Lysander Spooner writes the president

A few months ago, I excerpted a section of Lysander Spooner’s letter to president Grover Cleveland that I thought was especially relevant to the upcoming election. Though written in 1886, the letter continues to prove applicable to our times, the following being a particularly apt selection now that the ruling elite — that is, our lawmakers — are in the process of handing over a trillion dollars to the former head of an investment bank, who will then use it to bail out the bad decisions of the politically-connected rich (all, allegedly, for our own good):

I can assure you, sir, that a very large portion of the people of this country do not believe that the government is doing “equal and exact justice to all men.” And some persons are earnestly promulgating the idea that the government is not attempting to do, and has no intention of doing, anything like “equal and exact justice to all men”; that, on the contrary, it is knowingly, deliberately, and wilfully doing an incalculable amount of injustice; that it has always been doing this in the past, and that it has no intention of doing anything else in the future; that it is a mere tool in the hands of a few ambitious, rapacious, and unprincipled men; that its purpose, in doing all this injustice, is to keep — so far as they can without driving the people to rebellion — all wealth, and all political power, in as few hands as possible; and that this injustice is the direct cause of all the widespread poverty, ignorance, and servitude among the great body of the people.

Now, Sir, I wish I could hope that you would do something to show that you are not a party to any such scheme as that; something to show that you are neither corrupt enough, nor blind enough, nor coward enough, to be made use of for any such purpose as that; something to show that when you profess your intention “to do equal and exact justice to all men,” you attach some real and definite meaning to your words. Until you do that, is it not plain that the people have a right to consider you a tyrant, and the confederate and tool of tyrants, and to get rid of you as unceremoniously as they would of any other tyrant?

The players might change, but the game remains the same.

Advertisements

About Charles Davis

A writer and producer with whose work has aired on television and radio and been published by outlets such as Al Jazeera, The Intercept, The Nation and The New Republic.
This entry was posted in Lysander Spooner. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s