America… The Bad News Bears. On homogeneity, and heterogeneity, capitalism… and socialism.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with films like “The Bad News Bears”, you might be lucky enough to be familiar with a more international story “The Seven Samurai”, or it’s western remake “The Magnificent Seven”. What these films have in common, is that they are about a band of poor people, who are essentially… misfits, but they band together to do something incredible.
I would like to suggest, that while this story is universal, and human, it has been redone, over, and over, and over, again in America, for a very specific reason. It is the romantic way to discuss the founding of our country, more specifically, the founding of Providence Rhode Island. There is of course, a more dark, and sinister tale of the founding of America, but for one moment allow me to give it a romantic once over.
We are a nation founded by crazy, poor people, involved in religious cults. The Puritans, the Quakers, the Baptists… a bunch of wacky, incredibly prude, but perfectly nice people, who everyone in Europe hated, fled discrimination, and said “we’re going to do it better on our own”… Everyone laughed.
In 1652, the Quakers, and Baptists of the Providence colonies, had abolished slavery, and instituted religious freedom… while having a relatively healthy, peaceful, and booming economy for the time. Suddenly, people weren’t laughing at the crazy group of misfits anymore. What does this have to do with homogeneity, heterogeneity, capitalism, and socialism? Everything.
I would like to suggest, that capitalism, a lack of central authority, and religious freedom, are fantastic, for a group of misfits. For a group of religious zealots, and European outcasts, freedom… is not just good sense, it’s a necessity. A group of people from every race, culture, and religious background, can’t make rules about social issues and culture. A group of people from one culture, can do exactly that. Capitalism works well for diverse groups. Socialism for similar groups. Thoughts?