Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Good Reading, Thinking and Deliberating

In an article by the person detained by the police at the famous Washington snowball fight last week, I found this:

In his book "Here, the People Rule," Harvard law professor Richard Parker eloquently defends the "political energy" of "ordinary people": "Government must not only be responsible to ordinary people. . . . It, above all, must be responsive to them -- not just occasionally, but systemically."

And in a year-old op-ed, I found this:

The media elites really hate that idea [of McCain/Palin winning] because they like telling us what’s going to happen. They’re always annoyed when the people cross them up...

Why do elites like to proclaim premature closure — not just in elections, but also in wars and in social struggles? Because it makes them the imperial arbiters, or at least the perspicacious announcers, of what history is going to bring. This puts the elite prognosticators ahead of the curve, ahead of the simple-minded people who might entertain the delusion that they still have a choice.

and suggest you read this paper of Parker wherein he writes:

the “first principle” of popular sovereignty is that it is a practice...contingent and context-bound...never “authoritatively” established, never finally realized in “law,” a living practice whose meaning and destiny is always up to the political will, energy and acuity, the strength and the luck, of the living...we should not only avoid political correctness, but violate it. Specifically, if we believe that the existence of “the people” depends on the prior
development of “a people” and “one people,” we should be wary of promoting fashionable separatist versions of what is called multiculturalism. We should, instead, promote assimilation. We should promote patriotism, too.

I think, given the latest government decisions in Israel that the above makes for very good reading - and thinking and deliberating.

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