Monday, August 16, 2010

Bush, Clinton, Kennedy “dynasties”: America adopts the Hapsburg model

In the first free elections after the fall of the Soviet Union, the call spontaneously arose from a few who had lived under Hapsburg rule for a thousand years for a Hapsburg to seek elected office. No it wasn’t supposed to be like that they were told. It was supposed to be like America: Michael Jackson. Cal Klein. Coke. Democracy. The Hapsburgs graciously stepped aside. Perhaps the grand historic irony will be that just as Eastern Europe was breaking free, America was beginning to yearn for the Hapsburg model of dynastic governance.

Today, a large swath of people in New England can think of nothing but having someone – just anyone; drunk, sober, mad or sane – vaguely related to a Kennedy run for office. Of course it is not just us Boston Irish. The Clinton generation as well hoped and hopes for wife of Clinton or Clinton again in some twisted configuration. The Bushes who were not Euro peasants but come from an actual legacy of republican governance established the new Hapsburg paradigm of family governance. And again today talk is of Jeb Bush in 2012.

The MSM loves to mass market “dynasty.” It sounds just like a TV show. But dynasty is governance for the horde; peasants in body and mind who have not yet found the will to moral liberation. Possibly we on the eastern seaboard of recent European descent are more inclined; possibly ancient memory is pulling us back; possibly we have never really assimilated – it is all they talk about a lot of them; Tuscany, Florence, the Spanish coast, Ireland. Emerson warned us of this.

Dynasties are the worst possibly form of government. Worst than dictatorships because in dynasties the peasant goes willingly to moral submission. Worst than kings and queens, which offer unified awareness within groups. Dynasties negate the free mind and the moral initiative of the individual and yield it up to the emperor (Bush, Clinton, Kennedy) who becomes a kind of serial god king through his family line. Without that free mind and moral will a peasant can never be a citizen. The best that can be hoped for is to become a consumer. Then you are still a peasant but you have more money.

I think I saw the reason why this is happening shopping with my wife this weekend. One of my neighbors was wearing a t-shirt that read, “No cure for stupid.” Maybe they were referring to the Washington Post reporters who are again pushing for dynasty this week with a Kennedy story. This might work while the money still flows. But summer reading of S.C. Gwynne’s astonishing “Empire of the Summer Moon” chronicling the material hardships which included rape, torture and mutilation of Rachel Parker Plummer and the indomitable Parker clan in their willful determination to stake a claim in west Texas little more than a hundred years ago should suggest otherwise.

The Baptist and Methodist and Mormon pioneers who settled the Southwest took their freedom of their own will. We, the tired, poor, huddled masses – most of us Euro peasants at the same moment the Parkers were claiming Texas - were more or less handed it on Ellis Island. I have no doubt they will keep it. The rest of us back East, I’m not so sure.

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