Birds in a Gilded Cage

Catherine the Great of Russia is an example of how excessive consumption and lack of accountability can corrupt a person . . . and a system.

There was no moderation in her insatiable appetite. One symbolic fetish was the courtyard of one of the palaces that had been covered with glass and filled with birds that were confined to this glass enclosure. It was much like the Iron Curtain that kept citizens from flying to other lands for over 70 years.

When asked by her young charges why she didn’t release the birds from captivity, she would reply, “I know what is best for them, they bring me pleasure, and a great price has been paid for this structure . . .so they stay.”

That is symbolic of any government that sees the citizens merely as objects of their pleasure . . . or even a system that has replaced individual freedom with the status of state property.

The Czarina was not accountable to anyone. But our congress and IRS are, if we hold them accountable and realize our cage has many doors called tax reform, voter participation and political activism.