For a long while I have believed – this is perhaps my version of Sir Darius Xerxes Cama’s belief in a fourth function of outsideness – that in every generation there are a few souls, call them lucky or cursed, who are simply born not belonging, who come into the world semi-detached, if you like, without strong affiliation to family or location or nation or race; that there may even be millions, billions of such souls, as many non-belongers as belongers, perhaps; that, in sum, the phenomenon may be as natural a manifestation of human nature as its opposite, but one that has been mostly frustrated, throughout human history, by lack of opportunity. And not only by that: for those who value stability, who fear transience, uncertainly, change, have erected a powerful system of stigmas and taboos against rootlessness, that disruptive, anti-social force, so that we mostly conform, we pretend to be motivated by loyalties and solidarities we do not really feel, we hide our secret identities beneath the false skins of those identities which bear the belongers’ seal of approval. But the truth leaks out in our dreams; alone in our beds (because we are all alone at night, even if we do not sleep by ourselves), we soar, we fly, we flee. And in the waking dreams our societies permit, in our myths, our arts, our songs, we celebrate the non-belongers, the different ones, the outlaws, the freaks.What we forbid ourselves we pay good money to watch, in a playhouse or a movie theater, or to read about between the secret covers of a book. Our libraries, our palaces of entertainment tell the truth. The tramp, the assassin, the rebel, the thief, the mutant, the outcast, the delinquent, the devil, the sinner, the traveler, the gangster, the runner, the mask: if we did not recognize in them our least-fulfilled needs, we would not invent them over and over again, in every place, in every language, in every time.
Salman Rushdie
In his book Politics, which is the foundation of the study of political systems and very interesting, Aristotle talked mainly about Athens. But he studied various political systems - oligarchy, monarchy - and didn't like any of the particularly. He said democracy is probably the best system, but it has problems and he was concerned with the problems. One problem that he was concerned with is quite striking because it runs right up to the present. He pointed out that in a democracy, if the people - people didn't mean people, it meant freemen, not slaves, not women - had the right to vote, the poor would be the majority and they would use their voting power to take away property from the rich, which wouldn't be fair, so we have to prevent this.James Madison made the same pint, but his model was England. He said if freemen had democracy, then the poor farmers would insist on taking property from the rich. They would carry out what we these days call land reform. and that's unacceptable. Aristotle and Madison faced the same problem but made the opposite decisions. Aristotle concluded that we should reduce ineqality so the poor wouldn't take property from the rich. And he actually propsed a visin for a city that would put in pace what we today call welfare-state programs, common meals, other support systems. That would reduce inequality and with it the problem of the poor taking property from the rich. Madison's decision was the opposite. We should reduce democracy so the poor won't be able to get together to do this.If you look at the design of the U.S. constitutional system, it followed Madison's approach. The Madisonian system placed power in the hands of the Senate. The executive in those days was more or less an administrator, not like today. The Senate consisted of the wealth of the nation, those who had sympathy for property owners and their rights. That's where power should be. The Senate, remember, wasn't elected. It was picked by legislatures, who were themselves very much subject to control by the rich and the powerful. The House, which was closer to the population, had much less power. And there were all sorts of devices to keep people from participation too much - voting restrictions and property restrictions. The idea was to prevent the threat of democracy. This goal continues right to the present. It has taken different forms, but the aim remains the same.
Noam Chomsky
You were born with your head in the clouds, your future wide open,feeling almost weightless. Almost.Kudoclasm.You had dreams even before you had memories: a cloud of fantasies and ambitionsof secret plans and hidden potential,visions of who you are and what your life will be.They keep your spirits high, floating somewhere above your life,where the world looks faintly hypothetical, almost translucent. But every time you reach for the skyand come away with nothing, you start to wonder what’s holding them up.Surely it would have happened by now?!You feel time starting to slip, pulling you back down to earth.even as you tell yourself, don’t look down.You don’t have the luxury of floating through life,because you may not have the time. The future is already rushing toward you and it’s not as far away as you think. It feels like your life is flashing before your eyes, but it’s actually just the opposite: you’re thinking forward, to everything you still haven’t done,the places you had intended to visit,the life goals you’d eventually get around to,some day in the future.You start dropping your delusions one by one,like tossing ballast overboard.And soon the fog lifts and everything becomes clear— right until the moment your feet touch the ground. And there it is, the real world.As if you’ve finally grown up, steeped in reality, your eyes adjusting to the darkness, seeing the world for what it is.But in truth, you don’t belong there.We dream to survive—no more optional than breathing. Maybe the real world is just another fantasy,something heavy to push back against,and launch ourselves still higher.We’re all afraid to let go,of falling into a bottomless future.But maybe we belong in the air,tumbling in the wind.Maybe it’s only when you dive in that you pick up enough speedto shape the flow of reality and choose your own course,flying not too high and not too low, but gliding from one to the other in long playful loops. To dream big and bounce ideas against the worldand rise again.Moving so fast,you can’t tell where the dream ends and where the world begins.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows