June 26, 2008

Yet Another Amendment

My politics are so individuated that the set of people who agree with all the positions I take excludes even me at times.

Which is to say that if some time ago I enjoyed the idea of gathering together with a huge crowd of Americans prepared to register its disgust in government, in Washington, D.C. this Fourth of July weekend, by burning the White House down, to the ground if possible, in the measured manner of the civil Paris mobs of old, my enthusiasm for such an assembly is now somewhat tempered by consideration of the death of the namesake I belittle in the sidebar to the right, whose life ended as an ancillary product of just such an erruption in Paris a long time ago.

Not that I begrude the Paris mob its ferocity, given conditions. The roused crowd is the ancient actor in civic life, whose lost function it is to intervene directly when the strains of governing properly prove too much for the current class of rulers. Crowd control is the first order of proper governance. Without it all the other improprieties of the current class of rulers become impossible, and yet at times a chastening crowd must form, just as surely as thunderheads must form over Kansas in the summertime, the crowd loosing itself on its government for all the reasons. The reaction of the government may result eventually in better crowd control or immediately in its own dissolution, such are the stakes.

I do not argue that this government must not be chastened.

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