Party Of The People

One of the greatest literary pieces I have ever read was a comic book made into a movie: V for Vendetta.  It gave a story that, using crafty metaphors, is perhaps the finest work on pro-liberty viewpoints ever penned.  One part, in particular, is crafty and aptly defines the primary issue as I see it:  The People have no spine, no will to make the world, to be the change that they want:

Good evening, London. I thought it time we had a little talk. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…

I suppose you’re wondering why I’ve called you here this evening. Well you see, I’m not entirely satisfied with your performance lately…. I’m afraid your work’s been slipping, and…and well, I’m afraid we’ve been thinking about letting you go.

Oh, I know, I know. You’ve been with the company a long time now. Almost…Let me see. Almost ten thousand years! My word, doesn’t time fly? It seems like only yesterday…I remember the day you commenced your employment, swinging down from the trees, fresh-faced and nervous, A bone clasped in your bristling fist… “Where do I start, sir?” You asked, plaintively.

I recall my exact words: “There’s a pile of dinosaur eggs over there, youngster,” I said smiling paternally the while. “Get sucking.”

Well, we’ve certainly come a long way since then, havn’t we? And yes, yes, you’re right, in all that time you havn’t missed a day. Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Also please don’t think I’ve forgotten about your out-standing service record, or about all of the invaluable contributions that you’ve made to the company… Fire ,the wheel of agriculture…It’s an impressive list, old-timer. A jolly impressive list. Don’t get me wrong.

But…well, to be frank, we’ve had our problems ,too. There’s no getting away from it. Do you know what I think a lot of it stems from? I’ll tell you… It’s your basic unwillingless to get on within the company. You don’t seem to want to face up to any real responsibility, or to be your own boss. Lord knows, you’ve been given plenty of opportunities…We’ve offered you promotion time and time again, and each time you’ve turned us down. :”I couldn’t handle the work, Guv’nor,” you wheedled. “I know my place”

To be frank, you’re not trying, are you? You see, you’ve been standing still for far too long, and it’s starting to show in your work….And I might add, in your general standard behaviour. The constant bickering on the factory floor has not escaped my attention…Nor the recent bouts of rowdiness in the staff canteen. Then of course there’s….Hmmmm. Well, I didn’t really want to have to bring this up, but…Well, you see I’ve been hearing some disturbing rumours about your personal life.

No, never you mind who told me. No names, no pack drill…I understand that you are unable to get on with your spouse. I hear that you argue. I am told that you shout. Violence has been mentioned. I am reliably informed that you always hurt the one you love…The one you shouldn’t hurt at all.

And what about the children? It’s always the children who suffer, as you’re well aware. Poor little mites. What are they to make of it? What are they to make of your bullying, your despair, your cowardice and all your fondly nurtured bigotries? Really, it’s not good enough, is it? And it’s no good blaming the drop in work standards upon bad management, either….

Though, to be sure, the management is very bad. In fact, let usnot mince words…the managment is terrible! We’ve had a string of embezzlers, frauds, liars and lunatics making a string of catastrophic decisions. This is plain fact.

But who elected them? It was you! You who appointed these people! You who gave them the power to make your decisions for you! While I’ll admit that anyone can make a mistake once, to go on making the same lethal errors century after century seems to me nothing short of deliberate.

You have encouraged these malicious incompetents, who have made your working life a shambles. You have accepted without question their senseless orders. You have allowed them to fill your workspace with dangerous and unproven machines.

All you had to say was “NO.” You have no spine. You have no pride. You are no longer an asset to the company. I will however, be generous. You will be granted two years to show me some improvement in your work. If at the end of that time you are still unwilling to make a go of it…You’re fired.

That will be all. You may return to your labours.

A school district near my hometown has miserably failed.  Football…they are kings.  Academically, they suck.  Teen pregnancy is at an all time high.  Of the 26 pregnant girls at one high school, 24 tested positive for an STD.  They have consistently failed to meet state standards in multiple areas including standardized testing.  And now we are seeing a lot of parents answer state budget cuts by moving their kids to private schools.

This bothers me.  First, I think forced taxes to pay for schools when you have no children enrolled is wrong.  Tuition should be a parental responsibility.  Of course, there is that argument that local business benefits from a well educated workforce.  And I really do not argue that point.  So quickly moving on….

…what bothers me is that parents have allowed utterly lack luster performance, along with skyrocketing teen substance abuse rates, pregnancy, and STD rates.  That was all shrugged off.  But now that we are seeing budget cuts, people are flying to private schools.

But they will still be paying taxes to support the local ISD.  And more affluent people, who are more likely to move to private schools, will have a heavier burden due to ISD’s being supported by property taxes.

Why do The People (and small businesses) not raise hell?  Why not rally and protest the completely miserable performance (except in football, where they are perennial state playoff contenders, both schools, as well as achieving some national fame for their pivotal role in the Odessa Permian story of Friday Night Lights.

I am a former West Texas high school football player.  I was large for the small towns of West Texas, and did very well as an athlete.  I value football, so don’t get this rant wrong.  It is not about gridiron success.  It is about a lack of involvement from the tax payers.  A lack of accountability for the people who have produced such a failure of a product.

This isn’t a new phenomenon.  It is ongoing, in any school district.  Performance ebbs and flows with individual talents. But these are very large schools, and you would expect a balancing of the Bell Curve over such a large dataset.

And The People are tolerant.  Just like on the world stage, as well as the national stage.  It is time to wake up, people.  It isn’t your personal failures and shortcomings that will be the end of our civilization.  It is our collective apathy.  People who stand up and protest are viewed as “crazies”, and generally scoffed at and detested.  This is not The American Way.  This is not why we have a 1st Amendment.   And, if they truly ARE crazy, ignoring them will only make their actions and desires to be noticed more extreme (abortion doctor murders, for example).

V is right.  We had a nice run.  But if we lack the willpower to change, we are doomed.  It is hard for individuals to change, doing it on a macro scale is no doubt difficult.  We have had warnings from religious leaders for millenia, and pop culture for decades.  So I really have no  belief that a comic book can effect such a change.  Nor will my rant.

But I can wish.  There IS a movement afoot to create a worldwide “Party of the People”.  Similar in concept to The Libertarians, it would represent the common good of man, despite regional differences.  Freedom, liberty, the pursuit of personal happiness and success….these are basic rights that every human should be entitled to.  As well as the ability (and desire) to demand accountability for the failures of the people we elect to represent us.  Anything otherwise is dictatorial and tyranny.

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