Last week the self-proclaimed “99%” occupiers occupied Atlanta.
Democrat Senator John Lewis wanted to address the crowd and since democracy is supposed to rule at these things (I’m assuming) they put it up to a vote. (See the video below. It’s a bit long, but enough of a train wreck that you can’t look away.)
Setting aside the creepy call-and-response between the MC and the crowd, the whole thing reminds me of meetings I have been in where there’s no clear leader, no clear purpose, and everyone’s opinion is given equal value. Except for John Lewis. People in the video seem willing to listen to opinions about hearing the senator, but not to the senator himself.
The thing that struck me (read: annoyed me) the most is the profound misunderstanding of human value. If you listen to the video you’ll hear several people object to the senator speaking because “he isn’t more valuable than anyone else” and since he’s not more valuable then not allowing him to speak is no big deal.
All human beings have value because of what they are (i.e. humans beings) But not everything a particular person does is necessarily of the same worth as what someone else might do. Not everything one person knows is necessarily the same value as what another might know.
Does my doctor have the same value as a human as my barber? Yes. Will I take my barber’s advice about my cholesterol over my doctor’s? No. Because the doctor’s achievement (his M.D.) his experience (at his practice) and his knowledge (medical) correspond to the need (medical advice and direction.) In the grand scheme of things, the doctor is doing a more valuable service even though as a human he is worth the same as another human.
When talking about value, categories matter. I would recommend that the “99%” next occupy a philosophy class.