Friday, June 17, 2011

2333 Years Later

Sometime before his death in 322 BC, Aristotle completed the Nicomachean Ethics. The Ethics was compiled from Aristotle's lectures at the Lyceum exploring the Socratic question of how men should best live.

In Book Five, Aristotle responds to the question: What is just in the political sense? He writes, "That is why we do not allow the rule of a man but the rule of reason, because a man takes too large a share for himself and becomes a tyrant. A (true) ruler, however, is the guardian of what is just, and as such he is also the guardian of equality and fairness. We think of a just ruler as one who does not get more than his share."

For 2333 years Aristotle's work has stood as the definitive work on ethics. Our founding fathers, among others, relied on the Ethics to influence the framework of our government. Yet, our leaders continue to feed at the trough of hard-earned tax payer funds taking more than their share. Yesterday, we discussed Nancy Pelosi and her well-funded, luxurious flights at our expense. But that is only one example. There are countless other demonstrations of this tyrannical abuse by our leaders.

Politicians whose family members are highly paid lobbyists, trade on the position of their elected spouse, father, wife or son. Congress shoves an unworkable, unpopular, unconstitutional health-care bill down the throats of the people while exempting themselves and their friends. Meanwhile Timothy Geitner, Obama's Secretary of the Treasury, the well-publicized tax cheat gets off Scot-free and becomes the national guardian of our treasury. One set of rules for us, another set of rules for them.

It grates on me. Gets under my skin. Just doesn't set right. We are an educated people. We ought to recognize tyranny when we see it and certainly before it is too late. Before, as a shopkeeper in Ireland told me while discussing their prohibitive value added tax (VAT), "they've broken us." Tyranny and tyrannical leaders eventually accomplish that.

Aristotle warned those who would listen. 2333 years ago.

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