What does it mean to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people? While that phrase expresses noble ideals, are they still possible in today’s infinitely more complicated world? How can we “the people” even make our voices heard?Many of us feel that we are so far removed from the seats of power and influence – by geograpy, by social status, or lack of influential relationships – that it seems completely beyond reach to get a response by mail, phone or email, let alone a “seat at the table”.
Yet the individuals from whom we take our inspiration showed us that it was not impossible in their day, and we believe it is no more impossible today. We have disadvantages they did not have – the sheer size of our population is one – but we also have advantages. We can communicate instantaneously, we can travel vast distances with a minimal investment of time, money or inconvenience, and our healthcare system allows to be much healthier much more of the time, and to live longer as well.
Franklin’s Junto Society and Wilberforce’s Clapham Sect were social experiments. What we propose here is a modern update of those experiments. One that hopes to generate several groups of like-minded individuals who are willing to unite around a common cause. We suggest that each one unite around a cause – opposition of a social evil.
For example, suppose you feel that abortion on demand is a social evil. You’ll have plenty of opposition of course, but there will be many people on your side of the issue. Your problem is that you are marginalized. You don’t have a voice, partly because there are forces allayed against you that are organized, influential and that have plenty of money to fund the campaign against you. But the biggest problem is that there are still so many people who are ignorant of the evils of the practice. With the advent of full-color ultrasound imaging, it is obvious that what was once thought of as “just tissue”, goes from being a “little alien” to a baby somewhere between week 6 and 7. Her arms and legs move, her heart beats, she sucks her thumb, she hiccups! He responds to stimulus, he becomes agitated when uncomfortable, and when the abortionists’ apparatus invades his space, he tries to get away, and opens his mouth in what looks like a silent scream.
Then there the social ills. Women who have abortions often feel great depression, guilt and self-hate. Some have physical problems including an inability to conceive or carry a baby they do want later. Other family members suffer ill-effects as well: separation, alienation, and bitterness. There are more victims than just the baby. And from a purely pragmatic perspective, had we not aborted 50,000,000 babies since Roe v. Wade, perhaps our Social Security program would have enough taxpayers coming up to avoid the problem of the “baby bust”.
Many people on the pro-life side of the issue focus on trying to overturn Roe v. Wade, or on getting the government to change the law. We have stated elsewhere on this site that laws are upstream from culture,which means that laws are passed to respond to something our culture says it needs. If we want a law passed about something, all that’s needed is for us to become vocal enough about it to get the attention of the lawmakers! So we say that the focus has been on the wrong end of the continuum. Rather than trying to change the law, the pro-life movement should shift its focus to the root cause of the culture. They need to change the hearts and minds of the people.
That’s what the Little Platoons are all about. And it’s what this site is about.