Feb 11, 2008

Self consumption

Arthur Silber is back and with a little help from Matt Taibbi , tells us, again:

Any individual who rises to the national political level is, of necessity and by definition, committed to the authoritarian-corporatist state. The current system will not allow anyone to be elected from either of the two major parties who is determined to dismantle even one part of that system.

I love Arthur's writing. I love his passion and his fire. After reading this article, however, I wondered if people sometimes read my rants and have the bitter taste left in their mouth that Arthur's rant left in mine-

Shorter Arthur: The system is fucked. All Progressives are fucked. You are probably a hypocrite for not noticing. But even if you do notice, you will still just eat shit and die.

Arthur's writings have had their own effect on me. I sometimes believe that if just enough people could see the truth or if they only believed what I do, that the country would change overnight. People would suddenly comprehend what Arthur says and what I say and what a thousand others are saying and we would rise up and force the politicians to change as a result.

I don't see Arthur leading a rebellion with his cats, his sickbed mounted on a tank. I don't see myself leading a crowd of veterans to storm the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys, even though I truly believe these lying, self-serving propagandists are destroying all that is truly patriotic in our country. I can't see Keith Olbermann calling Bush a traitor to his face. I cannot see the leader of a superchurch that says "Enough is Enough. Torture and murder is un-christian, we have sinned in this war". I can't see a few good millionaires standing up against the crowd in the whitehouse looting the treasury. I can't see a nation that rises up against a system that is self-destructing in a full rebellion against this 2 party corporatocracy.

That's a lot of pain to inflict upon ourselves for a nation that is still only partially broken. It will get worse before it gets better. It is bad now, but it hasn't quite fallen apart yet. We still do have options, even though they are not as pure, as perfect as we'd like them to be. From this high ground of self-awareness, nothing seems to be a good idea but to completely remove the ranks of politicians and fill it with our clones. Everyone else is just an appeaser to the system that has failed us.

At the end of Arthur's article, I get nothing but a world of eternal shit. It isn't that bad yet. It may get there. Arthur's writing has done me a service, over and over, by helping me understand the everyday hypocrisy that we all have had a hand in, as citizens of a nation that is responsible for a million deaths- and barring protests, have done nothing to stop it. Nothing really. We haven't sacrificed anything to stop it. Nor will we. Until it gets worse. Not for those damn Iraqis, of course, but worse for ourselves.

Arthur believes that Americans are fooling ourselves more than I believe we are. Look, we know the score, and deep inside, as a people, we just don't give a shit about those dead people half a planet away. Even the worst neocon anti-environmentalist understands that the world's resources are limited, and that we all will die, and that in order for some to prosper, others will have to die sooner. There is predator and there is prey. As long as the American people don't feel the full-fledged bite of the predator, then we will remain content. As long as we are the top predator in the food chain, we will not be overly concerned with the plight of the prey. We are animals. We are chattel, too.

If our "hope", in the form of Obama or Clinton, offers nothing in reality, then we will sink further into excrement. We will be one step closer to being prey instead of lead predator as a result of our gross depletion of everything in sight.

There is a place for balance. If we can find that balance, we can be self-sufficient and survive. In order to balance we must sacrifice efficiently and effectively against our consumption.

If not, the shit we eat and die from will be our own.

UPDATE: The link to Taibbi's piece has a lot of interesting comments as well.
UPDATE 2: Winter Patriot has a comprehensive post on Iraq


libhom said...

I don't think we should look to Obama or Clinton for hope. I think we should look at them as politicians to push.

Randal Graves said...

Exactly. Nothing will change - real change, not the faux fancy happy skippy dippy shit peddled by politicians - unless something extreme happens to this nation. We're simply too comfortable. People will bitch and moan, but that's about it.

Bob said...

One of these days (Pink Floyd of the same name) I'm gonna write a long, florid post about progressives and their tendency to always see the cup as half-full. Arthur is one of those writers whose gloom brings me to depairoland. See all the comment threads at the Smirking Chimp for an endless stream of downer. I'm much more hopeful, tho I agree it might take a big shit sandwich to get most of the people thinking.

Frederick said...

the signal perfume of whose unrepute
focuses in the sweet slow animal
bottomless eyes importantly banal
- Jim Morrison

Mauigirl said...

I agree - I followed the link and read Arthur's post - things aren't quite as bad as all that; not yet. But it will take it getting worse before the American public wakes up and does something about it.

Fade said...

Fuck me. I just read the FISA post at Freds' and I am thinking I should consider Arthur an optimist.

This country is dead. And we are all to blame, some more than others, but no one is without some blame.

navyswan said...

I have learned that no one, save a few, really gives a shit about death, torture, indefinite detention, lies, distortions, wiretapping, and murder of innocents. I get more depressed reading threads on liberal sites than I do reading an article from a raving right wing loony. Whereas the loony will always say the same rightwing party line, the fact that so many on the progressive side are silent on some of the most egregious offenses of the Bush administration is utterly saddening. I feel like I am screaming at a wall most of the time. People just don't give a damn about how many people we kill, detain, or torture. They just don't. And that makes me really sick inside.

Liberality said...

it's all too true. people don't give a fuck until it's them suffering the consequences and then when they ask for help and don't get any...