IOZ, abstinence doesn't work. People are going to vote. They can't help themselves. We have to educate them so they don't get hurt.
I'm going to vote, but only because there's a chance to take the word "plantations" out of my state's name. Whatever, I'd like us better without it.
I dunno, I was reading this blog called Hullabaloo, and now I'm askeered of the RETHUGLICANS. This seems like it could be the most important election ever. I don't think we can afford to sit this one out.
Steffigy, fortunately, there's a difference between voting and sex. Well, maybe not for pwogs... but normal people... yeah.
IOZ, abstinence doesn't work. People are going to vote.Close to 50% don't. I'm an optimist. I like to think of the glass as half full.
And I thought I was going to find out IOZzy is a secret fan of OK Computer's best song.It's about voting? A lion-sized yawn!No, seriously -- I totally get what Anon @ 6:54 is saying. Them's some true wurdz raht thur.
This is your brain. This is your brain on voting. Any Questions?
people drank beer so you could vote.
Quiz yourself, friends:Is this ad by an R-bot or a D-bot? Without access to the last 5 seconds of the thing, who could possibly tell?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMneXZbRoC4&feature=player_embedded
The Audacity of Don't
But what if you win? See Dog@7:07.
But Digby says we should.
I like how Digs is busy pimping ads that terrify the viewer with what would happen if Palin and O'Donnell ruled over us. You know, the Sarah Palin that fifty or sixty percent of the country hates, and the Christine O'Donnell that's trailing by double digits currently. BUT SHE WANTS TO OUTLAW MASTURBATION YOU GUYS! MOST IMPORTANT ELECTION EVER!Didn't they used to complain about how horrible and cynical it was that Republicans frequently campaign purely on a message of, "Vote for us or every bad thing you can imagine will happen to you"?
RIGHT. voting is for phillistines.Votes are the enemy. Got it.
@ anon @7:47what is a "pwog"?
Pwog = pwogwessive = progressive = pathetic attempt to rebrand Democrats since the mean ol' RETHUGLICANS made "liberal" into an epithet.
BUT SHE WANTS TO OUTLAW MASTURBATION YOU GUYS!What's her plan for catching those preverts?
One only has to look at Israel to see a living case study in your strategy-- more or less normal Jewish Israelis voted with their feet, leaving the country in the hands of fascists and fundamentalists who seem to be sending it into a death spiral. The difference is that you're not proposing to leave physically, meaning that you have to live with the consequences of a country run by Angles, O'Donnells and De Mints. Yaws may fly off to Paris if the shit hits the fan, but I'm guessing most of those who will opt out of voting don't have that option.
Sticking a microchip on everyones' privates. Ejaculate without a pussy nearby, out comes the SWAT team.„It was a night pollution incident in, my sleep!"„Tell that to the judge, pervert."Capt'n Obvious
IOZ would take us all with him, using his TRUST FUND.
I have to vote. Who else will take a stand for Lizard People?
Vote once every few years, in favor of some rich dynastic fuck or other (even the Greens are headed by one) who swears on his momma's headdress that he'll somewhat follow through with his televised pitches and not with rich fucks class interests? Have no effective say whatsoever in the workings of government beyond that hollowed-out signifier?Who in his right mind would withhold support from such a system, and why?
Oxtrot, are you ever right about anything? Fitter, Happier is the only thing that prevents Electioneering from being the worst track on that record.
Anon 2:42 proposes the Peter Pan theory of voting. Second chad to the right, and straight on to a democratic republic uncaptured by monied interests and the imperialist class.CLAP YOUR HANDS IF YOU BELIEVE IN IDEALIZED REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY!
Nonny, I was "right" for about 2 years, 18-20, I registered as a Republican at 18. Besides, "Fitter, Happier" is genius! Programming a vocoder to say what Thom Yorke wanted to say = genius. The only thing superior in the history of music is Peter Frampton's "talk box" on Frampton Comes Alive.
