Since posting about the Father of the US Constitution’s intent to “protect the opulent minority against the majority,” I’ve been seeking a name for the minority to which I belong.
Like the opulent minority, we do not identify ourselves first as Democrats or Republicans, old or young, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or anything else like that. Like the opulent minority, we are not an organized body: we just have common interests.
Unlike those who are opulent, however, there seems to be no word for us. Suddenly I realized that is the heart of the matter – we are the minority with no name.
The insight was sparked, as they so often are, by something unrelated, a faux-news article where the writer of “A Horse with No Name” explains “I tried singing, ‘I’ve been through the desert on a horse called Keith’ but I ran out of rhymes.” A good joke revealed something profound.
What the minority with no name has in common includes the desire for self-reliance along with the knowledge that self-reliance is not possible for everyone or in fact, when you look more closely, for anyone. We depend on each other: we have no choice about that, only whether we act accordingly.
The minority with no name knows we are the world’s stewards, acknowledging that while the future does not harm or benefit us, what will be possible then does depend on us just as what is possible for us is set by the world we inherited.
The minority with no name knows everything we see is distorted by what we think we saw before, that we fit this moment’s visual and other signals into what is mostly an imaginary pattern. We need patterns to guide us: the minority with no name tries to recognize discordant facts and promptly abandon misleading ideas.
The opulent minority is small by definition but there is no metric for the minority with no name, no membership criteria. In theory, everyone could join.
But it would be counter-productive to self-identify as one of the minority with no name. What is productive is to act on its interests, the common interest of all present and future life.