Your Obedient Serpent (athelind) wrote,
Your Obedient Serpent

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The Price of Freedom

Once again, as I pour through old archives, I find something far more topical today than when it was written.

This comes from my earliest days online, on a forum on an old Searchlight BBS.

The date: 13 December 1993.

Slightly edited from the original.

BO=       If our gov't was as bad as you say it is, then how the hell did we
  =ever become what we are today?!

        Ummmm, exploited the downtrodden masses of the world
ruthlessly, perhaps?  Smothered cultures around the globe in a deluge of
mass-produced popular culture?  That drug dealer down the street has
really nice clothes and drives a Cadillac--obviously, he must have "done
something right."

        Don't get me wrong (a useless admonition; you inevitably do)--I
love this country deeply, and have endless respect for the system
devised by its founding fathers.  The ideals upon which it was founded
are the core of my own ethics and identity.  However, that system and
those ideals are better served by an enlightened cynicism than a blind

        If we let misguided patriotism blind us to the innefficiencies
and inadequacies of that system in action, then we are doing a grave
disservice to ourselves, our fellow citizens, and to the world at large.
The United States was founded on certain principles, principles of
equality, of liberty, of human dignity, but in pragmatic reality we have
not always lived up to those ideals.

        Democracy, true democracy, is a grave responsibility. It
requires a level of honest appraisal that is often painful.  While
many of our elected officials might have our best interests in mind, the
qualities that our system rewards do not include honesty, cooperation,
or the scientific acumen required to make enlightened decisions.

        Democracy, as I said, is the guarantee that the people will get
the government that they deserve.  To criticize the government is not
only our =right=, it is our =obligation=.  I vote, and I do my damnedest
to point out the flaws in the system, because I think that the system is
capable of positive change.  It's a damned good system--and sometimes,
infrequently, we're even lucky enough to get good people in office--but
if we pretend that all is well or delude ourselves that our might must
prove our right, than the best it can bring us is stagnation.

        And the worst that it can bring us is much worse indeed.

        The Boojum Snark        

 þ SLMR 2.1a þ The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Sometimes I hate being right.

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