1/17/2006

In Defense of Lawless Anarchy?

So I have this issue with labels this week, having been called a few names around town. I do love fan email from thumpers. I have a special republicon repository.
Maybe your academic solution to dissent will be to suggest a boot in our collective asses? How's that plan working out for you? Some other eloquent euphemism for your 'might makes right' imperial design? I think that some of YOU hate us for our liberty far more than people abroad. You may not attack us violently, but many of you aim to end our mental/spiritual autonomy just the same.
See I despise senseless label slinging because in my view, it constitutes not only a simplification of one's perspective (AKA lazy) but also provides an unnecessarily myopic view on the real tension between 'theory' and 'reality'. The misuse of labels and categorization also feeds my irritation with the state of civic education. (continued)
But given that labels have become the language of conversation, lets look at what they used to mean. In a reasonable way.
Let's take a gander at the parties: Supposedly, Republicans were about permitting the market to orchestrate the machinery by which we meet the needs of society- industry and its innovative vigor will employ people, contribute to the GNP, provide for the needs of the populace, and so forth. Government is to be a restrained beast, on a leash held back from state sovereignty and excessive regulation. Spending should ideally reflect that which is necessary, but where local and private sectors can pick up the tab, they should do so. Right?
Now lets take the liberals, the tax-and-spend Dems, and their ilk. They are all about moaning about public health, and education, and the priorities of spending. They recognize that pandemics, pollution, problematic social services, homelessness, health care, education, etc. are part of what constitutes 'the public welfare'. The inherent function of government, in tandem with the market but not beholden to it. They view at least marginal sustenance as a right, not a privilege. And they will point out that the market does not care about society as it is inherently driven by profit. It serves the public interest to have safety nets. After all, TB, homelessness, poorly educated workers, etc. hurts everyone's societal aspirations. These are the things that give birth to bureaucracy in the first place.
Which is not to suggest that this is all bad. It's about who the master is, really.
I think a key difference is that liberals acknowledge the failings of the market by virtue of its purpose, which is not to attend to social problems but to exist as it is- a damn market...They see government and its revenues as poised to respond as a collaborative other hand. And so round and round we go with this.
But what I am called often is an anarchist, hellbent on lawlessness. No loyalty, no 'focus on the family' values. Unpatriotic. A government hater- which couldn't be further from the truth. "You people are atheists, anarchists, unrealistic in your expectations, confused about your patriotism, critics- at best. Useless whiners, more often than not."

They have effectively blurred the lines between a REGIME hater and one that hates one's country. They have been able to sell themselves NOT on the merits of their accomplishments but by skewing the label-racket in their favor. And instead of acknowledging that this administration caters to neither the positive aspects of Republican thought (there are a few) nor the criticisms of liberalism, they are in fact a political train wreck.

What we have are tax and spend intrusive rights-trampling interventionists. Our problem with this administration boils down to the fact that they offer NOTHING. Nothing but empty promises, illusions of safety, and another nail in the coffin of our environmental demise. They exist for their own sakes, and when last I checked our salary enables them to continue in our name but decidedly NOT on our behalf. The arrogance of the joke that is Bush the Public Servant is just not fucking funny anymore.

Look at their contradictions: deficit,trade imbalance, bloated mechanations of the FED, corruption, poor disaster response, misguided spending, far-reaching civil liberties violations, surveillance, corporate subsidies, fucked up tax code, non-competitive contract awards, no bid services, public health in the hand of the pharmaceutical gods, public policy in the hands of lobbyists, talk about local education decisions but unfunded federal mandates... moral authority when we torture, impose state religion, in our little insulated world of near state propagandist media... and this is the short list.
Because I say that this ought to be challenged, makes me an anarchist? An alarmist? A Birkenstock wearing, patchouli wafting, dope dealing, hairy legged, probably feminist, Chomsky on the refrigerator next to Che Guevera HYSTERIC???? Get real, thumpers.

To say that THIS is unnacceptable doesn't make us unpatriotic, it means we are paying attention. To say that I want RESPONSIVE versus elitist self interested government makes me a participant in what can best be described as a hypothetical democracy. But we try.
Anarchist? Liberal? Hippie? What does it matter? We have a constitution that supposedly summarizes our vision. It's not my vision. Its a vision that we command- from immigrants to public servants. Its all allegiance to an idea that many think applies when people are looking. Or if you believe in the same God.
It is not just a 'piece of paper' it is a relevant document, and I fail to see how asserting its relevance makes us lawless anarchists.
See here's the thing about label-slinging and why it renders a position so ineffective. Yes, we use terms like 'wingnut' but we do so as political shorthand for what we all understand to be amendment-stomping theocentric individuals that seek to impose their singular world view on a population enriched by its plurality and the scope of its dissent. Labels are useful, as profanity can be- when applied toward healthy dialogue.
Where labels fail is in their tendency to reduce us to polarized morons that shout across the aisle with little understanding of what we are criticizing. And I am pretty damn clear about the objects of my angst, thank you.

What I am is a person that believes that the government exists for its own sake and for that of business- not to contribute to our standard of living but to its detriment. Government that is responsive to collective problems, like large scale disaster, commerce, safety, relief- thats the governmental model that I favor which is far from anarchy. There's this idea out there that we either take a panaramic view of bureaucracy as liberals, or embrace the contrast of free market-loving individualists propped by a pseudo-theocracy..
The trouble is that neither are relevant in the alleged model of America. I pass on this buffet, thank you.

15 comments:

Lew Scannon said...

If might makes right, does that mean when a criminal breaks into your house, overpowers and rapes your wife, that no crime has been committed? Are all violent crimes exonerated because the perpetrator has the "might" to commit them? A crime is a crime, wrong is wrong, no matter how much "might" you have to back you up. Why even have laws if they can be broken by those with the might to commit them? I really dislike those Repugs and their warped way of thinking.

Robot Buddha said...

Thanks, Lily. Lots to chew on there--although you've said you're passing on the all you can/can't eat buffet of Government Cheese. I'm kind of full too...

tp said...

I don't want the cheese either. I dislike subsidies.

Lily said...

Lew: Testify!!

Wadena said...

Ah, the wise Lil mentions that the Fascists hate us because we are free.

How incisive her insight!

They carry heavy and stinking loads of law and rules and shoulds while we float blissfully free like the scent of patchouli across the universe.

We are love, we are beautiful and God loves us.

No one knows where we might go, our life an unshackled and serendipitous quest.....as they grovel in the squalorous mud of never-satisfied need and greed.

How could they not hate us.....for we can love them--that fact a vile poison that leaves them squirming and wriggling in their nasty bunker.

:D

Anonymous said...

Uh, yeah. Not so sure about floating across the universe... I don't think they care about who loves or why.In their equations, love is irrelevant. Do you think they care about the families, the toll of war? Love, in their moronic fucking minds, is for suckers. Compassion is weakness, empathy is for pussies. Hitler's was not the only regime to contemplate a vision of weeding out the people they view as pansies bringing civilization down. Now Bush is not that smart, his wrinkles dont run that deep. But the people behind him: they know what they are doing, knew before 9-11, knew that we needed another "Pearl Harbor" for the war machine...
They think peace is a joke. And those who pursue it are deluded. Are they?

Neil Shakespeare said...

I'm really surprised at the rich, quite frankly. You'd think they'd see that's it's in their best interest to help the less fortunate, not as a moral issue at all but merely an economic one. Well-being begets stability and security as no amount of police ever will. Then they'd be able to pursue their capitalist dreams in a productive atmosphere. But apparently not so. It's the old, "I've got mine so fuck you!" mentality.

Lew Scannon said...

I take small comfort in knowing when the system does collapse, they stand to lose more than I ever will.
"When you got nothing, you've got nothing to lose"-Bob Dylan

Lily said...

Neil- Yes, there are in fact financial arguments for managing social 'problems' and having some form of responsive bureaucracy in cases of social welfare, for example. Or disaster response. Public health policy can be viewed from a view of epidemiology costs, to name another. These examples are well documented.
I would say that most investments made in human capital, in people, are ultimately cost effective though the effects are not easily quantified short term.
But in these scenarios, the public saves money. But that is not the goal of the modern day republicon. They are not concerned with a moral obligation on THEIR part, but rather with the morals and their judgements about the recipients. This goes way back to the history of charity in America and prior,Poor Law.
Their goals are not to do what is cost effective, to manage resources for the public good- their goal is to benefit an elite group at the public's expense.
Deficit spending is not consistent with conservative economics, but these people are not concerning themselves with weighing the merits of ideology.
They are concerned with self interest- an entirely different breed of assholes.

Eli Blake said...

Neil,

There are rich people and there are rich people. Being rich in itself is not a crime, and a lot of rich people have put their wealth to good use (Joan Kroc is the best example I can think of; but there are many others. Michael Moore is rich, but only Republicans think he is a jerk).

The problem is that there are many more of them who look at life in a competitive way-- as if every dime they give to make someone else's life better will somehow come back to bite them in the ass. And unfortunately, it is this latter group who are now in the White House.

tp I don't have an f**ing blog said...

Lew-
I don't have a pot to piss in either. I don't NEED a pot to piss in, you see?

Drew said...

I think the primary difference between liberals and conservatives is that us libs would like a government that keeps it's citizens in it's best interest. Republicans are always quick to point out that this line of thinking is a slippery slope towards Communism. This isn't true. I don't think many Democrats would buy into a society where the federal government controls aspects of people's lives, or tell them what they should do for a living or how much they may make, or keep their activities under a watchful eye (strangly, Republicans seem to have little to no problem with big gov spying on it's own citizens). Instead, like you said, there has to be a saftey net out there for those that are not fortunate. In a true Capitalistic society, for every winner there has to be a loser. For every dollar gained there is a dollar lost. Money, like petroleum, is a finite commodity. If it was not, it would have no value, although with the direction the trade and budget deficit are headed, it may not have much value in the future anyway.
What the Republicans want has nothing to do with cutting spending, but robbing the poor to feed the rich. Republicans trip over themselves to bitch about welfare and entitlement programs, yet want to take our tax dollars, our national parks, our education system and fork it over to corporate America.

Frankly, I'd rather have our Government take care of us first before they take care of Bechtel or Halluburton or Pfizer.

Lily said...

Thanks Drew! Yes. Thats the crux of the aneurysm in my head. Clearly you get my meaning, but said it so much more succinctly. How, dammit?

"although with the direction the trade and budget deficit are headed, it may not have much value in the future anyway."
Great point, and one we need to blog about more often. We do in fact live in an ass-owned state thats practically leased to us...

enigma4ever said...

Lew is a wonder...as are you Lillly...
and yes I think a round of Collective Kick in the Ol Arses is in order....

you gotta wonder when whitebread-asskissing-ain't wehurtin'amerika is gonna wake the Hell up...?

lily said...

I agree that Lew is a wonder, because he tells it like it is. Thats why I pay him to be my friend, as I've discussed with Rex. Check out unbrainwashed I read it every day just to see what he will rant about next. The wingnuts really go for him, too. :)

Whitebread- fills people up but offers very little- like our culture and all our crap.

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