"We must fight on!"
"We'll die. We fight and we die, that's how it goes."
"Then we die gloriously!"
"There's an important word there, and it's not gloriously."
- Only You Can Save Mankind
Nope. Power isn't a responsibility. There are lots of powerful people who see no point or gain to be made in using that power to do anything but enrich their own lives.
The difference between them and Peter Parker is that Peter Parker is a hero. He tries to help other people because it's the right thing to do, not because he's getting anything out of it.
Uncle Ben told Peter that "With great power comes great responsibility" because he was a believer that, by having compassion and empathy, and helping our fellow human being, that we can make the world a better place.
Some people don't agree with that. They'd rather blame the weak, powerless and helpless for their own plight, and focus their energies on helping themselves at the expense of anyone around them.
That's a fact of life.
But it's not exceptional. It's pretty much just being selfish, self-absorbed and uncaring, and it's the base setting for most human beings. The problem is when people try and sell us this sort of thing as 'admirable' or 'pragmatic'. It's not. It doesn't matter how many semantic pretzels you twist yourself and how you vilify and mischaracterize the poor, the simple fact is that you've adopted the standard-issue, "Screw you buddy, I've got mine" philosophy.
And it'd be so much easier if you'd just cop to that rather than trying to lie to yourself that this attitude doesn't make you a bad person.
So yeah, straight up, feel free to not give a shit about your fellow human beings. Just don't think it gives you any kind of moral high ground.
And don't think I'm setting myself up as some sort of high arbiter here. I'm pretty much a selfish dick. I just don't think I deserve a pat on the back and a cookie for it.
Last edited by Pól Rua; 02-04-2014 at 10:13 PM.
"Loudly proclaiming that you are above childish things isn't a sign of maturity - it's proof of adolescence." - Schnitzy Pretzelpants
Co-host of The 'Mike & Pól Save The Universe' Comics podcast - check it out on www.mikeandpol.com
The Copper Age is my Golden Age
My 2014 1000 comic progress
What have I always believed? That, on the whole, and by and large, if a person lived properly, not according to what any priests said, but according to what seemed decent and honest inside, then it would, at the end, more or less, turn out ok.
Respect is given when honesty exists, when goal posts are not moved, when a simple "I was wrong" is stated rather than a "you misunderstood what I said".
I like the saying that "with great power comes great responsibility".
But I heard another one htha I like:
"Infinite greed in a finite world."
A suit who had quit his job said it while living in a tent living off nature.
Sounds Howard the duckish too.
Since you don't seem concerned with doing the right thing for its own ends I'm not even going to tread that trail but it exists... The answer to your question is "yes, especially if you're an American is it vital to keep in mind the general social well being". The US constitution starts out with this little diddy... "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." All of that stuff's important but at least two to four of those things promote government backed social programs and while it may not be spelt out in specific laws very often that statement is the very cornerstone of our nation, every other part of the constitution, is in state constitution and every single law in the nation comes second to that statement which gives to them any validity that those other things might claim. Then there's always the justified threat of the mob. Not the mob as in the Mafia but as in the potential "tyranny" of the majority. Basicly, when "barbarism" is more beneficial to more folks than anything society can offer through its present contract then what's stopping the barbarians from burning down Rome? Sure you might think poor people are lazy ne'er-do-wells now but imagine if all that relative poverty turned into absolute poverty and never-mind-revolution what would life be like when the "excess population" has nothing at all to loose? In fact, bringing up the point of violent revolution, if people feel that the present government or economic system is more universally stifling than empowering it's generally thought of as a duty to rise up and chop the heads off the ruling class. So there it is Mad Max and the French / Russian revolutions, two major reasons to not ignore social responsibility to the "excess population".
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