Thursday, July 24, 2008

USA OS 2.27

Would we do well to think of the Constitution of the United States as an operating system?

Apple OS 8.51 was one of the best things that ever came out of Cupertino. Mac OS 8.51, ahhhh, I remember it well, but it's dead and gone. Good OS, but good riddance. We've moved on.

USA OS version 2.1: nickname Eagle, 1791 (version 1.0, Articles of Confederation, nickname Turkey; was quickly ungraded)

The US Constitution is just another arbitrary and temporary operating system. Looking back with reverence on every word uttered during the late 1700's can be ossifying. How best to learn from whence we came? Let us remember with a shameful wince of a time when only landed adult males (gentry) could vote, women could not (were as children to be seen and not heard), and with dubious thanks to James Wilson and Roger Sherman African-Americans were three-fifths of a person (only for counting purposes). Native Americans were not even on the political map (US was busy exterminating them).

The history of the United States, among other things, is a history of the progressive movements. Progress is real, real slow, measured by the meter stick of a human lifetime. Nevertheless, dismantling the abuse of power creeps inexorably. Where do we go from here? USA OS 2.28? 2.29? As we continue to patch the bugs in a constitutional operating system that is arguably in need of a new core, when do we move on?

Are we ready for constitutional amendments to prohibit corporations for profit, to include the right to free health care for all citizens, and a provision for 17 years of free education for all, or perhaps nationalization of the energy sector? Could we find our way to nonprofit news media?

When will we be ready to scrap 2.0, and move on? Beyond suffrage. Where do we go from here? When will the people of the United States of America adopt a new operating system, USA OS 3.0? It will happen. The only unknown is when.

With greater precision, I can state that Mac OS 10.6, nicknamed Snow Leopard, is due the middle of 2009.

(Coming Soon: Was George Washington a Terrorist?)

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