News & Analysis
Traditional American Values Are Dead and Buried?
Who owns America today? ... Perhaps the greatest threat to ... the tea party is that they appear to be arguing a case that, for all practical purposes, has already been settled for the majority of Americans. The America of the Founding Fathers roots – a modest, decentralized, and agrarian nation – is gone, or is at least being pushed to the demographic margins, inhabiting the great red swath of the country's middle. Politically, the America of today is as much a product of Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson – of the sprawling government programs of Medicaid and Social Security as much as the Second Amendment and its provision for nongovernment militias. Though he was speaking of ... the Civil Rights Act specifically, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's comment Sunday morning on "Fox News Sunday" appears to be broadly relevant to the tea party as a viable political movement: "The philosophy was misplaced in these times," he said. "The philosophy got in the way of reality." – Christian Science Monitor
Dominant Social Theme: It's ovah! The blue states have won. Federal government activism is gloriously ascendant.
Free-Market Analysis: Working closely together, we Bell staffers have developed a most un-libertarian, hive-like mentality. These days, buzzing in our brains are recollections, often, of the compelling Claudius books by Robert Graves. What comes to mind, however, is not so much the pomp and decrepitude that Graves brought to life as the books' over-riding, semi-tragic perspective that the Republic was gone and could not be brought back.
Indeed, the theme of Roman republicanism-now-lost hangs over these books and in our humble opinion lifts them into the realm of great art. Not only does Graves have an apparently thorough grasp of ancient times, but he is able to bring these times to life and to inhabit them with living, breathing creatures who are often among the most maleficent and fascinating since Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, wrote his great character-driven plays (Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, etc.).
Graves' insight was to utilize the Roman emperor Claudius as the narrator for these two books (I, Claudius, and Claudius the God). Who was this historical personage? Wikipedia tells us that "Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (1 August 10 BC – 13 October AD 54; Tiberius Claudius Drusus from birth to AD 4, then Tiberius Claudius Nero Germanicus until his accession) was the fourth Roman Emperor and a member of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, ruling from 24 January AD 41 to his death in AD 54. Born in Lugdunum in Gaul (modern-day Lyon, France) to Drusus and Antonia Minor, he was the first Roman emperor to be born outside Italia."
And further ...
He was reportedly afflicted with some type of disability, and his family had virtually excluded him from public office until his consulship with his nephew Caligula in AD 37. Claudius' infirmity may have saved him from the fate of many other Roman nobles during the purges of Tiberius' and Caligula's reigns; potential enemies did not see him as a serious threat to them. His very survival led to his being declared emperor (reportedly at the insistence of the Praetorian Guard) after Caligula's assassination, at which point he was the last adult male of his family. (- Wikipedia)
It was Graves' great fictional conceit (which in fact has some historical justification) that Claudius was among the most literate, thoughtful and generally best emperors of the generally horrid Roman imperium. Here's a good Amazon book review by "Mary Whipple" that sums up the matter:
Arguably the greatest fictional biography ever written. December 5, 2006 ... In I, Claudius, Robert Graves creates the first person narrative of Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus, known in Roman history as Claudius, and widely regarded as an idiot. Telling the story of his family's rule from the beginning of the Christian era until his death fifty years later, Claudius relates stories of his grandmother Livia, one of the most treacherous women in history, a woman who manipulated the imperial succession through poisonings, assassinations, marriages, and secret alliances. The reign of her son Tiberius is bloody, murderous, and corrupt. Tiberius's succession by Caligula, his insane grandson and the protege of Livia, takes Rome into even more terrifying debauchery. Claudius's ultimate succession to the throne is widely regarded as a joke.
In Claudius, the God, Graves continues the story of Claudius, who is hugely popular when he first becomes Emperor, refusing many of the numerous titles claimed by his predecessors because he believes he has not yet earned them. Gradually, we observe the truism that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." His invasion of Britain, his relationship with his wife Messalina, and his attempts to control the succession to the throne show his attempts to manipulate Roman history and his own legacy. The reader develops enormous sympathy for this man who began his reign with pure motives but who was ultimately powerless to control his own destiny and that of Rome.
Characters are complex, fully developed humans, instead of cardboard, costumed ancients, and their machinations, though extremely bloody, show the conflicts that occur when absolute rule and republican sentiments contend for dominance, a conflict in which Graves says he saw parallels to World War I and its aftermath. Taken together, these two novels of Claudius constitute what is arguably the greatest fictional biography ever written. Precise historical detail creates a rich tapestry of life in the period, while, at the same time, Graves's keen awareness of psychology leads to vibrant and believable characters behaving badly. The values (and lack of them) in the period are presented in dramatic scenes of violence and excess, and the fickleness of the masses (whom Claudius calls "the frog pool") is both realistic and sadly universal.
