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Lauren Havess 

Hello once again. This is the third and final time I shall speak to you directly via internet posts. After this, whatever else I shall have to say that’s deemed worthy of anyone’s time and attention will be contained in a book I’m now trying (with difficulty) to write about myself and how I’ve lived now for thirty some years.

And I know that the first time I spoke to you via these posts, I told you I felt ashamed of all I’d done and become. And I wasn’t lying when I said that. But of course I never committed any really serious crimes. I’m not a thief. I’m not a murderess. Yet, I am someone who’s wasted her time on planet Earth - at least until now. And I suppose this may sound rather childish and perhaps trite also, but while mom and dad tried to “steer” me right, I always had a mind of my own. And I 
was extremely arrogant and sarcastic during my teen years, and frankly, at that time I lived a life centered around myself and no one and nothing else. 

And, to complicate all that, I was also an only child of wealthy parents. My dad owned the largest factory in town. And I’d say he easily employed over one half of what then might have constituted this city’s potential “blue collar workforce.”

But there was always a brutal division between the poorer and wealthier citizens of this city. And those two factions were separated here not only socially by their ways of life, but also physically by the river which dissects our city into what are usually termed northern and southern sections. And believe me, even though my parents were wealthy and quite influential in this city, I paid a price to live here during my teenage years. And of course that wasn’t a monetary price, but rather a, let’s say “psychological” one. And its figurative payment was extracted from me basically due to my then uncompromising “let’s live for the good times of today” attitude, as well as the defiance I tried to project at that time toward the effects generated in this city by its division of citizens along financial lines, and the inexplicable sensational occurrences which at that time had already begun to happen here. 

But I guess I did make some effort back then to “integrate” the two sides of this city. As is documented in the book “The Same Tapes,” I pursued the boy who’s known as Joseph Same, though that’s not his real name. And he of course came from a poor background on the south side of the city, while I was (as I said) the only child of wealthy parents from the north side. And just as my relationship with Joe ended in, well, let’s term it “nothingness” when he enlisted in the army, so has 
almost everything else I’ve done since then.

But recently I’ve moved into an apartment on the north side of my city of birth, and am now seeking to relocate to a much more modest house (modest that is in regard to the elaborate structure which I once shared with my parents on the far north side) near the north shore of the river. And by now you know this is an area that’s now being “settled” by “artistic” type individuals.

And in order to be able to live there, I needed to prove to Ralph Hawk, who is the leader of the group of people who live there, that I was worthy of such an honor. And so I rewrote (it was basically a series of notes I’d made while in high school) the piece about newlyweds in the U.S.S.R. which appeared here a couple of weeks ago. And since then I’ve been contacted by a few people who wish to know my real stance concerning all the various “isms” under which various populations of planet Earth have lived and functioned up until this current spot in time. 

So let me say this: I’m not a big believer in “isms,” be they political, social, economic, philosophical, psychological, literary, artistic, religious, etc. And I’m not a fan of anyone who attempts to force his or her outlook on life upon anyone else - and especially not when that’s done through warfare. And obviously some isms, such as feudalism, have faded away with the passage of time; and probably, good riddance to all those that have.

But sometimes it seems to me as though certain people think just because they can call themselves a communist or a fascist or a socialist or a capitalist or a liberal or a conservative or an anarchist or God knows what else, they believe their lives are, or will somehow be better, or at least more “ordered.” But I don’t believe it. And I fear the opposite may in fact often be true.

And if the truth as I see it be told, I fear there is no real “desirable” ism when it comes to people simply living their lives. But probably a government constituted under any one of them is better than a society living in anarchy with no virtual government at all. 

Yet, frankly, since there have been some disastrous examples of both communist and fascist regimes, I tend to consider myself a capitalist though I understand how that form of society can sometimes become a bane upon its poorer classes. But then I remember also how my dad worked so hard all his life to become successful in this capitalist society. And he became wealthy - but he paid a price for his wealth in terms of all he needed to do to achieve it, and all he couldn’t do because he was spending his time achieving it. Still, I guess the one thing that always irked me most concerning dad and what he accomplished, was that while so many people in this city had employment and a chance to earn a living here because of his efforts, so often he was the target of angry remarks made usually out of jealousy only.

And of course the poor, and those who claimed to have concern for them, were always worried that the rich weren’t paying their fair share in taxes, which was probably true in many cases. But when it was truthful, I don’t believe it was because of the tax rates, but rather because of questionable deductions taken from income. And now I fear a sort of blanket “condemnation” of all those who are wealthy seems to have occurred in this nation. And also, as all of us know, over the 
last few years a number of “financial manipulators” have misused both the public’s trust of them, as well as their positions of power and influence to stick a “financial knife” into the backs of all the various segments of American society, from its very poorest to its very richest. 

And thus, it’s for those reasons that I believe one of the very real current problems facing capitalism exists i.e., those who do manage to become successful within it face a constant barrage of criticism simply because they’re successful, and probably wealthy as well. And yet, despite all that’s negative about them, isn’t it true that capitalist societies usually function as democracies while most of the other political isms can only survive as dictatorships? And ask yourself this: As years and 
generations pass within such a system where the successful are continually looked upon as some sort of uncaring vipers who prey upon the poor, isn’t a point reached someday at which the youth of those societies feels it’s no longer worth the trouble to try to become successful? And when that point is reached, then doesn’t all of life there - within those societies - descend into poverty and mediocrity?

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