Ideas whose time came

“Out of unrestricted competition arise many wrongs that the State must redress and many abuses which it must check. It may become the duty of the State to reform its taxation, so that its burdens shall rest less heavily upon the lower classes; to repress monopolies of all sorts; to prevent and punish gambling; to regulate or control the railroads and telegraphs; to limit the ownership of land; to modify the laws of inheritance; and possibly to levy a progressive income-tax, so that the enormous fortunes should bear more rather than less than their share of the public burdens.” — Washington Gladden (quoted in The Cambridge History of English and American Literature, Vol. XVII, Ch. XVI, Sec. 12)

5 thoughts on “Ideas whose time came”

  1. Yes! Yes yes yes!!!

    But I despair, because leveling the fiscal playing field has become synonymous in this country with hippy liberalism (and I’m speaking from the left of Maddow) and atheism and several other -isms which scare the hell out of the red states.

  2. It’s like what you wrote yesterday, how the middle class–or the alleged middle class–vote against their own interests. The thing is–or one of the things is–and this is a thing we are hell-bent to deny in this country–the bulk of the so-called middle class is actually the servant class in America. And the servants are as they always are and have been through the ages; they are ignorant, fearful, superstitious, and easily manipulated by the aristocracy, which is another one of those classes we pretend we don’t have in this country; we call them the middle class, also.

  3. You would think with so much information being disseminated, people would wake up and realize that everything you’ve just said is true. But information doesn’t have to be true anymore, or provable; it doesn’t even have to make common sense. False information is a weapon, as I suppose it has always been, and people would rather be angry and put upon than enact any sort of change that might help someone else–someone they feel is unworthy. Instead of lifting the classes up en masse, that thinking is all about keeping everyone equally downtrodden.

    I’m sorry, I went off on a rant.

  4. Ranting is not a bad thing.

    I don’t know why people would rather be frightened and ignorant. Maybe it gives them a thrill. Every time I want to understand why someone is being hateful and stupid and vile, it always seems to come down to them being afraid. And usually it’s something in themselves they’re afraid of, and afraid to face.

    And my slate is not clean.

  5. No, well we start to dirty our slates the moment we exit the womb. I was so angry at my boss yesterday, I wanted to put a staple through her eye. At the end of the day she called me in to her office and apologized (sort of) and explained some of the problems she’s having with her bosses, and I took an honest look at her and thought, poor thing, she’s more like me than I want to admit. And for a few minutes we were two human beings having a normal human conversation.

    I could have been kinder in my thoughts about her, and more generous. It was immature of me not to try to rise above it and see her point of view. And the worst part is, I’ll probably forget to give her the benefit of the doubt next time and have to learn the same lesson again.

    Round and round. . .

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