Book Excerpt : Forging the Hero

https://mountainguerrilla.wordpress.com/2016/10/06/book-excerpt-from-forging-the-hero/

“It is popular in some circles to blame the troubles of our current situation on the self-interested manipulations of secret cabals of super-rich oligarchs who control the wealth—and thus the politics— of our nation and world. While this is undoubtedly true, and only a jackass would argue otherwise, it is also not any sort of novelty. Whether you are discussing Rockefellers, Carnegies, Gateses, Waltons, or others in our own time, or the Patrician class of ancient Rome, every empire has resulted in the creation of a class of super wealthy oligarchs who gathered enough wealth to their families that they could control the political decision-making cycle for their benefit and continued enrichment.

Conspiracy theories make it possible to believe, “if we could just get rid of ‘them,’ then everything would go back to ‘normal.’” The problem is not the existence of a patrician class of oligarchic aristocracy however. The problem is when the virtue of service is replaced with the virtue of selfishness, and both the oligarchs and the common man begin caring more about themselves than they do about their nation and their community. The problem is that the patricians—like the rest of society— lack the long-range vision necessary to recognize that what seems beneficial to them in the near-term, even though it might be detrimental to the rest of society, is also detrimental to them in the long-term…

The problem is when the common man, hoping to benefit from government largesse, allows greedy, selfish men, susceptible to corruption, into positions within the government, where the patricians can afford to bribe them. The blame is not just on the oligarchs. It is on every man. The problem is greed… The common man sees those around him apparently doing better than him financially, with all their material belongings and begins to believe in this new virtue. Now, he’d rather work long hours and extra days than spend time with his wife and children, teaching his children the values of their forefathers that made their nation great…

The people, and thus the nation as a general whole, are no longer interested in honor and glory. Their only interest is in retaining their wealth and their luxury.”

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