“The function of the true state is to impose the minimum restrictions and safeguard the maximum liberties of the people, and it never regards the person as a thing.”
“The more corrupt the State the more numerous the laws.”
“Ninety eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hardworking, honest Americans. It’s the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then, we elected them.”
— Lily Tomlin
Along with several dozen emails despairing, “it’s all over; they have the votes,” or exulting that “Pelosi can’t pass it.”
Well, of course she can. There is no way Pelosi and Obama are going to let their 2300 page single-payer health care/college loan/kitchen sink bill not pass. This grand obsession to control almost 20% of the economy and an enormous chunk of American life is not going to go by the wayside simply because nearly 70% of the nation does not want it!
Representative democracy is not what these people are about, and they’ve been rather refreshingly clear on that point. They have no problem “forcing” this “shell” bill through.
“The essential notion of a socialist society is force.”
— Milton Friedman
Barring something completely unforeseen -like California falling into the Pacific- this bill will be “passed”. A hundred rallies by thousands will not dissuade them, because none of this is about you, or what you want, or what you think. It is about the old thing, the same old thing: the illusion of power, and the pursuit of that illusion.
A few thoughts on power:
“The fundamental article of my political creed is that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratic council, an oligarchical junto, and a single emperor.”
— John Adams
“In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: Who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: Who does not obey shall not eat.”
“Nip the shoots of arbitrary power in the bud, is the only maxim which can ever preserve the liberties of any people.”
— John Quincy Adams
“Despotism can be a development, often a late development and very often indeed the end of societies that have been highly democratic. A despotism may almost be defined as a tired democracy.”
— G.K. Chesterton
“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience.”
“Power is not alluring to pure minds.”
— Thomas Jefferson
Someone else wrote recommending this book: The End of the Modern World by Romano Guardini. Looks interesting.
One more quote, from Pope John Paul II:
“The fundamental error of socialism is anthropological in nature. Socialism considers the individual person simply as an element, a molecule within the social organism, so that the good of the individual is completely subordinated to the functioning of the socio-economic mechanism. Socialism likewise maintains that the good of the individual can be realized without reference to his free choice, to the unique and exclusive responsibility which he exercises in the face of good or evil. Man is reduced to a series of social relationships, and the concept of the person as the autonomous subject of moral decisions disappears.”
Consider that John Paul spent a good part of his papacy repeating these four words over, and over:Do not be afraid.
Don’t be. There is nothing to be afraid of, if you believe that something greater than anything we can see is at work, here. It’s that old Corrie & Betsy Ten Boom Thanking God for the Fleas Story. Sometimes it’s difficult to give thanks in all circumstances. But it’s wholly necessary, if you believe that “all things work together for the good,” even if our minds do not understand how that might be possible.
“Clearly it is always useless to be disturbed, since being disturbed is never any help. Thus, if the whole world were to crumble and to come to an end and all things were to go wrong, it would be useless to get disturbed, for this would do more harm than good. Enduring all with tranquil and peaceful equanimity not only reaps many blessings but also helps the soul so that in these very adversities it may manage better in judging them and employing the proper remedy.
In all events, however unfavorable, we ought rather to rejoice than be disturbed, and bear them all with equanimity so as not to lose a blessing greater than all prosperity.”
— St. John of the Cross
Yes, you’re shaking your head and saying, “Anchoress, you’re joking, right? You’re kidding with this stuff, aren’t you?”
Well, no, I’m not. For the Christian this is where the rubber meets the road. Do you believe all the things you say you believe, or don’t you?
If you do, then take a page from people who spent their whole lives trusting in all of that;believing, and going on faith, even while jabbing their fingers into the eyes of the culture (and of the authorities, when necessary) and facing hardship, ridicule, and sometimes imprisonment:
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
He who has God
Finds he lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.
— St. Teresa of Avila
It is the most basic -and challenging- of all lessons; and we had better learn it, soon, or we will fret ourselves into sick despair and spiritual weakness, at a time when we need to be very, very strong.
I know everyone is angry, and everyone is -despite all this good advice- going to keep fretting, because these are fractious people, in charge. But the battle that rages all around is not going to be affected by our frets. Keep doing what you’re doing. And fast, and pray.
Beware the Ides of March
More on that
The “shell game” begins
Axelrod to GOP: “make my day”
Many, many links