Here at The F. L. Review, we have a particular–how should we say it: point-of-view? world view? editorial policy? guiding metephysics? (and each institution as well as every person has a metaphysics). Politically, we are of the eternal left; or so we used to say in university, when we were college students back in a time when there was a traditional liberalism that sidestepped the policy ping-pong of the Democrats and the Republicans, both of whom have grown in their contempt for the People, Jefferson’s We the People of the United States, and not the state-serving Public every politician wants the People to become.
I would speak of political necessities in a democracy, the levels of literacy necessary, and how believing in their necessity should be common sense, only what is considered political common sense in the appropriate allusions contained herein; what is considered common sense is not all that common. In fact, it has greatly waned since the age of Thomas Paine. I am not, though, evoking the image of a political Golden Age. No one who believes in Democracy–and Democracy needs faith and belief the same way religions do–that is, if it is to persist, consist of the basic tenets of liberty and the pursuit of happiness . . . the lack of political common sense withstanding.
There probably is no greater Statist liberal establishment than we have here in the United States. This should be a growing concern for us, in as much as it has been here in America where there used to be more spaces for contrary-to-the-State political action to assert itself, but finds itself not only waning, but being grossly misunderstood by the very people who it would most likely support and aid. We must remember that the People are an institution that carries a great weight, and in fact is the only institution in society dense enough to counterbalance that of the State. In fact, the People are the only socio-political weight heavy enough to do so.
In so far as we construct a liberalism that is State serving and state managed–administered through the State bureaucracy, we have a like imposition on our historical views as well. We imagine, for instance, the Jacobins were wrong, or that they indulged in excesses we must always avoid, never condone. We imagine the increasingly aggregate power structure that rules our lives is less entrenched than were the aristocrats of France in 1789. We then think that the even more greatly monied Money Elite either could be willing to share more evenly, or that they already support more profoundly than the aristocrats–or worse–the bourgeois who had accumulated enough wealth before 1789 to buy his title.
I’m not suggesting we construct guillotines–mostly because the State opposes with brute force and tenacity any opposition to the Satus Quo of power–but also because we are no more disposed to the use of the guillotine than we are to the use of crucifixion. Irrespective of what Seneca the Elder believed, that crucifixion could instruct public morality, and interestingly, he did use publius, public, and not populus, people; I am not disposed to crucifying Wall Street CEOs, although I can hypothesize that the guillotine could instruct morality among the elite who only understand power and its imposition.
Cruelty has often been used to manage fear in society; one need only understand Nietzsche in The Genealogy of Morals to understand what I am talking about herein. Although an element of cruelty and another of punishment have always been present in the construction and maintenance of order in a society–and just as frequently used by revolutionary force in its imposition of new order–the use of violence, punishment and fear–oftentimes, the systematic use of them–has always been precarious when performed anywhere.
We are, though, deluded enough to think that the guillotine had no place in opposing appropriately the political structure of France, just as we are no longer disposed to understanding the place of the Second Amendment in backing up the First. The People’s right to bear arms is integral with their holding on to the Four Freedoms guaranteed to them by the First, although not practical in a society where the only arms are to be borne by the State. We ned to have a much more sober view of the Second Amendment–one I have before delineated as an integral feature in maintaining our freedoms. The order of them in the Bill of Rights is not accidental or incidental; Jefferson was no stupid man. His literacy is not conceived by today’s democratic averages (my tongue is stuck in my cheek).
What passes for literacy today cannot grasp Jefferson’s literacy–his genius–without first taking on the task of what can only be perceived today as an elite endeavor, one that needs a Graduate School education beyond the undergraduate level. The horror. The Second Supports the First, for the barrel of their rifles are the only conduit from which the the power of the People might be feared by the agents of the State set in positions of authority to manage the affairs and the business of State independent of serving the People.
Any State,–through bureaucratic management, legal-eagle-politician administration and media influence and manipulation–that oppresses the People economically and robs them of their democracy, should be opposed. But then how does power as powerful as power is today; how does money, as monied as it has become at present; how do we the People having become more entrenched in our role as a Public content not to ask what our government can do for us because it has no intention of doing anything for us; how do We the People respond to Jefferson’s call to the People in the Declaration. Jefferson reminded the People that they were obligated to oppose any rule, any government, that oppresses them. (He also reminded us that banks were a greater enemy of the People than any standing army could be.)
