THE CIRCLE OF STRIFE
The Circle of Strife
March 10, 2002
 
It's the Circle of Life and it moves us all
Through despair and hope through faith and love
Till we find our place on the path unwinding
In the Circle, the Circle of Life.
     -- "The Circle of Life," lyrics by Tim Rice, Walt Disney Co., 1994
 
Does it matter what form government takes?  There is endless debate today, as there has been down through the ages, as to what constitutes the "perfect" form of government. 
 
Western nations today unanimously tout democracy as the answer, though America's forefathers specifically eschewed democracy in favor of a constitutional republic.  That was then, however - this is now. 
 
Now the debate really is about what form of democracy America has assumed, with "by public opinion poll" being the leading contender.
 
Historically, theocracies were the order of the day in most countries, a form of benevolent dictatorship.  Those theocracies have ranged from that uneasy alliance between church and state evidenced in European empires of a few hundred years ago to the Islamic fundamentalism at work in Iran and many other Muslim nations today. 
 
Dictators have been the order of the day down through history, however, regardless of the ostensible form that any government has taken.  Dictators have ranged from ruthless individuals (Idi Amin comes to mind) to committees of the elite, such as those found in most communist countries, and benevolent institutions (Popes, for example).  Dictators have ruled over mobs (Attila), fascism (Hitler), communism (Stalin), theocracies (pick your Pope) and democracies (Zimbabwe's Mugabi comes to mind). 
 
My idea of a dictatorship is, "You do it this way, and I couldn't care less what you think."  That is, to dictate, pure and simple.  I know that mine is a simplistic approach to things.  Call it a weakness. 
 
It probably did not escape your attention that much of what is going in America today resembles a dictatorship, given my definition.  But, a democracy, nonetheless.  After all, the majority got to choose its dictator.
 
Similarly, I view most everything else, other than pure anarchy (every person for him or her self), as involving some sort of participation by the people governed (democracies and Republics being prime examples, with Britain's parliamentary approach, as practiced today, being a variation on the Republic theme).
 
And, no, it is not contradictory to see participatory governments as being dictatorial - how do you think Hitler, Mugabe and countless others assumed power in the first place?  Say what you will, it seems that most people quite simply want to be told what to do at every turn, with their choicemaking reserved for the more personal things in life - mate, car, pizza, beer, football team, etc. 
 
The illusion of choice, as between Republican and Democrat candidates in America today suffices, just so long as there are 47 brands of beer in the supermarket aisles.  After all, most Americans don't even bother to vote any more (perhaps in recognition of the lack of choice).
 
So, we have democracies that act like dictatorships and dictatorships that produce greater personal freedom than any democracy around.  Does it really matter what form government takes?  I suspect that it doesn't.
 
Many will disagree with my take on things, of course, but that is nothing new.
 
The Circle of Strife.  I see a pattern repeating itself all through the fabric of society, down through history.  I call it the "Circle of Strife."  And it happens everywhere, it seems, regardless of the form of government.  Simply put, the Circle of Strife says:  freedom fosters tyranny and tyranny breeds freedom. 
 
Regardless of a country's form of government, its citizenry is subject to absolute tyranny or near-absolute freedom, or something in between.  And there is a cycling between the two extremes, seemingly independent of the form of government extant at any given time.
 
Only in a truly free country, as America quite nearly once was, can tyranny be given the space to gain a foothold and grow.  Grow until, like the noxious weed that it emulates, every bit of freedom is crowded out of existence.  However, then the seeds of freedom left behind (memories, be they actual or hard wired via some sort of DNA encoding) begin to sprout.  And grow.  And flourish.  And finally vanquish the tyranny that went before.  Until freedom reigns supreme all over again, creating space for tyranny once again to gain a foothold.  And so it goes.
 
We create our own opposition, in other words. 
 
And revolution does not necessarily mark a shifting of the pendulum back along the course just traced.  The Russian revolution last century was merely a stopover from the relative freedom under Russia's monarchy to the nightmare tyranny of the communists that very nearly destroyed that nation. Trading the devil you know for the one you don't is not always a good idea. 
 
Men want to be led, for they always choose leaders, even though that choice sometimes is in allowing someone to assume control.  Men want to be led benignly, in their best interests.  That can happen irrespective of the form a government might take.
 
In fact, an argument can be made that democracy is one of the worst forms of government, since it always results in a form of mob rule.  Two wolves and a lamb voting about what's for dinner, as they say. 
 
There always will be a sizable minority in a democracy that gets tyrannized by the majority, an everpresent fear of America's founding fathers, which is why they established a constitutional republic, instead.  They knew about mob psychology; how a large group of people sheds its morality and mindlessly thinks only of its primal desires.  Lynch mobs are the classic example.  Welfare and open borders are two of the results of mob rule, the inevitable result when two out of a group of three find they can peacefully take the third's wealth by merely voting it to themselves.
 
America truly has become a democracy.  The republican (not to be confused with Republican, a political party that espouses socialism) safeguards have been abandoned through time, casualties of Supreme Court lawmaking, congressional sellout and Executive Order. 
 
The order of the day:  voting for which dictator you want, then government leading by following the polls, the results of which are engineered by the controlled media in the first place.  A form of democracy.  A guided democracy.  A dictatorship, if you will.
 
Make no mistake about the existence of an American dictatorship, with the reigns of power held by those who stand in the shadows, orchestrating the mob to flow in predetermined paths, much as Hitler used his awesome powers of elocution to hold his mobs in thrall. 
 
And ever-increasing tyranny, as evidenced by the machinations of John Ashcroft's Ministry of  Homeland Oppression...er, Department of Homeland Defense...the (anti-)Patriot Act and Bush the Second's neverending war against the denial of the West its oil.  And the fact that America has a higher percentage of its population behind bars than any other country in the world.  And the formation of a federal police force by the commandeering of each state's National Guard, together with the arming of virtually every federal employee with a uniform.  And the ongoing disarming of private citizens.  And the implementation of thought crimes.  And the nascent Gestapo now forming up under the guise of the "Human Rights Task Force."  And...and...and.....
 
How long before the pendulum reaches its maximum travel toward tyranny in America and begins to retrace its steps?  How long before all true freedom is snuffed from existence, leaving only its seeds to germinate in the dark?  Must it be that, like William Wallace, we demand "Freedom" only with our final breath?
 
Make no mistake.  True freedom will return to America.  What form the government has then doesn't particularly matter, but a constitutional republic did work once.  It's just a matter of time.  It's all a part of the Circle of Strife.
 
New America.  An idea whose time has come.

-ed 

"I didn't say it would be easy.  I just said it would be the truth."
            - Morpheus 

 Edgar J. Steele, 2002

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