We the people is never realizable, never totalizable as we; thus politically, this we the people becomes managed by an oligarchy of economic and power elites as we have today in America. We are a land of the rich and powerful, but soon becoming a government exclusively of the rich and powerful; no democracy for the people, but then war is peace and each of us aspires to be everyone’s big brother in a naieve masquerade of the kinder, gentler nation. There is, though, another way to understand Jefferson’s We the People; this understanding requires a minor stretch in our categorical constructs, our observational provenances, our own attention to or deference to the logic of space and size. I am We the People. What was that? Yes, you heard me correctly; I am we the people. I have to be We the People; if I am not we the people, than We the People is meaningless. We cannot be a totalizeable sum in the workings of democracy; there must be proxy relationships with this we. I am we the people as you are we the people as he is as she is, they are we are because only then is democracy respected and fulfilled. Each of us is macrocosmic to this we, to the nation, to our freedom, but only if each and every other I in the world is also macrocosmic in this way. The universe has an infinite number of relative centers to the expansion of the universe; in this way each of us is central and macrocosmic to all. Irony, paradox, conundrum–of course.
There are millions of people now willing to work for less than what anyone in such a country should work for–what does this have to do with what I am herein asserting for myself and my own political reality which is contingent to and corrective with any notion of what we the people could mean in a democracy such as yours, or any democracy that comes into being. We the people is something tangible in me, but not in the minds of those who administer our livelihoods or our freedoms. We are fast becoming a democracy of silence, without any of the attributes of Jean Paul Sartre’s famous “Republic . . .” . We’re not educated enough to understand the thesis of Sartre whereby he claimed that the French were never freer than under the Nazis occupation; ridiculous, paradox, conundrum, what do we have in our thesaurus that could help us? But the freedom he was referring to came in the guise not exactly in our American brand of choice, but in the more tactile manner of choosing, but then for the Existentialist, choosing is crux, not choice. We have a multiplication of choices of chicken dishes at the Chinese take-out restaurant, and we have adopted this theme in replication over and over in minute variegation as our freedom, or where our freedom resides, or what precisely our freedom is. But these multiplied choices have the side effect of paralyzing our choosing.
We have been controlled by our enculturation to our contemporary notions of freedom, themselves peculiar to America, and ironically more manipulative of the individual in the expression of his Self, and less supportive in the actualization of his freedom. Going to hell in a handcart is our way of being free; hedonism being the foremost manifestation of our freedom; a reactionary ascetism in response our only alternative; both of them having been no more than exercises in futility. We are less free than we have ever been, just at the time we assert the infinite possibilites for all of us, socially, economically, politically–and yet, the rich are richer, the monied more monied, the powerful more powerful and the influential more influential through a media deference to pseudo-experts as experts.
Every you and I that happens to be interactive in the arena of freedom has found that that arena has no longer the spectators it once had, but remains a demonstrably prohibitive freedom to perform. Bureaucrats and politicians recite the hymns of state by heart, no matter how many of them rationalize to the contrary. Too many of them enact policies that put our civil liberties in jeopardy of being taken away by the state; individualism, to the contrary, has only increased its ismistic referencing in our rhetorical strategies concerning the package of individuality over the product of individuality, and all to the detriment of the people as an eternal force to counterbalance state.
Individuality has become an abstraction on an abstraction; thus the people have become one kind of public or another depending on what the social context demands. How can I or anyone hope to understand what individuality means when true political and social individuality is so countermanded by one pluralism after another, one determinism in assault against any or all notions of free-will, an assault backing up these pluralisms. A better understanding of the limits of free-will and determinism, how one affects the other, or how free-will stands as counterweight, counterpoint, to determinism, often times in spite of determinism.
Free-will versus Determinism remains one of the most persistently relevant philosophical questions for us to consider. We must wonder about it ontologically, but especially epistemologically and ethically. A greater articulation of both of these concepts would go a long way in helping us to manage our freedom, but we fear anyone who shows an expertise in language beyond what Hollywood or Publishing can package for the purposes of making it popular. Popularity might not be the worst of it, but popularity is really the packaging of what is popular through the media by publicity–there is no popularity except media sponsored publicity about what is popular. This is a horribly deterministic imposition on what could be an expression of free-will, coming closer, thus, to what is at the heart of We the People . . . I do remember that I am We the People, as you must also remember, for Freedom to survive. Free-will versus Determinism is a struggle every individual is forced to engage. No one is exempt; you have to choose simply because you cannot avoid choosing. Not to choose is also choosing, a passive choosing that leaves you open to repercussions and consequences.