4 Responses

  1. Yes indeed, James, I believe you are correct in this.

    Two centuries after James Madison’s time, it is now time for those of us alive in this marvelous, mysterious and maddening 21st Century of the common/Christian era, to accept and understand how each and every one of our thoughts and actions, in every minute of every day, helps create the philosophical, political, economic and psychological elements of our cultures, which either facilitate or resist “the gradual and silent encroachments” on liberty (and all other aspects of life).

    We are creating our times. We are approaching the time (especially considering America’s National Security Agency’s records of every global phone call and internet activity over the last decade or so, if these could ever be studied by historians) when we can scientifically analyze how we are creating our times, how our every thought and action creates the sciences of History, Psychology, Philosophy (or as I prefer to say, Philosophy/Science/Religion), Politics and Economics, how our every thought and action creates our futures.

    It really is time for us to take responsibility for creating more intelligent individual psychologies and philosophies, so that we may create more intelligent cultures and subcultures, so that we can have some slight chance of meeting the many challenges that are sure to rush upon us in the coming days and years.

  2. Re Madison’s observation:

    “No _hit?”

    “time for us to take responsibility”? Yep. But the people who really catalyze and drive the “features” of our mutual present mess, know that they likely never will face any real consequences while they live, and after they are sated, spent and comfortably, well-cossetted-dead, what are the survivors going to do? Dig up the carcasses of the ones who weren’t cremated, and “dishonor” them?

    “Apres moi, le deluge” has a couple of interpretations: link to tradicionclasica.blogspot.com Version B:

    The verb could also be understood as a subjunctive concession: After me, let the deluge come (it can come, but it makes no difference to me). In this second case, the speaker asserts that nothing that happens after his disappearance matters to him.

    We will trace the classical antecedents of this famous expression, and I already anticipate that practically all of these antecedents will coincide more with notion b) than with a).

    It’s worth reading the article.

    These people, whether shaded toward the power or the “wealth” side, know their almost total immunity to any kind of retribution, and their freedom from notions like restitution and reasonable distribution. They get to say what’s “not illegal,” taking full advantage of the desperate need for the rest of us to at least believe in the existence of some kind of “rule of law,” and our ignorance, for the most part, of how “the law” is drafted and ignored and administered.

    There is probably a set of behaviors and a species of spiritual orientation that could lead to “better,” since even “good” is not so very likely. The problem is, too many of us have that little limbic-system bias toward self-pleasing and tribal adhesion, and too often the reaction to the revanchists and reactionaries is just spasmodic violence, that can so easily be turned to the next round of kleptocracy and oppression. Might it work in Egypt and Tunisia and a few other places? But then you got Hillary and the CIA and the International Post-National MIC right to hand, ready to slip in and sabotage and derail… Hard to stay on the narrow path just even to “better,” let alone “good” or “great!”

    How the Hell do “we” get to “taking responsibility,” when we’re rolling that enormous Sisyphean rock always up the hill?

    But there’s always hope…

  3. “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny!”

    —— Thomas Jefferson

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