PREVIOUS NEXT FIRST SATIRE, A Revolution built a flower...

Bruegel's 'little' Tower of Babel
A Revolution built a flower
beside a too commanding Tower

and brought It crashing to the ground!

The revolutionaries found
that Height is way above profound

so there held Power

while the low earth (wherefrom
The Revolution beautiful had sprung)

by Stand's ugliest pogrom
crumbled to Ruin headlong

Till by & by The Stem decayed

and all the flower-children made
a dismal moan
as to Th'bottom they were thrown

(when Spring had gone):

They were that dumb 54

^{54} Purely a piece of satire, here. [Associated note: A state can exist for one of two reasons: Either to ensure the welfare of its citizens, or to build pyramids (in other words, preserve the body politic itself--the status quo, especially of its rulers), pouring its wasted wealth into some monumental bottomless hole of ostentatiousness. Don't think I'm a strict absolutist about it: Of course a state can both build pyramids and look after the welfare of its citizens, provided its wealth is so great it can go on wasting it for centuries --I'm referring to where falls the emphasis. If on the first case, then the state exists to protect its citizens when they fall below the level at which they can contribute, indeed, rebuilding their fortunes to the point where they can once again resume their contributions (for the state has become a social compact between its citizens for the general good --not unlike the compact between an insurance company and its policy holders). Such a state may charge a pretty premium and command allegiance and respect. Degrees of emphasis may vary. But, if the state's emphasis is only on pyramids (and other such bottomless holes sucking the wealth of the nation without returning to its citizens any of the tangible rewards of security, shelter, freedom from hunger and from the arbitrary abuses of power --national pride, honor, glories & all such intangibles are of value only to artists, propagandists & other such socially parasitic maniacs), if the state's emphasis is only on pyramids, can a citizenry be faulted if it feels no sense of loyalty towards such a nation, such leaders or even to their fellow-citizens? Can it be blamed if it feels abandoned to their fate, and thus justifies their own abandoning of duty or obligation in return --The first duty of all is the state's; only afterwards can the state seek reciprocation with any degree of justification. If the state is beneficial only to a small or limited (elite) group: Can one really expect slaves (and other such only peripheral citizens) to behave as patriotically as the elite!? Even the wealthiest members of the state must be made citizens of the state: I mean that as soon as these wealthy members start thinking of themselves almost as states in themselves, what loyalty will they show their fellow citizens? Whence come tyrants & kings. The logical conclusion for them all becomes: Why have a state at all? And the danger signs are when groups of citizens begin demanding less government 'meddling' in their lives. The logical conclusion is always a radical one, of course; for that is the point when it becomes logical to go no further (unless one is more crazy than the acceptable limits). The solution always involves something having to do with The Golden Mean [it literally means, solving the problem before the logical conclusion becomes unavoidable]: Both ends of the spectrum must be tightly reigned in lest the body politic spill out and leave the state flat broke. Laws must address themselves with equal vigor to limit poverty AND the concentration of property in the hands of too limited an elite (another just-as-incurable social disease as poverty): Poverty must be limited because it will never be cured: 'the poor' includes not only those who are poor at any given time but also those who will become poor in the future... and that is an infinite number, no matter how much effort, good will, or political denial is poured into the attempt, if for no other reason than the fact that to be born poor is the norm and only by one's own efforts does one prosper, animal or man. If the subject is too explosive for direct action (as in the United States) then vigor must be exercised in trying to pass laws against poverty and allowing a back-door approach to solving the problem of too much personal wealth in the hands of too few of the elite rich (if, as in the United States, those few elite are The New Rich: envied but still the heroes of a populace which dreams not so much of forcing them to share the wealth as of joining them themselves). The thing to dread is lack of protection by Law: That is what kills the state (and, as in Communist [1985] countries, where it must be replaced with a dogmatic quasi-religious mystical commitment to the Leadership --Anyone who has ever studied both Middle Ages Europe under the power of the Catholic Church and [1981] Modern Communist States cannot escape the feeling that [1985] Communism is a sort of Christian heresy in which the name of God is changed... Fascism manifested itself more as a return to tribalism, shamanism). If I had to describe the fundamental quality of democracy I'd say it is that form of government which extends its franchise over the greatest percent of its members by laws inviolable even by the will of all its citizens voting by direct means (to invalidate them): This is because the democracy of a people belongs not only to the citizens living it at any given moment in history but also to all the generations of citizens who will have to live it in years to come. Any generation can go crazy on you. A king is a democracy of one (but he would not qualify under the above dictum, his rule is not by law but only by the power of his own word/will). Russia, too, is a democracy (but, alas, as with all other Communist [1985] nations: a democracy only within the circle of Politburo members --even though it would probably be as difficult for the Russian Politburo to suddenly make Russia a real democracy as for The Congress, President & Supreme Court of the United States to suddenly make this country a Communist one). [addendum 1997: The Fall of Russian (Soviet) Communism took place either by some magical (cataclismic) osmosis, whose (unwitting/unwilling?) catalysts were Gorvachev & Yeltsin, or by the country's sheer economic bankrupcy... it simply 'used up' national reserves which communism cannot recharge & so that was all she rode.] Only in countries like the United States, England, etc. does the style of government truly approach the ideal of a just democracy --And, however further these countries may have to go to get to a perfect Ideal (the going being tough indeed, where it is possible to boast that "only in this country" has the lowliest member of the society the same rights as even a Rockefeller... to buy out IBM!), these so-called "Western' (ofttimes Nippon is also included, etc., gratias Gen. MacArthur) democracies are as far and as close as we have come in all of human history: Nurture them well, O blessed citizens of England, and America, if you long for something more than just this. Destroy them, thinking you should build a greater ideal over their ruins, and woe onto thee, poor fools! These are the highest steps we have yet achieved along the ladder of civilization [1985] (Communism and all steps backwards backward fall to cast us all below like fallen angels): destroy them, and you must begin anew after the monstrous fall... perhaps having to build another ladder altogether from scratch just to get out of the monstrous hole that is The Uncivilized (with absolutely no guarantees at all of even ever reaching high enough as before).@