The Contented Life:

 rainbow sheep 

A thought has been gnawing at the back of my mind lately. The thought that a growing majority of people in this country have come to believe that the individualist philosophy at the heart of the American experiment has lived out its usefulness. That we should “evolve” into a more statist, collectivist society, abandoning the self evident truths at the core of our being and become content to graze the green grass of materialism while reliquishing to our elites the role of benevolent shepard. A role I believe our Constitution reserved for “We The People”.  Can Americans live as contented herbivores under the watch of others or does human nature and the idea of America demand more from us if we are to survive as a going concern.

I have a pocket full of opinions but I don’t pretend to have any answers. All I can do is read as much as I can from sources I consider to be credible, look to history to determine what has worked and what hasn’t, and then close my eyes, throw the dart, and hope to hit the bulls-eye.

I tend to view the American experiment as such a profound and successful break from the default brutish nature of human history that I am loath to mess with its basic operating system, our Constitution, unless I am more than certain any change will be for the better. The current administration in my opinion is seeking to fundamentally change the relationship between government and the governed as is so brilliantly laid out in that document and it makes me very uneasy. Vague promises from Obama of hope and change without definition in the teeth of a tottering economy and an unpopular war held no sway with me but did with just enough to get him elected. Now he has his chance to see if those theories incubated in the academic brooder of 1960’s radicalism that he is a product of will translate into the real world. 

Can Americans live and remain American as contented wards of the state 233 years into the greatest experiment in self government in human history? A slight majority at present say “Yes We Can!”  I have grave doubts but with the children of the 60’s controlling nearly all levers of cultural and political power, I fear we will soon find out.

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3 responses to “The Contented Life:

  1. Wards of the state?

    Not quite.

    But nice try.

  2. Can’t blame a guy for trying. I exagerate in the present for effect but you know what I mean Arthur. By incrementally moving away from individual freedom and toward government provided security can we maintain what has made us American to this point. Is human nature transcendental or are we just another biological life form in Earths petri dish. Does the American experiment in self government best address this human nature or am I and others who think that it does just fooling themselves. Like I said, I have my opinions but I don’t have any answers.

  3. Always a struggle to find balance.

    I for one don’t want to return to the days before child labor laws, environmental safeguards, workplace safety, social security and medicaid. And I do understand the impulse not to become ‘wards of the state’. WE aren’t. As always in the US of A, that is reserved for the oligarchs.

    Recommended reading:

    Class: A Guide Through the American Status System

    by Paul Fussell

    http://books.google.com/books?id=aPbF1kuayJYC&dq=Paul+Fussell&printsec=frontcover&source=an&hl=en&ei=C_hDSorJGZGgsgP9wKH2DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=10

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