Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 17 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Exclusive to OpEd News:
OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/6/13

The Black Death

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Message David Cox
Become a Fan
  (90 fans)

(Image by The Leftist   Details   DMCA

by The Leftist

In the year 1347, the Black Death arrived on the shores of Europe. Chances were, if you fell ill, you'd die within the week. Fatality rates ranged from 25% to 50% of the infected population. The Black Death ended Feudalism and undermined the people's faith in the church. But it did something else, which is far more relevant today. It illustrated that civilization and society are voluntary organizations. There are no requirements to join; we do so for the common good, the collective good.

An eye-witness to the Black Death, the Florentine writer Giovanni Boccaccio, put it this way:

[S]uch fear and fanciful notions took possession of the living that almost all of them adopted the same cruel policy, which was entirely to avoid the sick and everything belonging to them. By so doing, each one thought he would secure his own safety.

Some thought that moderate living and the avoidance of all superfluity would preserve them from the epidemic. They formed small communities, living entirely separate from everybody else. They shut themselves up in houses where there were no sick, eating the finest food and drinking the best wine very temperately, avoiding all excess, allowing no news or discussion of death and sickness, and passing the time in music and suchlike pleasures. Others thought just the opposite. They thought the sure cure for the plague was to drink and be merry, to go about singing and amusing themselves, satisfying every appetite they could, laughing and jesting at what happened. They put their words into practice, spent day and night going from tavern to tavern, drinking immoderately, or went into other people's houses, doing only those things which pleased them. This they could easily do because everyone felt doomed and had abandoned his property, so that most houses became common property and any stranger who went in made use of them as if he had owned them. And with all this bestial behaviour, they avoided the sick as much as possible.

In our modern society, husbands abandon wives and children, children abandon parents. Some Americans think working hard and keeping their noses to the grindstone will protect them; others fall into hedonism; morals, laws and social conventions collapse, because the people feel they are all doomed. Now look at any major city in the United States. In Baltimore, Maryland, there are over 7,000 abandoned, derelict homes. In Detroit, 50% of the adult population is chronically unemployed. Then there is Youngstown, Toledo and Cleveland Ohio; cities in ruins with only enclaves of the financially healthy, adopting the same cruel policy to entirely avoid the sick and everything belonging to them. By so doing, each one thought they could secure their own safety.

Currently, there are at least 34,700,000 unemployed, underemployed and displaced Americans. The number of family members living with relatives is now nearly 20% of all American households. The largest increase has been in the 25 to 34 yrs age group, making up two-thirds of the total number.

A generation of Americans see no future for themselves -- a generation who see themselves as doomed. Recently, in a Bloomberg article about Detroit's bankruptcy, the most common explanations given for Detroit's financial woes by the audience were: Democrats, Unions and Black mayors. Post-racial America"give me a break. - See more at: click here
Must Read 1   Well Said 1   News 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

David Cox Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Hobo's Lullaby

100 Reasons for Revolution

Guns or Butter

Taken at the Flood

When will the Economy Collapse? You're Looking at It!

In this Country at Least, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend