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Letter: A definition of being governed

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Someone said that the flip side of democracy is bureaucracy and that the flip side of representation is surveillance. One might add that the flip side of our U.S. Constitution is controversial conversation about how we want to be governed.

A mid-1800s French political scientist, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, stated that “to be governed is to be noted, registered, enumerated, accounted for, stamped, measured, classified, audited, patented, licensed, authorized, endorsed, reprimanded, prevented, reformed, rectified and corrected, in every transaction, every movement.”

One must admire the person who translated Proudhon’s French into today’s American English. One can understand (but not necessarily accept) what it means to be a “private” citizen.

Roy Flaten

Atwater

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