By Arthur D Robbins
Have you ever thought that who you are as a person is determined in part by the government you live under? Political philosophers have been considering such a possibility going all the way back to the early Greeks. Government shapes us either by engaging and empowering us through participation or by assuming all power unto itself and leaving us to go our separate ways alone and isolated.
Arthur D. Robbins
For centuries the United States Constitution has been held up to the world as one of civilization’s greatest achievements. It has been exalted and extolled at home and abroad, emulated and imitated by countries in both hemispheres. In some broad sense it has provided a foundation for our belief in man’s perfectibility and the possibility of government that serves the common good.
Is it conceivable that this document so revered was conceived in perfidy and that its primary purpose was the installation of a powerful moneyed oligarchy, that it was neither created by “We the people,” nor designed to serve them? As historian Woody Holton observes, “It is an unsettling but inescapable fact that several of the principal authors of the #U.S.Constitution, which has served as a model for representative government all over the world, would never had made it to Philadelphia if their constituents had known their real intentions” (Holton, 181). What were their real intentions? Let’s go back to the beginning and find out. Continue reading
By Arthur D. Robbins
Do away with #elections? To even think such a thought is treasonous. An election, or should I say a presidential election, is one of the few occasions, or should I say the only occasion, on which we take a genuine interest in government. We are spectators at a sporting event, a mix of a bullfight, prizefight and a barroom brawl. We get into heated arguments about which team is “better” about who deserves to win, about which gladiator will be the best for the country. There is an uppercut, a right cross, a roundhouse and he or she (not too often) is down for the count. No, he is not out. He is on his knees, struggling to his feet. The crowd roars.
Or maybe we should think of it like Super Bowl Sunday. The entire nation is brought together around one event. There is salsa and chips. The beer flows. There are roars of approval as ones team scores, long faces and silence when the other team scores. And for a week or two after the game there are long and intricate discussions of why the victor won and the loser obviously should have lost. Continue reading
by Arthur D. Robbins
What would it be like if we really lived in a democracy? These days just about everybody seems to be enjoying the benefits democratic government, that is if you believe government propaganda and you are one of the credulous many who are eager for a sense of well being at any price. But what is usually called #democracy is in fact an oligarchy of elected representatives responsible to the business interests who bankrolled their campaign. If people were actually given the opportunity to choose democracy, they might do so, provided they understood what the word actually means. Our one uncontested example is #ancientAthens.
Recently I was interviewed by Frank Morano on AM970 radio. This was an hour-long interview covering many of the issues addressed in PARADISE LOST, PARADISE REGAINED: THE TRUE MEANING OF DEMOCRACY. Mr. Morano is an enthusiastic and energetic supporter of the book. I think you will find the interview engaging and informative.
This clip covers our exchange on the subject of democracy in ancient Athens. This is probably one of the more accessible introductions to a subject that is critical to our understanding of government and #democracy. The issues we address here are as relevant today as they were 2500 years. I think you will enjoy the experience. I am interested in hearing your thoughts and comments.
Click HERE to listen.