Saturday, July 9, 2011
Hating On Teh Government; aka "I'd Rather Have Republicans Screw Me Than Let Spineless Democrats Do It!"
There's a point at which this conventional (online) attitude of denouncing government -- no matter who is on the Throne -- and vowing Never to Vote for a Democrat Again (!!!!1™) becomes timesome and old.
Yes, yes, yes. We know. Teh Government -- All Knowing, All Pervasive, All Powerful -- is Teh Evul!!!!1™ and Must Be Killed!!!!1™ and Democrats are Tasteless Jello!!!!1® Ptooie! I vow to only vote for Republicans ever again for as long as I live so help me Flying Spaghetti Monster, Amen!
Yes. Of course some of us have long realized that these incessant "I will NEVER vote for Democrats again! Obomba is Dead To Me! It's time to vote for a Straight Republican Ticket from here on out!" statements that fill the so-called "Progressive" blovosphere© from morning till night, 24/7, are largely the "work" -- well, everybody needs a job -- of Republican and their handmaiden Libertarian operatives who infest the Intertubes like lice. They are secreted everywhere.
The ones who scream the loudest when poked -- "My, that's an interesting Republican meme you're spreading here in this fine 'progressive' forum!" "No I'm NOT! How DARE you! I'm just an EVERYDAY ORDINARY FRUSTRATED Democrat! Ché? Ché? You're a Communist! Shut up!" -- are surely political operatives, but the point of their "work" is to subliminally convince random dissatisfied Democrats that the Answer to their Frustration is to be found in Voting Republican(!!1™) maybe for the first time in their lives. As if that will fix anything.
It won't. And most Democrats don't fall for it, but some do, always, and the hope of these operatives is that in the end, enough will be "persuaded" to vote for the Rs that Victory is Assured. It sometimes works.
But of course putting the Rs in charge is still insane. It is not the Answer, it solves nothing, and all the High and Mighty Principles that are said to guide the Republicans (when God is otherwise occupied) turn out to be ruinous for Ordinary People at home and abroad. Yes, well. We should all know that by now.
Dems are marginally less ruinous for Ordinary People, typically they far less insane, and despite the proliferation of Imperial Wars of Aggression under Obama, they are somewhat less bloodthirsty and cruel. For our purposes, that's about as good as it is gonna get.
The problem is the nature of Government under our political and electoral system.
And that is what cannot and will not be addressed through electoral politics.
Our Constitution is the Original Sin of the State, deeply and fundamentally flawed from the outset, and now, in the modern world, horribly anachronistic, like something out of the 18th Century (well...) that cannot and does not provide for genuine representative government that recognizes and addresses the needs of the People and the Public Interest.
The Government that is built upon that Constitutional origin is the natural result of the flaws inherent in the origin of the State. It's that simple. You can adjust it here and there by putting this or that politician or political party in office, but that cannot and does not change the fundamental nature of the Government that has grown out of the original document.
Our Founders and the Founding Documents they came up with simply don't provide for the requirements of a Modern post-industrial people; the State created at the outset is an encrusted burden on the lowly, while protecting (as it always has) favored constituencies of the well-connected, wealthy and influential. "Constitutionalists" by and large understand that full well, and they like it just fine. They are eager to protect the already protected and exploit the rest of us. That's just how it goes.
Change in Government -- positive change than so many claim to want -- can only come through dealing with the foundations and the nature of the Government. Which means, simply, revolution.
A while back, I made something of a study of the Progressive Era -- which long has been touted as a "fundamental" change in Government in this country. What I found was that Progressivism was primarily an elite means and method of diverting and eventually destroying the Populist Movements of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries -- which were themselves reactions against the horrifying conditions under which most Americans were forced to live by the Plutocrats and Oligarchs who owned and controlled everything worth having and ruled with an iron and often bloody fist through their agents in the bought and paid for Government. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?
