Hello, and welcome.
The National Razor is a peculiar name for a political website, especially when one remembers that it was the nickname given to the guillotine during the Reign of Terror in revolutionary France.
Eerie, stark, and portentious, the guillotine is an instantly recognizable symbol. It fills the beholder with a sense of impending doom – a thread of fate about to be cut, the sword of Damocles about to fall. For those who know its history, it may also serve as an icon of mass hysteria, extremism, and the despotism of mob rule.
In short, the guillotine is a perfect reminder of what happens when a society tilts radically out of balance – what can occur when the corruption and incompetence of the ruling elite and the discontent of the masses become so extreme that a clash is inevitable. The guillotine tells us that when all sense of justice and rational discourse break down within a nation, the sane find themselves looking down into a basket while the derranged hold the rope. In the case of the French Revolution, the collision led to a temporary overthrow of the royalty, which resulted only in massive bloodshed and the crowning of an Emperor.
What shall it look like in 21st Century America?
The National Razor is resolved that we shall not find out. At this juncture in our history, it is clear that there are several paths we can choose, but all lead in two general directions: toward the advancement of our nation and all of civilization through reason, compassion, fortitude and cooperation; or toward the decay of what we have built and a return to the old ways of repression, greed, ignorance and hate. By the roads of hope, we will reinforce our values and secure our prosperity. By the path of fear, we will begin the process of our Republic’s decay.
To those who say that this is an alarmist sentiment, one that well overstates the level of the tensions within the United States at present, The National Razor responds: perhaps. However, on a long enough timeline, no matter what the society, upheaval is inevitable. In the 221 years since the ratification of the Constitution, the United States has endured, among its own people: rebellions, border conflicts, an all-out civil war, wars with and against the indigenous tribes, feuds, racial violence, gang wars, battles between labor and ownership, riots, civil rights struggles, anti-war protests, and domestic terrorism.
While this is not to say that a violent clash between factions in this country is imminent, the history of the U.S. is quite clear in its precedent: in a nation as dynamic, energetic, pluralistic and ambitious as this, progress does not come without a fight, and sometimes those fights are deadly.
The best way to guard against such a struggle coming to pass, whether next year or next decade, is to keep the country moving forward on a consensus basis, make sure our discourse is informed and our decisions founded in reason, and counteract the pernicious elements within the Republic that seek to undermine its egalitarian principles and upend the balance between individual liberty and the common good. If the forces of reactionary populism, religious fanaticism and corporatist oligarchy are not subdued or at least disunited, we may yet see some modern descendent of the guillotine, figuratively or in function, erected in the United States.
More to come on that later.
For now, it will suffice to say that the United States remains the strongest nation on Earth, with the most potential to lead humanity toward a better future, and built upon the most beautiful, sensible and righteous principles to ever form the foundation of a government. Only by adhering to those elements of the national character that have established our greatness shall we see our greatness persist, and those are: liberty, equality and justice.
Only by practicing all three can we survive and exceed our past acheivements. Our history contains entire chapters filled with those naysayers who have claimed that it is impossible for our nation to ensure its citizens all of these in sufficient quantity. Many have seen these as oppositional ideas, or have chosen for themselves and their followers convenient definitions of these principles that serve to support the status quo.
Fortunately for us, we have very seldom listened to the naysayers. More often, when the question was posed to the American people as to whether we can guarantee individual rights, universal opportunity and fairness for even the least of our citizens, we have answered: Yes we can.
So now you know our leaning at The National Razor. However, all rational discourse is welcome here. Every person who approaches the many confounding challenges we face with honesty, knowledge and reason should know he or she is encouraged to participate.
Welcome to The National Razor – watch your head!