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Chomsky writes: "In a few months, we will be commemorating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta - commemorating, but not celebrating; rather, mourning the blows it has suffered."

Noam Chomsky. (photo: byline)
Noam Chomsky. (photo: byline)

Magna Carta Messed Up the World, Here's How to Fix It

By Noam Chomsky, The Noam Chomsky Website

29 May 15


n a few months, we will be commemorating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta—commemorating, but not celebrating; rather, mourning the blows it has suffered.

The first authoritative scholarly edition of Magna Carta was published by the eminent jurist William Blackstone in 1759. It was no easy task. As he wrote, “the body of the charter has been unfortunately gnawn by rats”—a comment that carries grim symbolism today, as we take up the task the rats left unfinished.

Blackstone’s edition actually includes two charters: the Great Charter and the Charter of the Forest. The former is generally regarded as the foundation of Anglo-American law—in Winston Churchill’s words, referring to its reaffirmation by Parliament in 1628, “the charter of every self-respecting man at any time in any land.” The Great Charter held that “No freeman shall be arrested or imprisoned,” or otherwise harmed, “except by the lawful judgment of his equals and according to the law of the land,” the essential sense of the doctrine of “presumption of innocence.”

To be sure, the reach of the charter was limited. Nevertheless, as Eric Kasper observes in a scholarly review, “What began as a relatively small check on the arbitrary power of King John eventually led to succeeding generations finding ever more rights in Magna Carta and Article 39. In this sense, Magna Carta is a key point in a long development of the protection of rights against arbitrary executive power.”

Crossing the Atlantic, the Great Charter was enshrined in the US Constitution as the promise that “no person shall…be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” and that “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.”

The wording seems expansive, but that is misleading. Excluded were “unpeople” (to borrow Orwell’s useful concept), among them Native Americans, slaves and women, who under the British common law adopted by the founders were the property of their fathers, handed over to husbands. Indeed, it wasn’t until 1975 that women gained the right to serve on juries in all fifty states.

The Fourteenth Amendment applied the “due process” provisions to states. The intent was to include freed slaves in the category of persons, but the effect was different. Within a few years, slaves who had technically been freed were delivered to a regime of criminalization of black life that amounted to “slavery by another name,” to quote the title of Douglas Blackmon’s evocative account of this crime, which is being re-enacted today. Instead, almost all of the actual court cases invoking the Fourteenth Amendment had to do with the rights of corporations. Today, these legal fictions—created and sustained by state power—have rights well beyond those of flesh-and-blood persons, not only by virtue of their wealth, immortality and limited liability, but also thanks to the mislabeled “free-trade” agreements, which grant them unprecedented rights unavailable to humans.

The constitutional lawyer in the White House has introduced further modifications. His Justice Department explained that “due process of law”—at least where “terrorism offenses” are concerned—is satisfied by internal deliberations within the executive branch. King John would have nodded in approval. The term “guilty” has also been given a refined interpretation: it now means “targeted for assassination by the White House.” Furthermore, the burden of proof has been shifted to those already assassinated by executive whim. As The New York Times reported, “Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties [that] in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants…unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” The guiding principles are clear: force reigns supreme; “law” and “justice” and other frivolities can be left to sentimentalists.

Problems do arise, however, when a candidate for genuine personhood is targeted. The issue arose after the murder of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was accused of inciting jihad in speech and writing as well as unspecified actions. A New York Times headline captured the general elite reaction when he was assassinated: As the West Celebrates a Cleric’s Death, the Mideast Shrugs. Some eyebrows were raised because Awlaki was an American citizen. But even these doubts were quickly stilled.

Let us now put the sad relics of the Great Charter aside and turn to the Magna Carta’s companion, the Charter of the Forest, which was issued in 1217. Its significance is perhaps even more pertinent today. As explained by Peter Linebaugh in his richly documented and stimulating history of Magna Carta, the Charter of the Forest called for protection of the commons from external power. The commons were the source of sustenance for the general population: food, fuel, construction materials, a form of welfare, whatever was essential for life.

In thirteenth-century England, the forest was no primitive wilderness. It had been carefully nurtured by its users over generations, its riches available to all. The great British social historian R. H. Tawney wrote that the commons were used by country people who lacked arable land. The maintenance of this “open field system of agriculture…reposed upon a common custom and tradition, not upon documentary records capable of precise construction. Its boundaries were often rather a question of the degree of conviction with which ancient inhabitants could be induced to affirm them, than visible to the mere eye of sense”—features of traditional societies worldwide to the present day.

