Sunday, June 22, 2008

I feel like I’m repeating myself.

posted by The Vidiot @ 1:22 AM Permalink

Bump & UPDATE, UPDATE II, UPDATE III, UPDATE IV (with pictures!), Update V (with lyrics!)

Original post:
But here goes (and I hate to sound like Ralph Nader):


There. I said it again and I’m sure I’ll keep on saying it.

Cases in point:
After more than a year of partisan acrimony over government surveillance powers, Democratic and Republican leaders have agreed to a bipartisan deal that would be the most sweeping rewrite of spy powers in three decades. The House is likely to vote on the measure Friday, House aides said.
Democratic and GOP leaders in the House announced agreement Wednesday on a long-overdue war funding bill they said President Bush would be willing to sign.
Sure, I can hear you naysayers out there, “But what about the Supreme Court?” or, “What about Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare?” or even, “What about Abortion!” and to you I say, “Bwaht!” Those issues are rhetoric. The only difference between the parties is rhetoric.

Politicians pretend to occupy our universe of political discourse. However, their beliefs, ideas and support exist within a different universe, one that has the same context, that of the power elite. Issues such as abortion, etc, do not concern them. With these manufactured squabbles, they win votes. But by supporting the elite, they maintain power.

Further, rights or issues like abortion and healthcare aren’t rights that governments grant, or at least they shouldn’t be. (We’ve allowed that to happen.) Think about it: people have rights not because of the government but because they are endowed with these inalienable rights (Sound familiar?). People have the right to healthcare and to make decisions about their body, but not because the government gives them these rights. So the difference between the two parties amount to mere rhetoric, so don’t be fooled by the rhetoric. To use the words of Wittgenstein, they are “language games.” (Corrected. All this time, I thought it was Lichtenstien that Mr. Vidiot was saying. Hmmm. Interesting.)

COUNTERPOINT by The Sailor: No difference!? WTF!? Sure, I agree that folks in both parties that attain the higher offices have been corrupted by money and ambition, but if Gore had won we wouldn't have the Iraq war.
If Gore had won we wouldn't have Alito and Roberts on the supreme court.
If Gore had won Katrina would have been treated as a national disaster instead of Karl Rove's political football.

There is a difference; Dems suck less! (Not a ringing endorsement I'll grant you), but McCain will be appointing the 5th justice that will overturn Roe v. Wade, he'll further Bush's trashing of the Constitution, the environment, spying on Americans, etc, etc, etc.

Taxes, wars, torture, healthcare, womens' right to choose, are not rhetoric, they are the fundamental differences between McCain and Obama.

COUNTERCOUNTERPOINT by Mr. Vidiot: Rights have never won by the voting process. Rights have never won by what candidate is in office or not. Not a single amendment, not a single law and not a single politician has ever secured rights for any American. Political rights have been won through resistance, blood, fighting, and subversion. Rights have been won and secured after years of turmoil and conflict, taking to the streets, and getting one's hands dirty. Democrats and republicans have both delivered unfulfilled promises and unfulfilled dreams and covered up their ambitions with rhetoric.

May I refer to you a time you might remember: the 1960s. It didn't happen spontaneously. There's an historical teleology that led to that moment. The women's movement - the textile mills strikes that occurred throughout the USA where thousands of women protest and resisted power, only to lose their jobs. Where the African slave resisted through both subtle and more over means, from crop sabotage to killing. History unfolds, politicians do not make decisions as if they are in a vacuum. These decisions meet their reality in streets of rebellion and resistance and subversion, not in oval offices and among the political elite. The 19th Amendment didn't give women the right to vote. It took years of struggle, of fighting oppression and marginalization and resistance to power. It took violent resistance. These rights weren't simply handed to them by an amendment.
Next time you vote democrat, think, "what rights have they ever secured for you."

Shall we not forget history? Shall we forget all those who fought in vain and died or remember how they chipped away, piece by piece, and that was and eventually made the wall fall?

As for war: we must again refer to the logic of our political and economic institutions - the driving forces of modernity. Capitalism MUST expand and as Marx said, it will break down all Chinese walls. Capitalism is insatiable. It MUST produce profit or dissolve. It seeks to expand through invitation preferably, through destruction if necessary. If politicians are to secure their institutional roles, they must allow capitalism to expand, through peace or war. Republicans and democrats must serve this logic and they do, knowingly or unknowingly. Gore is not a hero. Gore, rather, is an apologist for a system he loyally and faithfully serves. Case in point: his famous documentary which gives a rather unenlightened critique of the environmental degradation yet places blame on individuals, the rhetoric of self responsibility, diverting attention away from what is really to blame -- an economic system geared towards one logic: profit.

