The state and the people

12 Dec

There is an article in the Economist An American’s home is still her castle (25.11.2006) that mentioned about this ruling by US supreme court last year. In the Kelo v New London case, the supreme court broaden the definition of public purpose in the case of government seizing private properties. In the past, private properties means things like schools, road or the like. But the new definition extend to “the state may seize private property on behalf of private developers, so long as this serves some broadly defined public purpose, such as increasing the tax flow into public coffer”. So, the state may kick anyone out of their home for building something profitable to government and , arguably, indirectly back to the people. This ruling caused a stir among people and among politicians in the Congress. Fortunately, there is a law underway to curb this eminent-domain abuse.

It’s strange to have the state wanting to evict people’s out of their home for Donald Trump’s parking lot. United States came out with the idea of empowering rich individuals, but isn’t it gone a bit too far? Fortunately the Americans still have some system in which normal citizens still have some voice. Many other countries do not have the luxury.

This passage reminded me of this novel Animal Farm. It was about a farm that initially ruled by people who kept making use of them and killing them. These animals later retaliated under the leadership of pigs. After much efforts, they drove the humans out of the farm. Everyone was happy. Then what? The pigs moved into the houses and demanded to be served. The others animals still worked as hard and few animals still went missing now and then. Nothing change except the new lords of the house.

The novel clearly reflects upon lower class people’s wondering. Why do we need a state? What does independence means to us if it only means instead of foreigners, let people with same skin color make use of us. What is the responsibility of a state actually? US president Kennedy said “Don’t ask what the country can do for you.” But why can’t we? Since when government started to run like a private company with so much emphasis on profits? Perhaps often we forget the idealistic ‘a better future for everyone’ hold during the fight for independence, a time when everyone still at equal ground – at the lower level.


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