The Codependency of The State.

The American war is over; but this far from being the case with the American revolution. On the contrary, nothing but the first act of the drama is closed. It remains yet to establish and perfect our new forms of government, and to prepare the principles, morals, and manners of our citizens for these forms of government after they are established and brought to perfection.

Benjamin Rush, letter to Price, May 25, 1786

Our founding fathers possessed just a little bit of wisdom between the members of the group. When the United States became the United States it was done so as a revolutionary act against tyranny and oppression. The newly formed government was designed to remove the constraining and domineering ties of the Monarchy. Liberty, freedom, and most important of all, representation were the key words of the infant country. Democracy was nothing new. The Greeks upheld highly moral and liberating ideals which we have modeled our own government on. Democracy had a tempestuous ride throughout history, coming and going like an idea that comes to one in the middle of the night. It was, in most cases, fleeting. Constantly being replaced by Feudalism, or Monarchy, or barbarianism and Tyranny. It was in the newly formed United States, however - that the notion was solidified. The democracy here has outlasted all but the strongest of her predecessors.

The question however, is one of great import. Is our form of democracy now obsolete? Like many before, democracy has fallen to the wills of dictators and slave makers. The economic growth, upward mobility, and active participation in the government has been the stalwart mark of a democratic society, and the reason for it's success. No democracy however, has withstood the economic growth, upward mobility, and the boundless growth of population that we experience today, including our own which has evolved into the most current form of corruption and negligence.

The argument that needs to be addressed is the ideology of an antiquated government. Politics, or politic made its first appearance in the thoughts and concerns of Plato, poli being of a civic or citizen nature, the whole of it being a diplomatic way of handling civic concerns and necessities. The root origin implies that the governance of civil rights, liberties or concerns should be done so with the utmost of dignity and civility. So too, did the emergence of politics in the new American government.

If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation.

Samuel Adams, letter to Elbridge Gerry, November 27, 1780

In the years to follow the revolution the founders of this new government saw fit to adapt certain laws, regulations and rights almost wholly concerned with those governing rather than those being governed. They simply did not posses the foresight however, to envision the country that we have become. Therein lies the whole of the problem. When first brought to light, in foreign history and in America the design of democracy worked fairly well because communities were much smaller, the world much larger, and the country itself operated on an incredibly smaller scale. Citizens, (with respect to the understanding that not all civil liberties were, at that point, granted to all individuals) were able to speak to their representatives, as the representatives lived in the very communities they represented. As a matter of fact, there were communities in general, which is not so in the same context today.

Nothing so strongly impels a man to regard the interest of his constituents, as the certainty of returning to the general mass of the people, from whence he was taken, where he must participate in their burdens.

George Mason, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 14, 177

Truer words have not rung in the hearts of modern politicians for far too long a period. The new strand of politics has disintegrated into the meaningless, wasteful, yet all encompassing chess game that inevitably determines the outcome of the human condition. Our representatives no longer reside among the communities they supposedly represent. They no longer struggle for betterment as their constituents do. They live like the aristocracy of old, securing their power and wealth through vast elite networks ripe with corruption. They have become "Career Politicians" a relatively new breed of democratic leadership that ensure they will never return to their humble upbringings, if they have ever experienced such a life in the first place. They will retire when they feel like it, with enough wealth and political prowess to keep them at arms length from the everyday endeavors of the unsavory strain of social strata. The caste of citizens who are affected most will be invisible to their eyes, non-existent in their world. They will never know life without health care, money, or proper education. They will not return to crime ridden urban areas to join in the fight for the liberation and mobility of our poorest citizens.

In this sense, politicians - and certainly our government - have removed themselves and nearly the entirety of the process from the outstretched arms of the very people they are charged to represent. Democracy has slid into aristocracy, liberty into daisy covered chains of dependency. For at one time the governing body of our country depended on the people it represented as much, if not more, than the people depended on the government. Now the people depend on the government, and the government acts of its own accord, separately indeed almost in disdain for the people. It is for this reason that democracy no longer functions as a democracy.

Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God. I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Convention, March 23, 1775

Codependency of State? Daisy covered chains of dependance? When the disillusionment of a society sinks in to make it reality with no sign of a viable alternative, our freedoms, our choices, our rights have become ensnared in a web of false promises. This state of being comes, usually willingly, at the cost of freedom and liberty. Society can and will adhere to a government that is separated from the populace, so long as they feel secure and comfortable. Security and comfort come by way of laws and legislation.

When a society allows a government to dictate mores beyond the very basic tenants of human rights, it begins a slow downward spiral into dependancy on the state for moral validation, based on the premise of safety. As with many things in life, the more we allow an outside force to influence our thoughts and opinions, and thus presumably control us over time, the less we seem to be able to work out societal issues on our own. On a federal level our government was set up to help aid the state governments, but not much else. The regulations, laws, dictates, etceteras were for the most part set up to regulate the government, not the citizens. It outlined what the government could do, and what the rights of the citizens were, rather than what the citizens couldn't do. The individual states focused on that aspect, seeing as the states knew better what the needs and requirements of their constituents were.