One last note: it's not corruption and personal ambition that inform the action of politicians. Rather, it is the logic of the political and economic institutions. To understand action, purposive action, one must understand the cultural context and structural conditions in which action takes place. Please think about the logic of our political and economic institutions to better understand the actions of American politicians.

COUNTERCOUNTERPOINT ADDENDUM by The Vidiot: I know, it's a tough pill to swallow. It took me a long time before I could see his point. Abortion, the war, poverty, all of it is so important to us, that we can't believe that it's NOT important to them (Democrats and Republicans.) And maybe a part of their humanity does care, but they can't act outside of their institution, otherwise they wouldn't be a member of that institution any longer.I still have a hard time with it because it's easier to think "Dem v Rep" then to deconstruct the whole thing and try to look behind the wall all the time.

What did it for me is this: We are all born with rights, the rights of a human being. But, the State tells us what rights we don't have. Political rights are won through blood, sweat and tears. If the State didn't grant those after all of that, then they'd have a real rebellion on their hands.

CounterCounterCounterPoint by The Sailor: Roe v. Wade, Loving v. Virginia, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the right to privacy, Habeas Corpus, gay marriage are just a few of the examples off the top of my head that were instituted without bloodshed, (tho I'll acknowledge the implementation in some cases involved bloodshed.) Those are all 'political rights' that were either judicially or legislatively expanded. And the only 'rebellion' has been by folks who are intent to undermine those rights.

Any social/political system one lives in imposes boundaries. If there are no boundaries then it's just Strong v. Weak. We're not quite there yet. And dems are slightly better at protecting the least amongst us than repubs.

COUNTERCOUNTEROH WHATEVERPOINT by Mr. and Mrs. Vidiot: There’s history behind all those acts. None of them happened in a vacuum. There was a lot of struggle that happened behind all those acts. That struggle wasn’t led by republicans or democrats but by whites, blacks, women, students; PEOPLE fought for those things, they secured those ‘rights’ for themselves. Governments merely acquiesced to the people’s demands.

Government by its definition, subjugates people. To be a citizen is to be dominated by a nation state. Nation states define and decide what rights there are and by doing that limit our rights. We have rights as humans, unfettered from any dominant powerful monstrosity that rules above us. When the nations states hijacks land, people, and their institutions, they impose their will over land, people and institutions. And when people fight and secure some of the most basic of freedoms, that’s government granting rights? Not really. People fight and struggle for the most basic of dignities. Governments, after a long process of struggle, give an inch, and we act like democracy occurred.

Believing in the dems, who run this machine with repubs, is to lie to yourself and give you some sense of security in an increasingly insecure and troubled world. The reality for humanity, for any revolutionary or for that matter, any so-called progressive is to not accept the bone, but to take back our lives. And the power elite's (dems and repubs) response is to insure that we will never have that freedom and life. They are hired to make capitalism work. We should live to fulfill our human potentials. And to that end, both dems and repubs must fall.

To put it into perspective, here's what we perceive:
They all seem rather large to us. But, here's what the power elite perceive:
See? All those little spheres of perception, those are all of OUR spheres of perception, and see how small they are when compared to the big gray ball of global capitalism? They're actually smaller than that, and each little orange orb is each little system, the people of the US, India, China, the whole world, and what they perceive as important. But in relation to the overall system, see how comparitively insignificant they are? THAT'S why dems and repubs are the same. They play with the gray ball and the orange balls? Well, they're little more than specks of sand beneath their feet.

While we're squabbling over things we should control ourselves, we're asking governments to throw us bones. Meanwhile, the world system of nation states and global capital is terrorizing our Earth in the guise of political and economic legitimacy.

Nation states are evil doers, and we are the hostages. Our choices are illusions.

Addendum by The Sailor: Words frequently fail me. So I'll just fall back on poetry/lyrics:
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
I agree with your basic tenets, but at my age I'm just to old to "man the barricades". ... and given that I have two options; I can sail away or I can vote.

I'm leaning towards voting, but Plan B remains an option.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home