[FoRK] Another quip from Gore's book

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Mon May 28 16:25:13 PDT 2007

You know, I haven't read *any* of Gore's other books.  I did see his  
recent movie, and thought it was a pretty good piece of work.  But  
reading Assault over the weekend in bits and pieces, I find myself  
very impressed by his ability to turn a phrase.  If he's always been  
this good a writer, then it's both mysterioud and a damn shame that  
he was such a wooden speaker in the 2000 election.

Here's a bit that I found particularly well-worked:

"The derivation of just power from the consent of the governed  
depends upon the integrity of the reasoning process through which  
that consent is given.  If the reasoning process is corrupted by  
money and deception, then the consent of the governed is based on  
false premises, and any power thus derived is inherently counterfeit  
and unjust.  If the consent of the governed is extorted through  
manipulation of mass fears, or embezzled with claims of divine  
guidance, democracy is impoverished.  If the suspension of reason  
causes a significant portion of the citizenry to lose confidence in  
the integrity of the process, democracy can be bankrupted.

"If citizens no longer participate, those among them who notice signs  
of corruption or illogic have no way to voice their concerns and  
summon the attention of others who, upon examining the same evidence,  
might share their dismay.  No critical mass of opposition can form  
among individuals who are isolated from one another, looking through  
one-way mirrors in soundproof rooms, shouting if they with but still  
unheard.  If enough citizens cease to participate in its process,  
democracy dies."

I cannot even imagine George W. Bush being able to parse, much less  
recite, much less still craft such statements.


PS - note the critical words "who are isolated from one another" ---  
that isolation or insularity being the operative factor in my choice  
of the term "Balkanization" rather than Albert's more innocuous and  
beside-the-point alternatives.

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