Friday, April 11, 2014

Here's what's wrong with dissent in America

Well, I was almost going to give this very popular video (nearly a million views) an unqualified thumbs up -- but then, around the three minute mark, our hostess had to come back and stump for the Gospel According to Ayn.

No, Carey (that's the young lady's name: Carey Wedler): "The institution of government" is not the problem. With that phrase, you are taking in all forms of government, including democracy, of which we need a great deal more, not less.

You are damning the governmental regulations which protect workers.

Your forebears in the 19th century worked ten-to-twelve hour days, six days a week, and were paid with scrip for the company store. Millions of others were actual slaves. Do you want to live like that? I don't think so. You know what put an end to those practices? Government.

Your fellow workers in Germany and other European countries are better paid and better protected than you are, and they get at least one full month of paid vacay each year. The workers in those countries attained vastly improved lives because they exercised their democratic rights. In other words, they did not disparage "the institution of government": They took control of that institution.

Carey, if you want to toss out "the institution of government," then you have no right to decry Goldman Sachs and the other "malefactors of great wealth" who created the crash of 2008. Governmental regulation -- nothing else -- prevented the Wall Street scoundrels from destroying this country in a series of Great Depressions. FDR imposed regulations on our financial sector, and his rules worked out just fine, giving us decades of prosperity.

And then the fucking Libertarians came along. Since 1980, they have slowly demolished our protections. If the SEC had been doing its job, we wouldn't have had an economy infested by CDOs backed by crap loans.

And now you're saying that Obama's manifest failures mean that we need more Libertarianism? Libertarianism is the fire destroying our national infrastructure. Why would you want to pour gas on that fire?

Sure, Obama is a fraud. What made him a fraud was the fact the he sold out to the corporate interests who fund too much of our political process. And now those same corporate interests are hitting us with incessant propaganda: "See? Obama proves that government -- all forms of government -- cannot be trusted. So let's get rid of government altogether. Goldman Sachs = We the People! We One Percenters should be able to do whatever the fuck we want -- to whomever we want! We're going to take this country back to the 19th century, back to the era of twelve hour workdays and the company store. Yaaaa-HOO!"

So let me ask you, Carey -- if you think that Libertarianism is the answer, then why are the more Libertarian-oriented red states such economic basket cases? According to your theory, those states should be leading the way, because the "institution of government" is less powerful in those regions. Why, then, is most of our economic growth coming out of California and New York and other blue states?

Citizens of the red states take more from the federal treasury than they contribute in taxes. Savor the paradox: The more Libertarian a state is, the more likely it is to be a leech. We in the blue states -- those bastions of "socialist oppression" -- are the truly productive ones. Because we're the only ones who know how to make a profit, we end up funding the wars that the red staters start.

Are you really going to try to argue that the well-educated, civilized denizens of Connecticut should envy the lifestyles of those snaggle-toothed, pauperized peasants in "libertarian" Alabama?

Screw you, Carey. Obama proves that we need more government -- but only if we are talking about truly democratic government, beholden to the 99 percent, not to the richest of the rich.
There are no hillbillies in AL; there are no hills.
Is she shooting in Mommy and Daddy's back yard, or has she done very well for herself at a very young age? In either case, it appears that she thinks the view in her backyard is just fine, and if she didn't have to pay taxes maybe she could put in a swimming pool or something. But what she's leaving out of the equation is that it's only a police force and a social contract that are keeping her backyard nice. That in the anarchy she advocates, it would be neither nice nor safe.

She's young, Joseph, and obviously somebody has got her ear with a lot of simplistic answers. And I'm not sure, but she may be reading from a teleprompter in that last part. Not exactly home-video technology there.

The government-is-inherently-corrupt meme was very popular among defenders of Bush in 2004. "There is no hope for change, young people, nothing you can do except vote for the candidate that promises to tax least." The meme spreads cynicism and despair, and it seems that Obama has done his damndest to further it. We seem to have a bipartisan agenda of stalemate here, very comfortable for both parties, disguised by both sides' employment of rhetoric of conflict and fear of the other side.