In other words, the Progressive Revolution was an elite means of putting down a Populist Revolution which came close to sweeping all before it. Populism has been suppressed ever since (we can argue its merits another time).
Progressivism is not Revolutionary at all; it is by nature High Church Conservative, often quite Puritanical and prudish, authoritarian, elitist, and contemptuous of The People. Initially, it was thoroughly racist as well. Once instituted (first in the South, interestingly enough) it became the Standard Operating System of governments throughout the land, and as an Operating System, Progressivism survived until the Reagan Revolution overthrew it, replacing Progressivism with the thoroughly corrupt and reactionary throwback operations of Government we know and loathe today.
Today's "progressives" are far more Libertarian than their namesakes and forebears, but their elitism, Puritanism, and innate authoritarianism is much the same. The great irony of Libertarianism is its overweening imposition of Authority by "private" means, enabled and supported by Government, rather than directly imposed by Government. (All "voluntary" of course!™)
Despite constant failure, today's "progressives" are eager to gain control of the levers of Power in Government, even as they recognize that the Government we have is thoroughly as captive to the Plutocrats and Oligarchs of our era as the Government of the late 19th Century was captive to the High and Mighty of their day. Progressives of that era were able to acquire extraordinary governmental power by a strategy that wasn't necessarily political or electoral at all. Eventually they were able to succeed at the polls, but initially their success came though what we could call coups and seizures of government from Populists. But they also conducted coups and seizures from the corrupt agents of the Plutocrats and Oligarchs. Some of it was done through courtroom spectacles (for example, San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire), and as a consequence of natural disaster (Galveston, 1900; San Francisco, 1906) and sometimes it happened through inertial forces, such as the California Progressive triumph of 1911. Once the example was set, in other words, widespread adoption was made that much easier.
There was energy behind the Early Progressive Movement that doesn't really exist any more, in part because modern progressivism tries to masquerade as something it's not, whether that be some aborted form of populism or a highly attenuated form of Liberalism. The problem is the Libertarian roots of modern "progressivism" and the styles of deception that entails.
Hating on Teh Government and insisting that one will never vote for a Democrat again is self-canceling. One's political aspirations immediately stall. To assert that Republicans are somehow "better" than Democrats because they are So Very Principled is simply absurd. To hate or fear Teh Government because of its All Powerfulness -- while trying desperately to gain a Seat At The Table of the same All-Knowing, All-Pervasive, All-Powerful Government is crazy -- or it is false.
Obsession with electoral politics and the media, which is pretty much all the major players in the "lefty" blogosphere do, is a form of entertainment, not action. It is passive and observational, it is not an agent for "change" at all; in fact, these obsessions reinforce the rightist drift of American politics (which is built in from its origins) and they help maintain the relationship status quo between the Powerful and their Courtiers. Anger and frustration at the antics of politicians and their media is necessary to keep the show going, and so, no matter who or what is occupying the Throne and the Big Table, they and their works are ritualistically denounced. All the time. Incessantly. No matter what. That tendency to denounce (no matter what) is also part of the Libertarian underpinnings of the modern "progressive movement" -- such as it is.
What the early Progressives realized quite clearly was that they could use -- say -- a natural disaster or they could invent a crisis that would enable them to seize the power of the Government from whatever corruption or populism held it beforetime to implement a Progressive program, and having done so, they could then promote their Progressive Success as a reason to institute Progressive policies widely. And behold, it worked.
Modern "progressives" don't seem to understand how to do that. Nor do they comprehend why it might be advisable. Maybe they don't really have an agenda, nor do they really want "change" -- what they want is to keep the Show going, indefinitely.
Maybe in some ways it's for the best!
Meanwhile, hating on Teh Government and announcing that you will never vote for a Democrat again, only for straight ticket Republicans from here on out, is to demonstrate utter foolishness and political irrelevancy.
Also sprach Zarathustra...
(Whatever happened to our Future? The Last Space Shuttle flight is now underway. There will be no more. It's Over.)