Graves apparently had the ramifications of World War One and the decline and fall of the British Empire in mind when he wrote these books. In looking at the startling unwinding of what is left of American exceptionalism, especially, we find ourselves reminded over and over of Claudius' dilemma as related by Graves – the yearning for a bygone republic (the Roman republic) that Claudius shared (as Graves' relates it) with other academics and romantics of his day.
While many items, anecdotal and otherwise, remind us of Graves' great work, this CS Monitor article, excerpted above, is among the most startling. At least Graves didn't CELEBRATE the demise of the Roman republic. No, for him and his protagonist, the expansion of empire can be perhaps justified or at least comprehended but never truly endorsed. Both books, but especially the first, show in great detail just what the establishment of an empire entails, with all its murder, moral, spiritual and economic degradation and degeneration.
In fact, we had to read the article in question twice to fully absorb what we consider to be its wrongheadedness. Are we supposed to be relieved, or at least satisfied that, "The America of the Founding Fathers roots – a modest, decentralized, and agrarian nation – is gone, or is at least being pushed to the demographic margins, inhabiting the great red swath of the country's middle?"
Here's some more from the article, which is actually built around Kentucky conservative/libertarian senatorial candidate Rand Paul's recent "controversial" remarks regarding the constitutionality and appropriateness of the nation's far-reaching Civil Rights Act of the early 1960s. (The general gist of his remarks was that from a philosophical standpoint, anyway, the federal government might have been seen as over-reaching.)
What the tea party wants ... While Paul's comments are political gaffes, they do not appear to be too far afield from tea party doctrine – to the degree that such a thing exists. The battle flag of the tea parties has been the Revolutionary War "Don't Tread on Me" banner. But the enemy to liberty, in this instance, is not the British, but the overbearing American government itself. The tea parties' 10-point Contract From America includes "restore fiscal responsibility and constitutionally limited government in Washington." As if to underscore the point, it also includes: "demand a balanced budget" and "end runaway government spending."
Paul has been anointed to carry this gospel to Washington, and in each instance, Paul's comments last week spoke to the desire to lessen the grip of the American government on its people – in this case, business. In theory, almost all Republicans have this aim. The difference between Paul and more mainstream Republicans, however, has been his apparent willingness (or inability not to) speak the pure doctrine of Barry Goldwater libertarianism – regardless of the political costs.
Paul is burrowing deep into political theory. The fundamental question he is raising is: Who should be in charge of changing the United States – the government or the American people themselves? Tea party principle, as interpreted by Paul, suggests that the American people must be free to evolve on their own. In other words, business-owners should have the right to discriminate – even though Paul says he "abhors" racism – because the alternative is a slippery slope of government interference, leading to tyranny.
For people like Paul, the hope is problems such as racism will be increasingly exposed as abhorrent, and society will gradually change on its own without government interference. Yet on race in particular, one prominent conservative abandoned this philosophy. The late William F. Buckley Jr., founder of the National Review, originally opposed the Civil rights Act. "I once believed we could evolve our way up from Jim Crow," Mr. Buckley said in 2004, according to The New York Times. "I was wrong: federal intervention was necessary."
There is a "gotcha" aspect to all this that we have noted before in other American mainstream-media references to the apparent demise of Thomas Jefferson's vision of an agrarian republican nation-state. The article's implications are obvious: In the modern world, freedom is not free and the US federal behemoth – soon to redistribute up to 40 percent of this bleeding nation's wealth – is both inevitable and apparently necessary.
At least Robert Graves had the decency not to celebrate the demise of the republic. In fact the Claudius books are nothing if not a cautionary tale as to what happens to a society that degenerates as Rome did. As for William F. Buckley, the libertarian movement in America reflects (and correctly in our opinion) an increasing Rothbardian repugnance toward this legendary intellectual. In fact, Buckley, a walking, talking mechanism of cognitive dissonance, spent his adult life celebrating free-markets while seemingly endorsing (or at least ignoring) the gamut of military-industrial activities undertaken by the Pentagon and America's spying agencies.
