Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sharp and Shiny: How to Make Someone Happy They're Being Stabbed

I've been reading Thomas Frank's What's the Matter With Kansas and it's a pretty convincing case all on its own, but nothing draws things into focus like hard reality.

I was reading an opinion peice in a local paper discussing how W was the best for the country. Now, my political views aside, what made the article stand out was this quote from Gregory Scoblete, conservative economic hack:

"core, irreducible function is the physical security of its citizens from external harm, as opposed to their material security, the responsibility for the latter must be shifted to the citizen. The nation-state must give way to the market-state,"

Now, I blinked at this, twice. The colmunist and Scoblete are saying that nations need to serve as giant markets and never mind that whole, "society," bullshit, just protect our bodies from bullets and bombs. What's startling about this is that it is a boldface summary of what Backlash is all about; vote for security, get corporate empowerment. What amazes me the fact that Backlash has become so standard, so accepted that columnists can just come out and essentially say,

"We're here to support moneyed elite, but we need you, the now-union worker to vote for us to make it work. So here's your intellectual alibai: you're voting to feel safe. See, now you can vote for us and feel good about it."

This is so preposterous, so directly contrary to most workers' best interests, that it seems ludicrous. Yet, look across the country: the rust belt continues to vote for those that would be their undoing, people feel outrage over CEO banditry, but vote for those who would loosen the regulations on them, people that are angry they're jobs don't pay as much anymore vote for people working to undo labor reforms, and the list goes on and on.

All because of fear and hatred. People get fired up over abortion, gay rights, and the liberal elite (conservative elites are fine, though), and systematically vote against their interests despite the fact that nothing will be done about the issues they votes on. Look at the recent partial-birth abortion ban here in the 'States, it was written to be overturned, to get people angry.

To make it worse, I see very little that can be done.

How do we convice people to look at the outcomes, when they can't sit through a ten-second steady camera shot?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

A friend of mine and I were talking about how we think that the whole political system needs to be revamped and generally letting our anarchist/socialist tendencies to show. Eventually I came to the conclusion that the system keeps what you need to do to reach your long term goals completely opposite your short term goals in order to perpetuate itself. But what your talking about is even worse because the 'short term' goal of being "safe from terra" is an illusion. As to what can be done, there need to be more viable parties, that takes reform of the electoral system so that its even possible.

The girl that wanted you to turn anonymous posting on,

8:01 PM, October 25, 2004  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:01 PM, October 25, 2004  
Blogger Doug said...

Your basic statement appears to me to be that you cannot understand anyone who does not think exactly like yourself? That is the reason the Democrats lost the last election and will likely lose the next. Blind obedience to ideals that others do not agree with.

12:59 PM, February 17, 2005  

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