“Despotism is the proper government for them”

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In 1824, a political gladhander, liar, narcissist, military general, self-proclaimed hero and dictator, made the following statement about the people of Mexico, “A hundred years to come my people will not be fit for liberty. They do not know what it is, unenlightened as they are, and under the influence of a Catholic clergy.  A despotism is the proper government for them, but there is no reason why it should not be a wise and virtuous one.”

Those sentiments came from López de Santa Anna, the most influential of all dictators Mexico has ever had and one whose attitude cemented the nature of Mexican governance through 200 years.  Santa Anna invented numerous self-agrandizing terms for himself, such as “Napoleon of the West” and “Saviour of the Motherland.”  He institutionalized corruption in government and expanded the role and power of a central government.  Across the sweep of its whole existence, Mexico has just changed the names on the “el presidente” plaques in Mexico City, but the contemptuous inclination toward the Mexican people from atop the throne never evolved. Sapping that nation’s wealth from the top has simply been a game of musical chairs played by its leaders for over two centuries.

For six years the United States has been led by an Administration, Obama and Jarrett, whose propensity to view its subjects with disdain is not new, nor was it new when Santa Anna prevailed through fear.  Narcissism is not new.  Disrespect for institutions providing balance in power is not new.  Institutionalization of government corruption is not new.  Swelling a central government is not new.  Fomenting broad-based divisive hatred and resentment from both the podium and through community instigation, is not new.  What is new, is that these disturbing disfigurements of society and this contemptuous scorn of fellow human beings, are being inflicted on America, from within America — by its own democratically elected leadership. The last bastion of freedom on earth is being transformed, and “freedom” is not the end game.

Santa Anna

The destruction of resolve and human spirit in Mexico was long ago considered a “mission accomplished.”  As America looks to its own future, with a possibility that the crown has a chance of passing from Obama to Clinton, another vain and self-absorbed unaccomplished ignorant, there is a possibility that the “mission accomplished” banner will flap on the White House roof.

And the condescending attitude from the Oval Emperor’s Office of, despotism is the proper government for them”  will have been right.

A constituent of the vast baby boomer generation with a career which has been fortunate to know the ponderous corporate worlds, as well as the intimately pressurized, and invigorating entrepreneurial domains of high tech and venture capital, I have harvested my share of mistakes meandering through corridors of enterprise from Silicon Valley, to London and endless, colourful, sometimes praetorian points in between. The voyage has provided an abundance of fodder for a pen yielding to an inquisitive keyboard, a foraging mind, and a passionate spirit. Whether political or business or social or economic or personal, is it not all political? It is a privilege to write, and an even greater privilege to be read by anyone, and sometimes with the wind at my back the writing may occasionally be legible. I do not write to invite scorn, nor to invite respect, but if I get really lucky the writing can stimulate thinking. I also write for the very selfish purpose of animating my own processes, and engaging the best of what life offers. Above all, whether biting fire or swatting shadows, I am grateful to be gifted the freedom to write and publish whatever flows down to the keyboard. To all those who enabled this freedom, and to all those standing guard to preserve it, I am indebted.

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