LISTEN VT RADIO | JOIN TEAM VT | SIGN UP DAILY NEWSLETTER
VETERANS TODAY ON : FACEBOOK | TWITTER | VT FORUM
|

Ye Are Many. They Are Few

by Stewart Ogilby

 

A group of workers gathered with their families to picnic and to hear a speech. Working class trade unions were growing in strength in 1819 and the ruling class in England was terrified. Routed by the authorities, eleven members of the group were killed and another one hundred and fifty were injured.

A young English poet, Percy Bysshe Shelley, was living in Italy when the news reached him. Enraged, he isolated himself in a small attic room and wrote a poem in five days. When completed, he sent it to a friend for publication. At that time, publication would have resulted in the imprisonment of both publisher and author. The Mask of Anarchy wasn’t published until nearly a decade after the poet’s death.

The poem resonates with economic ideas not seriously heard in public until years later. It has been called the finest poem of political protest ever written in our language. Gandhi quoted it in India. During the Tiananmen Square uprising the final verses of its ninety-two stanzas were translated and chanted by students in Beijing, China –

And that slaughter to the nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

And these words shall then become
Like oppression’s thundered doom,
Ringing through each heart and brain
Heard again, again, again –

Rise like lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you.
Ye are many. They are few.

"Thomas Jefferson"

Thomas Jefferson

Our American Revolution and the words of Thomas Jefferson terrified the ancien régime. The blood of Parisian aristocrats ran in ditches dug for that purpose in the Place de la Concorde. After Edmund Burke’s “Reflections on the Revolution in France” appeared, many apprehensive educated persons who formerly had harbored revolutionary thoughts launched a period of counter-revolution. Shelly was not one of them.

If read at all in today’s public schools, Shelly is best known for Ode to the West Wind and Ozymandias. The latter, a sonnet, recounts a forgotten ruler’s hubris and the fate of his empire.

Empire is a creature of those Few who are driven to exercise power financially and militarily over others. How can the Many, whose makeup does not oblige them to seek power over others thwart the machinations of the Few who seek control, riches, and power and lust after more?

We already have the answer! In his personal papers, contained in a 1798 draft of The Kentucky Resolutions, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “…in questions of power then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution…”.

Shelley was, in many ways, a thoroughly modern man. His revolutionary poem does have a very contemporary ring to it, doesn’t it?

Bookmark and Share

Related Posts:

Short URL: http://www.veteranstoday.com/?p=163631

The views expressed herein are the views of the author exclusively and not necessarily the views of VT or any other VT authors, affiliates, advertisers, sponsors or partners. Legal Notice

Posted by on Nov 19 2011, With 0 Reads, Filed under History. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
Get Your Loan Now
Apply for VA Loan Now
Education
Get Your Loan Now
Get Your Loan Now
Get Your Loan Now
Apply for your VA Home Loan Now
Apply for your VA Home Loan Now
Apply for your VA Home Loan Now
Apply for Jobs on HireVeterans.com Now
Apply for Jobs on HireVeterans.com Now
Apply for Jobs on HireVeterans.com Now
body mind baja

COMMENTS

To post, we ask that you login using Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, or Hotmail in the box below.
Don't have a social network account? Register and Login direct with VT and post.
Before you post, read our Comment Policy - Feedback


Comments Closed

Comments are closed

 

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Join Our Daily Newsletter
  View Newsletter ARCHIVE

WHAT'S HOT

  1. NEO – Gang in a Ballot Box – a Safe Haven for Misha’s Alumni?
  2. Is the President Being Blackmailed?
  3. Lavrov Condemns Kiev’s Instant Breech of Agreement
  4. Veterans Push To Test Marijuana As a Life-Saving Treatment for Crippling PTSD
  5. US Threatens Russia
  6. Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – April 23, 2014
  7. Obama Administration Launches Online Veterans Employment Center
  8. Meet Dave, Your Christian ‘Dyno-Rod’
  9. Press TV – Who Wins the Battle over Ukraine ?
  10. “Gitmo unconstitutional result of 9/11 false flag”
  11. Soap Stories, Gas Chambers, and the Magic Number (Part VII)
  12. NEO – Saudi Arabia: Preparations for Regime Change
  13. Prophet or Profit? Nikola Tesla’s Vision vs J.P. Morgan’s Greed
  14. Veterans Today was Right – Ukraine Jewish Registration Flyer was Fake
  15. Top 10 Veterans Stories in Today’s News – April 22, 2014
  16. The Iran/Iraq War: Mutual Assured Destruction
  17. Body-Mind Restoration: ‘Too Good To Be True’ for Addiction and Disease?
  18. Kevin Ryan: 9/11, Mind Control and the Holocaust
  19. US Squandering Prestige for Denying Visa to Aboutalebi
  20. Lee Wanta, American Hero
  1. franktalk: Since the Ukraine and Poland is the land the Kazarian imposters were last chased to, it makes sense they would use it as a hostage moving forward. They are like ...
  2. LC: Just found this short piece. It says EMP caused blackouts & electric burnouts from Hawaii to New Zealand for 8 hours!!! July 9, 1962 Nuclear Weapons Test In Space!!!!!! ******www.youtube.com/watch?v=EmdBFoQtVvU
  3. LC: Holocaust is real though- I have linked here many times before below priceless documentary which shows the historic definition of Holocaust from an old Jewish Encyclopedia. The word Holocaust was given ...
  4. LC: Re - “they had planted the wrong color blood….” NOPE-not really- I think those few whose blood were not red happened to be BLUE-BLOODED. That’s all!!!
  5. ani: star messenger I look forward to more from you. You do not need me to tell you that our world is in trouble. From Sufi writings I know that the only jihad ...

Veterans Today Poll

When will the New World Order One World Government officially be announced?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Archives