Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Closing Time

Some years ago, Aristotle argued that there is a 

reason the rich and the poor are regarded in an especial sense as parts of a state. Again, because the rich are generally few in number, while the poor are many, they appear to be antagonistic, and as the one or the other prevails they form the government. Hence arises the common opinion that there are two kinds of government- democracy and oligarchy.
It's important to note, that Aristotle insisted the the rich and their riches were beneficial only to the extent that "the wealthy . . .  minister to the state with their property." By which he means that wealth is a means to the end of creating a thriving city-state; should, he suggests, the wealthy use their wealth to further enrich themselves they are, in the Greek sense, idiots and, consequently, a destructive force. 

With the collapse, or apparent collapse, of this democracy's commitment to the poor, it would seem, in Aristotelian terms that we are entering a period of oligarchy.  I offer you, consequently, mad man Jack London's Ernest Everhard and various versions of Woody Guthrie's genius:



comedic relief


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