perpetrators. In others, women are stoned to death for being accused of adultery.  It does not have to be proved, just accused. Who wants to go back to that? Some women have their ears and noses cut off because they run away from abusive spouses.  You can be murdered for your religion in some countries.

So, what was good about the "good ole days?". It was simpler, more black and white, right or wrong without caveats or extenuating circumstances. One did not have to think deeply about anything.  Perhaps our thinking was less developed in the good ole days.

For some in this world, if you are Christian, you should die.  If you are Muslim you should kill infidels. Power is in the hands of a small group and there is a large underprivileged class.  The greater the economic divide between the two and the inability of the underprivileged people to overturn the government that enslaved them, the more likely there is to be an uprising.  The Arab Spring is today's best example.

In these countries with power and money in the hands of the few for many decades, it is certainly better to be in the group that has the upper hand, but you have to be born there. Religion and ethnicity is an easy way of categorizing those in power and those not in power. It is black and white, simplistic thinking.  However, those in the class with power will always try to keep the underprivileged class from sharing wealth and power through domination unless they acquire a participatory democracy. "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" (Lord Acton).  All The people must be able to put their politicians out of office when they fail to perform satisfactorily.  That is the beauty of a democracy despite its messiness.  If they dont have ways to support their families and no avenue to change it, they will fight back in some way.

Society is developing for the better. It may be difficult, messy, and chaotic but if you study history the positive progression is clear.  We have advanced greatly as a society, some groups faster than others. More of the population of the world can live a better standard of living than ever before. Fewer humans harm others out of gratuitous violence, except in third world countries and the US.  In some parts of the world, rich dictators rule a poor, uneducated lower class.  A work ethic, greater acceptance of diversity, democracy, helping others, and education are moving the rest of society forward toward a better overall standard of living inch by inch.  Going back means we lose ground we have gained in many areas and that would be unfortunate.  It is better to keep the progress we have made toward becoming more socially civilized than go back to simplicity that gave us less clarity and choices to provide justice and liberty for all.

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