Monday, August 20, 2007


Everywhere you look, you see hierarchies.  Even in small groups, elected leaders eventually move from representing the rest to imposing their will.

American democracy has degenerated into a sclerotic system which is democratic in name only.  So entrenched is this meme, that people at all levels take the system for granted, using it for their own ends when possible, and accepting it when it doesn’t serve their needs - which is most of the time. You could say that at present “being on top” is not only about money, or money and power in the traditional, recognizable sense.  It’s often simply that people no longer have time - or energy - for oversight of those they put in power.

Human nature, no doubt, but I can’t help thinking about those tribes mentioned in the recent book “Evolution for Everyone” by David Sloan Wilson, in which the best and the brightest are prevented from abusing their position by having their achievements constantly and publicly under-rated.

I wonder how that might have played out as a tribe went modern.....

In a related item, after “Sicko” and a timid report on CNN by Frank Cesno, in its August 12th edition, the New York Times  - the publication of reference for those “on top”, finally dips a tow in the troubled waters of American health care.  But though the article appears as an editorial, it is merely a list of facts, which one has to read attentively to discern a cautious opinion.  Reading the stilted prose, one can hardly believe that the majority of TIMES readers (however much  clout the minority of its readers may have) can possibly identify with the language and tone. And should our legislators form their opinion about the need to support universal, free health care, they will not be persuaded by carefully culled comparisons, in which we are matched against a mere five or eight countries.

Just another way, those on top stay on top.

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