We've stayed away from commenting on Rand Paul's remarks directly, for the issue has blown up into a national controversy and plenty of publications have covered it. What we are fascinated with is the approach that the CS Monitor has taken to the subject by implying (regardless of the appropriateness of Rand Paul's remarks) that he is likely standing – futilely – athwart the path of history and shouting "stop!"
Now we can recognize a dominant social theme when we see one (the Bell is supposed to sniff them out, after all). We are sufficiently cynical to suggest that one reason for Graves' continued success and celebration by the powers-that-be (other than the greatness of the work itself) is that it delivers the message that empire is implacable and irreversible. And that is what this article is implying – heck, stating!
We have a meme of our own to suggest. We regularly offer up the idea that the Internet is the second, modern communications' revolution of the past 500 years, and is putting "the hurt" on power-elite fear-based promotions. The first one (initiated by the Gutenberg press) eventually resulted, one way or another, in the Renaissance, the Reformation, "these united States" and a host of other far-reaching changes. These happened despite ongoing wars and an apparent determination by the powers-that-be to roll back the transformative aspects of Gutenberg's book-printing invention.
There are similarities between then and now in terms of the elite's increasing dysfunction. The elite is fairly obviously applying 20th century damage-control techniques to a 21st century problem. In the 20th century, when a fear-based promotion was in danger of unraveling, the elite could bring to bear all the academic, media and governance forces at its disposal to make sure that the problem was snuffed out and credibility restored. In the 21st century, the elite has seemingly lost control of various portions of its command-and-control apparatus. The Internet is an evolving emergency, not amenable to one-time fixes.
Most damagingly, the elite's mainstream media is not fully in control of fear-based messaging any more – and thus problems that might have been quickly alleviated, linger and drastically erode the believability of what has been painstakingly created with tremendous cost and clout. Not only that, but each erosion subtly effects the rest. The ongoing degeneration of the global warming theme has eroded the ability of the elite to justify other power grabs and even to create additional promotional spin-offs as planned.
A most successful dominant social theme for the power elite in the 20th century was the whole promotion of regulatory democracy as the only logical and inevitable methodology of governance. Today, we would argue, this meme is increasingly under siege along with central banking, so-called international trade agreements and, in fact, the entire superstructure of global government.
Rand Paul's Kentucky nomination in the US, the Tea-Party movement itself, along with the destabilization of the euro and the EU itself are signs from our perspective that the inevitability of regulatory democracy is finally being questioned by the West's long-suffering citizens at a fundamental level. We reject the meme as enunciated (smugly) by the CS Monitor (and even by Graves himself, regretfully) that empire is irreversible and that what is once done, no matter how bad, cannot be undone, or at least rectified.
Conclusion: Since we are in a naming mood, we will call this dominant social theme (the inevitability of regulatory democracy and the expansion of the Anglo-American empire) the "I Claudius meme." If we are correct, the insanity of current Western governance with its endless warring, destructive taxation and phony money printing will eventually go the way of Rome itself – falling silent as something else evolves.
Posted by The People on 11/14/10 08:00 PM
The real threat are the people who wants to destroy our real culture(we must preserve the old and remove the corporate culture). Many how forgotten how to cook, teach, and build. They rely now. Don't Fight for America anymore.
Posted by Judy Burnette on 06/06/10 01:10 AM
The "Traditional American Values" are hypocrisy, greed, and racism... and they are still very much alive.-- Judy Burnette
Posted by Ole Johansen on 05/30/10 05:19 PM
"And to maintain that the conspiracy, which existed long before Israel, obviously, is headquartered in Israel and managed by Israel is also quite questionable in our opinion. Jewish bankers came from Venice and apparently intermarried with powerful families of Europe. This is the launching pad of the current power structure. How can one continue to insist that it is only, or merely, Jewish?"
To make Israel the center of the argument isn't something I have brought up. But it's true that there are someone else in the mix, Jews are,as you have to know,very smart people,and to place other than Jews in the forefront,is a deliberate strategy on their part.
For more information,I will recommend this brilliant and scholarly written book:
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Reply from The Daily Bell
"To place other than Jews in the forefront,is a deliberate strategy on their part."
Obviously there are not doing a very good job! In fact, this is a circular argument. What Jews? The entire state of Israel? The entire millions of American Jews? All Jews? Middle class Jews? Lower class Jews? Wall Street Jews?
There is a power elite at work and it seems to us the religious element does not matter so much as its actions. Not only that, but those who constantly blamed "the Jews" sound racist - and this detracts from any hope of rational discussion of what is really going on. That's why we think "blame the Jews" is a dominant social theme.
