Bad governments come in at least two forms: they put up bureaucratic obstacles to those who are pushing beyond the current norms and / or they ignore the plight of those who are failing. Good governments don’t ignore one of these goals at the expense of another.
And this is a trick of the hardest kind: creating a system that makes allowance for the individuals for whom the system does not work. This is the paradox of progress. Systems don’t easily transform for the individual. Too much of what passes for self improvement is actually the act of conforming the individual to the system, to society, to the institution - improvement that makes us better congregants, citizens, or employees. We have not yet lived in a time when social systems were considered disposable and individuals essential to preserve; to date, our experience has been the reverse. Flipping this order would be transformative. Dopeless hope fiend that I am, I think it can be done.
“He didn’t think in human dimensions. Humanity was never of any importance to him. It was always the concept of the superman … the nation, always this abstract image of a vast German Reich, powerful and strong. But the individual never mattered to him. Though he always said he wanted to make people happy – he started a variety of welfare and recreational organizations in the Third Reich – personal happiness was never of the slightest importance to him. “
- Traudle Junge, in Blind Spot: Hitler’s Secretary