Freedom for The Elite and the Rest of Us

The Elite:  Why are you so angry?

Regular people:  You look down on us.  

The Elite:  No we don’t. You are important, and we want to help you.

Regular people:  Well, we have our own ideas about the kind of help we need!

Who are The Elite? They are the ones who want to take control. They think that they have earned the right to decide the direction this nation and even the world should take because of their perfect grades in school and their degrees from high-falutin universities, and they just echo the ideas of liberal college professors who couldn’t earn an honest dime at real work.

Is that true?

Yes, there is a lot of truth to that complaint and that kind of anger.

Regular people in the run of everyday life make choices about what they think is important.

But The Elite don’t listen to them. Instead, they study them.

Well, the regular people are going to be listened to.

Let’s turn the tables and do a little study on The Elite.

Start with the scientists. Of course, some scientists do their work in the laboratory or out in nature through the week; then on the weekend they go to their place of worship like the rest of us. But many have decided that if scientific study can’t answer a question, the question really wasn’t worth asking. That kind of scientist, I hear tell, goes by the name of positivist.

Here are some questions, positivists:  Why does the world exist at all?  Why are you and I kicking around in this world?  What makes it all worth the trouble?  What ought to drive us to do what we do? Is love the greatest thing?

Those are not small questions. They are not worthless questions. But you can’t answer them, positivists.

Next, the rich and powerful. With money and property comes power. But a lot of times they don’t really own what they think they do. And they sure don’t own up to anything. Money drives all the choices they make. Money owns them.

The rights and privileges of money are enshrined in the Constitution, according to the Supreme Court.

What about the Elite News Media? They all claim to be like Sergeant Joe Friday, saying, “It’s just the facts, ma’am, just the facts.” They aim for neutrality, which means that anything goes. Any act is as moral as another, and the only shared value is the lack of shared values, except what drives the ratings.

The Hollywood crowd? Celebrity brings a power to influence fans and followers, but it never has guaranteed moral authority. Why are the decisions these people make more important than ours?

Theologians? They got rid of Judgment Day by declaring that any one sin is as bad as another. We’re all bound for Hell. Only God decides who gets a pass and who doesn’t. God has also decided who gets blessed with divine knowledge, and it’s the theologians.

Philosophers in universities? First I’ll have to say that they are almost an extinct species, a dead-end branch of evolution. Every once in a while a philosopher pops its head up and tells us that free will doesn’t exist. Well, sir or ma’am, what made you choose to say that? Now philosophers are being replaced by English professors in the universities. They tell us about something called postmodernism. After 350 pages we learn that it’s all a joke that nobody is going to understand, unless more “research” is funded.

Politicians? They are next only to God. Yeah.

Except one who aims to replace God in American hearts and minds. You know who I’m talking about – #PythonDon #TakinOverThaSwamp #AmericasFirstRussianPresident.

What a revoltin’ predicament the failings of The Elite have brought us to. And my own humble failings as well.

You can argue all you want about the paradox of free will. Choosing still happens. The real question is – where does it happen? Are choices made only at the top? Are they made by individuals or groups of people? Are real choices made only by people who pretend to be value-neutral, and only by consensus? Are they made at multiple levels?

At a, believe it or not, liberal southern university I learned a chant at religious gatherings on Saturdays in the fall. I’ll adapt it to the present purpose:

Hoddy Toddy! Godamighty! Who the hell are we?

Hey! Flim-flam! Bim-bam! We count, by damn!

 


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Header image: Image by Ingi Finnsson from Pixabay

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As the center spotlight dims and speech becomes measured and slow, the main characters in a production may pause on the side before leaving the scene entirely. The audience strains to attend to those last motions and words, because they can illumine in the fading light all that has happened.

That’s how I think of our parents’ final years. As strength and health declined, persistence and courage gained greater focus. Continue reading “Becoming Ringbearers”

Ole Miss and James Meredith

On the first day of October 1962, James Meredith enrolled as the first black student at the University of Mississippi in Oxford – Ole Miss. He had been rebuffed 3 times earlier that year. This time he succeeded with the help of 400 Federal marshals and eventually 16,000 U.S. soldiers including units from the 101st Airborne Division.[1] Continue reading “Ole Miss and James Meredith”

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In these blogs about Searching for GSOT the family stories have received far more interest than the philosophical wanderings.[1]  I think that’s how it should be. Family should rank high in our understanding of GSOT.

It’s not just my birth family or yours. The idea of family extends to many other people with whom we have shared education, sports, church and Sunday School, military or public service, and work. Some of happiest times of my life have come at reunions – Murrah High School Class of ’65, Harvard Med Class of ’73. My experience with these events is that rivalries fade and everyone treats others as part of an inclusive family. Continue reading “Neighbors and Family”

Ott in a Hurry

Sometime in the sixties I noticed several boxes of letterhead stationery that my father had ordered for his home office. At the top he put this self-description: “A. C. Guyton – Builder.” I found it a little puzzling. My father was a physiologist who left early every morning for the medical school, spending his daytime hours in the lab and the classroom. He was a writer who authored a world-renowned medical textbook. Yet according to the stationery he considered himself to be a builder. Continue reading “Ott in a Hurry”