Posted by Ole Johansen on 05/30/10 04:03 PM
"Conclusion: Since we are in a naming mood, we will call this dominant social theme (the inevitability of regulatory democracy and the expansion of the Anglo-American empire) the "I Claudius meme." If we are correct, the insanity of current Western governance with its endless warring, destructive taxation and phony money printing will eventually go the way of Rome itself - falling silent as something else evolves."
Let the bell tell, you have to wake up and see that it's a new America now,the name is Jewish-America empire. If you don't see that,you must be a follower of the flat earth society.
For further information on this topic:
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Reply from The Daily Bell
No, we don't see. There is a triumvirate of powers very obviously in play. Before there was an Israel, there was an America, and before America, a Britain. Then the argument becomes that the "Jews" controlled both Britain and America. They didn't and don't. Not everyone involved in what is evidently and obviously a conspiracy, is Jewish. And to maintain that the conspiracy, which existed long before Israel, obviously, is headquartered in Israel and managed by Israel is also quite questionable in our opinion. Jewish bankers came from Venice and apparently intermarried with powerful families of Europe. This is the launching pad of the current power structure. How can one continue to insist that it is only, or merely, Jewish? The power elite stands apart from the Jews and manipulates them and that tiny nation as it does everything else.
Posted by Liberty Belle on 05/26/10 03:01 AM
Another excellent article! I have come to believe we cannot beat TPTB at this commerce game, as they have created all the rules. It is a game that we are not allow to win. We need to step aside... out from under the influence of their structures and opression and create our own game, as the founders did. Buckminster Fuller stated this perfectly:
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
I love that quote, it gives me hope and something to work toward instead of feeling overwhelmed by the weight of TPTB on my shoulders.
Posted by F. Beard on 05/25/10 02:06 AM
As for traditional American values, the bankers rely on them to loot the American populace with their money-for-debt scheme. May every underwater homeowner realize they were driven into debt slavery with counterfeit money.
Posted by Beverlee on 05/25/10 12:25 AM
Will the United States fade into history like the Roman Empire? My money says no. The DNA that runs in the blood of this country must never be ignored. Most of us come entirely from people who packed their material goods and, with their families, traveled an ocean for the opportunity to live, work, and thrive in a free country.
My last great-grandparents arrived in 1903 - a mere 107 years ago. The Roman Empire took many centuries to rise and then decline. Communication was primitive at best. No, the tea parties prove the DNA of the rank and file is not somnambulized. Centuries would be needed to breed out the sparks to create the Stepford majority.
Like the iPhone, someone will come along with an excellent idea that will start very small (maybe in a small town in New Hampshire). Others will emulate the system and micro economies, then regional will emerge. Politicians who come for their payoff will be peacefully refused; it is they who will fade into obscurity. Not freedom. Not in the United States. [Wait until the horror of Obamacare emerges for those who still support it.]
Reply from The Daily Bell
You have written an eloquent feedback based on a misunderstanding. We never intended to imply (nor do we think we did) that the great people of the United States would fade away, only that the militant and fear-mongering empire that rules in their name might be, to some degree reversed by a variety of factors.
Posted by Weeble on 05/24/10 10:10 PM
May I suggest an easy fix for the new readers? A dominant social blunder is to misunderstand the Bell's format. These Avengers get the wrong end of the stick and try to beat you with it. It occurs quite often and does not seem to add to the conversation. How about a button for new readers? Just a small button on the header that explains what you are aiming to do. I, myself read and digested for a week or 2 before I dared to enter the fray. Others are not so shy.
Reply from The Daily Bell
We are obviously aware of the confusion and, yes, your idea, among some others, is a good one.
Posted by Weeble on 05/24/10 08:25 PM
I thought it was "I Clavdivs" Now I have to re-think everything!
Traditional American Values? What would those be? The state changes people's value systems all the time. When I was a kid, homosexuality was not mentioned. Now they have their own car (the LB GT). Smoking is good, no smoking is bad. Murder is wrong, but we can put on a uniform and kill babies in far off lands. Debt is good, no debt is bad.
It's enough to make your head spin. That is why people have so many incongruous values that make them confused. They cannot hear the truth when presented, as they have been trained to live in a festering box created by others. Because their value system makes no sense, opening it up to scrutiny would expose the lack of cohesiveness. And they lose yet another opportunity to learn and understand.
So losing "traditional American values" is really just losing your government, because they put the values in Americans heads. If you believe that, you'll believe anything!
