Sunday, December 20, 2009

"Happiness Depends on Being Free, and Freedom Depends on Being Courageous"

Guess when this was written and by whom?

Our constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people. When it is a question of settling private disputes, everyone is equal before the law; when it is a question of putting one person before another in positions of public responsibility, what counts is not membership of a particular class, but the actual ability which the man possesses...I declare that in my opinion each single one of our citizens, in all the manifold aspects of life, is able to show himself the rightful lord and owner of his own person, and do this, moreover, the exceptional grace and exceptional versatility....You should fix your eyes every day on the greatness of Athens as she really is, and should fall in love with her. When you realize her greatness, then reflect that what made her great was men with a spirit of adventure, men who knew their duty, men who were ashamed to fall below a certain standard...Make up your minds that happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.

Pericles - an excerpt from his famous "Funeral Oration" of 430 BC when he eulogized Athenians who had died in the first year of the Peloponnesian War. Athens, at the time, was the first and only city-state that allowed freedoms to its people. And America is the receiver of this inheritence. Are we going to throw away our inheritance because of the lies of "global warming"? Are we going to stop using oil because of a crowd of people who hate humans and progress and want to watch us return to nature? These are important and crucial questions facing humanity. Will we continue to embrace progress based on the free use of our minds to create, invent, discover and explore or will we allow ourselves to drown in the muck of stagnation which comes from government controls and people of little imagination and little minds.

1 comment:

ROY said...

You say
"Athens, at the time, was the first and only city-state that allowed freedoms to its people. And America is the receiver of this inheritence.

Wrong. Deeply, sadly, miserably wrong.

If the USA (which of course is not by a long chalk "America" ) is the receiver of any inheritance, it is that of Sparta's profoundly anti-democratic totalitarian, war-machine.

The USA is not a democracy as the Athenians meant the word. It is better described as a Monetocracy (as Madron and Jopling suggest in "Gaian Democracies: Redefining Globalisation and People-Power"

Or " A Corporatocracy'

Republican President Rutherford B.Hayes said as long ago as the 1870s that "We no longer have Government of the people by the people, for the people. We have government of corporations, by corporations and for corporations."

Since then, Hayes' lament has become ever-more true. As a consequence, the USA has squandered the wonderful human possibilities that its great natural wealth and immense political power offered.

It has become a Neo-Martian technological monstrosity. Like the alien invaders in "War of the Worlds' it uses its cruel and indiscriminate technologies to batten upon, monetise and lay to waste everything that offers either resistance or a humane, natural, joyous alternative to its drive for domination and exploitation.

Shame on you all.

Go back and read what Pericles really said.