We are wasting diversity, which is the ultimate in inefficiency...

One of Australia’s senior political figures was recently interviewed with respect to intervention tactics amongst communities of indigenous people in Australia’s north. I don’t have his particular comment at hand but the gist of it was this:

You can disagree with all sorts of policy approaches for indigenous people but one thing we can agree with is that we’ve gotta get “them” into work. Even if the jobs aren’t particularly exciting, we’ve gotta get "them" into work.

Even though I don’t remember the exact wording, the implication was evident. One thing "everyone" can agree with is that people “just need to work.”

And probably to 99.5% of Australians that sounds like a reasonable proposition. It’s a pretty straight-down-the-line idea, isn’t it? Some economic activity is better than none. Correct?

It’s not that straightforward by my reckoning.

What I heard advocated by that politician was that, without respect for the essential nature of the person, they should be forced to fit a traditional economic model. Surely effective outcomes "within that model" are the ultimate goals of life, right?

But this seems to me to be just a contemporary application of the same imperialism that has disenfranchised indigenous people over the last two centuries. It does what all "imperialisms" do - suggest that the ultimate goal is to get people (and other elements of the cosmos) to fit the system, rather than creatively adapting the system to fit the people (and cosmos).

Hold on, we can't change the system to fit every unique aspect of the cosmos can we? That would be highly inefficient?

By whose definition of "efficiency" do these questions arise? I'd like to suggest that the uniqueness and diversity exists as a challenge towardsus unleashing extraordinary creativity. Otherwise we are wasting that diversity, which is the ultimate in inefficiency!

Now if you changed that statement above to "people just need a vocation" - meaning an opportunity to live authentic lives, contribute to their community through that authenticity and have faith that, in that sort of community, we will find abundant resources to live - that would be an efficiency statement I could sign on to. And it seems to be an idea of efficiency that IS slowly, but certainly, catching on. The enfranchising of all peoples and things relies on it!

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