Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chris Chrittendon's statement at the 3/25 press conference

"In a travesty of governance, Paul LePage has belittled and dismissed some of the brightest aspects of Maine’s history.  In deference to a “handful” of unnamed detractors, who object to some few elements of a visually eloquent compendium, the Governor has opted to dismantle the entire magnum opus, a mural in homage to labor on display at the Dept. of Labor.  The artistic excellence of this masterpiece is not in dispute.

As a metaphor, we can imagine a handful of privileged men, who walk into a garden, proclaiming that they do not like several of flowers.  In response, over the shock of the gardner and the general population, every single flower in the garden is plucked up.  The garden itself is carved up and removed.

The few flowers that are offensive to a small group, in reality represent some of the brightest victories for dignity in human history. 

For most of civilization, slavery reigned.  After slavery came Dickensian working conditions.  It is the Labor Movement we have to thank for uplifting the American people out of horrific industrial sweatshops, what William Blake referred to as “dark Satanic mills.”

LePage and those blinkered few to whom he caters, are attempting to efface the heroes who ended the practice of children having to toil in a crowded, unsafe rooms . 

Lepage and those few who have swayed him, are attempting to efface those brave and unquenchable souls who brought us the 40-hour work week and the weekend. The word “efface” means to rub out or erase.  Etymologically, it literally means to remove the face from.  To deprive of a face.

This is crass bowdlerism at its worst.  An attack on a history rich with moral pearls.  LePage would crush those pearls and replace them with a brine of obeisance to the lowest considerations, the sad and unsupportable principle of “Money Makes Right.”"

Chris Crittendon
Professor of Ethics

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent Post!