Monday, June 1, 2009

Divided We Fall

From American Aparthood by Glenn W. Smith:

The Right believes humankind is sorted naturally upon a ladder. The Left believes we walk together upon a bridge.

For the Right, freedom means the recognition of a natural, hierarchical order. By "democracy" the Right means a system that makes sure the "poor and despised" do not usurp the power of those above them on the ladder. The Right says it does not seek to "eat up the poor," though the enforced euthanasia of our health care system puts the lie to that claim.

The Right's worldview is not just an ad hoc, cynical justification of selfishness. It is a meaningful, if destructive, worldview, a worldview that produces aparthood as a reasoned solution to the unpredictable dangers of our lives together in a hostile universe.

As we run up against the resource limits that betray the pacifying illusion of movement up their ladder of life, the Right is panicking.
Human sociality is full of ladders and bridges. The theoretical genius of American democracy lies in this recognition. The Right shares the Framers' skepticism of the masses, but rejects the Framers' much more alarmed skepticism of unchecked authority. The Framers understood that human nature was not an unchanging thing, that humans could not be fixed to permanent, isolated places on a ladder the powerful lower from above.

0 comments - Post a comment :

Post a Comment