–NOT the Beltway self-annointed elites–are the nation.
[OK, fair warning: a rather disjointed, rambling disquisition that suffers from early morning disorganization and too little coffee in my system. I trust that you, kind reader, will extract the pith and draw those connections that are missing. I want to find the time later to develop this, but may not. So it goes… ]
Principled actions, guided less by pragmatic “foresight” than by a rational application of hindsight combined with the collected wisdom of those whose principles have worked to produce good in the past, prognosticates future outcomes better than raw pragmatism or starry-eyed idealism or both combined.
Idealistic actions (or more properly, actions based on ideals some profess–honestly or not–to hold) that stand only on the thin air of unproven, untested dreams and reject or blithely ignore the lessons of history lead almost inexorably to bad results. Who can doubt that at least one or two of the proponents of the “Great Society” policies that we are still plagued by from the 1960s did indeed have “good intentions”? (Well, frankly, I do doubt it, because anyone who took thought to lessons from history could likely have foreseen the outcomes we face today, and thoughtlessness equals bad intentions in my book, because if the instigators of such as the “Great Society” policies didn’t care enough to be genuinely thoughtful, then their intentions were at best adulterated by that thoughtlessness and so were less than “good”–indeed they turned out to be downright pernicious.)
Santayana stated the lesson clearly enough: Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat its failures. (Close enough, IIRC :-))
And as the header on this blog asserts:
“In a democracy (‘rule by mob’), those who refuse to learn from history are in the majority and dictate that everyone else suffer for their ignorance.”-third world county’s corollary to Santayana’s Axiom
I know that last sounds like a clarion call to despair in a representative republic that has become both increasingly democratic and increasingly illiterate12, but we need not give up all hope. At least the post-literate age in which we seem to be living has alternative mass media outlets to disseminate facts to counter the propaganda from Academia Nut Fruitcakes, politicians *spit* and the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind, and as woefully illiterate of Western Civilization’s history and culture as a majority of our American electorate may be (OK, the evidence is in: “is”), as ignorant of current events as it is (even, or especially, those who watch/listen to lots of “news”), at least–finally–We the People now almost universally have a sort of “press” within our power. Witness this modest lil blog.
We have that “press”. For now. We are not yet in the state of the presbyterians and puritans (uncial “p” in both cases for a reason) of Elizabethan England, where an organ of the State had asserted ALL control over the dissemination of information, and this week’s SCOTUS turnaround gives some small hope that that dire eventuality is receeding from us just a tad, but we must keep on spreading the good news: We the People are the nation, NOT Washington D.C. and the Beltway elites.
Past time to start acting that way.
BTW, I once again appeal to Martin Marprelate and to C.S. Lewis’ apologia for him for justification of my mild pejoratives, “Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind” and “Academia Nut Fruitcakes”. The two classes have earned nothing short of “lewd catcalls in the streets”–though I confess that in my labeling conventions I fall short of the classes’ well-earned derisory lewdness. I need to work on that.