Tuesday, April 13, 2004

The nature of the Bill of Rights

Michael Chabon is one of my favorite authors. His piece today in the New York Times discusses the "disillusioned" nature of the Bill of Rights:

"We justly celebrate the ideals enshrined in the Bill of Rights, but it is also a profoundly disillusioned document, in the best sense of that adjective. It stipulates all the worst impulses of humanity: toward repression, brutality, intolerance and fear. It couples an unbridled faith in the individual human being, redeemed time and again by his or her singular capacity for tenderness, pity and all the rest, with a profound disenchantment about groups of human beings acting as governments, court systems, armies, state religions and bureaucracies, unchecked by the sting of individual conscience and only belatedly if ever capable of anything resembling redemption."

He goes on to compare this to the nature of the teenage mind. Very, very interesting. Go read the whole thing.

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