Friday, March 23, 2007

"Responsibility is the price of freedom"- Elbert Hubbard

I saw that quote earlier this week and thought to myself, "brilliant."

Maybe that's the true crux of the problems of our country. We live in this entitlement culture. We want, want, want... we feel we're "entitled" to the American dream. But it doesn't come free, it doesn't come without hard work-- good old blood, sweat, and tears.

We want the freedom, the liberty-- but we don't want the responsibility that comes with it. It's always someone else's fault when things go wrong. We only seek to take credit for life's successes and the rest of our lives are spent trying to find someone else to blame.

I'm not pointing fingers here, hell I'm just as guilty as the next guy at times. It's what I know after all. When you're surrounded by this "gimme gimme" culture it's hard to keep the walls up and keep it out.

But what price are we paying for all this self-absorption? Wha is the ultimate cost of all of this "entitlement" to freedom without taking responsibility for it?

The trouble is, it's all part of the human condition, the part that we're supposed to overcome on our path to self-actualization or whatever other pop psychology term you choose to use this week. It permeates from our government-- with our congressmen on both sides of the political spectrum so hell-bent on placing blame for everything that goes wrong that neither side is ever making an effort to do right by the people who elected them. It oozes into the media with the pundits and the spin doctors pointing fingers to the left, to the right... no one really providing any answers, no one ever actually discussing the issues... because in the end placing and assigning blame is far easier than actually doing the jobs you're elected or hired to do.

So no responsibility being taken at the highest echelons of our government and our society... we can't really expect responsibilty to be taken at our level either... or can we?

Should we be expecting better of ourselves than we expect of those we elect to represent us? Are WE responsible for their irresponsibility? We keep electing them with their promises that they'll be different and we just keep getting more of the same. What's that old saying-- "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." They've been "Fooling" us over and over again ad nauseum, so I guess... Shame on us.

Congress is a lemon and I want my country back!


BarBarA said...

Amen, Brother D !!!!!

Jeff said...

Excellent post! I have to agree with you, I think Congressmen are the only people who get their jobs by bad mouthing the institution they are actually running for and even worse are a part of. We live in a society where people love their individual Congressmen but hate Congress as a whole, people need to realize that these Congressmen that they love are the same people who make the institution that they despise what it is. I do however think Congress is an institution which is not supposed to run efficiently, it was created to be filled with gridlock with checks from other branches. Very good post!

Snooze said...

I don't no what the solution is. Like you note, we all have that sense of entitlement on some level. I think we are all collectively responsible for the state of politics today.

St. Dickeybird said...

Nice one! I don't know what the solution is either, but we ALL need to take more blame for the mistakes we've made.

Godwhacker said...

Great post, but the questions you raise have sinister answers. It's impossible to talk about entitlements with out looking at the history of The Great Depression and The New Deal. The New Deal was necessitated and made possible by The Great Depression. The Great Depression was made possible by another act of government known as The Federal Reserve Act. The US Constitution empowers congress and congress alone with the responsibility to coin money, and those representatives are answerable to the people with elections every two years. When congress bequeathed that power to a shadowy organization answerable to no one. the result was the impotent legislative body that we have today.

Read any financial journal and you will learn that The Fed is arguably the most powerful entity in our society, bar none.

It's not supposed to be like that. The Fed has worked over the years to diminish the power of our monetary supply, and that has made people more and more reliant on the government for basic needs like food, shelter, and health care. It has further served to "de-power" and overwhelm the system of private charities that did a far better job the the government at helping the disadvantaged.

I don't want to live in a world where old people are thrown out of hospital rooms because they can't afford to pay. But the system that would allow them to keep enough of their productive efforts to do so was abolished in 1907. We are a hundred years out from then, but that is at least an honest assessment of where we are which is better then you'll get from congress these days. :)