"idealized representative democracy" -- Hilarious non-sequitur. That shtick of yours is pretty tired. Why don't you address the point instead of yammering on about Courtney Love's TOTALLY AWFUL dress, and her OBVIOUS boob job?
Making excuses for "normal" Israelis and what passes for democracy in the United States, all in one post...quite a throwdown, that.Israel has always been a religious apartheid state. That's simple fact.The United States is at about the same level of democracy, for different reasons. 30-second TV ads are inherently destructive of rational argument, yet they are now the entirety of "politics" here. Again, not a debatable point.2:42 swings and misses, striking self in head...
"Excuses for 'normal' Israelis"Well, they've emigrated - so in a functional sense they're no longer Israelis. That seems like a reasonable excuse. They're your analogues in opting out of the system. Ergo you're the one who seems to be swinging and missing, hitting yourself on the head."Israel has always been a religious apartheid state"Perhaps. But it has not always been a belligerent nuclear-armed messianic religious apartheid state run by the colonialist faction and bankrolled by millenarian U.S. evangelicals. The "death spiral" moves in that direction. Swing and miss - strike two."30-second TV ads are inherently destructive of rational argument, yet they are now the entirety of 'politics' here. Again, not a debatable point."Well, everyone's got a theory. That seems in fact to be a very debatable point-- more precisely two debatable points. But more to the point, it's irrelevant to what I said. Strike three.Look, I grew up with communists who took an identical line. The point of urging people not to vote is to diminish the legitimacy of the exercise. The more people who sign on the weaker the institutions become. That's a perfectly fine stance, I don't object to it in a principled way. I'm just pointing out that there are practical costs--unless you leave the country.
Lol, yeah, the great outflux of liberal Israelis to . . . uh, where, again? They realized that Israel had the bomb and went back to Columbus?A country run by Angles, O'Donnells and De Mints! Ohno! They might invade Pakistan!
Anon 11:59: What point? That if all seventeen of us anti-imperialist sorta-anarchists don't vote, a two-digit underdog in a race for senate will run the country? What schtick? Suggesting that you are implying instead of explicitly stating that through voting all seventeen of us can bring an end to American empire, dramatically reduce the size of the state, and stop the upward transfer of wealth because even your delusional ass recognizes that the proposition rests on nothing more than fairy dust, happy thoughts and some good grade-school indoctrination?Stick to your day job.
Columbus, Germany, all over the place.It's not Pakistan that has to worry about the Angles and De Mints, it's Ohio. Self-sacrificing type aren't you? Radical but chic.
Lol. "Living abroad" does not mean what you think it means. But yes, you know, the plural of anecdote is RETHUGLICANS RULE NINELEVEN!!!!!
actually the shtick I was referring to was that catty Peter Pan bullshit, not the fantasy about my politics. I do get that it's about communal self protection. agreed that Yaws's anti-voting crusade makes more practical sense on the premise that only 17 pseudo-anarchists will ever sign on. But if that's the blanket assumption, kind of hard to take any of what he says seriously, let alone what comes out of your echo chamber.
Yaws, you're melting.
But . . . but sure-to-lose New York gubernatorial candidate Chuck Paladinioskovichio sez the gheys are all sickos! Sure-to-lose senate candidate Christine O'Donnell said many, many weird things on Bill Mahr's lousy nineties talk show!! WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN!? You monsters.
You must rebut the metaphor. Rebut the metaphor. Rebut. Say it with me, rebut. What do you propose will occur if all americans voted, tootles? (I recommend you say it out loud first)
P.S. to 2:42: Urging people not to vote in 2010 is not the same as urging never to vote ever again.If the left weren't braindead, a general strike against voting in 2010 might even be a pretty great schtick at this point.Alas, the left is braindead.
Uh, I will rebut the irrelevant metaphor -- analogy, actually -- after you prove to me that you aren't a wife-beating rapist. lol as Yaws might cogently add.
haha! not voting is not going to change a thing. put that in your pipette and sample it.
