Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Adams and Jefferson Reconciled
And the common tyranny they might both find today: Corporate Values

After their long and bitter silence, once dear friends and former presidents, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, began a 13 year correspondence that ended on July 4’th 1826, when both men died- within hours of each other- exactly 50 years to the day after they and their fellow conspirators signed a declaration beginning the great modern experiment that would refine and perfect what had not been tried since the best days of the Roman Republic. They knew then that the letters they wrote to each other in confidence would one day be left to posterity. And so they knowingly bequeathed these letters and wrote them well. And we read them today as a testament to their sharply divergent political philosophies during the precarious early years that threatened to tear it all asunder. It survived. It endured. And now we, the descendants of this founding experiment still wrestle with their inheritance- and what has come of it in its still early years just over 2 centuries hence- and to where it is destined. Both men feared tyranny above all else though the tyrants they fought came from different quarters on their political compass. So, on this day, I wonder if both men could stir from their slumber to survey just how far the horizon has stretched since July 4’th 1826, what tyrants they might see now, and if they might find the solidarity of apprehension that eluded them then …..
What follows is an edited version of a fb conversation I had with some patriots who hail from Martha’ s Vineyard.

……….Interesting discussion on the eve of Independence. ……. The experiment continues , however, but I do not think the slide we’re in is irrevocable, or that our demise is foregone. Not just yet, anyway. I think what Adams and Jefferson envisioned reached its pinnacle about 50 years ago where most of the descendants of the original founding principle shared the bounty across a strong middle class.

After that, the slide began. It began with the excesses of a runaway capitalism which has created a plutocracy of the very few who have managed to concentrate much of the wealth into fewer and fewer hands and who now threaten to buy the founders “democratic patent"' out right- to keep the name recognition, but actually morph into a permanent totalitarian plutocracy. A virtual hostile takeover is upon the "experiment;" a takeover that is packaged in a benign way where WE , the buyers, the consumers, are the animate "prizes" of the super-rich. WE are the “flesh cogs” , the " blue light consumer widgets " on aisle 7. And as long as WE continue to allow ourselves be shelved there, WE continue to "discount" ourselves. I think, I hope, that it is beginning to be seen by more and more of “we the governed” and that we see that big $ and big corporate are the new guerrilla warriors dressed in suits and seen on reality TV shows like Celebrity Apprentice" and other sordid schlock. They use democracy and hyper free enterprise, but do not believe in it once they achieve hyper success.

Thing is, I think and hope there are righting mechanisms still there in the constitution, but it will take a radical movement, a "radical reclamation- a radical conservatism" that sees what is happening and works to conserve and preserve what Adams saw at the outset as the best of all promise for the Republic.
The enemies are not from w/out any more- they are from within, and, tragically, they are championed and exalted on TV shows like the above stated, and media hyped as the super mensches to be emulated. It's a trickle down add campaign that seeps like lead into the blood zeitgeist of the governed.
When the “governed” begin to see Guys like Don Trump, Larry Ellison and the Koch brothers- and their ilk, as no longer our revered heroes, but as the agents of our undoing, and as the real enemies within, then hope will spring anew , and another kind of bell, one not heard for awhile, will once again toll on Lexington Common sounding sweetly in the ears of Adams and Jefferson.


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