By the eighteenth century, the charter had fallen victim to the rise of the commodity economy and capitalist practice and moral culture. As Linebaugh puts it, “The Forest Charter was forgotten or consigned to the gothic past.” With the commons no longer protected for cooperative nurturing and use, the rights of the common people were restricted to what could not be privatized—a category that continues to shrink, to virtual invisibility.

Capitalist development brought with it a radical revision not only of how the commons are treated, but also of how they are conceived. The prevailing view today is captured by Garrett Hardin’s influential argument that “Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.” This is the famous “tragedy of the commons”: that what is not owned will be destroyed by individual avarice. A more technical formulation is given in economist Mancur Olson’s conclusion that “unless the number of individuals is quite small, or unless there is coercion or some other special device to make individuals act in their common interest, rational, self-interested individuals will not act to achieve their common or group interests.” Accordingly, unless the commons are handed over to private ownership, brutal state power must be invoked to save them from destruction. This conclusion is plausible—if we understand “rationality” to entail a fanatic dedication to the individual maximization of short-term material gain.

These forecasts have received some challenge. The late Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in economics in 2009 for her work showing the superiority of user-managed fish stocks, pastures, woods, lakes and groundwater basins. The historical review in her study, Governing the Commons, ignores the Charter of the Forest and the practice over centuries of nurturing the commons, but Ostrom did conclude that the success stories she’d investigated might at least “shatter the convictions of many policy analysts that the only way to solve [common-pool resource] problems is for external authorities to impose full private property rights or centralized regulation.”

As we now understand all too well, it is what is privately owned, not what is held in common, that faces destruction by avarice, bringing the rest of us down with it. Hardly a day passes without more confirmation of this fact. As hundreds of thousands of people marched in the streets of Manhattan on September 21 to warn of the dire threat of the ongoing ecological destruction of the commons, The New York Times reported that “global emissions of greenhouse gases jumped 2.3 percent in 2013 to record levels,” while in the United States, emissions rose 2.9 percent, reversing a recent decline. August 2014 was reported to be the hottest on record, and JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association predicted that the number of 90-degree-plus days in New York could triple in three decades, with much more severe effects in warmer climates.

It is well understood that most of the world’s fossil-fuel reserves must remain in the ground if an environmental disaster for humankind is to be averted, but under the logic of state-supported capitalist institutions, the private owners of those reserves are racing to exploit them to the fullest. Chevron abandoned a small renewable-energy program because its profits are far greater from fossil fuels. And as Bloomberg Businessweek reports, ExxonMobil announced “that its laserlike focus on fossil fuels is a sound strategy, regardless of climate change.” This is all in accord with the capitalist doctrine of “rationality.”

A small part of the remaining commons is federal land. Despite the complaints of the energy lobbies, the amount of crude oil produced from onshore federal lands in 2013 was the highest in over a decade, according to the Interior Department, and it has expanded steadily under the Obama administration. The business pages of newspapers like The New York Times and The Washington Post are exultant about “the boom in American energy production,” which shows “no signs of slowing down, keeping the market flush with crude and gasoline prices low.” Predictions are that the United States will “add a million more barrels of oil in daily production over the next year,” while also “expanding its exports of refined products like gasoline and diesel.” One dark cloud is perceived, however: maximizing production “might have a catastrophic effect” in “the creation of a major glut.” And with climate-change denier James Inhofe now chairing the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and others like him in positions of power, we can expect even more wonderful news for our grandchildren.

Despite these long odds, the participants in the People’s Climate March are not alone. There is no slight irony in the fact that their major allies throughout the world are the surviving indigenous communities that have upheld their own versions of the Charter of the Forest. In Canada, the Gitxaala First Nation is filing a lawsuit opposing a tar-sands pipeline passing through its territory, relying on recent high-court rulings on indigenous rights. In Ecuador, the large indigenous community played an essential part in the government’s offer to keep some of its oil in the ground, where it should be, if the rich countries would compensate Ecuador for a fraction of the lost profits. (The offer was refused.) The one country governed by an indigenous majority, Bolivia, held a World People’s Conference in 2010, with 35,000 participants from 140 countries. It produced a People’s Agreement calling for sharp reductions in emissions, as well as a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. These are key demands of indigenous communities all over the world.

