It was an innovative, enlightened and historically revolutionary conception, on the part of our idealistic and erudite founders, that in the citizens of the newly established democratic republic, would reside the effective control of the operation and destiny of the nation. For such a democracy to succeed, said Thomas Jefferson, it requires a literate and informed citizenry. Our frequent repetition of the latter observation, perhaps, will be forgiven, upon the grounds of its inestimable value.
It is unfortunate that the wisdom and verity of said principle, has of late, been sufficiently proven by its demonstrated obverse. The current state of the American government, like the apocryphal building project, popularly known as the Towel of Babel, is in a confused and total state of shambles. A major causative factor was the vote of the enormous horde of low-information, flat earth inhabitants of our country, who were herded together by devious, self-interested shepherds who, in snake-oil salesman fashion, falsely promised complete solution to whatever problems they could suggest; such disgruntled and needy voters were an easy target, and were mesmerized into voting against their own vital interests and needs (governmental assistance).
The unprecedented and easily observable disfunction of our present government, nationally and internationally, has been worrisome and downright embarrassing, except to those scheming, major campaign contributors who, in their own irresponsible financial interests, premeditatively brought about the disaster. The disfunction is so clearly and evidently demonstrable, that it appears not to require specification; except that it may be observed that those needy, low information supporters of the present administration, are just now beginning to realize that they have been “snookered” and literally left in the winter cold, without vital governmental assistance. As further homage and repayment to those self-interested, major campaign contributors, government regulations, promulgated to protect the health and safety of the American people, are cruelly and immorally being eliminated.
Editorializing and protesting, however legal and emotionally satisfying, appears to bring little useful results. The miscreant, selfish campaign contributors are only too aware of the objectionable results which they strategically brought about. The American public feels frustrated and utterly hapless regarding the amelioratation of the many serious problems. We would modestly suggest, however, that we have the answer.
Preliminarily, we would observe that the status of citizen, necessarily encompasses several mandated obligations, among which are, the duty to pay taxes, to be productive, to serve, if needed, in the military, and to generally comport oneself in accordance with accepted legal and social norms. We would proffer a further mandated obligation, this one as a necessary solution to our present problem of shameful governance (and as an antidote to the recurrence of the malady). Just as the weight lifter develops his biceps, which can then be successfully used for other physical needs, and the student of higher mathematics develops problem solving skills, which skillful reasoning can be suitably applied to non-academic problems, so the reading of good literature and engagement in the arts, develops sensitivity and wisdom, in addition to resulting in a more satisfying life experience for the individual, but also to the citizen’s capacity for rational understanding and appropriate problem resolution. As young students in school, we may have been somewhat resistant to certain academic subjects which we, at such stage, deemed useless or impractical. We may have been too inexperienced to understand that the essential benefit of study of the specific subject, like the lifting of weights, or the study of mathematics, was in the development of our intellectual skill- set for potential use, when needed.
This newly mandated obligation might possibly be administered at school premises by volunteers, to whom the compliant citizen would report at conveniently scheduled intervals his activities and progress. In the cases of well- educated individuals, a procedure for exemption for such procedure may be granted. In the cases of recalcitrant citizens, sensible methods for encouragement may be devised; in the last analysis, the citizen who is physically capable, but ultimately unwilling to participate in this self-enhancement program, should be denied the privilege of his uninformed and possibly harmful vote.
The fundamental and basic raison d’etre of plinyblog was, and is, a dedication to the imperative promotion of the liberal arts and the humanities, for the growth and enhancement of the life of the individual, and as well [ if Thomas Jefferson is to be believed] the success of our nation. We fully proclaim our credo to be identical to that of our prescient founders, that the quality of a nation, founded as a democratic republic, necessarily, is intimately bound up with the quality of its citizenry.
We have ultimate faith in our continuing belief that reading good literature and some modest involvement in the arts, develops mature sensitivity and the capability of intelligent awareness; essential qualities in any significant progress toward ultimate wisdom. The development of our understanding of ourselves, in context with others, within our shared environment, is essential to the enhancement of our own life and personal our self- fulfillment; and just as well, and important, the guide to the proper functioning of representative government.
It’s just about the most valuable “win-win” possible!