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  • Writer's pictureBart Scrivener

Subterranean Lee County Blues

In his 1960 book Resistance, Rebellion and Death, Camus discusses his play, State of Siege. “I wanted to attack a kind of political society that set itself up, or is setting itself up, on a Totalitarian model, both on the Right and on the Left. No one in good faith can fail to see that my play defends the individual, the flesh in its noblest aspects—in short, human love—against the abstractions and terrors of the totalitarian state, whether Russian, German, or Spanish [or Lee county]. Every day pundits reflect about the decadence of our society and look for its basic causes. Most likely such causes exist. But for the simpler among us, the evil of our times can be defined by its effects rather than its causes. The evil is the State, whether a police state or a bureaucratic state. Its proliferation in all countries under cover of the most varied ideological pretexts, the revolting security granted it by mechanical and psychological means of repression make the State a mortal danger for everything that is best for each of us.”

John Harington’s pithy observation, “Treason doth never prosper, for if it prosper, none dare call it Treason”, explains why smart folks use allegories to expose political corruption.

But let's return to Camus: “The world I live in is loathsome to me, but I feel one with men who suffer it. There are ambitions that are not mine, and I should not feel at ease if I had to make my way by relying on the paltry privileges granted to those who adapt themselves to this world. But it seems to me that there is a another ambition that ought to belong to all writers, to bear witness and shout aloud, every time possible, insofar as our talent allows, for those who are enslaved as we are.”

“The simplest and hence the most tempting thing is to blame governments or some obscure powers for such naughty behavior. Besides, it is indeed true that they are guilty and that their guilt is so solidly established that we have lost sight of its beginnings. But they are not the only ones responsible. After all, if freedom had always had to rely on governments to encourage her growth, she would probably be still in her infancy or else definitively buried with the inscription “another angel in heaven.” The society of money and exploitation has never been charged, so far as I know, with assuring the triumph of freedom and justice.”

Totalitarian Society

“The first thing to define a totalitarian society, whether of the Right or of the Left, is the single party, and the single party has no reason to destroy itself. This is why the only society capable of evolution and liberalization, the only one that deserves both our critical and active support is a society that involves a plurality of parties as a part of its structure. It allows one to denounce, hence to correct injustice and crime.”

How far removed from totalitarianism is super-majority? Where are we headed? What’s the Dylan song, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”. "Keep a clean nose, watch the plain clothes, you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. Look out kid, they keep it all hid, better jump down a manhole, light yourself a candle."

Here in Lee County, commissioner Gary Long sponsored the policy where citizens’ remarks at county commission meetings are no longer included in the minutes, not even included in taxpayer funded video of the meeting on the county’s website. And recently, the Lee County Planning Commission has allegedly adopted the same policy. What pattern, Cassandra? Just be sure to fasten your seatbelt on the way to the slaughterhouse, damaged meat doesn't sell well.

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

George Washington

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Suffer the scrivener, the copyist, to do the one thing he is surely capable of. Let him duplicate the lines of Macbeth, Mersault, Josef K, et al. "Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player [actor] T

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