SMBC and American History
I discovered an awesome new comic today: Sunday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
I was going through the (extensive) archives when I found one that made me think a bit:
It’s certainly not the funniest entry from the archives, but what would the founding fathers think of the progress we’ve made in the past couple hundred years? It’s not the first time I’ve pondered the question; historically I would have taken the “horrified” approach almost immediately. PATRIOT act, no-fly lists, Gitmo, tax upon tax, enormous federal government bureaucracies, etc.
But the bearded man’s response is making me rethink that. I read a book a few years ago about the American Revolution that spent many, many pages trying to describe the world of England to illustrate how dramatic and world-changing the Revolution actually was. One of the things that stuck with me the most was the concept that wealth and power flow down from the monarch in a very real, absolute way. We have our concepts of kings, lords, and vassals from movies and literature, but having the system described in such a stark, academic way really struck me.
Comparing that world to the world we have now (the Western world, at least) is astounding – and I think that it would be absolutely mind-blowing to someone who actually grew up at least partly in a society that had an actual king from which all power, societal and economic alike, stemmed. Yeah, it’s not perfect. Far from it, of course. People, lots of people have very real and legitimate gripes and disagreements, but, ultimately, this is a very large, immense, complex, democratic and capitalist society. The experiment that began here on virgin land with 2 million people has ballooned into a worldwide, earth-changing society that has managed to, for the most part, stay true to many of its roots.
I think that anyone who was a part of the American Revolution would be shocked to see what it has led to. Shocked and proud beyond measure.
After they got over the whole airplane thing, at least.