by David Eide 

The Values That Emerge  

Well, I know I don't have an empire to defend. I have only worlds to know and experience. It is the beginning of renewal. A 30 year cycle that started in '68 is now finished. A new era awaits.

Idle Musings of the Hypothetical Citizen

"You must not fall below the standard of your fathers, who not only won an empire by their own toil and sweat, without receiving it from others, but went on to keep it safe so that they could hand it down to you. And, by the way, it is more of a disgrace to be robbed of what one has than to fail in some new undertaking."
Pericles speaking to the Athenians after the second invasion of the Peloponnesians

There is the vortex of the crowd, there is the cool working out of details in the work-a-day political world. What the hypothetical citizen looked at was the core of Constitutional value and the health of systems that ran through him as once winds ran through great warriors on the plains. Connected to the core of Constitutional value was as close to being a secular act of religiosity but without it, the hypothetical citizen felt disconnected, unreal, in a world that had no light, no value; a world of the nihilists who were bred like rats in the cities and suburbs. "Oh rats who stand tall in your emptiness, the citizen sees you!"

The core of the Constitutional value was the ability of the individual to perfect himself and escape every coercion luck would allow. It was to become this magnificent combination of Emerson, Whitman, Kit Carson, Andrew Jackson, Lincoln, as well as Jefferson thrown into one person, seeded there so that the person grew up without impediment to either his dreams or his abilities. Yes, a man always connected to the culture he came from and seeking always to bring the society up to levels it had not permitted itself. Therefore a free man in a world that viewed freedom as an unattainable religion.

The central question was the position of power his culture now had; one that was mentioned in the same breath as classic Rome, Great Britain, historic Islam, and what new property of belief was necessary. Not pride but vitality. Not arrogance but liberation. The vital liberation evident in those great empires that vanished before and after the moment. And he roughly calculated that his culture had several centuries of life left to it and was sure it was at the beginning of something, even as endings occurred all around him.

"Now," he thought, "everything great in seed will flourish!"

Politics was not the way. In politics were seeded old, tired arguments used to manipulate the people.

In the citizen there was shadow and transcendence. He had known the shadow and experienced its bitterness and its cut-throatiness. Now he thirsted for the transcendent, the rare, the true meaning of the legacy of his culture, about to embark on its greatest adventure.

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© 2003 David Eide. All rights reserved.

David Eide

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