Saturday, December 8, 2007

Divided We Stand

When did:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I, a person in the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Division, establish Prejudice, insure domestic paranoia, provide for world domination, promote the welfare of a few, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to the power elite and their posterity... do reject and pervert the Constitution of the United States of America.

I understand that when the founders wrote preamble of Constitution, lots of folks were left out. We the people, excluded slaves, women, people with disabilities, peasants, illiterates; really all but white property owners.

But there was, at the very least, the acknowledgment of a social contract between the people; a sense that they were in it together, that their futures were bound together. They thought in terms of "we".

"We've" lost that.

People with little, blame people with less. People with insurance feel absolutely no social contract with those who do not. Domestic tranquility is replaced with race-hatred, gender-biased legislation, ableist discrimination, wall-building and color-coded terrorism threats.
Liberty applies to still a select few. Common defense is now aggressive; offensive (in every sense of the word) attacks. Oil laying under another land, is ours by manifest destiny; as are the vast resources of the world, the diamond in Africa, the spices in Granada...

Repeating Itself
Historians Arnold J. Toynbee and James Burke believe the Roman Empire (a rotten system initially) didn't so much fall, but experienced steadily declining decay of their institutions. In their view, the Empire could never have lasted without radical reforms.

Their economy plummeted into "Raubwirtschaft", or to a plunder economy;
where the goal is to steal the wealth and resources of a another country or area. It also relied on booty and a tax system that drove small farmers into default or into debt to the elite who were exempt from taxation. Their slave labor prevented a middle class with purchasing power. They exported few entrepreneurial or technological goods.

All this was happening at the same time military costs and governmental pomp increased. "Financial needs continued to increase but the means of meeting them steadily eroded."
Sound familiar?

Toynbee & Burke propose that the powerful Roman Empire ended, long before its final dissolution.

Are We Our Brother's & Sister's Keeper?

How and when did this happen to us? Is it human nature or inherent in our system? Is the only way to survive through "radical reforms?" Will those reforms turn toward a new, more inclusive definition of "we?" Or, are we destined to follow the "I" path to our own demise?

We must stop pitting Christian against not as Christian and other religions; race against race;
able-bodied against disabled; heterosexuals against all other sexuals.

Do do otherwise, is to design our final destruction as a people.

1 comment:

sally rodgers said...

Funny, coming from a person who does, indeed, have the right to freely express yourself under the same Constitution you condemn. Of course--many were excluded in the beginning. But haven't Americans taken steps to rectify the wrongs? More lives were lost to end slavery than in all the wars fought by the US combined. Now that Obama was elected, the racism you accuse everyone of is a moot point.
Define liberty. As a person with a severe disability, I've gone to college, worked full time and move through society at will. Sure, there have been barriers, discrimination and lots of bad attitudes. So what? All humans experience disappointment as we live our lives.
I've noticed that alleged progressives use a lot of energy poinitng fingers and judging others. Within our community, I've witnessed classism, ableism and nasty, nasty commentary about other people with disabilities. After ADAPT actions, I've watched leadership totally exclude the earnest, dedicated compares from their circle. Additionally, I know ADAPT folks, and other activists, who mock or criticize the same people who do the work. Elitism is glaring as those who work for pay in our community as 'activists', are the ones who get awards and kudos from their peers--and make a living far beyond their constituents. Sounds very "I" to me. I was among them. The hypocracy shamed me.
Isn't the current trend in progresssive politics to 'share the wealth'? Just as in non-disabled America, the elite rule the day. Who among them will lower themselves to live like most of America. How much of their personal wealh is shared?
Define radical reforms. And please explain when we've raided the wealth and resources of other countries. If anything, we have an abundance of food, cultural experiences and ethnic expression because those from other countries have been welcomed here. The Roman Empire held land all over the known world and forced assimilation. They could not control their vast holdings, in light of their crumbling institutions, and fell to ruin. Over which countries does the US govern--not influence? The analogy you hint at doesn't hold up, although I do agree that our country is in serious decline.
Examine the glories of progressive politics. Isn't it contradictory to scream about the military, but do nothing about the unborn? More babies are murdered than soldiers killed. Abortion kills more black Americans than ANY other medical condition ( Wasn't it progressive politics that set the stage for this? And what of Terry Schiavo? Where was the progressive ACLU? The progressive Quakers? The not-so-progressive Jeb Bush did all he could to stop her murder. Not one progressive, well-known attorney took on her defense. The dreaded Christian Legal Society worked pro bono to save her life.
You imply that progressive politics eliminates the presence of the elite mind-set. Looking at the incoming administration, can you point to anyone who lives like an 'average Joe/Joan'? Conservatives are the same.
So as you move merrily down the progressive path, just remember who you're following--wealthy, private schoolers, mansion-living, imperfect humans.
One more--by no means final--thing. Among progressive people with disabilities, and their non-disabled cohorts, there is no room for dissent. Anyone who has the audacity to disagree is quickly dismissed as "facsist", "Nazi" and everything else. Progressives are good at using the Constitution to support marriage rights, abortion right, freedom from religon rights, yet free speech rights apply only to those who ride the progressive bandwagon.
Best wishes in your whining.