Random ramblings of a mind damaged by years of disuse and abuse. Also a place to go to be bored to tears.
The Random Comic Strip
Words to live by...
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."
(The right to looseness has been officially given)
"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."
Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Is it time for change?
If so, what form should that change take?
Every generation Blames the one before And all of their frustrations Come beating on your door
It's how we evolve, socially and culturally. We look at the generation before us and see the mistakes and vow to correct them. It's only a problem when we fail to see the good things that they did, when we dismiss all because of the flaws. And there will always be flaws. We are human, after all.
When the Colonies rose against the Crown in the mid-1700's, America was not united. The people were pretty much divided into thirds; for, against, unable (or unwilling) to choose. But you do not need a majority to start a revolution. Just 10% can do that and keep it going for many years. To win, you need at least 20%. These are my numbers and they are rough ones. I am sure someone, somewhere, has made a study of it for a doctorate thesis and will be able to refute them. But I do not think by much.
I would say the first 50 years of the existence of the US were turmoil. A government was established but it was too weak and the state governments too strong. The individual states feared too strong a central government. So the Constitution was written, dividing the government into three parts, placing restrictions on each division's power, and protecting the rights of individuals. The last was an afterthought and are the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. Contrary to the beliefs of some, no rights were granted to the people by that document. The rights were simply documented and ruled inviolate.
But people are forgetful. And they are also willing to cede some freedom for security. We do it as individuals all the time. It's called compromise. The problem is that there are always those who seek power and they will take advantage of that willingness. They will also take advantage of apathy, laziness, indifference, fear, and passion.
We have arrived at, I believe, a crucial point in our history. A point where a sufficient number of us desire change. A significant number want a complete change. There is great danger in that. There is that old warning... Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. I believe that when we say we want change, we really mean we want the bad things fixed and the good things encouraged. The problem is what is "good" and what is "bad" may be interchangeable in so many people's eyes.
That desire for change is what brought about the Constitution. The Articles of Confederation was insufficient to hold the states together. The states squabbled among themselves. Chaos loomed. Change was needed. A convention was called, delegates were sent from each state. Much arguing ensued, debates over the extent of power of the central government, the individual rights of states, and the Articles of Confederation were scrapped. Out of that convention, which was called to fix the "bad" things and enhance the "good" things, an entirely new government was formed. A different form of government than any in the history of civilization.
It was not perfect. What is? It left slavery in place and it did not grant universal suffrage, for examples. But it was also designed to change itself through the will of the people. It took almost one hundred years to end slavery and that change almost destroyed the nation. It would be another 60 years before women were granted the right to vote in all elections.
But it had the power to do that; to change itself. That is, I think, its greatest strength and its most exploitable weakness. We have made many changes in the last 100 or so years. Rapid and radical changes. We are in the midst of yet more radical changes. The arguments for change always cite danger in not changing, exploit fears of the future, exploit crises that are real or manufactured.
The people cannot remain complacent in all this. They must become aware, they must become involved... even if only to vote intelligently. By vote intelligently, I mean not vote based on name recognition or party affiliation. The biggest threat to this nation is the career politician.