Somewhere, recently, I saw the Lord Acton maxim about power (how it corrupts, and, if absolute, corrupts absolutely) referred to as a “cliché.”
Just because a phrase is common doesn’t mean it’s cheapened by repetition. Some expressed truths are that profound.
If anything, we need to repeat the Acton Axiom more often, and louder. For we live in a time when the federal government usurps power, denigrates, evades and undermines the rule of law, and appears “hell bent” (now that’s a cliché) on accumulating power in concentrated form . . . you know, like Sauron did with the ring of power in The Lord of the Rings. (Another possible cliché, eh?)
The NSA spying program story, as it unfolds, exemplifies the typical pattern:
- Information gets leaked.
- The government denies it.
- Further information comes out, establishing the lying nature of the denial and
- Adding more details of even more shocking nature.
- The government makes further denials . . .
And repeat ad nauseam.
Retired Lieutenant General James R. Clapper still serves the president as Director of National Intelligence, even after lying directly to Congress about the existence of NSA “metadata” collection system.
Meanwhile, the long arm of the secrecy establishment has retaliated against journalist Glenn Greenwald (who helped break Snowden’s first and subsequent leaks) by detaining the journalist’s partner without charge for the legal maximum of nine hours in Great Britain, upon coming home from a trip.
And the gentleman I reported on last week, who shut down his encrypted email service and erased his records rather than fork it all over to the government, says he has been repeatedly threatened with imprisonment.
Typical modus operandi of tyrant wannabes. Don’t worry about “cliché”; worry about tyranny.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.