Thursday, August 29, 2013

Minding Our Own Business - What a Concept!

I'm fond of recalling how an early American coin, designed by Ben Franklin in 1787, had a slogan which read Mind Your Business. Based on other writings of Franklin, it's likely he intended that to be interpreted as not only tending to your business, but minding your OWN business. The other symbols include a sundial and the the Latin phrase Fugio, meaning literally I fly, or flee. In other words, time flies (does it ever!) and it's essential to tend to our own affairs.

Truly words of wisdom for an infant country. This is a slogan that not only should have been kept on our coinage, but should have been part of the oath of office for every government representative, including the POTUS. Something like: "I promise to devote my efforts to the citizens' business in these United States of America, and the public's liberty and well-being, above all else. I will not waste time attempting to control the affairs of other sovereign nations, but pledge my labor to domestic issues, within the framework of the United States Constitution."

As Todd Lipscomb of Made in USA Forever points out, "We have plenty of problems to focus on here at home. Unemployment and underemployment remain rampant, no matter what the government figures are spewing, real wages are dropping and the trade and budget deficits remain mathematically unsustainable, just to name a few. 

Rather than Washington’s song and dance, let’s focus on domestic issues. Each international quagmire puts more and more drag on our economy without addressing any of the issues that actually pay the bills."  

Today would be a great day to contact those in the beltway bubble who purport to work for us, and remind these folks that THEIR business is supposed to be attending to OUR country's business. Their business is not serving Israel, the MIC, multi-national corporations, or the fossil fuel industry. Or at least, it's not supposed to be. And their job isn't allowing the disintegration of our constitutional rights, it's protecting them. As they took an oath to do. If they can't operate within the framework of the Constitution, then they need to go home.

I also like the back of this early American coin. Interlocking circles that form a larger circle. The slogan We are One. Joined in mutual support, for trade, for protection. Reminding us that while we focus on our own affairs, we are doing so within a network that we are part of and contribute to. With public commons, which we all can benefit from. Roads, libraries, bridges. Things that facilitate our daily business. Nowhere in any early American writings from the founders does it say, "Every man for himself!" Or, "As long as I'm comfy, screw the rest of you!"

And nowhere did the founders express the idea that we were united for the purpose of policing other nations! Or plundering their resources! Quite the contrary, in fact. But sadly, the state of this nation today is the exact opposite of everything this nation was intended to be when it was founded. What we have become is an abomination.

I don't know where we go from here, as citizens. I don't know if enough of the citizenry is aware of how dire our situation is, collectively. Or cares. Obviously there's a segment of the population that is solely focused on consumption and self-entertainment. Period. As long as they have money coming in for cable, the smart phone, the latest trends and designer labels, seats at the concert/game/restaurant, "it's all good". They don't know, or care, who is in office. I don't know what percentage of the population this group comprises, but I can see that it's definitely not small.

And then there are the fundamentalist zealots, who attend to politics and vote without fail - for anyone claiming to be opposed to abortion and gay marriage. The person they support often ends up decimating their own lives economically, but as long as said candidates are "pro-life" and support "traditional marriage", they will vote for them. And whomever else their church tells them to support (in blatant violation of the US tax code, of course). As long as the person is a white male, preferably. And they would never vote for a non-Christian.

Let's not forget the second amendment "libertarians". The second amendment is the only one they know or care about. Spectacularly uninformed, but believing themselves to be in-the-know because they listen to wingnut talk radio and those guys wouldn't lie, these folks are largely silent when the other rights are being trampled. They certainly don't object to laws limiting contraception and abortion (in fact, they're often for those laws), or the government unconstitutionally seizing the property of people not even convicted of a crime. Nope, as long as they can have whatever kind of firearm and weapon they want, in whatever quantity they want, or have a junkyard on their property if they so desire, "it's all good".  Mostly able to express themselves in short talking point phrases they've memorized, independent thought does not appear to be their forte.

Then there's the O-bots, the devout democrats. Anyone who doesn't support Obama is a racist, and nothing Obama does is his fault. He's just a victim. They voted for Obummer, and they would die before acknowledging they were wrong about what he represented (or that he's 100% Corporate Tool). They'll vote for anyone who runs as a democrat, even if they're a DINO, as long as that "D" is after the name. The devout democrat is the counterpart of the devout republican, who will only vote for someone who has an "R" after their name. These two groups like to think of themselves as opposites, but in reality they are very similar. Both are party-faithful, and end up voting for perceived positions and carefully managed media images, rather than voting based on results, or for individuals.

So how do we work with all these disparate groups, at least long enough to unite for the goal of re-establishing a country by the people, for the people? Is there way to make that happen, some method of appealing to a vast majority of Americans? Or is it already too late for us? Do we just sit back and watch while the Beltway Sociopaths and Wall Street Grifters steal or destroy what remains of our country and its resources, along with the rest of the world's? Can we as a nation get back to Minding Our Business?

What ARE we going to do?


Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

I think your concluding sentence is the proverbial million-dollar question.

That Franklin coin is very interesting, in many respects. I believe it portrays an early nation's history, and an early national interest, that has been suppressed and revised. The same is true with corporate charters of that day. They used to be granted for only a limited time, say twenty to thirty years, with concise and specific language as to what each particular corporation could engage in and do. Once the charter ran its course, the company was dissolved and liquidated. But how many people know this today, and how many have even heard of that coinage you displayed?

This was a well-said and perfectly written summary of the state of our nation today. It holds more truth than the previous thirty-two State of the Union addresses.

The next coinage should read: Mind Your Business...and keep your business out of my government.

That's the answer to your question.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

Great slogan!! If there's any of us left after the next revolution (or if we survive as a species), let's put THAT on our money!

In terms of Franklin and his coin, clearly he was using business as a synonym for affairs, as in tend to your own affairs.

None of them could have forseen the mess we have now, with multi-national corporations and lobbyists making all the decisions in lieu of government!

As you pointed out, colonial leaders felt the corporation should be a limited, controlled creation, for specific purposes only. In other words, they viewed it as a structure that was to serve the citizenry, not some Great-and-Powerful-Oz that citizens must serve!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Father Tyme said...

That Franklin coin is very interesting, in many respects."

At least 13!

And before we start deifying our founding fathers, let's remember more than quite a few believed in spiritual things unrelated to today's religion. Possibly some ideas without a shred of scientific merit. Some were even convinced there were secrets to life, the universe and everything given to us from...

But, who knows?

9:29 AM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

No one here is "deifying" the founders, but rather attempting to remind readersof the original concepts upon which the nation was formed.

I don't care what their spiritual beliefs were, or whether or not they were "scientific". Spiritual beliefs of any sort don't tend to be scientific...That's why they're called beliefs and not facts.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Father Tyme said...

Their original concepts were heavily slanted toward their Masonic Beliefs that they and only they were and are the only guardians of the Republic and will do whatever is in their immense power toward their ends.

Their unswearving loyalty to those beliefs came (comes) first, country second.

They may have had some fine ideas for the formation of this country but they were far from caring whether it becamse a Democracy , Republic or whatever as long as the Order Prevails.

As long as the two are mutually beneficial, things will be fine.

I'll leave it at that.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Anna Van Z said...

At the moment, I'm hoping to keep the focus on what's happening NOW, and constructive actions we can take as citizens.

1:30 PM  

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