Thursday, January 27, 2011

Non serviam

Everyone reverentially quotes JFK's famous inaugural "Ask not..."; no one seems to think about it. If people did, they'd see it's just plain wrong. It's those who live in fascist, monolithic states whose purpose is to serve the state: their primary question is, What can we do for our government? In the US it's supposed to be exactly the opposite. The government exists to serve the citizenry, not the citizenry to serve the government. We should be asking what our country can do for us, not what what we can do for our country. Of course the answer usually is, and should be, "Leave us alone."

P.S. No, I don't believe calling it our "country," rather than the state or the government makes any difference. Are you really going to draw some mystical distinction here? Do you really think that the citizens of a country exist to "serve" it?


Laura Brown said...

That quote has always made me rather queasy as well.

miragrace said...

Very original and provocative thoughts.