Revolutionary thought of the day:
No healthy democracy can endure when the most consequential acts of those in power remain secret and unaccountable.

Glenn Greenwald


johngoldfine said...

I've been looking at this post for a few days, trying to figure out what bothers me about it.

I understand what it means and what the circumstances are that inspired it. But unpacking it leaves me unsatisfied.

* What would an unhealthy democracy look like? One with demagogues, populist agitation, diminished rule of law, whipped up mass hysteria? But isn't that already where we USAians are? So, is GG saying that transparency can help restore health to our polity? That seems overly sanguine to me--too little, too late.

* "Can endure"--is he channeling Lincoln's House Divided speech? I don't see the point of the fancy word unless he wants to echo Lincoln and why would he want to do that? Are we a House Divided? 'Endure' raises the rhetorical stakes without actually meaning anything other than 'last' or 'succeed.' Who is he trying to impress?

* Acts can be secret, but I don't think they can ordinarily be "unaccountable." Those doing the acts are accountable...or not.

So, I stumble three times trying to get this RTOD straight in my mind.

laura k said...

I don't know if you read Greenwald or if you're viewing him only through this quote? He could hardly be accused of "too little, too late". I think, based on past conversations, that you'd be more likely to consider him an alarmist.

If you disagree with Greenwald's ideas or dislike his writing style, that's one thing, but I seriously doubt he's trying to impress you or anyone else.

Perhaps I used a poor pull quote, or perhaps you're trying to derive too much meaning from one sentence. Or perhaps it's a poorly worded sentence. It's still a good column, though. Worth reading.

[In Canada "GG" stands for the Governor General!]

johngoldfine said...

Just working off the single quotation. I don't ordinarily read him.

laura k said...

Ah-ha. Then maybe it is a poor choice of pull quotes, or a poor sentence. I'll post more! :)

laura k said...

Greenwald is one of the best journalists working today. His only flaw IMO is a tendency towards overload. But he's great, absolutely essential in my book.