February 8, 2009

When There Is No Vision...

"Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt: First Inaugural Address. U.S. Inaugural Addresses.Saturday, March 4, 1933

The last sentence is taken from Proverbs 29:18 and although the King James translation is resolved as "the people perish" that is not the only way the proverb can be understood. Here are some variations. See if they strike a chord.

Proverbs 29:18

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, But happy is he who keeps the law.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Without prophetic vision people run wild, but blessed are those who follow [God's] teachings.

King James Bible
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

American King James Version
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.

American Standard Version
Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Bible in Basic English
Where there is no vision, the people are uncontrolled; but he who keeps the law will be happy.

Douay-Rheims Bible
When prophecy shall fail, the people shall be scattered abroad: but he that keepeth the law is blessed.

Young's Literal Translation
Without a Vision is a people made naked, And whoso is keeping the law, O his happiness!

Posted by Vanderleun at February 8, 2009 5:32 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

That kind of 'straight dealing' from a politician must have been a reflection of the no nonsense demeanor of the people generally. So is that just nostalgia now?

Posted by: Hannon at February 8, 2009 9:37 AM

That was not straight dealing, Hannon. Roosevelt always dealt from the bottom of the deck.
He campained against Hoovers massive government bailout programs, and immediately doubled down those programs after inauguration, renaming them The New Deal.
Exhortations and pleadings for confidence were the very signiture of The New Deal.

Posted by: jamzw at February 8, 2009 1:04 PM

Well. Here's the corollary to 'no vision'. It will finish the job of destroying us.

In the same year as FDR's above quote, Churchill said: "Our difficulties come from the mood of unwarrantable self-abasement into which we have been cast by a powerful section of our own intellectuals. They come from the acceptance of defeatist doctrines by a large proportion of our politicians. But what have they to offer by a vague internationalism, a squalid materialism, and the promise of impossible utopias?"

Read Bruce Thornton's 'Unwarranted Self-Abasement' at VHD's website. And weep.

Posted by: Cathy at February 8, 2009 1:39 PM

"but he that keeps the law, happy is he"

You have no idea. And if you do, the next few years may be hard, keep your family and your friends close, if you keep all the laws, moral, ethical, legal and financial we'll all get throught it. Go read Winston Churchill, his unswerving focus on his moral duty brought Western Civilization through tougher times than these.

Posted by: glenn at February 8, 2009 5:40 PM


I'll take your word on that. Not surprising.

What pulled me in was not so much the words by themselves, since all politicians must sell their soul to achieve lofty positions, but contrasting them with anything that BHO has said or could conceivably say. That man has a trick deck, regardless of where he deals from.

Posted by: Hannon at February 8, 2009 7:04 PM

My copy of Strong's Exhaustive Concordance renders 'perish' from the Hebrew (H6544) as follows:

para`, (paw-rah')... to loosen; by implication, to expose or dismiss; figuratively, to absolve, avenge, avoid, go back, let, (make) naked, set at nought, perish, refuse, or uncover.

Not sure that clears anything up, but it's interesting.

Posted by: ultraguy at February 8, 2009 8:25 PM

"Roosevelt always dealt from the bottom of the deck." I saw a clip of FDR on TV a few weeks: I think it was part of a series on American presidents, running for the inauguration. Roosevelt was on a White House balcony, overlooking the traditional Easter Egg roll. He addressed the children on the lawn, expressing his regret that he couldn't join them. "I already had my eggs at breakfast," he joked. Laughs all around.

Of course, the real reason he couldn't join them is FDR COULDN'T WALK and none of the children, or their parents, knew that.

How low can a man go?

I think that scene was one of the most revolting I've ever seen.

Posted by: ELC at February 9, 2009 11:10 AM

In other words, the responsible members of our republic are screwed three ways to Sunday by the mindless, naked mob.

Posted by: Daphne at February 10, 2009 1:40 PM

Yeah, that's pretty much it.

Posted by: vanderleun at February 10, 2009 8:04 PM