July 31, 2005 § Leave a comment
I want to be theory making here, about what “polarization” is really about. We proceed most of the time as if the polarization is between groups of Americans, where the polarized sides add up to the whole citizenry. I don’t believe it. I think the polarization is a surface phenomena that rides on the back of much unspoken non polarization.
Here is my thinking.The republicans hate big government, the Dem’s hate bit biz and big military. Each side holds the other responsible for bigness, they cancel each other out, and bigness wins. Both parties (a Democratic center right and a more for right republicans) are led by professional/stock holding land holding elites. They, along with the major media, are part of globalization, liberalism, free market world.the problem is that most people, including the leaders of globalization, want to live in a fairly tree surrounded world, safe and with family and community values. the problem is, the concentration of wealth and power is hurting almost everyone.But there is no alternative politics to big biz and big state power. The slogans each party uses (cynically) are to mobilize a sentiment of “no, I can’t stand this” into a semi-belief that “our party” can represent this “no” best.
In sum polarization is a surface phenomena produced by the power holders (media, wall street and congress).
Some sideline notes.
1. modern polling lets each party move toward the other. Clinton with Morris did this. The result is a tendency toward 50/50 split elections.
2. Religion: progress is not antithetical to religion, it is the fruit of it. The scientific attitude, and progress are the fruits of Christianity. Science is more than a method: it is an ideology about what is real, and is increasingly tied to the nexus of technology cash and corporations. The part of neurology for example that gets funded is the ensemble of issues that lead toward drugs or artificial intelligence, not the parts that – from a strictly scientific orientation, if we had one – might be how the mind makes poetry.
3. My conclusion is that trying to get more moderates involved is counter productive. the problem is the megamachine of power money and tech extracting wealth from the country and other countries. The laws of incorporation, the way private property works (some have noted the strange and fascinating way that the Connecticut “taking’ case attracts liberals and Conservatives in counter intuitive ways), the way we under-educate. these are key issues and go to the real issue of what do we want and what do we not want for humane future. The moderates really are just those folks who go with a liberal business oriented regime, the Bushites with smoother edges. Such a “yes” can’t win because the real feeling in the country is “no”, and a party that can offer a real “yes” toward something positive that honors the “no” and its ground has a chance.
A party that was pro entrepreneurial, pro environmental remediation and strict environmental regulation, pro education, pro local and regional biz development, pro education, internationally for integration and for a justice system that recognizes that 2.2 million in jail is a disaster of policy, would have a chance.
4. Locke is the official American philosopher. We, unlike Europe, did not have Rousseau because our revolution, unlike the French, happened before he was famous. The problem is, a Lockian world of pure private property moves toward a hobbesian of each against each with a need for central control of our violence. Europe is softened by Rousseau, by a strong catholic right that is authoritarian but cultured and humane, and by a peasant solidarity that translates into worker solidarity. We have no equivalent. American has too limited a spiritual and philosophical base to dealt with the human issues of governance, social well being and conservative tolerance and liberal hope. We are stuck with the founding father origins in the rise of commercial culture at the expense of all other values. Religion is a way of saying “no” and any current move against the religious will stir up yet more resistance.
(see my http://www.dougcarmichael.com/reemergence.html)I hope I am stirring the kind of polarization that helps surface issues rather than merely rubbing matches on the surface.
July 29, 2005 § Leave a comment
Informed Comment: “Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan threatened to invade northern Iraq. He cited the US invasion of Afghanistan to support the legitimacy of such an action (in fact, Afghanistan had both NATO and United Nations Security Council support, which a Turkish invasion of Iraq does not, to say the least).”
July 28, 2005 § Leave a comment
Corporations were created by the state to carry out worthwhile projects. There were implicit obligations to achieve certain ends. the 14th amendment and the courts broke the back of the charter idea and allowed charted corporations rather free reign to act in self (owner, manager) interests. The corporations, in this phase, have the clout to reach out and support political candidates and obtain regulations through legislation (th e new energy bill).Government leaders see themselves as peers of the business leader class (large, not the small guys).
