“Never forget there was only one freedom on which this nation was founded; that was freedom from government.” -Barry Goldwater ...
I was reminded of that quote as I was reading Thomas Sowell’s latest article (“Empathy” Versus Law) in Townhall.com.
It was the not so subtle language in Mr. Sowell’s article trying to remind us of the reason behind the limiting of governmental power by the Framers of and written into Our Constitution; the use of language is what sparked the brain to do the work of remembering.
To illustrate that, look at the use of the word “damage” in the following quote from his article.
In the American system of government, presidential term limits restrict how long any given resident of the White House can damage this country directly. But that does not limit how long, or how much, the people he appoints to the Supreme Court can continue to damage this country, for decades after the president who appointed them is long gone.
Think about it. Dems were as happy to see Bush term limited out as Repubs were to see Clinton term limited out.
As usual Thomas Sowell hits the nail on the head about how much damage unchecked power can lead to. That however is not why I’m writing.
Yet another quote. The use of the word “damage” by Mr. Sowell, dredged out of my head the use of the word “degenerated” used by Peter F. Drucker in 1909. It can be found in his book “The Effective Executive” by Harper Collins, still in print. Newt Gingrich in talking to young Republican Activists said to read that book, said he had, over and over and still does, I did. Below is the quote.
“Unless a decision has “degenerated into work” it is not a decision; it is at best a good intention” Peter F Drucker, “The Effective Executive” pp114 Harper Collins paperback edition, 2006.
The only thing the two words, “damage” and “degenerated” have in common is that they both are negative and both are used to highlight or enhance a positive message. The use of the negative by both authors conjured up images in my mind far different than if the words were left out.
Kind of like a left jab setting you up for the Right hook.
Drucker’s Right hook was to make the point that if you want something done you have to get off your butt and do something. Sowell’s Right hook came in the form of an admonition; we reap what we sow. Ie If we don’t pay attention we deserve what we get. Ie We need to get off our butt and do something.
Both authors are word smiths of renown. They both however, through their writing show they understand that the ultimate power derived from the written word is measured in stirring the readers into creative action. Degenerating thoughts into action; to help put in place methods to stop the damage caused by the real world to our fantasies.
This Ying and Yang between reality and fantasy is what makes us as a people work. Ying or Yang alone will lead us to ruin.
Both writers I believe, understand that without the good intentions, life as we know it will disappear, and the bitch is that we have to degenerate those intentions into work in order to survive. I would add that the work based on good intentions is what makes us human and not animal. I would also add that the good intentions are what make the work bearable and indeed sometimes very unlike work.
Regards, Live Dangerously Be A Conservative