Posted by Tjrouill on 05/24/10 05:38 PM
In response to whether most people are libertarian minded or not, I would argue most people on EARTH are. It's all about how they are asked. Philosophical questions/statements are more likely to find agreeance, such as "everyone has the right to live their lives as they see fit so long as they don't infringe on anothers' right.
Most people ARE philosophically opposed to war (how could they not be as it is the most pro-human stance one can take) but are easily swayed into supporting war, either passively or fervently. For instance, the other day my aunt said she watched Fox News quite a bit. I said I find them to be pro-war and did not care for them (unless dr. Paul is on of course). She didn't quite understand and said that no one is pro-war, but I imagine if i followed up and asked her to offer an opinion about Iran, N. Korea or insert current enemy here she would be for "tough" action.
To sum up, I believe most people philosophically believe in libertarian ideas, even if they don't classify them as such. I imagine it is why Dr. Paul has been so successful getting his message out. The problem, as far as I can tell, is that there are so many microphones in front of people who believe the government is the solution, rather than the cause of all of our major problems. So the average person (who has very little extra time to devote much time to current events, let alone philosophical ideas) is easily co-opted into thinking in a way they don't actually believe.
Phew, sorry for the long post!
Posted by Lance E. Schultz on 05/24/10 02:55 PM
"European mysticism was not dead at the time the United States of America was founded. The hand of the mysteries controlled the establishment of the new government for the signature of the mysteries may still be seen on the Great Seal of the United States of America. Careful analysis of the seal discloses a mass of occult and Masonic symbols chief among them, the so-called American Eagle...the American eagle upon the Great Seal is but a conventionalized phoenix ...Not only were many of the founders of the United States government Masons, but they received aid from a secret and august body existing in Europe which helped them to establish this country for a peculiar and particular purpose known only to the initiated few."
Manly P Hall, describing the supposed occult purpose for the foundation of the United States of America claiming credit for the secret societies for its very existence: The Secret Teachings of All Ages (1925)
As for me, I shall leave to conscience what to make of it, but to close the door of possibility is an insult to reason. Whether you believe them or not to ignore the contentions of such a force is but the most brutal naive departure from your reason you could ever hope to achieve. What you don't need is to rely on the mind of some other man to tell you what you already know.
Then they shall call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: for they that hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD
"For more than three thousand years, secret societies have labored to create the background of knowledge necessary to the establishment of an enlightened democracy among the nations of the world. Men bound by a secret oath to labour in the cause of world democracy decided that in the American colonies they would plant the roots of a new way of life. Brotherhoods were established to meet secretly, and they quietly and industriously conditioned America to its destiny for leadership in a free world." -Manly P. Hall (1901-1990) a master Luciferian initiate and "Prince of Freemasonry", describing the ancient role of the Secret Societies in the hidden stream of history but also their baneful influence upon America: The Secret Destiny of America (1944)
"When our Founders declared a new order of the ages; when soldiers died in wave upon wave for a union based on liberty; when citizens marched in peaceful outrage under the banner "Freedom Now" - they were acting on an ancient hope that is meant to be fulfilled." -President George W. Bush: Second Inaugural Address, Thursday, January 20, 2005
What is their "ancient" hope?
"We demand no more than our just due; we will accept and be satisfied with nothing less than we demand." ... and such is the malevolent dread of their ancient glorified Atlantean mystery of Democracy.
Take a look around. Do you really have to ask yourself if "traditional" America is dead? The American Constitutional Representative Republic was never designed to be a DEMOCRACY. The pantheons of history require that we spew the legacy of democracy out of our mouths and DENY the hope of the ancients with the fury of Almighty God if we wish to have any hope of saving this our treasured American Republic - the greatest experiment of the age.
Posted by Christopher on 05/24/10 12:39 PM
I would be interested in the Daily Bell's opinion on the Red Amendment and PAC groups.
According to the Red Amendment, the United States is an insurgent government that created by the 14th Amendment. This government is a de facto government not de jure. The 14th Amendment (which was not really legally ratified) expanded US citizenship to everyone through implicit consent. It used to be that State nationality superseded US citizenship.
It is a very complex subject matter and I am certainly not giving any real explanation - but I am interested in other viewpoints on this.
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Reply from The Daily Bell
We have looked into this and agree it is complex. It is our self-assigned task to analyze elite promotions and the growing push-back to them. Without credibility regimes inevitably wither away - violently or not.
