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Feudalism revisited

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I received another thoughtful correspondence today from the first American citizen to be granted refugee status by a foreign government.  For obvious reasons, he will remain anonymous.  I commented that I hadn't written lately; and on asking myself why, the answer surprised even me:  There was little more to be said regarding our current circumstances as a nation and as a republic.


As I think over my views and how they have evolved over the past six years, what comes to mind are the drastic revisions I have been obliged to make.  The revisions are not so much in the very understandings that I have entertained as they are in the nature of the seriousness with which I have come to regard them.  For some time now, events have never really made any sense.  It has appeared that the policies and actions of our government officials as well as the various interest groups have been on a suicidal course, giving away liberties, dumbing down education, dropping the protections of our borders, and the continuous and indiscriminate squandering of enormous sums of money for the purpose of fighting totally senseless wars.


These observations have been coupled with what has appeared to be an existential disconnect between what I envisioned as the drastic and inevitable consequences of our actions, on the one hand, and the de facto consequences, on the other.  It is as if we have been living in a dream-world, a through-the-looking-glass universe in which events would appear to have an inevitable and inescapable existential import yet which evaporate in front of our eyes with no observable incontrovertible consequences.


In a simpler, perhaps agrarian lifestyle, a person could see a necessary and prompt consequence of an ill-chosen action.  Even actions that led to consequences  a year or two later were met with quite predictable outcomes, such as the result of failure to rotate crops, or the failure to store provisions.  Yet in our highly technological and culture-deficient and value-deficient world, we somehow are protected from the immediate recognition of consequences.  This is particularly true when considering the subject of human rights and of the law.  Sell-outs and betrayals by our congresspersons, massive corporate control and sequestering of activities--all--do not strike us immediately with a resounding thud, which would jar us to make the obvious connection and thereby would confirm our previously tentative conclusions.


Perhaps two hundred and fifty years ago, when people could make necessary connections in time and space, they would react immediately, fearing the obvious consequences.  But in a long-chain inferential world, such connections are subtle and difficult to measure.


I am reminded of a comment made by Ayn Rand in "Atlas Shrugged," a work which directed itself precisely to this subject, when one independent thinker says to another,


"I would have killed--but who was there to kill?  It was everybody, and it was nobody."


We did not see parallels in pre-war Nazi Germany.  Our failure was in part due to a lack of a sense of history (which has long since been forgotten in any meaningful sense of the terms in our halls of education) and due in large part to a very subtle and powerful disinformation and mass conditioning effort on the part of our government.  This influence has been more organized and centralized over the past half-century, to the extent to which it is almost understandable that the average American would simply pass off any insights suggested as "conspiracy" hogwash.


Finally, because as a nation we have never had mass invasion since the Revolutionary War, or mass starvation and privation, as has Europe seen, there is no basis for direct comparisons to be drawn.

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Previously Staff Physician, California Department of Corrections
43 years in practice
writer on Social, Jewish and Medical issues
pilot, skiier, and perpitetic philosopher
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