Swans Commentary » swans.com August 11, 2008  



Devolution: The New Terrible "Norm"


by Carol Warner Christen





(Swans - August 11, 2008)   Allow me to begin with a few citations related to the scope of the problems our cherished land is facing in 2008. Two hundred thirty-four years ago, we declared our independence from the King of England, George III, and fought and won our right to our ideas, our form of government, freedoms, the right to trial, and so on.

The following quotes are the very ideals our Founders believed and proposed. They implemented the best future for us until recently. Unfortunately, our most admirable revolution has devolved, i.e., descended through a series of changes by rescinding the original rights granted by the first Congress to the ultimate owners of those rights: We, the People.

Those who serve us in the three branches of the United States government have failed all of us as they pursue personal, corporate, or current ideas of world domination in the form of the horrific costs of war. Humans die wantonly because of this change in the orientation of our beloved country. We, the People, have also been shorn of our basic rights by our elected representatives and senators at the behest of all the president's men. This essay's purpose is to describe these new and dreadful results, the devolution which insults our Revolution in 1774.

The Original Goal:

"When shall it be said in any country of the world, my poor are happy, neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes not oppressive; the rational world is my friend because I am friend of its happiness. When these things can be said, then may that country boast of its constitution and government."
—Thomas Paine (1)

The Purpose of the American Revolution:

"Government is nothing more than the combined force of society, or the united power of the multitude, for the peace, order, safety, good and happiness of the people.... There is no longer king or queen bee distinguished from all the others, by size or figure or beauty and variety of colors, in the human hive. No man has yet produced any revelation from heaven in his favor, any divine communication to govern his fellow men. Nature throws us all into the world equal and alike....

"The preservation of liberty depends upon the intellectual and moral character of the people. As long as knowledge and virtue are diffused generally among the body of a nation, it is impossible they should be enslaved....

"Ambition is one of the more ungovernable passions of the human heart. The love of power is insatiable and uncontrollable....

"There is a danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty."
—John Adams (2)

The Human Perspective:

"Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true."
—Buddha - Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta (3)

The Result of the American Devolution:

"... Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), responding to the sentiment that impeachment [of President Bush] would be 'overzealous partisanship':

'But I ask, would impeachment be a vehicle to restore life and vitality to the delicate system of checks and balances, which is the hallmark of our Constitution and which this administration has shattered -- aided and abetted by the do-nothing, Republican-controlled, rubber-stamp Congress which failed to exercise its constitutional responsibility to oversee the operations of the executive branch of our government?

"Johnson went on enumerate the criticisms of the White House:

'Warrantless wiretapping of Americans; torturing and kidnapping and detaining numerous prisoners, foreign enemy combatants, prisoners, whatever they could be classified as; the fact that we have become a severely surveilled population now with the abuses of the Patriot Act -- all done under the cloak of government secrecy. Political spying; the attacks on academic freedom; the politicization of the Justice Department; selective prosecutions -- so many areas fertile for inquiring by this Congress.'" (4)

"Rather, as Cofer Black, head of the Central Intelligence Agency's Counterterrorism Center, declared in 2001, 'We locate the enemy wherever they are across the planet. We find them and kill them." —Steven T. Wax (5)

Seven years ago, as the People were distracted in myriad ways, those wielding power in our Constitutional Republic in the public areas became lawless, as the quote above and the quotes from John Adams show. Over seven years (some say thirty years), the Congress abdicated its duties, passed specious laws limiting citizens' rights, deferred to an executive branch with empire on its mind, packed the courts with the like-minded, and proceeded to drive the country into bankruptcy by attempting to conquer other countries to steal their resources under the guise of "lawfulness," which was redefined. None of the wars, the deaths of civilians and children of sovereign countries, were legal. These crimes occurred and were aided and abetted by the elected through methods mostly kept secret from We, the People. A change has occurred. Simply stated, it is that we no longer have the country we thought and were taught the Founders created.

Simply put and clear to all, mostly ignored as part of the Constitution: the Preamble defines the above succinctly. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

If we followed the Preamble's precepts as we did, mostly, until the Vietnam War that France began and gave up on, we would still have our freedoms, a Congress not beholden to corporate money for unseemly personal aggrandizement, an executive branch without the political operatives -- actually ponerologists -- well paid to lie and twist our national truths.

I never voted for any of this. Did you? Are you better off? Do you still support either or neither or both of the two useless political parties left (and right)? Nothing, apparently, lasts for two hundred years intact. Vigilance is the word but "stuff" became more important to us than our adult lives as citizens. We are too removed from the processes and too distracted to know what we don't know; or, we no longer care.

Free will has run rampant across the country. Free will can be good, bad, or indifferent. In the case of a country and its People's well-being, it should be thoughtful and complete before action is legally (and illegally) taken against citizens. Are we or are we not equals after our majority age? Have we become George Orwell's "some people are more equal than others"? (6)

Free will is a strange bedfellow with ideologues who assume their limited and, mostly, personal ideas of power in high governmental places, give them the right to form small secretive working groups. These groups promote the ideas and the free will of their group, not of the people of the United States. Closed meetings? Torture? Military killings for expediency? Refusing humans trials by juries of their peers? Occupying foreign countries? Denying foreign countries the right to live their own way or we bomb them to rubble until they conform to our power? Spying on citizens without their knowledge? Paying our tax dollars to cull through personal citizen information to find a needle in that electronic stack to attack secretly and without just and legal cause? Remove habeas corpus from the People to jail them forever without a right to trial by their peers? Pardons for the lot of them by the current unelected president?

