Social and Political Superiority

Social and Political Superiority

Gary Hunt
August 15, 2011

The Founding Fathers, as we most often recognize them, were “gentlemen”.  They were men of leisure that had incomes to sustain that leisure, without effort on their part.  For the most part, they earned, in their earlier years, the status of gentlemen by establishing themselves as farmers, landowners or businessmen who had residual income, leaving them a great deal of time for social or political functions.  They seldom, if ever, received compensation for the efforts on behalf of the public.  Washington is, perhaps, the best known and recognized for this behavior by refusing to receive payment for service as either the Commander of the Continental Army, or, as the First Executive.  In both instances, he received only expenses related to the position.

They also maintained an indifference to political situations.  What this meant was that they were disinterested parties — they had no dog in the fight, so to speak.  They did not use their political influence for financial gain, and to do so would be a violation of the public trust that they had assumed.

Of course, there were exceptions. Two that never gained the status of gentleman were Thomas Paine and Samuel Adams.  One who was the only significant one to have been born a gentleman, though he used his influence for financial gain, was Aaron Burr.  Of these three, only Adams retains respect for his role in bringing about the new nation, the United States of America.

The Founders, when they wrote or spoke, directed their work to their peers — the other gentlemen.  They did sense that they had social and political superiority over the working class, and for decades, spoke of political philosophy only amongst themselves.

Much of what they said, especially the writings of Paine, brought to the common man the idea, that had not existed in England, that decisions could be made by them, as the common people — the body of the nation.

The secrecy of the Constitutional Convention, in Philadelphia, in 1787, was secretive so as to avoid outside influence, and, because these were gentlemen and their discussions were amongst themselves. However, the result of the Convention, especially when discussed in the state ratifying conventions, brought to light to those common people that they were able to participate in the selection, even from among themselves, of their representatives. The time of the gentlemen looking down their noses at the common people was expired, and, it was expired as a result of the actions of those gentlemen.

From that point on, the ability of those elected and appointed representatives of the people to influence legislation that would provide them financial gain, has continued to grow.  While the concept of social and political superiority had been substantially abolished, until recently.

Over the past few decades, we have not only seen the extremes of legislation to provide financial gain to the office holders, and, of course, their supporters, but have also seen an air of social and political superiority return, more manifest than ever, then in the days of the Founders.

If we return to the late thirties and early forties, the participation of the United States in World War II was not going to happen.  Public sympathy and the idea that it was not our war, held the government back from open participation, until the events of December 7, 1941, when Japan attack Pearl Harbor.

More recently, however, the public is lead, by false claims, false flag waving, and any other means conceivable, to assure our willingness to let the decision be made in Washington, by those who act as our social and political superiors.

WE can look to the early nineties and the discussions about NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), where the “superiors” had decided that the Trade agreement must be adopted. Their underlings, those who aspired to join the elite as social and political superiors, took hold of the discussion and directed it toward which provisions were good, and which were bad, without regard to the whole concept of such a Free Trade Agreement.  We now understand that it was not the provisions, rather, the concept, that was flawed.

More recently, we have what is commonly referred to as ‘Obamacare’.  The discussions were directed, by the wannabes, to the discussing of the merit of the provisions, rather than the concept itself.  After all, both parties had, for years, attempted to foist national healthcare on us, and, as our social and political “superiors”, they knew what we wanted, and, finally, convinced us that we should participate in the discussion and accept the outcome.  Of course, those who would like to prove themselves as social and political “superiors” were the men (and women) on the ground who encouraged us to play along and accept what the elite had decided was best for us.

Just a couple of weeks ago, though the majority strongly held out against a debt ceiling increase (a near annual occurrence, though only recently brought to light), the social and political superiors, and their minions, have brought us perpetual, self-sustaining, debt.  Only, this time, they and their minions could not convert us to acceptance of their policy, without consideration of the people and their posterity, and, it appears, to most of the financial world, that their concept of philanthropy was destructive to the entire world.  It appears that in their arrogance, they have failed to even consider the consequences of their folly, so they remain in Washington, knowing that they were right, and wondering why the entire world cannot see things as they do.

Now, I don’t want to say that financial gain is all that they pursue, though when we consider the makeup of the country and the Congress, we find only 1% of the population is millionaires while 47% of the Congress is millionaires.

It does appear that we have returned to that age of gentlemen (and gentlewomen) being those who have social and political superiority make the decisions, yet the concept that deriving personal gain is unethical, is lost to history.  Absent prohibition of the latter, there are no practical constraints on the former.  There are no longer disinterested parties who will make rational decisions.  The decisions of the current government are made by those very interested in the outcome — and what they and their friends might derive therefrom.

 

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