One of my favorite writers, Thomas Jefferson, wrote that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. But our vigilance, not to mention our willingness to resist tyranny, have virtually disappeared due to the twin towers of greed and fear . . . with our tacit consent.
Another great thinker and writer, John Stuart Mill, recognized liberty as the combination of two factors: the freedom to act and the absence of coercion. But today, liberty is so eroded from those two concepts as to be scarcely recognizable in our culture today. We’ve sunk into an apathetic slumber of disinterest about our freedoms and our rights as citizens of this country, blithely assuming that “someone else is taking care of all that.”
And yet, the ones pulling the strings – behind the curtain – are acting only out of self-interest without regard to consequences on the rest of us. Financial irregularities are the order of the day without oversight or control a clear sign that something is very wrong behind the scenes. I’m certain that both Jefferson and Mill would profoundly agree.
As a country, we have been mismanaged into insolvency and undeclared bankruptcy while the “1%-ers” – the one-percent of the people at the top end of the economic pyramid – continue to fatten their already overstuffed bellies with unearned profits and political favors.
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In America, we use a system of fiat money, intrinsically useless and suitable only as a medium of exchange. A more accurate definition is that money is, “an idea backed by confidence” as well as it’s exchange value as confidence plays an important role. Today, our money is currently worth less than at any time in our history, deteriorating daily along with our confidence in it.
And the monetary roller-coaster ride we’ve been on is not helping. The collective attention of the nation is alternatively fixated on disaster, glee, and dispersal – keeping us in a constant state of turbulence and dissociation in an unending search for sanity, security and a chance to catch our collective breath.
Similar to the driver who suddenly finds himself down the road with no memory of how he got there, we have been hypnotized by a constant, focused diet of fear of the dangerous environment, intentionally created by those “behind the curtain.”
We have become blind to evidence of blatant illegality, immorality, injustice due to our own reasonableness and inaction and have become unable to spot the true source of our troubles. Even when the facts are revealed, we find them so incredible that we dismiss them as unbelievable, to our shame.
Criminality is the source of this downward slide and the studies on the “criminal mind” apply fully.
We have ended up electing a cabal of self-righteous criminals pretending to be upstanding citizens looking out for our best interests with our low confront of evil protecting the individuals with nefarious intent, hiding behind the curtain of deceit.
However, I don’t feel that all is lost and that we should just abandon ship and surrender with all flags struck.
The technological advances have made spontaneous transmission of information possible at a rate never before imagined. And it is growing exponentially by the day.
Though fought, the spotlight of truth – through the open communication of true information – can awaken the people from their deep slumber. When this does occur, they can and will rise up to throw the bums out.
I just hope the next crew is better.
daniel w. jacobs
Jan. 19, 2008
Disclaimer: This article is intended to stimulate critical thought and awareness of the issues involved. The author makes no guarantee of the accuracy of the writings beyond a common sense observation of the obvious and a post-graduate degree in the school of hard knocks.