There are some nations in Europe whose inhabitants think of themselves in a sense as colonists, indifferent to the fate of the place they live in. The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.”Having been around people like that, those words really struck me. Empty existences, adults happy as long as they have a place to get drunk at on Friday or Saturday (or both) and whatever they consider entertainment. (Not a slam at those who enjoy video games, silly movies or shows, or who like going out on the town, as I enjoy all those. But when that is all you have in your life, and it consumes all your time, and you like it that way...)
No sense of a greater purpose -- whether religious or simply trying to pass off a better country to your kids. A total lack of awareness of anything besides who is on Us Weekly. I'm not looking for everyone to know the ins-and-outs of NAFTA, but let's try to know a little about how we are being governed and who our representatives are.
Another quote, long a favorite of mine, comes to mind:
Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say "what should be the reward of such sacrifices?" Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship and plough, and sow, and reap, to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth? If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!The beer guy said that one.