There are far too many examples from the Oval Office, from our broadcast media, our social media, our federal bureaucracies set to protect the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic, our print media, our film industry, our finance sector, Wall Street and the Federal Reserve, our Congress, our governors and our mayors that point to a lessening of freedom all i the name of an alleged greater security–once more, at what price peace, Thomas Paine would be saying, but who reads Paine, knows of Paine, understands him if they do? Who does not think for at least a moment that Thomas Paine cannot be relevant because he is from another age, another century, a different time not our own therefore supposedly unlike us in every point of analogy? You do, don’t you?
Those who do think like this are also most likely from among those who think the Second Amendment has no relevance to our world today and that it is an anachronism from a by-gone era. These might also be the same people who persistently misunderstand the Electoral College System which remains the only democratic voice for a minority position in the history of democracy and should therefore find ardent supporters for its rationalization and justification from among members of minority groups.
What then does this mean for our freedom, for the future of our democracy? It is very interesting to me how concerted an effort the monied, the powerful and the political establishments have all come out against the Second Amendment. The rich cackle at us–those given to cackling; the power elite have nothing but contempt for the People. Finding a dozen examples to the contrary would not be a rebuttal let alone a refutation because the assertion herein is not that the monied elite is monolithic in all matters of thought and action, no. There are, though, patterns of behavior and patterns of rhetoric that amount to a virtually singular politique. It would not be a stretch for me to say here that the Power Elite and the Monied Elite in America would prefer the People abdicate their responsibility to their being a People set on counterbalancing the weight of the State, the weight that elites bear on the people in our society, and becoming a state serving Public that is always more in line with the state’s measures of control.
Germany had this kind public, and not a People; it has always been a mark of European Parliamentarian Democracies to manage society through the systematic transformation of the People into a Public. The Bolsheviks as well as the Fascists and Franquistos all managed, as well as helped perpetuate, Public over People. It was the German Public that voted for the Nazis. The problem with the Jacobins was that they too shifted their focus from the People to the Public, serving the mandates created by this State serving majority to then serve the tyrany of the revolutionary state. Another caution. In matters of peace rather than freedom, caution always errs on the side of tyranny.
The media here in America are no better than Wall Street in its disrespect for the Public; it helps create Public taste, the Public market, but it has only contempt for a People who become what they help create. Women used to suffer this conundrum when Men could neither tolerate women who opposed their authority nor could respect women who deferred to it. The People having been turned into State serving, Government and Media corralled cattle is the goal of every State, even the American State. The difference in the United States is that we used to have a People to counter balance this, only now the People have been so systematically under educated the thesis of this essay would be lost on too many. We should not need what we now call an elite level of literacy to grasp the principal points.
The Government is in the service of Real Money because all politicians depend on great reserves of mpney. Real is used here in its French origins. In French political science, real is royal. What was royal was real–the only reality today is the one that is of the monied elite, by the monied elite and for the monied elite. Johnny get your gun? I hope not; the fear I have that one day Americans are going to wake up and oppose Power’s attempts to rob them of their democracy that the horror imagined will be a horror too real. This is a scary scenario, one that forces the hand of power and money to come out against the Second Amendment. They understand that our situations politically, socially, economically have all come to the point of exasperation and none of them are in a position to be too dumb about historical responses to such excess and inequality.
The horror of existence is that our last best hope against the forces of the State and the Media (including Hollywood) that oppose the freedom of the People is now as it has always been, the Second Amendment, only toward what end when all other recourse the People once had available have been liquidated by greed and corruption?
Publics are better markets and can be managed by marketing much better than a free and independent People; money and power will always hate the People. Semi-literacy or a base Alphabetism paves the way for this, which is why states have perpetually mismanaged education, Control by the State necessitates that the State take control of education and put it in the hands of its bureaucrats, much the way the Nazis machine was actually run by its bureaucrats. There used to be some spaces in education where freedom could be salvaged and loved, but too many of us have been co-opted by the state. Public education has won the battle of Public over People on its field of combat. State bureaucracy as imposed by teachers in the classroom, semi-literate teachers in the classroom who have only their conformity to the states protocols of control and re-formation to warrant advance–this State bureaucracy persistently drives a wedge between the students and their families if you listen carefully to their phrasing every time you talk wit them–yes, a wedge between the student and his family the way the Bolsheviks and the Nazis used to do.
There is no place on earth today more like the former Soviet Union than the United States I have ben told countless times by former citizens of the Soviet Empire. We here at home in the American Empire want to side step the implications and inferences that stem from this observation, but we really cannot. What then must we do? This is a question we should ask, but will not, at least not enough of us to make a difference. Going along to get along has been everyone’s social mantra for as long as states have been able to get half of the people to aid in pressing the other half, especially half of any poor people, disenfranchised people.