Friday, October 9, 2009

Life Insurance, No Platonics Allowed

Surprisingly enough, I was actually surprised when my wife told me that the company to which she applied--for which, in fact, she works part time--would not cover me for life insurance. Yes, because of my preexisting condition, multiple sclerosis.

Why was I surprised? I mean, everyone has heard of this kind of thing before, right? And yet it had somehow remained a rumor, the sort of conspiracy theory that circulates through society in a casual sort of way, the bit of gossip that cannot really be true.

After all, it is those who have a health problem who need insurance most, is it not? It just seems like a no brainer. The very purpose of the thing should have chosen its own most likely clientele. Surely it is not set up so that the person who is perfectly healthy is the same who may get lucky by dying, and therefore collecting for the benefit of his family. What, after all, does the deceased collect other than his own investment, and the investments of others having the same interest? Or did the insurance company put up its own money from the outset? No, of course not.

Here, as it seems, is the perfect example of a society completely untethered from the notion of community. It is a practice of greed, gainful for the few--a premeditated insult to the rationale behind its own existence--the notion of man's responsibility to man, the moral acknowledgement of interdependence.

Plato, in The Republic, imagined a society in which each member was called in his own natural way toward the ultimate logic of coherence and mutual benefit, so that the society itself would thrive, becoming intention in action.

As it happened, Plato never visited America. Can you tell?


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