Saturday, February 21, 2015

The Social Mendicant

In a subsume philosophy there is a character called a "Social Mendicant".

Conventionally a mendicant  means beggar and is usually associated with the idea of a monk or some spiritual or philosophical type that lives by donations and does not seek money or wealth or goods.

In this philosophy there are two possible meanings of a Mendicant.

First, a mendicant simply refers to someone who rejects and does not pursue the values of greed, selfishness or materialism. This does not mean poverty at all. In the modern age of a large middle class the new mendicant is humble and modest in means shunning excess and holding to necessities only. However, as economics and technology have grown the conditions and the needs of life have risen.

But the attention to justification for consumption must be maintained. The Middle-Class Mendicant  is ever alert and argumentative. And is quite aware of the corrupting and delusional nature of affluence. The concept of "necessity" is relative and under constant evolution, within it is the duality of poverty vs. excess, essential vs. nonessential , saving vs. spending, labor saving vs. price, desire vs. basic, the positive side of poverty vs. the negative side of affluence, and so on.

The middle class mendicant saves and uses the extra funds for personal development or social purposes such as charity and donation. And the cessation of the chase for material goods and wealth leads to more free time for the individual for activities like personal growth or social activism. Further, the individual develops a stronger focus now that foolish desires, fantasies and plans do not use up a large percentage of one's brain space, both conscious and subconscious.

The middle-class mendicant does not live on a mountaintop, deep in a forest or in a remote temple for she or he are products of another age much richer and more complicated. However, this person shares some viewpoints with the older mendicant, and is as fearful of the corrupting nature of wealth.

A second meaning of Mendicant. A mendicant  can be someone who is a social activist, entrepreneur, manager, scientist or professional that works with money, resources, material things, devices and organization BUT sees this things as tools to be used for a larger purpose and not as things in themselves, not for the purpose of money or power or influence. This Social Mendicant is building a new economy, new social institutions, new schools, new government and so on. These institutions represent another culture competing with an over-culture, promoting a new lifestyle against an old lifestyle, a rising power against a declining power.

Why Social Mendicants? To break with the culture of iso-values, the goals and desires of a reigning system of money, me and the material. The social mendicant is looking for an acceptable mix of values and measures that promote mental health, self growth, creativity, individuality, freedom, equality, social diversity, eradication of poverty, protection of Nature and more.

The Social Mendicant sees the need for a diversity of values and a whole of values that serve the individual Human being and the entire community. The Social Mendicant puts profit, money and material things into a proper perspective. And while the range of views of these individuals are great, they are united in their resistance to established iso-values – isolated values that cut one off from other values, from a community of values.

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