If it doesn't change a thing why bother urging people not to vote?although I must admit that "You should do x because it's irrelevant" is an awfully compelling slogan.
because it's funny. because not only are we "anarchists," we're also defeatists. because we're bored. because we are not so shallow as to require our preferences wrought upon this fine planet in the form of human social engineering. because this is a blog and you shouldn't take anything said here seriously. because it doesn't matter. and most importantly, because you fell for it.
It's an unlimited time only offer. Don't act now!
Oh dear. Sweetheart, a metaphor is an analogy, and if you don't plan on hitting the ball, continuing to swing this hard will just make you dizzy. But we do enjoy watching you spin.
Google machine translation: "Fine, we're a bunch of wankers. But you wanked!"It's been Fun.
A metaphor is an analogy... but isn't the question whether an analogy a metaphor... what were we talking about again.... getting very very sleepy...
Your finale would have a bit more panache if you had the sack to just once put forth your proposition. "You're silly" is damning and all, but it ain't much for political philosophy.
I have to wonder about the voting fetish so prevalent in our population. these are not creative people, imho. I don't see why everything has to be such a travesty. maybe point them to mutualist.org or something, if they feel they must do something. something, you know, that doesn't so blatantly support and reinforce evident evil.
It has been said that anarchism is the silliest form of politics except all the others that have been tried.
La Rana: it was a genuinely entertaining interaction. A delicious caricature of political debate. But apart from your psychic inferences I've already put forth my, um, proposition and will now leave the urgent matter of my sack in your capable hands.
How's all this working out for everybody?
wait. the proposition was that if you don't vote "you have to live with the consequences of a country run by Angles, O'Donnells and De Mints." (is this right?)what is worse? to advocate abstention or to endorse, say, Angles, O'Donnells and De Mints as candidates?say so few people voted that the election could in no way be said to confer legitimacy on any candidates: do, say, Angles, O'Donnells and De Mints have a greater impulse to seize power by naked force than your household "left-of-center" Democrat pol?
I got something you can seize with "naked" force, if you know what I'm sayin' and I think you do.
MiDaYou guys still be smarting from that Hotel David incident, I presume?Capt'n Obvious
Montag: I can't say it any better than... well, than I said it:"The point of urging people not to vote is to diminish the legitimacy of the exercise. The more people who sign on the weaker the institutions become. That's a perfectly fine stance, I don't object to it in a principled way. I'm just pointing out that there are practical costs--unless you leave the country."Quietism (definitely not anarchism) has a long and honorable history. The question in my mind isn't whether abstaining is reasonable in present circumstances -- clearly it is -- but whether you all ought to own the potential consequences of insisting that things could NEVER BE WORSE with the evangelical faction in power. Saying "Oh, we're only 17 pseudo-anarchists" is a half-assed cop-out. Digby is only one Obama apologist, and (appropriately) I don't see anyone cutting her slack. In the Yawsian peanut gallery there is much delusive softpedaling of the Angles, some of whom like their namesake do in fact have a good chance of getting elected. As if, because Obama embraces violence Angle must be benign so you can feel better about rejecting lesseroftwoevilism. Not so, and to the extent that quietistic behavior stands to help her faction achieve power, it would be appropriate to acknowledge the risk, in the same way that running from the cops while engaging in civil disobedience misses the whole point of the exercise. You ought to be able to say, "Yes Angle may well fuck things up even worse than they are already, and it's worth it because the system is so rotten that consent is intolerable."So that was my point, but of course no one likes a scold.
