Americans are forunate to live in a country that believes in the individual's right to pursue his own ends. But, our Founding Fathers understood that without accountability, there inevidently would be corruption. We see this in many countries today.
Tribal scoieties live by the power of might towards one another. Their customs create a hierarchal form of governing that is affirmed by their magical thinking about the spiritual realm. God rules over these societies and they fear retribution if there is not proper sacrifice.
Monarchal governments are representative that "all men are not created equal". Understanding the royal blood-line helps these countries to maintain a reverence for higher powers.
Our representative government is one that is free and open for anyone to run for and win office, at least in theory. We believe that the people have the right, in fact, the duty, to be a part of their governing. Self-responsibility and duty to one's country are the mainstay of our governance. But, we have little knowledge or interest in higher powers or foreign affairs, at least for the most part.
Even while our country's government is a free and open one, this recent economic crisis is one that is not easily controlled by the common person. Although we can petition our Congreesmen, under fear of retribution, there is little practical help we can bring our government in these times. We trust our president to listen to wise counsel and our Represetatives to undertake our interests. But, perhaps our own interests has been the seed that has produced our ecocnomic crisis.
We all want representation, this is why we vote and stay informed abut politics, especially in an election year. We are concerned citizens for our state and for our nation. While we are all Ameicans, we identify ourselves by the local, the State, in which we reside. The State's interest is a priority to the Congressman as he must herald in how he advantages his State over others. So, while our nation's interests are debated and voted upon in legislation, "pork barrel spending is shuffled unnoticed under the door". Americans like for their States to get more from the government, so that their states, communities can have an advantage over others. But, at what costs to others and the nation at large?
I believe that federalism is good on one level, but a detriment to the country on another level. The idea behind federalism is that the local governance can best understand the needs of their local communities. The local, though, may not know what may be best for the nation. Take for instance, the globalized market, and foreign affairs. Without knowledge of other cultures or what is going on behind the scence on the national level, locals take the monies from the State to advance their cause of economic development. The local mayor and the Congressman's jobs are dependent on impacting their local economies, bringing in jobs and increasing grant monies for projects that make their local area a 'better place to live". All of this spending is over and above the necessities. Some of the criticism over military spending is for this very reason; the locals want more of it to spend on their local communities. This increases the national debt and leaves us dependent on government to "do what is right".
What is right for the local politician, is not necessarily what is right for the nation. This is our problem today, as we have become a nation that is focused on how we fare at a local level and there is nothing that brings us together as a unified whole. Perhaps, this economic crisis will be useful to open our eyes and ears and mouths to dialogue about what is right for the country.
The Humanities in a Changing World
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