Our Choice

We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.

Thomas Jefferson (1816)

Advertisements

15 comments on “Our Choice

  1. shoreacres says:

    Wisdom is wisdom, that’s for sure. It’s as true today as it was then.

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Wendell Berry uses this as the epigram to his collection of essays: What Matters? Economics for a Renewed Commonwealth

      It seems wise to me, both as a personal and a public matter. I think you’ll appreciate this in it’s fuller context:

      I am not among those who fear the people. They and not the rich are our dependence for continued freedom. And, to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude.

      Of course on a personal level it must have pained Mr. Jefferson to write this. Despite so ardently and brilliantly advocating thrift, prudence and economic virtue, he loved luxury and lacked self-control. Sadly, in his personal life he chose profusion and servitude. His debts cost him his cherished library and prevented him from being able to free his slaves. Economy brings liberty, but even then some found the temptation of debt irresistible it seems.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. True, Bill. –Curt

    Like

  3. Dani says:

    Not an easy choice given the two options available…

    Like

    • Bill says:

      In this case he’s using the word “election” generically, meaning choice. But certainly in our presidential election this year we Americans aren’t being given good choices, at least if we limit ourselves to the major party candidates. Such a pity at such an important time in our history.

      Like

  4. avwalters says:

    I reject the premise that there are only two options. I have abandoned the idea that I am stuck with the lesser of evils.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bill says:

      One cannot choose the lesser of two evils without affirmatively choosing evil, something we ought not do. I suppose there are times when there is no alternative, but they’re rare.

      But in this context the word election just means choice. It can be a difficult path to follow at times, but the choice of economy over profusion seems a clear call.

      Like

  5. Leslie Mc says:

    Please post to FB. I would like to share.

    Like

  6. Doesn’t seem to be anyone around that TJ would choose….

    Like

    • Bill says:

      “The” election is a sad state of affairs this year. But whatever poor choices the political establishment offers us, we still have the option to make this decision, this election, in our personal lives.

      Like

  7. Looks very one-sided when you start deleting comments…
    Disappointed in you; me taking the time to write my thoughts down, even when on the road…
    May God bless you all!
    Mariette

    Like

    • Bill says:

      Hmm. Nothing deleted here Mariette. I checked to see if your comment might have ended up in spam (as happened to DM recently) but there isn’t anything there. Maybe your comment just failed to post. I’ve had that happen to me and I know how frustrating it can be!

      Liked by 1 person

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