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Sons of Ham, doomed to slavery.  Are transgressions to be inherited?  Is retribution to be taken on offspring?  Or not?

The criminal element—irredeemable, destined by nature, and thus society has no option but to separate, imprison, transport…thus the founding of Australasia as a criminal holding place was justified and successful.  Or not?

Pogroms through the ages…the Jews had Jesus killed, and thus sealed their fate as scapegoats for the rest of mankind, for eternity?  Or not?

We’ve come far from the days of slavery here in the US.  Our slaveholder forefathers owned, sold, beat our fellow man, whose progeny are now citizens with us.  We owe them for what our ancestors did to their ancestors.  Or not?

The poor will be with us always.  There’s no use in attempting to mitigate their suffering…it’s ordained.  Or not?

Karma is destiny.  What comes around goes around.  Comeuppance is justice—we all get what we deserve.  Or not?

Most of us today in this enlightened age, and our founding philosophy, would agree that the individual is paramount and central to our society.  That each of us, individually, have the power, the responsibility, the duty to make what we can of our lives unencumbered by whatever sins or transgressions may have been previously committed by family or tribe, in which we had no part.  That we, individually, through our own effort, expertise, training should reap the rewards or suffer the failures of our endeavors.  That if we fail, there’s opportunity to try again…that all avenues are not immediately closed to us.

If the sins of the father don’t, and should not, fall to the sons—why so the successes?  In this supposed meritocratic society where an individual’s worth is judged by his deeds and not lineage, why would the offspring of the successful be hampered and hindered from exercising their own effort, from creating their own successes, from experiencing their own failures?  Certainly one would and should want keep one’s family and progeny safe from the ravages of physical poverty, but what of the pitfalls of unearned wealth?  Are there no lessons to be learned from personal struggle, from trying and failing?

The millennial generation today is criticized today for being sheltered from the “real world” by their helicopter parents.  Always praised as special and smart, loaded down with participation ribbons and trophies, shielded from defeat and worry, driven to and from school…at least among the upper and middle class.  But this is not a new phenomenon…it’s been the hallmark of monarchies and empires throughout the ages.  At least in the past, in privileged youth there was instilled as sense of noblesse oblige and duty to country.  Today, that sense of responsibility to the greater society has weakened and rare among the extreme wealthy.

If it weren’t for the assist and shielding from failure by Fredrick Christ Trump, would the Donald be President?  Or would he be doing what other ambitious, callous, unread, narcissistic, willfully ignorant men are doing today?

The Sin of the Successful Father begat the Success of the Son.  Perhaps it would be best to not hamper our offspring so…let merit and ability shine from whichever quarter of society.

The Founders’ Distrust

The Founding Fathers, Hallowed be Their Names, were a distrustful lot.

They did not trust Executive Power (something about having a King that wouldn’t listen to them!)…so first created a government without an executive at all.  That experiment did not turn out so well—the Congress created by the Articles of Confederation was similar to today’s Congress…always gridlocked.  Their second attempt at the formation of self-governance did create the Presidency, but his powers were circumscribed.  (Imagine their surprise at the relative power today between the Presidency and the Congress.)

They did not trust a Standing Army…and so forbid one.  Any federal army raised had its existence limited to the length of a Congressional term, that of two years.  Sounded good on paper, but the modern world and military/industrial complex has made that desire somewhat mute.  (Imagine their shock at today’s budget in which half goes to Defense.)

They did not trust the military…so ensured that it was subject to civil authority.

They made the Presidency the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, but did not trust his use thereof…so made their use in war dependent upon the concurrence of the Congress.  (Imagine their dismay that the military is now deployed in undeclared conflicts with regularity.  Such would have been an anathema to them as well.)

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