Friday, February 25, 2011

Aesop's Fables: Gaddafi and the Libyan

The Wolf and the Lamb

  WOLF, meeting with a Lamb astray from the fold, resolved not to lay violent hands on him, but to find some plea to justify to the Lamb the Wolf's right to eat him.  He thus addressed him: "Sirrah, last year you grossly insulted me."  "Indeed," bleated the Lamb in a mournful tone of voice, "I was not then born."  Then said the Wolf, "You feed in my pasture."  "No, good sir," replied the Lamb, "I have not yet tasted grass."  Again said the Wolf, "You drink of my well."  "No," exclaimed the Lamb, "I never yet drank water, for as yet my mother's milk is both food and drink to me."  Upon which the Wolf seized him and ate him up, saying, "Well! I won't remain supperless, even though you refute every one of my imputations."

The tyrant will always find a pretext for his tyranny.

Federalism vs. Federal

Recently, it has become apparent to me that the word 'federalism' and 'federal' semantically refer to their own opposites. 'Federal,' an adjective, is used to modify words that refer to institutions of the central government. In these institutions, power is centralized and consolidated. However, 'federalism' is a theory of government that seeks to limit the power of the national government and to localize power to the states. If we replaced the word 'federal' with the word 'national,' we would fix most of our problems... Thus, when we say "I want to federalize such-and-such" we would be saying that we want to move power to the local/state (federal!) level. And when we say "we want to nationalize such-and-such" we want to move power to the national level.