Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Thimble Full of Sand.

As the report makes clear, our oil and gas industry regulators are bought and paid for. In truth, your entire government is bought and paid for. Every major regulatory agency is little more than a revolving door between government and the industry the government agency is meant to police. Your biggest problem, my fellow Americans, are yourselves and your government. Islamic jihadists, malfunctioning foreign governments, bankrupt foreign financial entities and various and sundry other bogeyman trotted out to paralyze us into a state of panic and fear such that we hew unerringly to the latest nostrum put forward by The Powers That Be are the least of our concerns.

Our government, a sort of kinder gentler mechanism that most closely resembles, in its functioning, Mussolini's Fascist business model, is vastly more at issue than anything our government is likely to place in front of us as something we are meant to unquestioningly seek protection from.

The question is what are we going to do about this appalling state of affairs? If, perhaps, you are unsure, let me offer a suggestion. Start by refusing to vote for anyone who runs on either of the two major party tickets, or any sub-party, such as the Tea Baggers, who are presently being played like a fiddle by The Republican Party. Refusing to give succor to the two political franchise operations is the bare minimum required. Think of it as a necessary but not sufficient prerequiste for Real Change.


Thai said...

Change to what?

I know you and I tend to part here but from my perspective, the more you change it, the more it will look the same.

"We have met the enemy and he is us"

Be well

Edwardo said...

Thai asked:

Change to what?

Well, Thai, if what I wrote wasn't clear, or if you think genuine transformation is either impossible or lacking merit, nothing I can add will be persuasive.

As for Pogo, or, if one prefers, The Roman General who was responsible for the oft quoted bit of profundity, "We have met the enemy and he is us" he/they were undoubtedly correct, which is why I said:

Your biggest problem, my fellow Americans, are yourselves and your government.

Thai said...

Is genuine transformation possible: I don't know.

And I agree we are our own worst enemy

Debra said...

Well, now, Edwardo, if I were the kind that felt virtuous at the drop of a hat, I could tell you that your post makes me feel.. VERY virtuous, because I have been NOT been voting for the two major parties for years now.
I started having to hold my nose right after Clinton's first election, but... what I found out later could have induced me to hold my nose even before...
Political corruption is no excuse for determinism, nor for immobilism in my book. And it should not cause us to despair. The REAL enemy is NOT us. It is despair IN us, and OF our situation. Beware.
After our most recent regional elections, most people in my circle disparagingly said that people were "apathetic" about the democratic process, thus abstention. The REAL reason for the recent abstention was NOT apathy, it was the feeling of helplessness and despair that a mass culture has fostered in us. The feeling that we are isolated ATOMS in the mass, and have no power to do/change anything.
Grassroots organizing IS going on in the U.S.
We really need people going... DOOR TO DOOR, and not sending out massive mailings over Internet...
One of the biggest problems is political polarization ; the "fact" that people are defining themselves in strict OPPOSITION to others, which makes EXCLUSION the name of the game, and NOT inclusion.
Inclusion is another name for... cooperation, Thai.
Our ideas have to change. We need NEW ones, or else we need a radical... dusting off of the old ones.
I prefer the dusting off.
It fosters continuity in the civilization, and the endless attempts to find "new" ideas (like new stuff, by the way...) just blind us to our roots, and to the ORIGINS of our "new" ideas, which are basically watered down rewrites of the old ones.
Remember... the apple never falls very far from the tree.

Toby said...

Good stuff Edwardo, and Debra too.

I feel the impotence Debra describes quite keenly at the moment, as a recent post over at NC shows. There seems to be a momentum towards collapse that is unstoppable. Things like deep divisions, ignorance, too much time surfing the web, too much pontificating and so on, all contribute to this malaise. Right now I don't think the door to door action Debra rightly advocates can happen until highly visible collapse is underway, at which point such efforts are unlikely to find purchase for obvious reasons. My own efforts with freinds and colleagues are met with incredulance and dismissal. Those that agree only agree partially, which means I disagree with them, and so on. Consensus is very far away.

