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By Al Schumann on Friday December 14, 2007 05:06 PM

For a strategic betrayal of stated principles to be effective, there have to be some actual principles in the first place. One cannot make “pragmatic compromises” from the dithering, ‘go along to get along’ center. The betrayal (or compromise, if that’s less galling) requires something more than a heartfelt avowal, a heaved sigh of despair and the moral vanity of a crackpot capitulation. The world is littered with passively abjured asseverations, lapsed manifestos and broken commitments! They rustle around in the breezes created by the despairing sighs and dart vengefully past the bloated heads of self-styled realists. There’s no way to collateralize them into real principles.

The simplest, and often the easiest, way to uphold a principle is to refuse to obey orders, e.g. if your political leadership supports torture, war and immiseration, if it refuses to seriously address global warming, and you object to those things, stop heeding the calls to support that leadership. Outrage, demands, a determination to ask questions and so forth just don’t cut it.

What we need is a concerted campaign to demand of our Democratic “leaders” an answer to the question: “What is the real reason you are so cowardly and unwilling to hold this administration to account and stop the bleeding?” What is the real reason that “impeachment is off the table”? What is the real reason why you keep passing bills that make America into a dictatorship, continue the disastrous occupation of Iraq, and piss off the whole country?


Lesser evilism, buying time and triangulations have reached their natural conclusion: enthusiastically cooperative evil. That’s the “real reason”. The moral Ponzi Schemes have collapsed. The people doing those things think they’re being reasonable and realistic. They’re annoyed by the idiot liberal complaints they receive. A million concerted question campaigns aren’t going to change that. It’s time to start saying no.

The authoritarian right made the salacious Meese Commission Report into a bestseller. Oh, the howls of outrage! followed by stealthy trips to the red light districts, lasting prurient interest and dozens of niche markets for soft core leavened with sanctimony. The report at least had the pathetic rationale of providing libidinous release for the dangerously repressed. These occasional, Progressive, forays into toothless demands for accountability are an echo of the reactionaries’ outrage, fully in tune with their very creepy consumer sensibility — and orders of magnitude more harmful.

Comments (4)


lesser no-ism

"You receive a bad augury before battle, so what? It’s still your job to fight."

The problem is that we know how to make a capitalist economy and an imperialist polity work--we don't know how to make any alternative work (it's not, per se, that there isn't an alternative). And the further we take the current design the harder it becomes to undo the whole apparatus. Even in the single case of Global Climate Change (assuming the threat is as serious as its supposed to be) it isn't clear that the cure, as it were, wouldn't be worse than the disease. I think that, by analogy, this is true of major Left causes in general. It's same problem engineers face in remodeling a subway system--it's easy to look at it and point out the flaws; the hard part comes in figuring out how to get the necessary work done without causing too much disruption to commuters who are dependent on it.

In the case of our society, at least, I hope it is the general population and not the engineers who ratify the designs that get implemented. If we leave it to the "coordinator class" we may get something that works, without too much pain, if we are very lucky, but we will not get something that a Leftist can be proud of.



that, or lesser-gnomism.


Marcus Aurelius was an overrated asshole. All the apple-polishing cadets in my cohort cited him in their fatuous pithing contests. Then they ganged up on the fat little boy with the cherub cheeks. He committed suicide the year before the colonel teacher was caught with a collection of dildos, little bags of dope with happy face stickers on them and pictures of the apple-polishers in compromising positions.

Good times. . . So much for calls to duty.


"Even in the single case of Global Climate Change (assuming the threat is as serious as its supposed to be) it isn't clear that the cure, as it were, wouldn't be worse than the disease"

sorry ..you lost me here

seems like a coal in the left stocking

"are u just another garden snake in tears
another fuckin' job comforter"
marxus get-realius

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