@5:13 AnonDutch book, homeboi.Yo' massa be thinking we be re-tards?Capt'n Obvious
Actually not a dutch book-- home boy. What's the difference between the bet and the risk analysis? I don't think you're retards, I think you're cooking the odds to give yourselves courage. I also think you're pretty insular. That's okay, the bitchy obnoxious crap is amusing.
my comment:i can only speak for myself, but my sense of the regulars here is that we don't do a lot of "insisting that things could NEVER BE WORSE." it's not that things can't be worse, it's that voting is FAKE. it's irrelevant.and an overlong elaboration:the first part of your comment is astute, regarding "The point of urging people not to vote ... in a principled way." it's the "practical costs" bit i (daresay we?) don't buy.as it is, it's hard to imagine how one ruling faction is worse than the other to your average Pakistani villager. but you, or some other anon, was concerned about how much worse things might be FOR US. ("It's not Pakistan that has to worry about the Angles and De Mints, it's Ohio.")the violent mechanisms of state control will eventually be brought to bear here at home. we're already seeing people being expelled from their homes and austerity measures looming on the horizon. these may once have been considered left vs. right issues in politics, but neither ruling faction represents the left nowadays. the significant distinction is between the powerful and the powerless, with both factions representing the powerful. so, yes, things are going to keep getting worse. if the powerful decide the prescription is oppressive christian fundamentalism, (which i doubt, but i'm no fortune teller,) then that's the medicine we'll get.
Yea,Hireling, fo' sho. Montag, you be wasting your timeCapt'n Obvious
Agreed, the assumption is that voting is a sham. So "it could never be worse" applies to our own universe of possibilities. Anything we might do would meet with the same result.I guess there are two levels to this. On one level we seem to agree. The latitude of any politician to diverge from the interests of the people who bankroll them is minuscule. But on another level I disagree. The electoral ritual has a practical outcome which can be better or worse. I think it's a self-fulfilling mistake to assume that one has less power than is really the case. At the very least as a moral actor you have to behave as if it mattered. Wendell Berry is quite eloquent on this point, it seems to me. I like his essay "A Poem of Difficult Hope" about political protest.
"Anything we might do would meet with the same result," is not exactly the way i'd put it. there's an infinitely wide range of things people "might do," from driving slow in the fast line on up to a national general strike. there may well be things that would alter results for the better of regular people, if 300million people could be organized outside of a state framework.to hew to the argument of the thread, we might say, "Anything we might do within the confines of the electoral system would meet with the same result." to quote Guy Debord, (well, paraphrase, since i don't speak the language,) "you cannot combat alienation by means of alienated forms of struggle."
@149 AnonIn other words, take your fiddle and your poorly played "Praise of three card monte" to another table.Much ObligedCapt'n Obvious
On the infinite range of things you might do, I applaud them, but yes, we were talking about electoral politics. I hear you saying that it doesn't matter if one participates or angrily rejects-- the practical impact is the same, nothing. Meanwhile at a moral level, the difference is everything in the world, since by voting you have acquiesced, destroying something in your own heart.I would point out in passing that your host has made a fetish out of ridiculing all collective action (like general strikes) and that sentiment has already been echoed in this thread, so there's not really an infinite range. Beyond all that I think you sell your moral stance short by talking about elections as completely fake and irrelevant. The way you put things, it's an empty choice. One could freely vote or not vote, it's a wash. But if voting had some value, then refusing to do so would be a more significant commitment. Thinking pragmatically for a moment the argument that voting is fake and useless would seem to have an unspoken premise, that the oligarchs who have their thumbs on the scale have exactly the reverse of your/my/our interests. Anything we care about they do too-- in the negative. Any politician they hire will work to enact the things that they care about, which are the reverse of things we care about. So it's all vain. But I think it more likely that there will be some things I care quite a bit about on the margins that doesn't even enter their calculus but that may in fact be important to some of their hireling politicians and not others. In such a situation, the electoral ritual would be practically significant in a way that's worth acknowledging, even if it's only to reject participation. I freely confess that I find it easier to think in terms of particular interests rather than dynamics characteristic of teh state in all seasons. The whole theoretical apparatus of states and alienation is a bit high flown for my taste. There is a reason that existentialists (including Foucault!) have so often been French, born into a particular state whose particular centralizing historical character demanded the surrender of provincial notables. A lot of their analysis seems to me rather parochial, even though they (imperialistically) generalize from it sans souci.If you pin me down I'm Hegelian or Marxist or whatever enough to believe that all great social transitions have come about through identifying the contradictions of a particular way of living and turning it to different ends. So perhaps it's not just the case that you can combat state-sponsored alienation by means of alienated forms of struggle, indeed that's the only way to do so. In closing I would add with a slight twinkle in my eye that the behavior in this thread seems kinda alienated and alienating, when you really get down to it.
