After having taken each individual, in turn, into his powerful hands and moulded them in his own way, the sovereign reduces each nation into nothing more than a herd of timid and hard working animals of which the government is the shepherd.First let me explain the pictures. There is a connection to the stated subject. Cattle -- in return for giving up their freedom -- get free medical care, free food, disputes resolved, and lots of security. They really have nothing to worry about. They are a contented lot.
-- Alexis de Tocqueville, De la Démocratie en Amérique (1840)
From the cow's point of view, their master seems exceptionally kind and benevolent. Not only are all the comforts provided, most of the cows would argue that they have plenty of freedom. Most of the time they are allowed to roam a rather large pasture at their will. Of course, the pasture does have a fence around it and there are those disturbing instances when they are locked up in pens for awhile, but even that is usually for their own good. Strangely, some cows don't like the fence and are constantly probing for its weaknesses. Such cows, when found out, find that there are severe consequences for such probing.
All in all it is a good life, not much to complain about really. Until one day, it suddenly becomes obvious why they have been so well cared for. But by then it is too late!
The deer, on the other hand, has to worry about all those things. The deer has no medical care, it has to find its own food and it has to provide for its own security. In fact, in return for her independence, about the only thing she gets, for sure, is . . . freedom! But the price is high. She has to find her own food, she has to provide for own security, she has to settle her own disputes, and she has to find her own shelter.
From the cows point of view, the deer is a fool to give up so much just for freedom. Who needs freedom anyway? What good is it?
It is not obvious. The benefits are subtle but they are significant. First, physically and mentally, the deer is superior to the cow. It has to be to survive. It doesn't rely on drugs and medical care for its health as the cow does. Surviving on its own has resulted in it being graceful, strong, fast, intelligent, and very alert. Second, it enjoys the variety and wonder of nature. Unlike the cow, it doesn't have to look at the same terrain every day. It is smart enough to know it can jump fences (Cows can too, they just don't know it. In a crisis, some discover they can). Third, the deer's life is exciting. The cow's life is dull, dull, dull. The deer would not trade places with the cow and if it were somehow provided with all the cow's benefits but with the fence, would try to escape.
One way to help you stomach what is happening today in politics is to see what has happened before. I have built an extensive historical page, "Leon's Political Almanac", in which I have listed for every day of the year, important political events that happened on that day. Check it out.
I did an analysis of the Republican Platform of 2000 and compared it to what they actually did during their possibly one chance at total control of the US goverment. The results are in "Watch your Step! A few planks are rotten in the Republican Platform".
[In work. . . I must wait until they get in power again!]
[Later . . .]
Copyright © 1996-2004, S. Leon Felkins