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The Greed Problem
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Why Humans Must Be Governed

 

By James Donahue

 

There is a general frustration sensed by most humans when they are being controlled by outside forces. That is because we all have a desire for freedom to choose whatever course we wish for our lives.

 

Back in my youth I was convinced that governments were cumbersome and a burden that got in the way of personal freedoms. It was my firm belief that anarchy was better than any form of government yet devised by men. I thought that the human race was intelligent enough to set its own standards for existing in an ungoverned world and that all of the problems of mankind would simply resolve without the manipulation of authority.

 

That was when I firmly believed that all humans truly were stars and that we needed to be set free to “do what thou wilt,” as described by Crowley for the new Eon of Horus.

 

As a journalism student I believed in the proclamation by Thomas Jefferson when he said: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”

 

I took that seriously. I firmly believed and lived by the rule that journalists were members of the fourth estate of government in the United States. It was our job to be watchdogs over the workings of the other three branches. I rolled up my shirtsleeves, learned the intricate rules of politics, and watched the interchanges among township, city, county and state governments, the courts and the legislators. It was a great ride for most of my life.

 

Like all reporters in the field, I saw this democratic system get so bogged down at times by the sheer weight of itself that I became cynical and at times bored with the process. The wheels of every phase of American government seemed to move so slow I found myself writing the same story over and over, each time adding one new fact as those rusted old gears clicked one more notch forward.

 

My conviction that government was getting in the way of human progress was supported one year when the county I was living in got so broke the Board of Commissioners laid off all of the county deputies and just kept enough people on staff to maintain the jail. At the same time, the state was also having financial troubles and cut back money for its police operations.

 

For one entire summer we lived without police “protection.”

 

Now one would think that an entire county filled with people who were fully aware that there were no police patrolling the roads and streets would go hog wild because of its unexpected freedoms to “do whatever we wanted” without fear of arrest. But as the summer progressed, I was surprised at how pleasant life became.

 

I saw nobody speeding on the highways, at least more than usual. Crime came to a standstill, not because it wasn’t happening but because there were no police to make arrests and turn events into crime news. I don't believe real acts of crime increased. The courts became unusually quiet. The judges and court employees drank coffee and waited.

 

That fall the Board of Commissioners received a severe financial shock. Because they laid off the deputies, the courts stopped fining speeders and convicting people for a wide variety of petty misdemeanors, and the court revenues stopped feeding the county coffers. The commissioners found that instead of saving money, they caused their financial situation to get worse.

 

In an emergency meeting with the sheriff, the board magically found a way to put all of the deputies back to work. Suddenly the roads were filled with police cars with flashing red, white and blue lights, people were getting hauled into court left and right, and the fines they paid began to bring the county finances back on even keel.

 

That one experience convinced me even more that anarchy was better than the system we were living under.

 

But that was then and this is now. Things seem to have radically changed. And I think it began with the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. Everything got completely out of whack after 9-11. The fortitude of the American people collapsed. Like sheep we all began marching to the drum beat of an extreme right-wing government that was declaring war on everything from drugs to terrorism, and stripping our constitutional rights in the process.

 

Like sheep we agreed without a whimper to let them do it.

 

I should say that almost all of us agreed. I voiced my objections on this website, as did many other American writers who had access to the Internet. But the American media fell right into lock step. The reporters on the job and their editors forgot Jefferson’s great commandment for journalistic responsibilities.

 

Everybody also forgot the famous quotation by America’s first great journalist and statesman, Benjamin Franklin, who said: “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

 

And now America is on a very slippery slope, skidding its way behind a corporate controlled leadership that has no respect for our dying planet and is leading the world right into a financial, ecological and social disaster.

 

What has happened here seems to have proven that a democratic form of government is a failure. But then, the founding fathers never intended America to be a democracy. They probably knew that such a monster would fail so they carefully established what was supposed to be a republic, based on a very successful government system that kept the Roman Empire going for well over a thousand years.

 

But while we adhere to the republic form of government; that is electing representatives to speak on our behalf in the House and Senate, the complete package never really got off the ground. Americans slipped into thinking of ourselves as a democracy. Even though they say a pledge to the flag that declares the nation a Republic, this is not what we are. After the Great Depression, when government under Roosevelt began creating ways to feed the masses, the people began electing representatives to government jobs who promised to tax the workers harder and spread the wealth generously among the poor.

 

I once heard it said that people who receive welfare or any other financial assistance from the government, should at least temporarily give up their right to vote. Another thought in that vein was: “We cannot give the people the power to destroy themselves.”

 

So were these men right? Are voters inclined to blindly cast their votes for candidates that promise to deliver more and more personal assistance to the poor and downtrodden? What these people were saying is that they were opposed to Socialism. And it was that kind of thinking that has kept the Republican Party in power for as long as it has been.

 

Today with electronic communications affecting everyone’s lives, a lot of clever people have discovered interesting ways to manipulate the minds of the people. They do it by bombarding us with television, radio and billboard advertising, by subtle unseen ways of persuasion, and many suspect by controlling the electronic and computerized balloting machines.

 

Throughout history the human race has tried a lot of different forms of government and all have ended in failure. They all might have been successful except for greed, the human frailty that constantly brings about the downfall of nations.

 

This is why I now realize that anarchy also would fail. Once they understand how the system no longer controls them, the quicker thinkers among the masses would find creative and unchecked ways to bring chaos and disrupt the solitude enjoyed by the others. Their motive would be the same as it has always been . . . a quest for power and wealth.

 

Thus it is obvious that humans, in their present state, need some form of governance. The problem remains the same, however. What form of government can we create that will establish equality and protect us from the greed and corruption that seems to be always lurking in the shadows? Our forefathers thought they had an answer, but they were obviously wrong.