Posted by David on 05/24/10 11:12 AM
Quite a diatribe, but there was foundation that needs to be laid to understand the theory. The "popular" theory that that US is clinging to is "too big to fail". So lets look at what is happening: Financial institutions which control the populace and government -through indebtedness clearly had reached the end of the re-packaging ponzi scheme should have went down, but instead the dying government configuration came in and let them borrow from the "house" to continue the productivity siphoning. I would argue that re-packaging debt is not a useful productivity gain for people.
If you look, both modes of operation are dying, and they are clinging to the status quo. Just as corporations are allowed to grow, and they eventually die--just like life the same must be said of governments and financial institutions. It is amazing that people in modern times think that both status and standing of governments are stable. Look at history and how many different governments, configurations, or wars were fought over resources.
Governments have natural cycles just like the humans they are based upon, so flailing when you are being pulled off the top of the mountain is a human natural response.
Posted by Steve Harrington on 05/24/10 11:07 AM
The inability, or unwillingness, of Rand Paul to clearly articulate his position when pressed, and then his about-face, should tell people something. There is a great deal of dissonance to the tea party movement. I wonder how many involved stood against the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, or any other foreign "adventure"?
My somewhat educated guess is a minority. That sort of dissonance means that, while the tea party movement may have legs, they'll only be legs enough to crawl back into the Republican tent. Lastly, I have to question the depth of thinking of anyone who advocates for the likes of Sarah Palin as a serious political leader.
Posted by Knldgskr on 05/24/10 10:50 AM
Alfred Jay Nock's "Our Enemy the State" traces the inexorable increase of the state's power and concludes with, "Taking the sum of the State's physical strEngth with the force of powerful spiritual influences behind it, one asks again, what can be done against the State's progress in self-aggrandizement? SIMPLY NOTHING. (caps added)"
"Our pride resents the thought that one day the great highways of New England will one day lie deep under layers of encroaching vegetation, as the more substantial Roman roads of Old England have lain for generations; and that only a group of heavily overgrown hillocks will be left to attract the archaeologist's eye to the hidden debris of our collapsed skyscapers."
The politicians of the "West" have bought their jobs with the workers money and now that more people receive from the government than contribute to it, their jobs are secure. Until that changes, there is not hope.
Posted by Justin on 05/24/10 10:23 AM
Why did William F. Buckley ignore the military industrial complex and the spy agencies? Because, he was a product of those spy agencies, he worked for the CIA early in his career. Once you work in intelligence, you can never get out. Anderson Cooper is another CIA shill in the media, and the guy that founded Daily Kos too.
Posted by Cindy Merrill on 05/24/10 09:26 AM
My fellow Americans are spoiled rotten: They howl over gas at $3 a gallon, for crying out loud. Medicare cuts are about to take effect on June 1st and the AMA is "in shock": Mind you, these very same doctors stood meekly behind the Democrats and allowed Healthcare "reform" to get shoved down our throats in the first place. What the Obama Administration can't admit, won't admit is the stark fact that taxes MUST go up and cuts to beloved social benefits are inevitable.
Posted by Linda Maddox on 05/24/10 09:21 AM
I love the way you think - our corrupt government will eventually go the way of Rome itself, falling silent as something else evolves.
This is hope, that our tea parties, townhalls, calls, standing up for our American values, will have a real impact on our country. We the American people are changing Washington as I write!
Posted by Mr Carpenter on 05/24/10 09:01 AM
A good friend of mine, now deceased, was born in Arkansas and raised in Tennessee. His opinion was that the United States was "lost" and essentially ceased to exist when Lincoln took over the north, and forced the south to re-join the "United States." I used to take that thought with several grains of salt, however, after giving it due consideration (and studying how Lincoln was literally a tyrant, not the hero he was made out to be by post-civil war/post-assassination writers), I believe he was right in his assertions.
Reply from The Daily Bell
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Posted by John C. Calhoun on 05/24/10 08:59 AM
Graves might have seen empire as inevitable but I don't think he's saying that empire is preferable. (Vergil Magus in the Aeniad claimed that not only was Empire inevitable, it was preferable!) The Claudius books however are not to be missed and reading them introduces one to real historical fiction, a genre in which there are few Americans writing. I find it hard to swallow Gore Vidal is the best of the lot.
PS: If DB readers pick up Graves, they should try 'Memoirs of Hadrian' as well by Margurite Yourcenar.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Agree about Vidal. Thanks for the recommendation.