Category Archives: John Stuart Mill

The American Sisyphus

It's uncanny that both US political parties use the very same descriptions (right up to the same exact words) to incite fear among their own constituents in an attempt to soil their political opposition. Both fear the same outcomes, and accuse the other of being fearmongers. Both claim the same desires, and accuse the other of systematically thwarting the honest fulfillment and judicious harvest of their own spirit-filled policies. This money-charged he said, she said plants "hope in change" among the hapless voter classes every year or two, but the Sisyphian task of governing a critical mass remains critical as long as there are people who refuse to govern themselves at least as critically as they govern others.

Here is one liberal feminist's rather opaque outlook:

sisyphus
Sisyphus

SUSIE GAVE THE STANDARD ANSWERS about what can be done. Show up at a congressman’s office en masse, hang out in front of the restaurant where he/she and friends have lunch, throw a tent city or two and call the local paper or TV station about it. Butcha know, I don’t think that’s going to work anymore and as one of them said: the right has the biggest megaphones and they simply won’t report it.

The right knows their voters. They motivate their voters to vote by romanticizing the fetus, by appealing to their religiosity. If bad things happen to other people, it’s because they weren’t as pious and good as the typical Fox News viewer. That same religiosity prevents the religious conservative from doing too much to help the poor by contacting their representatives and demanding action. It’s because there is so much evil and bad and pain in the world that mankind does not have the capacity to clean it up. Only God does. So, we need to just wait for Jesus to come back, which should be any day now. If you’ve ever wondered what the apocalyptic messaging in right wing propaganda has to do with anything, there’s the reason. It’s to keep the older conservative voter who sees disturbing things from taking any action.

If Susie wants to know what to do, she is going to have to target these viewers to get involved. One thing that temporarily woke people up was the sight of so many people suffering in the wake of Katrina in New Orleans. Which means that the news machine will be very careful to never do that again. So, if you can’t bring the news to the people, maybe you have to bring the people to the news.

Don’t isolate your older, more conservative relatives. Tell them what’s going on because you’ve seen it personally. Tell them what is happening to your unemployed friends. If they ask why they’re not willing to relocate, tell them the truth. There are no jobs. Anywhere. Be harsh with them. They won’t want to see you. But they’ll call and ask why you haven’t come to visit. Tell them you’re trying to help your friends—who are unemployed and that they just don’t get it. They’ll go on about how God is the only one who can clean this mess up. Tell them that’s bullshit and Jesus wouldn’t want them to ignore the poor. If they tell you that you’re friends did something wrong, tell them the only thing they did wrong was being born in the wrong part of the 20th century. If they say, yes, it’s true, the older generation has it good in comparison, tell them, great! We’re moving in with you. With the bird. And the kid who likes to play Edith Piaf songs all. the. time. and refuses to speak to you in anything but French and eats like there’s no tomorrow. When they express some hesitation about that, tell them to turn off the fricking TV news.

As for Susie, I think she has a future in broadcasting but she really has to ditch her propensity to glom onto left wing memes. I’m not saying stop being liberal. I’m saying stop letting the left do your thinking. On one broadcast a couple of months ago, I think Athenae was on, they got so frustrated with it all that they want to just ditch everything and go rustic, which is great if you have no dependents. But in some respects, it reminds me of the older religious person’s decision to just stay in the house away from the evil men and sexual predators until Jesus comes back. You can’t run away from the world’s problems when they seem insurmountable. If you do that, the bad guys win. They want people to feel helpless. Learned helplessness is their goal.

The only way to win is to get together and fight back. And if Susie hasn’t figured this out yet, the left’s support of Obama in 2008 has resulted in thousands of sparkling shards of leftiness with the incapacity to reform itself. I keep appealing to people like Susie to stop blowing us off and join with us and let’s do something together. But the left hasn’t given up on the stuff that doesn’t resonate with their potential allies who work for the big corporations the left condemns. It’s incomprehensible to me that for all the intelligence the left claims it has that it hasn’t figured out yet that the corporations are not the ogres here. It’s the rulemakers they help elect. If the rules weren’t bent or destroyed, the corporations would go back to playing by the rules and merely scheming like grinches instead of running around causing havoc like Thing 1 and Thing 2. Then there are people like us who voted for Hillary and are still personas non grata.

We’re always going to think Obama was the wrong guy for the moment. But why would the left cut off half of its strength if it really want to make a change? Let me ask you this, Susie, why haven’t you asked any of US on your show yet? Not that we can’t host our own shows but that’s hardly togetherness, is it?

Now here we get to the real concession in drawing the line where right greets left, they shake hands, fold their cards, then settle back into their routines for another round of the Sisyphus game from which we are never expected to resist:

The left’s obsession with perfection mirrors the right’s eschatological fervor. Neither one addresses the causes and concerns of people in the middle who still bitterly cling to their FDR era programs with track records of success for those who participate. Both sides insist that if they can’t have everything their way, no one will get anything at all.  In this respect, the left does as much damage to its cause as the right does with its huge megaphones.

If you want to know why no one hears your cries, it’s because you haven’t joined with other voices. And the men in charge, and it’s ALWAYS men, like it that way. Power is the ultimate drug and no one is going to wrest it from them without a fight. As long as the left remains broken, Susie and her tent cities are no threat to the power brokers.

On Watch for Serial Quitters

FORMER PRO WRESTLER and ex-governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura made another one of his rather sniping comments of late: "Sarah Palin is a quitter. She quit as governor to go make money. I would have nothing to do with a party like that."

That logic would make Barack Obama a serial quitter then, and so many other politicians and coaches and uh, fill in the blank, as well. To quit one job to take another. Spin it anyway your experience takes ya, but everyone has his or her own motivating or extenuating circumstances, including athletes who jump college for the pros. Do we call these guys quitters. Some do, some don't. Jesse can say what he wants, but for those who thought he too had presidential or higher political ambitions than a one term governorship, it feels like he's a quitter too. Pretzel logic is all we have here folks, move along, nothing else to see here...

And while we are at it, ‎here's another quote worth posting.

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things.The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." —John Stuart Mill

The mysteries of the mind lead us nowhere, but it is they the pragmatic who lead by example those who would follow leaving those who would refuse another chance to go nowhere.