It seems to me, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out the US, or any other government, is placing subliminal messages to conform and obey in the media. I am not saying they are, or that they have any plans to manipulate us in that manner, I sincerely hope not! I am saying that if I found out they were, I would not be shocked or surprised, and neither would anyone else. That is the problem, no one would be surprised or even outraged if such a thing were going on, considering the out of control actions the US and other governments have been caught in. What a sad statement on the level of corruption in our governments isn’t it? After all we were only slightly outraged at the NSA spying program that gets worse every day as the diabolical reality of it comes out in dribs and drabs. We have become so accustomed to our governments lying to us, conniving to take our stuff and stepping on our human rights, we have become calloused. That is a big problem, because it shows how far our governments have moved away from acting in the interests of us all, and to acting only in the interests of politically favored groups.
In Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defined right forms of government and wrong forms of government. The attribute the right forms had in common was that they all sought to benefit the interests of the whole nation state or in his time the city state. What the wrong forms had in common was that they only sought to benefit the ruler’s interests. History shows us all too clearly that the latter is more common than the former. Most nations have been ruled by connivers who only have their own best interests at heart. The rest of us are merely tools to be exploited to get what the political elite want.
This paradigm has only been overturned a few times in history and has never lasted long. Those few times are illustrative of what a nation can achieve, when the leaders seek the benefit of the whole of society, instead of one or two politically favored segments. Rome in her Republican years was given wealth, freedom and military prowess. Before she became corrupted by the intercine fighting manifested by Marius and Sulla, she never invaded a neighbor, but only met force with force. There have been times in most countries around the world where this was the case. In every instance, where those nations who were blessed with rulers who ruled for the benefit of all of the people, those nations were also blessed with prosperity and freedom. History in unambiguous on this point.
History is also adamant that those nations who were cursed with selfish rulers who ruled for their own egoistic self interest have been damned with poverty, famine, war and tyranny. As the rulers get more selfish the fortunes of those states diminishes. They keep falling until the government is overturned from within or from without. There is not one instance in history where a nation state or city state was virtuous and was demolished. In every case, invasion or revolution, the state itself had become so corroded by corruption, cronyism and political favor, that a fall became inevitable.
In the very best cases of virtuous government, where the state ruled for everyone’s interests, the leaders lead by example. If they wanted the people to be less greedy they eschewed avarice themselves, where they wanted the people to be more industrious the rulers worked harder themselves, and where the governors wanted the people to have fidelity to the state, the leaders were more dutiful to the people. This is an example of self interest rightly understood. When people are given good role models in the form of virtuous leaders the people become virtuous themselves. The same is true when our leaders are corrupt, we follow them into corruption. It is human nature.
Today we live in societies so corrupted by our leaders that we don’t bat an eye when we hear a politician was caught in anything. We have become so jaded by the trampling of our rights and our constitutions that we wouldn’t be shocked to find out our politicians are using mind control on us. Our governors have so exploited, manipulated and lied to us, we merely rolled our eyes when we found out our government was sending weapons to drug lords and blaming it on honest gun dealers, we are not outraged when we discover our President lied to our faces about our very healthcare, we are sanguine when we learn an ambassador was left to die by our government to cover up arms dealing with our existential enemy, and not even slightly worried when we are told our government targeted people for audits and additional IRS scrutiny based on their political affiliations! Our leaders have so corrupted our governments by narrow self interested egoism, they have become in fact and in definition, the wrong forms that Aristotle talked about. The proof is in our lack of outrage at an ever increasing tsunami of corruption, cronyism and incursions on our basic rights. This can only lead to violent upheaval. Isn’t it time to be outraged, and demand our leaders follow their own laws, our constitutions and simple morality?