Friday, September 17, 2010

The Tudor age

The TV series about the Tudors, who ruled England during the 16th century is remarkably accurate in many details. Not all of them, but close enough. I was inspired by the mini-series to read the book by the same name The Tudors; the complete story of England's most notorious dynasty written by G.J. Meyers.
It's an amazingly gripping history, with an analysis of the Protestant reformation and all the politics involved in the religious upheavals. One of the amazing parallels between the Tudor age and our own is the use and common acceptance of torture, as an acceptable and even necessary evil. Another parallel is the rise in dreadful poverty, partly as a result of the dissolution of the monasteries, partly as a result of a change in perception. The old order had an ethic that poor people are beloved of God, and it was the duty of every Christian to give to the poor and take care of the needy. During the Tudor age, the idea developed that poor people are unworthy and being poor was evidence of personal failure or character deficiency. It sounds like the meme spread by Ayn Rand, and nurtured Fox 'news' propagandists and their wealthy owners. In the Tudor age this led to economic misery and disfunction. Sound familiar?
This report from the Joint Economic Committee of Congress shows that the top 10% of Americans brought in nearly half of all the income earned in 2008. And their taxes went down. Remember what happened after that? When Richard Burr made a frantic call to his wife, telling her to pull all their money from the ATM before the system collapsed? This whole Tea Party BS is destroying us all. And the pathetic pawns in their stupid costumes are too blind to see how they are being manipulated.

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