Sunday, September 09, 2007
Poor, Powerless America
"Lately Americans have enjoyed pretending they are powerless, disenfranchised individually and deep in decline as a society, perhaps to grant themselves latitude responsible people do not have or desire. In fact, our ability to do harm, by act or omission, is great beyond all reckoning, and greater by the measure of our refusal to accept this fact and its implications. Powerless people can hardly demand coherency of themsleves, since they must always react to the forces they cannot trust, whose wiles they cannot anticipate. They are safe from responsibility, safe from blame." -Marilynne Robinson, "Facing Reality", The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought, p.78-79.