Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#352 / Strong Serve

I seldom agree with Washington Post columnist George Will. I did agree, however, with a comment that appeared in Will's December 5, 2014 column, "Government For The Strongest." In that column, Will said: 

Big government, which has become gargantuan in response to progressives' promptings, serves the strong.

The government, in other words, to use the language developed by the Occupy movement, is responding to and advancing the interests of the 1%, not the 99%.

That's true.

And in fact, if anyone thinks that "government" is going to "take care of us," they are seriously misunderstanding government.

Our government is an opportunity for us to exercise dominion over our own affairs and to create, through common action, the public life we want. Government is not some kind of "independent" entity. It reflects the interests of, and responds to, those who are engaged in making it do what they want. 

The 1% have the money. We (the 99%) have time. Or we do if we choose to spend our time making our government do what we want, instead of consuming the products (including the entertainments) produced by those who have the big bucks.

One answer to a government that "serves the strong," is a "strong serve" by the rest of us.

If the tennis courts are tied up by the rich folks, I'd suggest we start serving in the streets.

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1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, local government today suffers from a crisis of ineptitude.

    "I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education."
    ― Thomas Jefferson

    Participation in the process of government requires an educated, enlightened citizenry. In a society where rational discourse, critical thinking and evidence based decision-making is not taught in schools and is discouraged by popular culture, those who populate local commissions, committees, boards and councils are left with no basis for "wholesome discretion."

    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
    ― Thomas Jefferson

    Beyond those who actively participate in the process of government, the general public is uneducated in the day to day role of citizens in a democratic nation. Public meetings have become rowdy expressions of entitlement and unreasonable demands. Mob intimidation has replaced cogent comment and supportive participation. Individualism and personal consumption have displaced concern for the common good.

    If we must have government, it should arise of itself from an educated populace, not be imposed from above by a powerful elite minority.

    “Government should be weak, amateurish and ridiculous. At present, it fulfills only a third of the role.
    ― Edward Abbey


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