I could argue on the misplaced primacy of the corporation over the nation, but Chayefsky was hyperbolizing and Dennis and I are coming at the same collusion from different ends. The eternal question of whether true lefties can get along with minarchic yahoos like myself seems to me to be predicated on a gross surfeit of optimism. We are not going to smash the state-as-is, ergo it is of no import how we're going to settle the question of public provision in the coming pasttime paradise. To engage in doctrinal disputes when your doctrines are irrelevant to the actual, physical, temporal conduct of human life on this planet for the duration of your life and everyone's life is to drown in the pool of your own reflection. We're all engaged in the task of forestalling madness by hurling pebbles at the leviathan and then ducking out of sight. Dennis and I are two kids making trouble in the same alley, and there's no reason to argue when there are grownups to torment.
There is something I'd add to Dennis' post, though, which is that these progressives ever-yearning to take something back from something, are not so out of line with the political culture they seek to yank internetwards as they themselves seem to believe. Their world-view, such as it is, more or less equates the current setup with the way things oughta be, admitting some tinkering may be desirable. The fact that they more strongly advocate withdrawal from Iraq--fuller and immediater if not full and immediate--really only indicates that they haven't the brains to understand what it will mean to yank our Yankee cock out of that unconsenting Arab orifice. They still view the Iraq war as a mistake and, more tellingly, a distraction, and seem to understand the consequences of withdrawal as the advent of universal healthcare.
Their leaders, meanwhile, from whom they credit themselves with dissenting, are smarter, or have access to the briefing papers, or at very least have staffs telling them what to think, and they understand that we have Fucked Up in a very fundamental way, and that the investment made to this point cannot be unmade. To quit this enterprise would have deeper ramifications than your basic pwoggler is able to consider, and no one but you, me, and seven dudes building orgone accumulators in West Virginia is looking to get into any actual, like, you know, political upheavals. The New Deal, electronics innovation, a robust but not uppity labor movement, free clinics, hybrid cars, and a slightly revanchist Republican minority against which hackles can occasionally be raised--this is what the Donklesphere wants. We can come home, militarism can be momentarily tempered by regrets at having "lost," and some prodigy can design a really slick monument. Et cetera.
To this tiresome tune I can only reply by quoting the immortal Walter Sobchak: "I got buddies who died face-down in the muck so that you can I could enjoy this family restaurant." Needless to say, I'm not going to prattle on about brave so-and-sos defending our such-and-suches. The world needs no further hymns to heroism, the second deadliest fallacy after god. But in Walter's words are this truth: that The Troops™ are indeed operating in service of empire, and that to alter the endeavor now requires a greater committment of mental and verbal resources than, say, extracting an apology from a baby-faced former senator who, by the way, is running for office, and hopes he has your vote.
Friday, June 22, 2007