As our government decided to begin mandating laws on a federal level, presumably when our country began to grow at enormous rates, we began to give away our freedoms. Laws tell citizens what they cannot legally do, but do little to guide citizens as to what they are legally allowed to do. Therefore, when individuals interpret laws they inevitably come to the conclusion that if there isn't a law against an action, it must be alright to do. Of course, we all know that just because one can do something, it doesn't mean one should. Thus the need for more laws, more legislation, and more restrictions on freedom. The increase of laws also increase the thought process that if it isn't illegal, it's acceptable. And so on and so forth until we eventually find ourselves in a totalitarian state of being, where nothing can be done without the approval of the State.

Citizens can and do become dependent, to the point of being codependent on the rulings of its government, rather than their own common sense and moral judgment. The longer this proceeds, the worse it gets. At which point, and I believe that we are almost there, the general population becomes morally, ethically, and intellectually lazy. Henceforth the passage into a slavery of sorts. This is the reason in my opinion, that the founding fathers sought to control the government, and not its people.

The elite also become dependent on this style of governance. If they could not enforce or keep it this way, they could not maintain their social positions.

How have we come this far and not realized the potential for an American downfall?

I will answer that question in a future installment of the posts that are fast becoming the premise for a book.


Dave Dubya said...

Yes, aristocracy has always been with us. Career politicains and the very idea of the Bush/Clinton/Bush and possible Clinton again scenario cements the role of aristocracy like nothing else.

The trouble came when the aristocratic founders' vision of democracy dissolved into the aristocratic managed corporatocracy of today. Artificial corporate personhood and institutionalized aristocratic upper management has been the fatal chokehold on our democracy.

Maybe if 95% of the population can begin to see they are being squeezed by constant and methodical class warfare by the aristocracy, change can occur.

Nothing can change until there is a massive awakening of the public. A revolution of consciousness and conscience must be our cause and struggle.

Anok said...

Yes! Absolutely! I was having a rather interesting conversation with an unusual women over the past several days, and she made a wonderful point about how we don't seek change because the futile nature of our circumstances seem insurmountable - but only because we have been taught not only to cease seeking for alternatives, but that there are none to begin with.

Then again, I have begun to wonder whether or not truth really matters anymore. What good is it, if people refuse to believe it?

Just for argument's sake though - what do you think would happen if we did wake up, and try to radically change our current system? Would the government clamp down in a totalitarian manner? Would the American people be willing to end their stupor, and exit their comfort zones and initiate a revolution like our founding fathers?

Would other countries jump at the chance to intervene in an American civil revolution?

Dave Dubya said...

The problem can only be solved by more democracy.

I'm just worried about what the wake up call happens to be this time. The economy will change to that tipping point eventually. Whether the police state is locked in before it happens is the question.

We know for certain whatever crisis occurs, the fingers of blame will point away from the aristocracy. We wull need to hold a mirror to that blame and send it back where it belongs.

Dave Dubya said...

If we could just get a real democrat in the white house. The federal courts are stacked 60/40 to the right. That must change.

Like Thom Hartmann urges, we need to take back the Democratic Party. That would be the movement's only leverage with the government.

I would rename the party even. I wonder if it would get more support if it was called the Constitutional Democratic Party.

Grass roots efforts like boycotts of Fox advertisers, and Buy-cotts of Citgo would be a good start too. I would love to see Ghandi's example of non-violent non-cooperation put to use. Imagine having enough people to stage coordinated events like simply not standing for the national anthem. I can just picture groups remaining seated and holding signs saying, "We'll stand when the land of the free returns," or, "When the Bill of Rights is Restored, we'll stand".

Because the media is corpoate it will take imaginative leadership and coordination to get the message out. I think it can be done if we can catch a wave of support equal to the pre-war demonstrations.

We are the answer. We are democracy and we are the freedom fighters. Change is inevitable. It's up to us to make it for the better.

enigma4ever said...

really really good post...and so poignant-
and so important...that it be recognized that our founding fathers had great insight...and wisdom..we just need to hear them again...

Anok said...

I don't know Dave, more democracy, a real democrat...I just don't know if it will work - the corruption has set in so deeply that I just can't see throwing more at the problem. I'm not saying you're wrong - only that I don't know if it will work.

Enigma, thank you for your kind words. I'm attempting to write, really write and the words and style of our founding fathers is very inspiring. The best compliment that can be paid however, is a great referral! Spread the word, and maybe we can open some minds up to possibilities they hadn't thought about before.

Part two is up and ready to read.

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

I would say somehow because they were doing a great task they had wisdom beyond their own individual selves and their combined experiences.

But is the current form of govt antiquated? Well until the current nation states exist, this form of governance will serve us well I think.

Thanks for submitting this to the best three blog posts competition, look out for the announcement of the winners in the coming days.

Arizona Atheist said...

Very good post! I completely agree! I've been thinking for quite some time that this country is becoming what's often called a "nanny state." I think that sums up what your post was about nicely.