Are we so uninvolved in our country's well-being that we no longer care for ourselves or our children's general welfare? I mean, really People, wake up! Life is not for the self-selected to decide by fiat, by secret votes on secret committees. Have we become what we hated from the beginning two hundred-plus years ago? Why do we want a little king named George? Do you believe he will give up his throne, which he and his minions installed to wreak their free will upon us as ancient tyrants were wont to do? Our technology alone has developed to the point that they can direct it at anyone, anytime. The checks and balances are all gone, as is the dodo, most of our environment, and all of our ancient rights.

Is freedom too much for us? We do not prize our gift from the Founders; we have degraded it to the point of impeachment, which the Congress cannot seem to bring itself to do because it, too, is complicit in our degradation as a People. In the name of expediency the Congress has abdicated most of its responsibilities to the executive branch, which is, actually, a bunch of bureaus to help us regulate unnecessary and unhealthy ideas that show up from time to time.

The Pentagon has grown into a huge bureaucracy to kill and control the planet itself, which is bankrupting our normal people to the tune of trillions of dollars of debt by printing money with no oversight whatsoever. Does anyone know how much our money -- a dollar -- is worth right this minute? Do you think it might be why we are getting poorer by the hour and our work sent offshore? Now that fuel costs are so high, how will anyone be able to buy or ship the goods created overseas back to us? Stores are already going out of business.

Our farms are degraded by pesticides, genetically modified seeds which are costly, excessive plowing which degrades our soils, and too much monoculture (one crop) fertilizing, fertilizing, fertilizing, expense, expense, expense. The Willamette Valley, where my farm is, is giving way to the same foolish ideas and is losing its diversity that was once wondrous.

The forests of Oregon are being cut so fast that in eleven years, the trees surrounding us are mostly gone and the log-carrying trucks go by all the time. You see, we are the new Napa wine valley since the one in California is too warm. A few more years and the new wineries here will have to move into the cooler mountains because grapes are temperamental about heat. They taste bad.

While we are on the subject of free will, why is it that religiously inclined people feel that they need a civil law to uphold one or another of their beliefs? Is it not sufficient that one follow one's religious precepts; but, in a free country, one does not attempt to write them into civil law? If I understood today's news, using birth control in the privacy of one's private home would be illegal because a sperm has the right to impregnate an egg; it must not be prevented by a rubber or other device or barrier of any type. Interesting. A sperm is compelled to swim upstream and burrow into an egg. If that is prevented, whose business is it to tell another they may not prevent this unthinking natural process from proceeding to overpopulate an already overpopulated earth? Are we unaware that the profusion of eggs and spermatozoa has one simple reason in all the living world which is to be sure, once in awhile, the two connect? If every living thing connected in all its basic fertilities, we would be mountain deep in flies alone. Our misunderstanding of nature in this form shows a lack of critical thinking about an immense problem. We are unable to feed the seven billion people living much less increase it to so many billions more that there is no room to stand on the planet's dry land.

The upshot of the current political impasse is this is not the country which respects our laws, our beginnings, our best thinkers, or our best ideas anymore. It has become nationally lawless, while the states still bear some semblance of their better characters from their incorporation in the nation. We have lost our way in an information overload allowing greed and stupidity to govern the country to the detriment of the People and the enriching of the psychopathic class and its hangers-on. As I've written before, they are a mere 18% of the population. My hope is that the 82% will stop hoping for betterment on their terms and begin, once again, to create it for our People as we once did.

Our first duty is to stop pretending to be an empire created by human beings who are not better than the least of us; nor do they have the right to imprison us, impoverish us, steal from us, transfer our wealth overseas, or any of the hundreds of other specious acts of these so-called idealists. Their idealism is too specific to govern a people properly.




1.  Jason Miller, Thomas Paine's Corner, Sept. 12, 2001,
http://www.civillibertiesblogspot.com.  (back)

2.  David McCullough, John Adams, Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, pp. 69-70.  (back)

3.  International Clearing House opening page quotes, July 21, 2008.  (back)

4.  FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), "Action Alert: CNN Scoffs at White House Critics," July 31, 2008.  (back)

5.  Steven T. Wax, The Sunday Oregonian, "Judge holds Mayfield based on '100% certainty' of fingerprint," July 20, 2008, Opinion, p. E2.  (back)

6.  George Orwell, Animal Farm.  (back)


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About the Author

Carol Warner Christen on Swans (with bio)... Woman born 1939, twice married, five children, 7 grandchildren; own a goat farm, rural Oregon after years in Chicago area and Ohio; Associate of Arts, Chicago Art Institute (1 year); artist, editor, mechanical design drafting supervisor; owned two computer companies before anyone had a computer; activist; antiwar; human.



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Published August 11, 2008