I've just been reading Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (Eoghan Harris came around for breakfast), and the following passages struck me as being key to our current crisis:
Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods...
[Friendship] helps the young, too, to keep from error; it aids older people by ministering to their needs and supplementing the activities that are failing from weakness; those in the prime of life it stimulates to noble actions-'two going together'-for with friends men are more able both to think and to act. Again, parent seems by nature to feel it for offspring and offspring for parent, not only among men but among birds and among most animals; it is felt mutually by members of the same race, and especially by men, whence we praise lovers of their fellowmen. We may even in our travels how near and dear every man is to every other. Friendship seems too to hold states together, and lawgivers to care more for it than for justice; for unanimity seems to be something like friendship, and this they aim at most of all, and expel faction as their worst enemy...
...and when men are friends they have no need of justice, while when they are just they need friendship as well, and the truest form of justice is thought to be a friendly quality.
Now, in complete contrast and contradiction, capitalists say that individualism and greed are what make the world go round. They say its a dog eat dog world, that competition is the rule, and only the fittest deserve to enjoy life. Capitalist law is not based on friendship, but on property rights, i.e. that he who has managed to sqeeze wealth out of others should have the armed strength of the state to protect his private and singular enjoyment of the fruits of the earth. In short, capitalism is not based on friendship, but on viciousness.
Aristotle says of such vicious people: But vicious men have no steadfastness (for they do not remain even like to themselves), but become friends for a short time because they delight in each other's wickedness.
So, a chairde, is it not time to take our fate, and the fate of our children, out of the hands of the vicious men, the sociopaths, and base our lives on the friendship of equals? As Aristotle says, friendship must be based on equality: If friends become separated by some wide gap in virtue, vice, wealth, or something else, they are friends no more, and don't even expect to be.