So, as we commemorate the two charters after 800 years, all of this gives us ample reason for serious reflection—and for determined action. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

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We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+42 # ChrisCurrie 2015-05-29 10:01
Stock owned multinational corporations literally "have no god but money" and history has clearly shown that they don't give a damn how many people they impoverish and/or kill as long as they can continue to profit by doing so. They are in many ways similar (akin to) the Satanic "beasts" described in the Book of Revelation....
+12 # dickbd 2015-05-29 14:38
Yeah, but you can bet that they are all religious, though!
+10 # ritawalpoleague 2015-05-30 13:17
"...they don't give a damn how many people they impoverish and/or kill as long as they continue to profit by doing so." So terribly true, ChrisCurrie.

State this I did, as I reached, in time for its closing, the Colorado Mama for Clean Air Summit, yesterday (Fri., May 29, '15) on the front steps of the state capitol, in Denver. State I did what has doctors across this country worried: geoengineering, (addition of chemicals into the atmosphere for the sole purpose of weather control - all pushed and kept place by the fossil 'foolers' who have to keep their zillions flowing in from endless use of their danger plus fossil fuels) resulting in major upping of dangerous plus and too often deadly upper respiratory infections and diseases.

Time for us all to get onboard the reality train, leave La La Land behind, and support the true people serving and protecting pol., Sen. Bernie Sanders, as he runs for pres., as a Dem., in the '16 election. Here's one vital reason why to so support Bernie:

#2 commitment made in Bernie Sanders published 12-point plan - "Transform energy systems away from fossil fuels to create jobs while beginning to reverse global warming and make the planet habitable for future generations."

Win, Bernie, Win (for the sake of Mother Earth, and all life on it) !
+5 # oakes721 2015-05-30 18:50
It is a matter of SCALE: small farmers CARE about the land and its resources that feeds his family. A mayor is the most powerful of representatives because he LIVES THERE and is within the reach of the people whereas larger and corporate entities are removed and immune to criticisms of the people affected by their actions. Diversity, tolerance, understanding and community are all lost as the laws are corrupted to perform exactly backwards, protecting the larger criminals, who are presumed innocent by guilt of law.
+2 # RLF 2015-06-01 05:56
The wealthy are also insulated from the effects of the money grubbing by Wall St. They don't even know they are the ones responsible most of the time...they actually think they are good people!
+23 # jpmarat 2015-05-29 10:39
One worries that if "user managed" keeps a resource vital, GlobalCorp gangstas will swoop in, enabled by the states they own, and destroy the commons. It's not only the uncorrupted among Indigenous People who must control state power. Neo-Con artist, chicken hawk wannabe Hillary must be convinced that she will face a "blanket" girl and boycott by democrats if she runs as a Karl Rove protégé. That's not even what 70% of non-Wall Street Americans want.
-78 # WaaDoo 2015-05-29 11:12
Typical Leftist/Marxist philosophy....
"Unite the people around any purpose, and then lead them to espouse anything that gives government more power"

SO....let's create a few more Federal Agencies to deal with Climate Change and reduce our military strength....
+47 # makinghay 2015-05-29 11:51
WaaDoo, what happened to the old socialist philosophy of government of the people by the people for the people?
It is not the government that is the problem it is who the government works for that sets the stage of discontent.
+22 # CAMUS1111 2015-05-29 12:03
how would WaaPoo know--he's a goose-stepper
+19 # dsepeczi 2015-05-29 12:58
Quoting WaaDoo:
Typical Leftist/Marxist philosophy....
"Unite the people around any purpose, and then lead them to espouse anything that gives government more power"

SO....let's create a few more Federal Agencies to deal with Climate Change and reduce our military strength....

Shouldn't you have brushed your tooth and gone to bed by now ?
+17 # Farafalla 2015-05-29 14:55
I scroll to the troll and give it thumbs down. I still thinks trolls should have to pay 1 penny per word for their fascist rants.
0 # Brice 2015-06-01 14:23
I see you are a real believer in freedom of speech.

And what about all the irrelevant posts like the one above that only has in it calling someone a goose-stepper for what they said that is disagreeable? Until there is a calm way of discussing things I don't think you all are any more freedom-loving or progressive than the FOX News bunch.
+1 # Charles3000 2015-06-01 09:38
In a democracy the people are the government! The "government" is an organization of the people just like PTA is an organization of parents of kids in a school. The government is not some "thing" with power. Bottom line: the people always have the power.
+1 # Brice 2015-06-01 14:25
>> Bottom line: the people always have the power.

