Now as an anarchist, I don’t want any city governments, and I don’t give a damn about Mayor What’s-Their-Name, but I do give a damn about Atlanta. And like all cities I love, Atlanta has its own unique culture with unique values and customs. Even if, God-willing, we managed to make Atlanta a city free from bureaucracies and governments, it would still help to have a figurehead for those values and customs.
If you’ve bought anything in the past six weeks, you’ve seen shortages. In grocery stores, you’ve see empty shelves. Online, you’ve seen long waits. If you know econ 101, there’s an obvious explanation: price-gouging laws. When supply falls, the market’s normal reaction is to raise prices. Government’s reaction, however, is to paint the market’s normal reaction as vicious exploitation – and order prices to stay flat despite reduced supply. Shortages inevitably result. While this story has great merit, you don’t have to look closely to realize that it’s not the full story of shortages. Why not?
I’ll say again, the Presidents of the United States are a motley crew. So far the scorecard reads 45 attempts, 45 clunkers. I am not saying there were no honorable persons in the group (“honorable” itself is a very iffy word). But I have practically no regard for the intellects of any of today’s half-dozen. With the exception of the monstrous Jackson, the other 5 are bound for the oubliette of history. But, to me, there is no such thing as a great President. To have been a POTUS places a black mark on that career. Few (ie none) have risen above.
The Presidents of the United States are a motley crew. So far the scorecard reads 45 attempts, 45 klunkers. I am not saying there were no honorable persons in the group (“honorable” itself is a very iffy word). I have the highest regard for the intellects of Jefferson and Madison. I believe that John Adams was among the greatest lawyers (a rare occurrence). But, to me, there is no such thing as a great President. To have been one places a black mark on that career. Few have risen above.
Everyone serves someone just about all the time. The corner drug dealer serves. The cashier serves. The prostitute and the waiter and the car wash attendant serve. The writer serves, the scientist serves, and the medical provider serves. They serve by mutual consent and voluntary choice.
To tell the truth at risk to your own reputation? To celebrate virtue? To say what you think to someone’s face? No one expects this behavior anymore, and so it is unsettling and difficult to counter.
Almost everyone loves the idea of “speaking truth to power.” Standing tall, talking boldly, consequences be damned – how heroic! Yet on reflection, this Speech of Heroes takes two radically different forms.
There is honor in disrespecting the disrespectable. And yet there may also be times when honor requires you to admit your foolishness to fools or your guilt to the guilty.
When I make the right (even if hard) decision, it is comforting to know that at least my father and grandfather would be proud. With them as fixed points in my mind I can afford to let the outside world get to me a little less.
Like the gods of legend, these “gods” of our personality don’t like people who spurn them. And it doesn’t take a long look into Greek mythology to know that the gods do awful things to people they don’t like. Afflictions of madness, afflictions of lust, transformation into animals – it’s not pretty.