- Posted September 15, 2011 by
Watertown, New York
This iReport is part of an assignment:
- Immigration Then-"Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Yearning to Breathe Free". Now? "Hungry? Get a Job in Your Own Country"
- Cheney Says "Nothing Americans Do Can Be Called Torture"- Because We're Not the 'WWII Japanese'
- Where Are the 'Good Democrats' Anymore to Stop the GOP's "Legislate by Extortion" Agenda?
- Update: Lake Effect Snow Sorm- Watertown, NY-Jan 7, 2015 - 2am-8am
- Lake Effect Snow Storm East of Lake Ontario- Watertown, NY-Jan 6, 2015
Fasces At The U.S. House Of Representatives
Yes, no misspelling..it's not "feces" although many have come to believe that's whom we now have in power in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Roman "fasces" — which had been on the "Mercury Dime" for many years — was replaced by the torch of liberty (stylistically quite similar, but with 180 degree different messages). But it has not been replaced in the U.S. House.
I guess that, after the World War II defeat of Mussolini, the political establishment thought it might be good PR to remove this symbol of fascism.
The symbol represented the strength of unity.
"The unity of government... is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence...of your tranquility at home, your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize."
The Roman Republic began and flourished based upon that same principle of just enough federal government to provide unity to its provinces.
You may recognize their ancient symbol, the fasces.
The many rods representing the sovereign states have in the midst of them an axe representing the national strength derived from their unity.
The thin cord which holds the rods together as a bundle represents the minimal amount of federal government necessary to maintain that unity. This tenet of unity is deservedly extolled by Washington.
Learning from history that "the essence of freedom is the proper limitation of government," our forefathers chose this symbol based upon this original meaning and placed it in the House of Representatives directly behind the Speaker of the House.
Two fasces on either side of the American flag were placed there as a constant reminder for future members of Congress .
A federal government, limited to its bare essentials, coupled with the fundamental premises that individual’s rights come from God and governments are instituted solely to protect those rights, is the unique foundation which defines America.
Americans prospered to become the envy of the world even more quickly and prominently than Rome had.
Generations of Romans gradually forgot their founding principles thereby setting the stage for a succession of the Caesars and Rome’s ultimate collapse.
Although originally representing federal government, the fasces was so closely identified with Rome itself that the symbol’s perception changed to mean authoritarianism as Rome went from republic to empire.
Twentieth century dictators chose the symbol to obscure their totalitarian crimes.
The result is that today virtually every definition found for the symbol is one of forceful domination despite its noble beginning.
We must not be timid when it comes to preserving liberty.
We must not let our Republic continue to follow in the footsteps of Rome."
Now we see the GOP appear to have decided that those "rods of unity" don't include anything Democratic. The Democrats' idea are excluded
The GOP think that their ideology is all the nation needs.
They purge their own ranks of any moderate voice and move toward a belief..an ideology that this nation once fought against, in Europe during World War II.
They wish to suppress the voices of opposition, refuse to work with those that have opposing views of the United States of America's future.
They claim to be in possession of the only solutions for creating jobs, and creating prosperity in our country. But not for everyone...just for those that agree with their vision of America.
The fasces represents all views unified by a common cause and belief...a common thread of community.
Republicans seem to have forgotten what the meaning is of the symbol that is on the wall behind the speaker in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The term fascism comes from fasces. Ironic that this symbol of strength can become something twisted and evil when those that represent us fail to understand our history.
Soundtrack for a Revolution
"Once there was a link between the civil rights movement and the union movement.
It's seems so long ago that people made the connections that mattered in a stable, middle class community.
They knew when you denied one person a decent job, you could anyone a job.
When you denied someone the right to vote, you could deny anyone the right to vote.
When you denied someone a basic education, you denied everyone the right to hear their voice as an equal.
Nixon came along and made a deal with the devil.
In exchange for political power his partisans drove a wedge between young people and unions and black Americans and unions.
The GOP made us believe the pie wasn't big enough for everyone . . . that we had to fight over one cookie, while their friends and donors hogged the other."
Wisconsin gives me hope that those days of community may be coming back.
Union members are sticking together on this one.
Perhaps they remember that if you can privatize public education, you can create a world where the powerful take even more and productive workers have no hope of a better life for their children
. . . where we all become second class citizens unless we're among the lucky 1 percent who grab a third of the income each year.
There are greedy people in the world – and greedy people are trying to take everything from people who have almost nothing left.
Jobs – job security, safe jobs, well-paying jobs with good benefits – these are still possible for this country to provide.
As long as the greedy don't get a free ride and are required to pay for the services this country provides them – safe neighborhoods, trained workers, stable infrastructure (power grids, highways, bridges, etc.)
These things are not free and those who benefit most from them have an obligation to pay their fair share.
In the early days of our Republic, we understood the importance of standing together.
We took on many symbols of earlier attempts at self-governance and union.
On the wall behind the Speaker's podium in the US House of Representatives is a pair of fasces –
bundles of sticks which represent the power found in unity.
If one loosened the bundle, each twig could easily be snapped and discarded.
Bound together, they become unbreakable.
That is what our nation once represented – unity out of diversity; community over greed. "
For any who still miss this reminder of the violence that is the state, you can see the fasces on the House of Representatives chamber on either side of the front wall as shown in the first picture."
"Thomas Jefferson said, "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
Let us not permit our ignorance or apathy to deprive our progeny of freedom’s blessings."