Not currently.

And I would say we can still have a good country without direct democracy. Let me remind you if we had direct democracy we would be far more right wing and fascistic than we even are now. The people don't have to time or resources, or take the time to understand what is going on.

I know there is "wisdom in crowds" but true democracy would never survive in this world of totalitarian super-powers. That's just a fact, so Progressives have to deal with that and figure out where the best compromise is ... which takes calm discussion and political savvy.
+12 # ladypyrates 2015-05-29 11:20
Chomsky's points are spot on but he does overlook an important point. Jefferson described our system as being "the peoples capitalism" as opposed to the European system. A labor/resource based economy can best be described as being "trickle-up" as opposed to the trickle down nonsense that has been forced upon us by the international banking community and their drones on Wall Street.The benefits to the working class under the original American system were unlimited but sadly that plan was buried long ago by the banker funded robots in the university system.
+10 # jdd 2015-05-29 12:40
Jefferson, the slave-holder, opposed efforts to build an economy on the model proposed by Hamilton. It was later when Henry Clay coined the term "American System," when referring to:
1) public credit based on a national bank;
2) protective tariffs to encourage manufacturing; and, 3) investment in internal improvements (infrastructure ). All of these were opposed by Jefferson and his followers who favored a nation of "genteel farmers" growing their way to happiness based on the model of Virginia's slave-owning South. The term "capitalism" did not come into widespread usage until popularized later by Karl Marx.
+1 # Nominae 2015-05-31 22:34
Quoting jdd:
.... All of these were opposed by Jefferson and his followers who favored a nation of "genteel farmers" growing their way to happiness based on the model of Virginia's slave-owning South. The term "capitalism" did not come into widespread usage until popularized later by Karl Marx.

Thank you, jdd, for your introduction of common sense and easily researched history to the question under discussion.

I am constantly astounded by contributors who come on willing to apply nothing more than insipid popular myth, baseless rumor and straight-up internet gossip to a subject as if that had the same gravitas as someone presenting actual facts.

Once again, the old saw applies: "Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but everyone does *not* have the right to their own set of *facts*.
0 # Brice 2015-06-01 14:29
>> A labor/resource based economy can best be described as being "trickle-up" as opposed to the trickle down

Maybe, but the way people are now there would not be enough trickle up to even defend our country. Guard the border, ha! Stop Hitler, Stop Islamic terrorism and expansion. Anything that did not directly affect us, and do it for an extended period, enough to rile up 66% of people would cause a problem that would already be too expensive to effectively combat.

Pragmatism is what the US is about. Democracy is great in terms of getting people talking and thinking, if they can and want to, but it doesn't work any more than fascism does. Freedom is expensive to maintain, and order is expensive to instill, and it doesn't always look pretty or logical.
+12 # Thomas Martin 2015-05-29 13:05
If anyone is confused, as I was, by the wording "Messed Up" in the title of this article, which seems inconsistent with the article itself, I just emailed Professor Chomsky asking him about it, and he returned this in response: "First I’ve heard about this. I don’t even know what article it is. But I’ve surely written nothing that merits that title. Rather the opposite, as you say."
+11 # Thomas Martin 2015-05-29 13:17
I do see now that this title was used on the article as published on Professor Chomsky's website - I guess I have to re-read his article - my apologies.
0 # Nominae 2015-05-31 22:42
Quoting Thomas Martin:
I do see now that this title was used on the article as published on Professor Chomsky's website - I guess I have to re-read his article - my apologies.

Congratulations upon your courage and your personal integrity in admitting, and then correcting your own mistake.

