Monday, August 1, 2011

you were warned...

the founding fathers are treated as the final authority in american political discussion. they have that role because americans do not approach politics as a science, or even a real concern of ordinary people. for americans, politics is a religion and they are permanently outside the bar of practice. they watch the priesthood of politicians practice their arcane rituals without any thought of participation, any more than a medieval serf would have dreamed of joining the table where the lords disposed of life and death, war and peace.

politics does not have to be a religion, it could be simply be the rules and practices agreed to by the adults of a society. but james madison was determined that americans would remain children:

"The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa, or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge of the wants or feelings of the day laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe; when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government? In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of the landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. The checks and balances ought to be so constituted as to protect the [privatized property of the] minority of the opulent against the [will of the] majority."

think about this, and you will see that the constitution has been brilliantly successful in the aims of its principal writer. he was frank and determined that wealth would rule the nation, so that the will of the minority could protect itself from the rule of the majority.

much is made of the 'tyranny of the majority,' yet nothing is ever heard about the 'tyranny of the minority.' so we have the spectacle of 1% owning more of america than all the rest, of the agents of the rich crying against the injustice of having to pay taxes.

the truly dispiriting fact is that the warnings in orwell's '1984' fell on deaf ears. it is perfectly possible to train people to see 'white' and report 'black.' it is in fact characteristic of human society, a tranquilizer which allows the elite to rule without constant gunfire. just consider the constant soporific use of the word 'democracy' in societies that not only are not democratic, but, when needed, are willing to explain that actual democracy is not a good thing.

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