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Apethetic, Complacent Consent

Saturday, June 17, 2006

  1. Acceptance or approval of what is planned or done by another; acquiescence.
  2. Agreement as to opinion or a course of action: She was chosen by common consent to speak for the group.
It was written in our Declaration of Independence that, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed." There is no doubt in my mind that you give your consent to be governed. How do I know this? Because we are not in a state of revolution. But, here's the real question I want to ask you, dear reader: What type of consent do you give? If we rewrote this sentence to read, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the                 Consent of the Governed," what word would you use to describe your consent? I'll offer two that I believe many have [perhaps unknowingly] chosen.
  1. Feeling or showing a lack of interest or concern; indifferent.
  2. Feeling or showing little or no emotion; unresponsive.
  1. Contented to a fault; self-satisfied and unconcerned: He had become complacent after years of success.
  2. Eager to please; complaisant.
Again, "Do you consent to be governed as we are today?"


Blogger Mark said...

Consent is different from acquiescence, the dictionary notwithstanding. If you view yourself as powerless or are just plain scared, you may acquiesce to (not revolt against) government power. You may also be indifferent and not give damn about the government so long as you think it is not too oppressive, at least to you.

Consent of the governed is a myth, an impossibility. Nobody asked me to consent to be governed and nobody asked everyone in 1787 for their consent to be governed by the Constitution. The government was imposed from above.

If one person objects, is that consent of the governed?

But I agree that most people are apathetic; perhaps because they see no way out.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Don Bangert said...

I had pondered consent given due to coercion. As a matter of fact, the last word I looked up was:



Constraint by threat; coercion: confessed under duress.

6:24 PM  

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