This is, sadly, becoming an increasingly rare commodity these days.
+17 # NAVYVET 2015-05-29 18:51
As a Medievalist, with a concentration on England in the 13th, 14th and 15tth centuries, I can assure Prof Chomsky that King John was not the only king who opposed the Great Charter--and he had to sell off England to the pope to get it thrown out. Every monarch I can think of, to the English Revolution of the mid 17th century, detested both the Great Charter and the Forest Charter, because they curbed royal fiat. The barons were the ones who wanted them, for various reasons (selfish and good), plus a few genuinely Christian churchmen. The poor, at first, had nothing to do with their own liberation, but that began to change in the 13th century, with Simon de Montfort, and continued through the 14th, with the Ordainers, the Contrariants & many other Parliamentary decisions curbing royal & church power and overseas warfare. It climaxed in the 1381 so-called "Peasants Revolt", actually a revolt of the lower and middle classes--and one clause of their manifesto was that all great lords’ estates, including the church's, were to be redistributed to the rural poor, most of it to be held in common by all. Presumably the revolt failed, but real wages for many crafts increased 300% through the 15th century, the villeins were freed, & cheap 99-year land rentals gave them land. Right now the attack is on Habeas Corpus and other clauses of the Great Charter, which makes me sick. For a modern response to the capitalist attack on the Commons, be sure to read Peter Linebaugh's books!
+2 # CelticNavigator 2015-05-30 01:03
As you may know, friend, the real game changer in those centuries was the Bubonic Plague, not the mere words of The Great Charter. After two major waves of plague, few peasants were left to work the fields, and when nobles came out of hiding, they found that young forests had reclaimed much of their farmland. Surviving peasants suddenly found that they were in great demand and could offer their services to the highest bidder, so wages shot up. They also began to travel for the first time, "voting with their feet" if working and living conditions where their families worked for centuries no longer suited them. Normally, nobles' soldiers would hunt down rebelling peasants, but the waves of Black Death even briefly halted the Hundred Years War a few times, with not enough men to fill the ranks of armies.

Also, many nobles died of the plague and surviving peasants often drug their bodies out of their manor houses and installed themselves as the new lords. The pedigrees of many noble families today began in the plague years.

Off-the-charts genius Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle" novels are hugely informative and entertaining, NAVY VET. Check out his long list of historical and fictional characters to see all the plot possibilities and chemistry. My Navy vet brother Hugh and I have read the 3-volume Cycle 2-3 times!
+24 # NAVYVET 2015-05-29 19:05
Here's a typical capitalist response to the million or more Irish people who perished in the Potato Famine. Most don't realize that only the better-off Irish families were able to pay for transport to the US or Canada. The poor died.

On page 72 in Cecil Woodham-Smith's history of the potato famine ("The Great Hunger") is this quote: "Lord Brougham, said in [England's] Parliament, 'It is a landlord’s right to do as he pleases. If he abstains he is conferring an act of favor and doing a kindness. If, on the other hand, he chooses to stand on his right, the tenants must be taught by the strong arm of the law that they have no power to resist. Property would be valueless and capital would no longer be invested in land if it were not acknowledged that it is the landlord’s undoubted and most sacred right to deal with his property as he chooses.'"

If there's any reader who doesn't cry at reading this--or is unable to make analogies with the ones killing us with fossil extraction--I strongly urge you to see a psychiatrist and get treatment for your mental defect. The rest of you--JOIN THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA AND STRUGGLE TO GET BERNIE SANDERS ELECTED PRESIDENT--WITH A GOOD CONGRESS!
+6 # CelticNavigator 2015-05-30 00:41
Here is an even sadder tale of the Irish, my friend. From the book, "White Cargo," by Don Jordan and Michael Walsh:

"From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.

"During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers."

"African slaves were very expensive during the late 1600s (50 Sterling). Irish slaves came cheap (no more than 5 Sterling). If a planter whipped or branded or beat an Irish slave to death, it was never a crime. A death was a monetary setback, but far cheaper than killing a more expensive African. The English masters quickly began breeding the Irish women for both their own personal pleasure and for greater profit (bred w/black slaves for valuable mulatto children)."
0 # anarchteacher 2015-05-30 18:50
"The Real Story Remains Untold"

Excellent article on the historical background of the state-enhanced English Industrial Revolution and the seizure and expropriation of the Commons. Anarchist Kevin Carson takes a "glass half empty" line in his review of Emma Griffin's 'Liberty's Dawn: A People's History of the Industrial Revolution' which he accuses of 'excessive glass half full-ism'.

Carson is right of course but considering how the overwhelming majority of historians and popularizers of this period are from "the glass wholly empty or worse" school maybe more slack deserved to be cut. Griffin's failures to imagine an alternative decentralized anarcho-liberta rian path to the contrary.

Anarchist Keith Preston BTW considers Kevin Carson to have eclipsed anarcho-syndica list Noam Chomsky as the preeminent intellectual of the American left. No doubt KC deserves the title even if the left doesn't or is incapable of recognizing it.
+2 # John Escher 2015-05-31 09:35
Quoting CelticNavigator:
Here is an even sadder tale of the Irish, my friend."

I maybe shouldn't judge the world by my own ignorance, but it seems to me that few of my contemporaries know this, especially the part about whom was deemed more valuable in the slave trade.
+2 # anarchteacher 2015-05-30 19:00

After the Industrial Revolution came the Welfare State.

