Pic of the day: L’embarquement d’Ulysee by Claude Gellèe
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. … What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them.
In light of the above quote, does that mean that the entire nation is simply wrong?
I cannot fathom it. Mr. Jefferson was simply wrong here.
I think he, founding father though he was, grossly underestimated how much the people, on both sides of any political argument could be misinformed by people with agendas of their own. I don’t think he knew that media would so completely divide the people as to make two warring factions out of one nation. I don’t think he saw the overwhelming influence that business would have over the actual legislative process. ALEC is not something that Mr. Jefferson would have even begun to understand at the time he wrote that.
I think he simply did not foresee the power of corporations over the populace and government, or that the toxic mix of money and power could go unfought. But that is the truth of the matter, too much money runs through the halls of congress, lobbyists are poisoning the water, turning freedom and liberty in pale shadows of their former selves.
The documents that define our freedom are still in full force. I used to think that those documents power was eroding, but I am now not so sure. That they are there unchanged tells the story that we love the truths and freedoms that those documents represent and defend. What has happened is that the law, the legalese surrounding those documents have been thoroughly poisoned by monied interests.
Corporations run America, but government is yet powerful enough to protect us from them. Which is why some members of the richest classes, and their paid lackeys want government small enough to drown in a bathtub. Some people want government small for the same reason that criminals like less cops around. Makes it easier to get away with all the crimes they want to commit.
At least that is what I can see. My vision is not perfect, but no ones is.
Pic of the day, part ii: Landing of Cleopatra at Tarsus, by Claude Gellèe
At the Democratic Convention, Barack Obama said, ‘only in this country, only in America, could someone like me appear here.’ Well, in some other countries, people much poorer than him would not only talk at the convention – they’d be elected president. Take Lula. The president of Brazil is a guy with a peasant background, a union organizer, never went to school, he’s the president of the second-biggest country in the hemisphere. Only in America? I mean, there they actually have elections where you can choose somebody from your own ranks. With different policies. That’s inconceivable in the United States.
Noam Chomsky, 2004
On the other hand, too strong a government is just as destructive of freedom as too strong a corporate infrastructure. It is a delicate balance at the best of times, judging who one can trust with power. But the simplest answer is no is trustable. But someone must have it. We should, but it seems to have been taken from us. Makes one wonder what to do.
Police have shown that they are above the law, especially in light of what has happened in the occupy protests and the quadrennial protests at the Republican convention. They can be unnecessarily violent and amazingly oppressive, and in the name of the protection of freedom. Which is an abomination. The view is that is because they are there to protect the rich men and their money. The police, who are here to serve and protect all, have been turned into slaves, willing slaves to mammon, and enemies of real freedom.
And yet we live in America, land of the free and home of the brave.
Seems that the brave are the ones that stand against the powers that be, and that only we who fight them, in word and deed are fighting for our freedom. And those freedoms feel like they are falling away, despite the fact that our founding documents are still in force for all to see.
Hard to fathom.
That’s it from here, America. G’night.