quicquid status quo

I saw a sentence on a leftish site today, Mother Jones iirc, to the effect that “Power is concentrated in the hands of defenders of the status quo”

This seems almost a tautology. Moments in history where this is not true are rare – they are the true tipping points.

The question is the nature of the status quo and of the power. Responsible power perceives itself as a balancing act between chaos on one hand, and perfidy on the other. Disruption or corruption, with a narrow space between.

How narrow? An interesting question, obviously dependent on many things.

But balanced on this narrow ledge, you will always find the ancien régime. Who else would you expect to see there?

Whatever the status quo, it defends itself, and very rarely fails completely. It is very risky for those outside the status quo to overturn it, and the effort often makes matters worse. But sometimes the situation becomes too ridiculous to put up with much longer.

Some dude once said:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.


  1. After spending several weeks of 12 hour days at my local Occupy site I have come to a certain conclusion. The biggest obstacle to overcome is the perception that there is no such thing as social responsibility.

    We have been trained by media for some time to think that all problems in life are the fault of the individual. If and when the perception shifts to where a significant fraction decide that social responsibility is paramount over individual privilege then we will see movement.

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