The history of the welfare state is the history of the state's savage war of aggrandizement and seizure of authority against civil society. Whether in Germany, in the United Kingdom, in Australia, in Canada, in Scandinavia, or in the United States, the coercive state systematically destroyed the "voluntary sector" of civil society and those intermediary institutions that protected the individual from the direct contact and control by the state [much as the Church did for nearly all of the previous two millennia].

Within the short space of two or three decades the protective sphere covered by workingmen's social and other fraternal duties had been stripped to nothing more than drinking associations, with all other matters taken over by the state apparatus. Henceforth, the workingman and much of the middle class reported directly to the bureaucracy of the state's intrusive regime.

Everything they did was in some way or another regulated, regimented and overseen by the state.

The dire effects of this calculated collectivism was malevolence not benevolence, aggression not altruism, genocide not generosity.

The spawning of the welfare state and the warfare state went hand in hand.
+3 # Brice 2015-06-01 14:39
> The history of the welfare state is the history of the state's savage war of aggrandizement and seizure of authority against civil society.

This is an interesting branch of history to take and look at.

States compete. Cities compete. Neighborhoods compete, families compete, and people compete.

Right wingers often talk about how the government costs them money and they would prefer to pay no taxes because they want to be in charge of the fruits of their labor.

But without taxes nothing with ever have existed, so they really are saying they want to cannibalize what has been built before so they can have more stuff.

In the same way, Leftists seem to ignore the global military infrastructure. If not for our military nothing would exist. If you cannibalize it, groups would merely come in and take over and take your stuff.

We band together, it used to be we had a common understanding and purpose, but now who knows what is going on in the US these days.

The living area of the state is what can be compromised consciously to the benefit of both state, the people, and the elite who basically own the state. The elite we are not going to get rid of, and if we did as in any number of revolutions of the past, a new elite develops again.

The people deserve more than they are getting now, but they also need to give more than they are giving now, or also to make sure that what they give is not taken up by a corrupt elite. That is the people's responsibility.
-3 # BKnowswhitt2 2015-05-30 21:50
'Due process of law' blah blah blah ... always sociologically determined by the more's of a given society .. def of more: "The meaning of all these terms extend to all customs of proper behavior in a given society" ... so determined by the mentality of that group in society at a given time in history .. what messed up the world was the 'Fallen Angel' 'Prince of Darkness' who cut off the world from heaven and God .. resulting in a world in which it is run by that .. so too is man .. so the reason is far greater than what Chom's claim is ... it is inherent in mankind on Earth as we know it ...
+1 # Bruce Gruber 2015-06-01 13:09
Too bad we have to keep inventing and interpreting inadequate gods who need us to entertain them with our submission and adulation. We concoct repetitious enjoyment of forgiveness for our "sins" and the guarantee of everlasting paradise so we don't have to accept death.

Combined with a myriad of excuses for not working together to evolve beyond primitive survival, self-righteousn ess and greedy acquisition, humankind dooms our species to both self and planetary destruction ... to say little of our refusal to accept the repetitive pleas of our various prophets to learn to accept and rejoice in the opportunity to grow and evolve our humanity.

Dissuading ourselves with the fantasy that some fairy godfather or his evil twin determine all outcomes is the most immature and unenlightened transference of blame and avoidance of responsibility - the extreme de-/un-/pseudo- humanizing of both the fantasy and reality of the concept of any form of creative knowledge or awareness.

Excuses do not relieve us of the opportunity existence offers.
+3 # Brice 2015-06-01 14:33
Not very productive or useful to make everything about the supernatural. It might be a great allegory about what has happened and how you feel about it, but the world needs more than that in order to build consensus to change anything.
0 # Evolouie 2015-05-30 22:50
We need to go back to what the founding fathers envisioned for corporate charters.
0 # Dongi 2015-05-31 20:36
When the Native Americans make a treaty or conclude some other collective act, they measure the impact thereof to the seventh generation. The white eyes will probably never even see the third generation. So who is the bigger threat to the well being of the world?
+2 # Brice 2015-06-01 14:31
You know, I'd agree with you ... I'd rather live in the Native American way of life and community, in harmony with nature.

But there is a bigger thing going on in the world since even before that time, a military evolution of war and dehumanization.

When faced with that, the Indians lost. If you want to learn from historical precedent, maybe take a deep think about that.

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