Fear is one of humanity’s greatest teachers, and we do learn conduct through fear. Do we imagine that the monied elite and/or power elite in America will ever act ethically or justly in a society where they can choose to do what they do with impunity, without any fear of potential reprisals? And I speak of the power and influence of potentiality and not the horror of actuality. Potential violence is and has always been an instructor of public morality, not for those who believe in ethics and morality and goodness and kindness, but for those for whom these are not virtues but impediments to their greed, their social gluttonies, their commonality of world view designed to increase wealth and power for the few.
We do think the age of Jefferson and Madison has ceased being valid for our time. We do imagine ourselves more enlightened than our founders were. Ours is both the best of times and the worst of times, either one the other in equation of how out of touch any of us could be about where our commitment to democracy should be, and I do insist on the subjunctive here. Yet we imagine or do not imagine Obama’s actions to be affirmative and not negative, yet they are affirming only of a belief that power rules best where the people are a state supporting, state serving public at best. How often can I repeat the same thing about our place in our politics; PUBLIUS VERSUS POPULUS, which one we are firstly, lastly and predominantly determines the character of our politics and politicians.
Obama wants a public and not a people; he desires the former while confusing terms by confounding one for the other. Who speaks out both sides of his mouth better in 0ur national politics? No one. Obama is far from believing what Jefferson believed, that banking institutions are a greater threat to our liberty than standing armies. Wall Street is a greater threat to America than terrorists in Afghanistan or Iraq?
Power and money want us to fear terrorism; our media insists on perpetuating one irrational response after another in their overly sensationalized Yellow press campaigns to keep us scared. You bet they know what they are doing; you bet they understand the effects, even where and when what gets disseminated is not by overarching design by grand conspirators. Grand conspiracies I do not go in for; I cannot believe in them.
Opportunism I believe. I do believe that like-minded persons of like social classes or positions of authority or influence do coalesce in common attitudes and decisions. Goldman Sachs and others on Wall Street and others in power positions or positions of influence who attend the same social gatherings and speak to and in and across common nexuses do have common interests, and the fact that they are reactive rather than proactive doesn’t make them more responsive to the needs of the many, but less so.
Our silence is suicide.