Saturday, January 19, 2008

Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton's book Who Would Have Thought It? is the first novel I have read since Beloved, sometime in the spring of 2005 (I have been reading, just not novels). Although I found it fascinating, it left me feeling rather dejected about the state of of nation. Major John Hackwell, the scoundrel of the story, states toward the end of the work:

"And what and who is the government? At present, of course, our government is the Secretary of War: that we all know. But I mean, speaking in general, what is a government? Ah! it certainly is a terrible impersonality if a republic--an irresponsible tyrant that can neither blush nor be guillotined. And for this reason we call ourselves a free people! And with perfect sang-froid we can see a cabinet officer make a cat's paw of a President! And we say we are the 'model government,' because, as long as the mob is cajoled, no matter how much individuals are tyrannized over, a cabinet officer can crush anyone opposing him and make it all right with the President by telling him and the mob that it is done for the glory and interest of the people...

Some of our wise legislators would make laws to have winter for ten years and give to a rich company the monopoly of collecting all the ice, then would decree to have summer for ten years so that the ice job should pay well, no matter how many wretches froze to death, or died of exhaustion in such prolonged heat, and the ice so dear." (271-2)

As the editors of the recovered text state at the end of their introduction to the novel: "Who Would Have Thought It? carries out an incisive demystification of an entire set of dominant national myths, many of which are, unfortunately, still very much with us today, a hundred years" (Sanchez & Pita lvii) later. Knowing that, today, millionaires Romney & Clinton are leading other millionaires in a battle (NV & SC) to replace the rapist & murderer (literally, not metaphorically) George W Bush as our president makes this individual full aware that bullshit rhetoric tossed around about freedom & democracy by GW, Clinton, Romney, & all the other assholes is empty & vacuous prattle. All the better to keep us in chains.

2 comments:

TC said...

I find it odd that you mentioned GW and Clinton in the same list.

Warchevski said...

They are more or less the same person. The only candidate I could fully support would be one that spear-headed a revolution & dissolved all 3 branches of government. The America people need a real 1770s-style revolution.