And Who Knew?

“The happiness of society is the end of government.” –John Adams

Whatever he meant by that? It’s embarrasing. I don’t seem to know a damn thing any more, though at one time I thought I had at least a rudimentary grasp of the English language. Lucky I took time to look up the following word, before I slammed out a rant over its use to describe what feels so much more like rape and plunder, monstrous insult and deadly injury, than any sort of decent public administration. Turns out, it doesn’t matter a damn — it is all government, good, bad or unspeakable. Makes me want to throw the damned dictionary … but I’d lose a perfectly good laptop in the process — and I’m not exactly Pete Townshend. So I’ll try to be content with mere snarling and swearing. Grrr.

But that seems a feeble response to the cruel mockery of example sentences like this:

‘Government is necessary to the existence of civilized society.’

And for a savage one as well? For neofeudalism, guess you may only need private armies, prisons, thorough surveillance, and a nonstop propaganda apparatus. And they’ve got all that, and more. Time to railroad … backwards. Dinosaur Train, anyone?

Or maybe … time to find a 21st-century equivalent for Sherman’s neck-ties …


gov·ern·ment [guhv-ern-muhnt, ‐er-muhnt] noun

1. the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community,
etc.; political administration: Government is necessary to the existence of civilized society.

2. the form or system of rule by which a state, community, etc., is governed: monarchical government; episcopal government.

3. the governing body of persons in a state, community, etc.; administration.

4. a branch or service of the supreme authority of a state or nation, taken as representing the whole: a dam built by the government.

5. (a.) the particular group of persons forming the cabinet at any given time: The Prime Minister has formed a new government.
5. (b.) the parliament along with the cabinet: The government has fallen.

1350–1400; Middle English  < Old French governement.  See govern, -ment


About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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