Sample Speech #2

Added 27 December 1996

Organizing the speech

To go straight to the speech, click here.

To refresh your memory, here is the brainstorm list I wrote down for the topic:

Hmm.... This is almost organized already, but a few things should be moved around. Here is the organized list which will serve as my outline:

The Socio-Political Ramifications of Existentialism

Without a dramatic change in the Dominant Social Paradigm, the modern experiment called society will fail.

That is a bold statement to be sure, but it is not an unfounded statement. All one needs to do is look at the past and present to extrapolate into the future. If no changes are made, the outcome is clear.

Look, for example, to you litigious society. A woman sues McDonald's because her coffee is hot, and wins. A burglar sues his victims after he falls through their skylight, and wins. Criminals blame their atrocious behavior on everything to bad parents to a bad haircut. And the insanity only increases every day. Without losing sight of the impact environment has on behavior, how can we let this situation continue?

Now expand the picture to include the broader scope of history. It isn't necessary to go far back in time before hitting upon a superb example of what awaits our society. It wasn't all that long ago, when the Roman Empire was the epitome of culture and power. Was the Roman Empire all that different from our current society? Not really.

Both have seen tremendous advances in communication and trade. Both share an extreme decadence. Rome had it's orgies, we have Hollywood, cable, and pornographic movies. Modern society also shares a widening gap between the haves and havenots. Where is the Roman Empire now? The only traces of it are ruins, and in the form of ink on paper. Does any thinking person believe our society can escape Rome's fate?

Yes. With the right changes, our society could out-survive the Roman Empire. Those changes, the solution to the problems facing society, is existentialism. The socio-political ramifications of existentialism are staggering.

Existentialism carries with it the major theme of personal responsibility. Now think about that for a moment. Personal . . . . . . responsibility . . . . . Two deceptively powerful words.

Personal responsibility alleviates the pressure on the criminal justice system by greatly simplifying it. The current mentality of 'it's not my fault' would vanish, taking with it the ridiculous lawsuits and bogus claims of innocence.

Personal responsibility ends the finger pointing between businesses and government agencies, or between political parties, races, and religions; leading to real solutions to problems.

Personal responsibility increases worker production, as each person has only his or her self to blame if the job is done poorly.

Personal responsibility increases ideals as basic as kindness, as people stop being apathetic, and start to say 'Hey, that poor man is my responsibility as a member of my community.'

Personal responsibility solves many of the environmental problems now looming over humankind, as everyone takes responsibility for both short and long term effects of their actions.

But how do we add existentialism to the Dominant Social Paradigm? Almost by definition, it will not be easy. It starts when we turn of those re-runs of People's Court and stop watching the O.J. Simpson court battles. It starts when we subvert the dominance of the Dominant Social Paradigm by accepting personal responsibility, thinking and acting existentially.

Only time will reveal whether we choose existentialism and a path destined to make history, or whether we hold to the status quo, and a path only to the history books.

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