The Roots of History
When Henry David Thoreau graduated from Harvard he refused to take his degree. “It isn’t worth five dollars,” he said. Later he overheard Emerson remarking that Harvard taught all braches of learning. “Yes indeed,” Thoreau interjected, “all of the branches and none of the roots.”
This is one way of looking at American’s knowledge of American history. From my observation of letters to the editor, news broadcasts and listening to people we are fed the branches of history, but not the roots. A recent article revealed that the subject students were the least proficient in was American history, thanks to teachers having to teach primarily for math and reading tests.
My many years in education leads me to include a few roots of history in my writing as a good understanding of the past could cause us to look more deeply into the superficial statements fed to us by politicians and experts in the media.
The following article by Thomas Ferguson helps make my point.
The year I909, income distribution is as lopsided as it is today. J.P. Morgan is fine tuning a tariff bill by telegraph from his yacht. Morgan and his fellow robber barons have for years reliably tied Congress into knots whenever anyone proposes regulating trusts, railroad rates, financial speculation, or labor disputes. A notorious corrupt ring of U.S senators, the so called “Millionaires Club” is on hand to bury in committee any measures the corporate titans frown upon.
One could look back at earlier history and find the same group of robber barons at work during colonial times and during the Civil War. During the I800s the fortunes of the Morgans, Astors, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers and Carnegies were enormous while working people were hungry and desperately struggling to survive.
Now that we have looked at some of the roots of American History lets fast forward to today. Many of the descendants of early robber barons are still active today with many new recruits. Big money still rules in the same manner and the country’s masters dispatch armies of lobbyists to stymie any legislation that may in anyway threaten their fortunes.
A large percentage of the Senate belongs to the millionaires club and the others are working to become members. They don’t become millionaires on a senator’s salary, no innuendo intended. Members of both parties are employed by same interests. “Congressional parties now post prices for key slots on committees. You want a slot—you buy it.
Although the Wall Street protesters are receiving a lot of media coverage, what ever they are seeking would take a revolution to attain. As long as our choices for government are bought and paid for before being elected the status quo will reign
Proverb: In Wealth Many Friends: In Poverty-Not Even Relatives