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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Absolute power corrupts more than the powerful...

An excellent insight into the political psyche of many Americans:

Why Bush hasn't been impeached
Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves.

By Gary Kamiya in Salon, May. 22, 2007

However, what he does not discuss is that for many other Americans impeachment is simply a non-option because they no longer feel elected representatives will listen or can be made to listen. Many feel the corruption of the state has become so entrenched that Americans no longer trust anyone in authority to use that authority to do the right thing.

It can be summed up this way: Absolute power corrupts absolutely and so does absolute powerlessness. Too many people feel their own sense of powerlessness is a sign of their own corruption. Americans are becoming abject and hopeless. This is a very dangerous situation for everyone.

2 comments:

Branden Robinson said...

I wouldn't call most people absolutely powerless, especially the much-touted middle class.

While I suspect there is some truth to your corollary to Lord Acton, I think it is also the case that Republicans, economic conservatives, and Randroids have been all too successful at propagating the meme that massive wealth is somehow evidence of good character.

For whom does this meme work the best? Why, scions of aristocratic families like George W. Bush, of course.

Vows of poverty, asceticism and anti-materialism are no answer because they're just the flip side of the same flawed coin. Wealth and virtue have little to do with each other.

It's well past time we weeded this barrier to critical thinking out of the cultural palette.

D. Frank Robinson said...

Well, I could put it this way: slavery demeans both slave and the master. Also, forget about waiting for a Spartacus to lead a revolt - he's not coming back to save you or us Americans. If anyone comes they will probably be more like Mao.

Yes, the remains of the middle class do have power, but are unable or willing to use it politically - that is, use it with restraint - yet(?).

We don't need another French Revolution, but the Congress seems unwilling to challenge the King. The Congress has the power also. But they won't smack back. By default their power passes back to the people to resist. The situation is getting hostile. I wouldn't bet on everyone caving. Let's try some mildly radical reform if there's time.