Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Forgotten Man

I know I promised this yesterday, but wanted the suspense to build...

The Forgotten Man was an essay written in the last 1800's. I heard about this on the radio the other day, but from what I can tell, it was written by William Graham Sumner(1840-1910), a Professor of Political Economy and of Sociology at Yale.

I can't do as well a job at introducing his theory as he did, so let me quote from the first paragraph...

The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. The radical vice of all these schemes, from a sociological point of view, is that C is not allowed a voice in the matter, and his position, character, and interests, as well as the ultimate effects on society through C's interests, are entirely overlooked. I call C the Forgotten Man.

I think you and I are C... The Forgotten Man as it were. While we can be counted on to take care of our fellow men and live a good life, government doesn't trust us to do this. As far as government are concerned D is the forgotten man, and they need to help him out, which is why our society continues on a downward spiral.


Over the next little while I would like to explore ways in which C can revolt. I think for it to be effective that it needs to be a non-violent revolt, and living in a country with a constitution like we do, I think this is possible. The idea is not to start a new form of government of anything like that, it's to get C to stand up, A and B to sit down and shut their mouths, and I think in the long run, the greatest benefactor may be D, who learns to help himself.


  1. I thought that's what your right to bare arms was for (other than for wearing short sleeved shirts on a hot day).

    No revolt is complete without a pinch of violence. Your challenge will be to maintain civility, decorum and social etiquette while lopping off heads.

  2. True... But I abhor violence, which makes it hard.

    One thing going in favor of the non-violent approach is that the constitution is still intact, we just need to get some people voted into office that believe in it, rather than in themselves.

    The biggest problem is that the US has been polarized into left and right, with most people voting for their party regardless the scum that represent those parties.