The answer seems to me to
1. work legally to reimpose charter conditions on state created corporations and
2. to rethink how to create a vibrant economy for such reform business, an economy that is high tech,m environmentally restoring, and job creating.
The problem now is simple: the democratic leadership is part of the corporate establishment nexus.
The opportunity is that most democrats and republicans share similar values in that they want good families, communities, and jobs. Even the leadership, driving so hard for neoliberal globalization want to live in a detached house surrounded by trees in a safe, not a gated, community. The shared values are not consistent with where the opportunity seems to lo lie – which is with the mega corporate concentrated wealth model.
Hence developing an alternative vibrant job creating entrepreneurial state chartered corporate world is the way to go.
July 8, 2005 § Leave a comment
If It’s a Muslim Problem, It Needs a Muslim Solution – New York Times: “Yesterday’s bombings in downtown London are profoundly disturbing. In part, that is because a bombing in our mother country and closest ally, England, is almost like a bombing in our own country. In part, it’s because one assault may have involved a suicide bomber, bringing this terrible jihadist weapon into the heart of a major Western capital. That would be deeply troubling because open societies depend on trust – on trusting that the person sitting next to you on the bus or subway is not wearing dynamite. ”
the problem is that “open’ is not as justified as Friedman makes it. like “democracy” and “freedom, Buch has give them a twist that sub shi trots perverted meanings for more substantial and virtuous ones. Freedom q market is not freedom of soy movement, or access to “public” utilities.
July 8, 2005 § Leave a comment
Informed Comment: “It goes back to the 19th century. The Ottomans, when they were facing British and French incursion, put together this idea of pan-Islam back in the 1880s. They think that for the last 200 years or so, since Bonaparte invaded Egypt in 1798, Europe has been invading their countries, raping their women, subjecting their men, and stealing their wealth.
So they have a two-fold plan. In order to establish a united Muslim country, you�d have to overthrow the individual secular regimes that now exist�Algeria and Egypt, and so forth. Then you�d have to unite them all under Salafi Islam. And every time they�ve tried to overthrow the Egyptian government, they�re checked, in part because the Americans back [Egyptian President] Hosni Mubarak.
So then they put forward the theory in the 1990s of hitting the foreign enemy first. Basically there are two major impediments to their plan. One is the local secular military governments, which resist being dissolved into this Islamic state. The other is the Western superpowers that back the military regimes. So they became convinced that in order to go forward with their plans, they would have to find a way of pushing the United States and the other powers out of the Middle East�make them timid about intervening, make them pick up stakes and go home, leaving Mubarak and others to their fate. So the attack on London is part of this strategy�getting the British out of Iraq and Afghanistan, weakening British resolve for having a strong posture in the Middle East a la supporting the United States. Having gotten rid of Western dominance, they believe, they can then polish off the secular enemies and go forward with their plans for a revolution of the global south.
If the West pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan, would that end the terrorism or slow it down?
The people who already hold these ideas “
July 7, 2005 § Leave a comment
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: “Today we’ve had a reminder of what we face. But let’s be clear what we’re seeing. In more venues than I’d care to admit I’ve seen posts and speechifying which say, in so many words: ‘For all those who’ve gone wobbly on Iraq, see, you got complacent! But terrorism is real!’
The real threat we face isn’t in Iraq. And being in Iraq isn’t diminishing it. The real threat is painfully low-tech but yet highly-lethal acts of terror committed — in most cases — in the great metropoles of the West. And I suspect we’ll find, as we did in 9/11, that the immediate perpetrators were neither people who were minding their own business before we invaded Iraq nor even people who have their main base in the core countries of the Arab Middle East, but rather recruits from the disaffected and deracinated diaspora of Muslim immigrants in the West — a tiny fraction out of the millions who are making their homes in our country and in those of Europe. “