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Monday, August 6, 2007

Arthur Sez: Smell The Coffee

Oil over Democracy
Indymedia Anti-war Poster
After some difficult down time, Arthur once again speaks truth to power the people (please read the whole thing, there is much more to his logic than what I've selected for this post):
Once again, the leading liberal bloggers profess utter bafflement in response to the Democrats' actions. Several days ago, Atrios wrote:
Don't Get It

I'm really not sure why the Dems are even bothering to pretend (or, jeebus, not pretending) to take Bush seriously on this FISA stuff. He's been breaking the law for years.
Yesterday, in a post decrying the great haste with which the Democrats moved to accede to the administration's demands (which is, I note again, precisely what the Democrats did with regard to the MCA), Digby said -- with "Deep, Heavy, Sigh" (just so we know exactly how distressed she is):
Obviously, I'm not the only one who can't for the life of me figure out why the congress is doing this.
I suggest we take these leading lights of the progressive blogs at their word: they most certainly do not get it, and they absolutely cannot "for the life of [them] figure out why the congress is doing this."


The reason for that is very simple, and it goes to the progressives' central articles of religious faith: The Democrats aren't really like this, not in their heart of hearts. The Democrats don't actually favor a repressive, authoritarian state. The Democrats are good, and they want liberty and peace for everyone, everywhere, for eternity, hallelujah and amen.

People who continue to believe this have evicted themselves from serious political debate, and they have willingly made themselves slaves to their enthusiastically embraced self-delusions....
I want to say that this is a touchy area for me. Arthur points out (correctly, in my view - again, I edit for brevity, read his entire post to better grasp his case):
The corporatist system itself is irreversibly corrupt. To restore anything even approaching the original design of a constitutional republic, another revolution is required. There is still time for a peaceful revolution, one led by those with a radically different political vision, but just barely. An attack on Iran and its likely aftermath, or an attack or series of attacks here at home, would almost certainly finish us off. But the liberals and progressives who remain devoted to Democratic electoral victory... remain committed to the story that gives their lives and their precarious sense of self meaning and succor: the Democrats will save us.

They will not. Try to grasp this finally, before it
is too late: the Democrats may differ from the Republicans on matters of detail, or emphasis, or style. But... everything that has happened over the last six years... is what the Democrats want, too.

This should not be a difficult point to understand. The historical record is compelling in its clarity, and overpowering in its length and volume.
A corporatist, authoritarian state is what the ruling elites want, and it is precisely what serves their interests, Republican and Democrat alike. They know it; they count on your inability or refusal to see it.
This is all true, irrevocably so. The reason I say it is a "touchy area" is because of the nature of the American citizen consumer. It is a natural impulse, when one's eyes are opened to the motivations and mendacity of the ruling "elites," to just wash one's hands of the whole thing and refuse to participate any longer with this government that purports to represent "of, by and for the people." When Republicans see the meme of "they all do it" being accepted by the electorate, they delight in this small victory, for then only the rabid base turns out at the polls. This is damaging to any opposition, even if the opposition is weak tea, indeed. I am frequently torn by this, and, for this reason, I tend to separate my "politics" posts from my admittedly apocalyptic posts on the overall condition of human society and its tendency to failed Empire. I try to maintain a fragile balance between my Quixote-esque advocacy for political change and my (apparently rather accurate) vision of the coming fall.

But that does not mean it can be ignored. The trick is, I think, is to recognize and acknowledge the pressures on the "elites" (we are complicit in this) to "secure" our economy (and the concomitant opportunities it provides them to bolster their own "economic security" under cover of such pressures), and do the hard work and ferret out the truth whenever possible. But this requires participation.

I must admit, however, that Mr. Silber makes a strong case that it is very, very difficult to "participate" without spattering one's own hands with blood.

Update: To wit, Scarecrow, at FireDogLake, writes:
...the Democrats allowed themselves be be stampeded into passing a wholesale gutting of FISA that goes far beyond any rationale the President’s misleading statements covered and far beyond every description the President has given of his Terrorist Surveillance Program for the past two years.


We are a nation represented by sheep.
Sheep? Or aspirant elites?

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