Wendell Berry is quite eloquent on this point, it seems to me. I like his essay "A Poem of Difficult Hope" about political protest.Wendell Berry is many things, a good number of them are quite respectable, but being an insightful analyst of the overall American political (federal) game isn't one of them.I'd wager Berry wrote that poem with specific arguments in mind, and with a specific period of American history in mind also. Anyone who watched the 2000 POTUS elections yet still thinks voting is useful in any way -- MORON. The 2000 elections made it quite clear that voting is a big fucking joke, because votes are going to be tabulated corruptly if at all, and besides -- uh, Electors? The "College"? Yeah. I'm sure Berry was talking about that. /shrug of disbelief
And the portions-- so small! What I get a kick out of is how seriously you all seem to take voting even as you malign it for being fake. A Digby will earnestly hiccup that we MUST vote, it is the most important thing EVER. You respond, we must NOT vote, and anybody who even considers voting is a STOOGE. You're like mirror images of the statists, which of course is more than halfway to being a statist yourself. If the state were ever to wither away, I think you all would disappear with a poof.I didn't vote in the 2000 federal elections because Gore is a bought corporate schnook, his endorsement of AIDS apartheid was grotesque. I don't have much veneration for the electoral process and think therefore that one's attitude toward it should be completely instrumental. The ceremonial aspect, "complicity" on the one hand and some mystical contribution to an imaginary democracy on the other are complete rubbish. I think voting is a means, not an end, you should engage in it when you think it might be useful. Sure, sometimes the process is manipulated. It's a tough world out there. You do the best you can within the existing parameters.As for Wendell Berry, as I said his theme was protest, not voting. The essay discusses a Hayden Carruth poem on the Vietnam War. It is a statement of the "pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will" genre, but far more eloquent than Gramsci. I think people on this blog would get something out of it.
you correctly grok the ethics of my decision to not vote which lies in an unwillingness to sign on the dotted line, to lend legitimacy, to consent to whatever crimes the winners intend to perpetrate using their acquired "political capital."that said, we come to the next tier of my reluctance to participate where, even if we allow that there are practical choices to be made in how we will be governed, that the particular interests or pet projects of some political appointee or another will benefit me in some small way, i would still feel sick about the idea of voting my class more blood money. should i really be demanding a bigger slice of the pie, when the pie is imperial plunder?
Re-posting with additions:******************Nonny, if you weren't trying to surmise my psyche and my intellectual ruminations, you'd do a lot better. You don't know what I think about "voting" apart from what I've written tangentially, and yet you trot out a pithy analysis of something suggesting you think you know the whole of my contemplation on the act of "voting."That's absurd, dude. Might be stronger rhetorically if you would use a detached analysis of the (+) and (-) aspects of voting, and also assess voting at various levels. Obviously if I'm at a local gathering of 5 or 6 friends and we need to vote on what we're going to do next time we meet, voting is effective. Obviously at the POTUS level it's not. Vote rigging. Electoral College. PAC-bound topheavy influence. Et cetera.Notice that without my even reading the Berry essay I was correct. It was about Vietnam, an era 40 years ago. A totally different America, when people were more engaged and less distracted/stressed/displaced.I've read plenty of Berry and he's good on human themes but not on pure political machination -- probably because he doesn't point his attention toward it.
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