Dust down the old ideas and embrace the new circumstances is my tip too, but so what!? Society is just too deeply fractured. As Kate Bush said (I think) "Only tragedy can save us now."

Edwardo said...

Good for you, Deb. But then you don't live in the U.S. either which makes me wonder if you are voting at all for anyone at any level?

Deb wrote:

"Political corruption is no excuse for determinism, nor for immobilism in my book."

Amen. As I said, NOT VOTING for either/or is the least we can do.

And I agree with you, Toby, more pain must occur, and it will, before the potential for real political forward progress has a chance to be realized.

Debra said...

Consensus is NOT A GOOD THING.
Consensus is the mark of totalitarianism, and we do not want this.
I firmly BELIEVE that we can learn to SEE how we are making a difference in what we are saying, and that AT OUR OWN LEVEL, by learning how to see, we can feel LESS HOPELESSNESS.
We have had our eyes trained on the BIG PICTURE for such a long time, to a certain extent, that we don't see (as Thai points out...) all the LITTLE things that we do and say IN OUR DAILY LIVES, and how they accumulate to make change.
Daniel Arasse is a French art historian who wrote two books, one on "subject" and one on "detail".
We are constantly caught in observation between global/subject and detail, but neither one gives an EXCLUSIVE picture of our world. These visions are not simultaneous, but complementary.
We SHOULD learn how to see both globally AND in detail. We should cultivate BOTH types of vision.
I hauled my ass out in the last elections and voted.
I'm not sure that not voting at all is the answer, because look how people react : they label it apathy, and it is INTERPRETED as the desertion of the political process which justifies our "leaders" usurping more and more power.
But I will not say that I defend voting either in the context you are talking about, Edwardo. I don't know.

Edwardo said...

Deb wrote:

I'm not sure that not voting at all is the answer,

-Not voting for the existing political structure is what was suggested, but there is a vote to be cast for the right candidate(s) should they emerge.

"because look how people react : they label it apathy, and it is INTERPRETED as the desertion of the political process which justifies our "leaders" usurping more and more power."

-Those who make that argument, or some derivative of it, are, in the main, operating with a dim, flickering head lamp. I care enough not to throw my vote away-which is what pulling the lever for a Republicrat amounts to- is the proper response. At this point, if one hasn't recognized that voting for either/or is tantamount to throwing one's vote away, to being had, I'm really not sure there is anything that will overcome the sheer denial or stupidity inherent in supporting the present political system.

"But I will not say that I defend voting either in the context you are talking about, Edwardo. I don't know."

-Fair enough, as long as you are clear that I don't advocate not voting across the board. I never have, and probably never will.

Debra said...

I voted for Ralph Nader for quite a while, Edwardo. And in a context where it cost me a hell of a lot more to vote than to not to.
Now I have no plans to revote in the U.S.
Because... I am not really American any more.
You've noticed that, haven't you ?
According to my rather.. Quixotic (that's for DON Quixote, NOT for the current meaning) nature, I find it an imposture to cast my vote for someone in the mother country these days.
It is.. NOT indifference though. Not really.

Edwardo said...

I voted for Nader myself....once. I've certainly noticed that you live in France, Deb, but as for the status of your U.S. citizenship, I can't say that has ever been made clear, even now.

So, have you officially renounced your U.S. citizenship? I am betting not since you used the qualifier "not really."

DED said...

I voted for Nader once, back in 2000. Neither W nor Gore did anything for me and I knew Gore would carry CT because of Lieberman (whom I detest).

But since then, I've felt that Nader has become increasingly irrelevant. If he really wanted to get elected, he should've picked something a bit more attainable like Congressman. CT is his home state and liberal enough that he might've had a chance, certainly better than the one he had of becoming president.

Debra said...

Edwardo... it's a pain in the ass to renounce citizenship. It's not what they tell you : walk into the embassy and say "hey, I don't want this any more".
It's more complicated than that. And I don't want to do it.. yet, at least.
For the time being, I am happy to have a FRENCH person preparing my (American) income tax forms...

Edwardo said...

I know it is, and expensive if you have assets.