Good point, Bob. My apologies. I have rewritten the post.
OT; News 3 weeks old on MH 370. Fire suppression bottle found on Maldives beach.

How did the Media miss this?
'fracking' as applird to society(zoon politicon)
releases a mass of idiots.
The 'idiot' beeing the element
of the commplex (society).
Sending shockwaves across the body
of the earth, releases gas, oil.
Unbound 'liberal' idividuals then
may be chained together in a profitable way.
Deconstructive reconstruction.
Analysing, synthesizing are both aspects of the same process.
We are used to look at one side only, usually.
Relational thinking is rare.
Joe just accept the kind of government you want is impossible
in the United States, toto, and opt for small units.
A socialist secessionist region.
Then support all movements which would reduce power in DC.
Collapse is inevitable anyway.
No way, amsp. The government I want is the government we had. I like Ike, and all that. If we did it before, we can do it again. Nothing has really changed, so there's no need to be defeatist.
Empathy defeats Tyranny, but Anger Defeats Empathy.
Astute post. I often think we'd be much better off now if we'd never revolted from Britain.

--NW Luna
Finally watched this video. I agree, she got it right until the second half where she broad brushes government. Robert Heinlein said that the alternative to politics is beating each other with clubs. If we tear down the existing constitutional framework, America will become a living hell.

I held out for a long time. The last straw for me was Obama's standing up and lecturing us trying to justify the invasion of Iraq. The absolute last straw.
I don't get that.
Please explain.
anonymous 1:19

I assume your comment was directed at mine.

Brussels 3/26/14
"I hated you more than I hated George Bush" because you skinny ass didn't know anyone who died in Iraq? and after all your a privileged white american woman who didn't get blown up like a million Iraqis?

Those who control the government the Plutocracy benefit immensely by having people believe in the BothSidesDoIt and Government can't do anything We end up getting the Government They want...
What made him a fraud was the fact the he sold out to the corporate interests who fund too much of our political process.

I think "selling out" is not quite the correct description. If you looked at his political record as a legislator in Illinois, you'll see that he was pretty much the creature of Exelon and always an enthusiastic backer of the corporate cause. "Selling out" implies that he was at one point opposed to corporate interests, and that simply was never the case. You can't "sell out" if you were a scoundrel from Day One.
There are no hillbillies in AL; there are no hills.

Bob, I beg to differ:

Alabama borders Tennessee, after all. Certainly not "mountainous" (at least not as we Coloradans would understand the term), but definitely "hilly" (at least in the northeast corner of the state).
I often think we'd be much better off now if we'd never revolted from Britain.

I don't:

Having an overpaid, parasitic corporate class is bad enough - adding an overpaid, inbred, parasitic royal family to the mix would be just too much to bear. I'm sure the Windsors are perfectly lovely people (I think Charles, for example, is continually underrated), but they really ought to get off the dole and start making an honest living.
Those who control the government the Plutocracy benefit immensely by having people believe in the BothSidesDoIt and Government can't do anything

Maybe, but the professional political class (lobbyists, professional campaign consultants, pundits, advertising agencies, and the networks that live off advertising revenue) also benefit from using wedge issues, demonization, and mudslinging to whip up the base and keep the contributions rolling in. This stuff may have been invented by Atwater and perfected by Rove, but the Dems are pretty enthusiastic practitioners now, themselves. I note that my rather desperate Democratic Senator (Mark Udall) is sending out twice-daily emails decrying his probable Republican challenger for catering to "special interests"(and tossing about the dreaded "K" word) when he himself has accepted over $7 million in corporate PAC money and not one of his top 20 donors is a labor or progressive organization.

As for the actual plutocrats, I'm sure that Soros, Buffet, Adelson, the Kochs, and the boys from Goldman will all manage to prosper no matter who is in office. I'm sure they all get a kick out of watching the rubes fight amongst themselves.
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