The Primal Flaw

Here I go again with another quasi-political pronouncement!

Ever since this whole debacle started, I’ve been asking myself what exactly the problem is with our country. At first I looked for what’s wrong in our economic system and found many truly fatal flaws.  But then I realized that to find the primal flaw one must look on the meta-level—at the country itself as a social organization.

As a career organizational administrator (long retired), I know how crucial it is for any organized undertaking to have plans for operations and future directions. As a country, the US supposedly has a detailed plan for operations, or at least guidelines for such, in our revered Constitution.  However, we have nothing that tells us which way or where our country is supposed to go.

A notion of future directions is necessary to accomplish any purpose or achieve a mission. Believe it or not, our founding sages never articulated a mission for their new country.  The only thing I can find in the Constitution even vaguely regarding a purpose is in Article I, Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power To [lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and] provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States…”

Note that this section merely gives Congress the power to do various things; it doesn’t charge the government as a whole with responsibility to do those things. And what’s more, “Defence” and “Welfare” relate only to the country/government itself, not to its citizens.

I can find no constitutional parallel to Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg comment about the US being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.  Here Lincoln says explicitly what the mission should be for our country as an organization:  The purpose of the government is to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare of the citizens of the United States.

More simply, the government should operate for the benefit of all the people and move in directions that protect and improve all our lives.  But in regrettable statistical fact, our government serves only some of the people, those with (heavily) vested interests.

So that’s my well-considered diagnosis. Let me think for a while on what to prescribe for this serious Social Systemic Disorder (SSD).  It’s an unsustainable, life-threatening condition that will definitely require radical treatment to save the patient.