It is an ongoing experiment, but as the wealthiest, most powerful, and, dare I say it, freest nation on earth, so far, I think we are doing rather well. Our nation is not perfect, but I don't think anyone can point out a better one. That is not to say we can't work to make it better.
posted on 06/23/2002 2:06:15 PM PDT
I think honesty requires the admission that the 'experiment' you mentioned certainly did exist, but that even in its earliest fledgling state, it had many slippery opponents with publicly unspoken agendas who were much more interested in maintaining historical status quo, shall we say, with themselves - of course - at the oligarchical top. And that the experiment reached its zenith very early on, shifted trajectory 'south', and has been increasing in velocity ever since; nadir is still in front of us. So, the experiment is long-dead, replaced with the same old might-makes-right empire-building model that has never acquitted itself as a moral & tenable process for human beings in the whole of our collective history. I also say that comparisons between America and the rest of the world in this context are especially odious because America remains the only place where the experiment was even attempted, which means the only valid comparison is between America as it is, and America as it once was. With THAT comparison, the contrast is stark & inescapable. Countering your observations directly:the unique concept of decentralization - not massing - of power was the goal of the experiment; Americans were once free, now they are not, & comparisons to other peoples who are even MORE subject to tyranny should be of no comfort; and as for wealth, I like Jefferson's take: "I place economy among the first & most important virtues & public debt among the greatest dangers; we must make our choice between economy & liberty, or profusion & servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy."
posted on 06/23/2002 5:40:35 PM PDT
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