Gun virilence


A characteristically tiresome debate has erupted on one of my Lefty mailing lists about gun control. As usual on these lists, the majority opinion — which favors more legislation and other policy tweaks — is essentially undistinguishable from the liberal view. This tends to confirm my long-standing suspicion that most American Lefties are really just liberals who are quirky enough to enjoy the feel of chewy Marxist phraseology in their mouth.

One line of argument, developed at some length, is that because ‘the right’ is pro-gun we Lefties need to be anti-gun. Now it seems to me that this literally couldn’t be more wrong. I don’t mean Joe Biden literally: I mean literally literally. There’s nothing you can say that would be more wrong. 2+2=5 would be less wrong.

It’s massively obtuse to imagine that ‘the right’ is the problem: that if ‘the right’ could be somehow neutralized or weakened, then it’s simple physics: the center of gravity would shift ‘left’. So for people who think in this (literally!) one-dimensional way(*), ‘the right’ is what us old Maoists used to call the ‘main enemy’.

But this is silly. ‘The right’ is a sideshow. The problem is not ‘the right’, it’s the elite consensus; or to put it in the usual obfuscatory American terms, the problem is what the so-called ‘right’ (e.g. gun nuts) and the so-called ‘left’ (e.g. Hillary Clinton) agree on. And if there is a ‘main enemy’, it’s the so-called American center, a deeply imperialist, chauvinistic, technocratic, repressive, and violent formation — and one which, unlike ‘the Right’, actually holds state power.

(*) You might call it the Seesaw Theory Of History: a gaggle of Trotskyites on one end, and a gaggle of heavily-armed Teabaggers on the other. Which gaggle outweighs which? Presumably if you could relieve the Teabaggers of their shootin’ irons, it would lighten their end.

9 thoughts on “Gun virilence

  1. Even accepting their wrong premise they’re wrong. If beating The Right on such and so policy matters is innately valuable enough to go taking positions on subjects you would otherwise be ambivalent about, it seems to my mind that you would do well to pick battles where victory is all but certain. Not one where The Right had just told 90%* of the country to eat shit and the 90% had picked up a fork. Grab the tail not the teeth and all that.

    (*)If the relevant fundraising emails can be believed. They usually can’t, of course, but I suspect exaggeration rather than fabrication in this case.

    • LeonTrollski sez on 05.10.13:
      …it seems to my mind that you would do well to pick battles where victory is all but certain. Not one where The Right had just told 90%* of the country to eat shit and the 90% had picked up a fork…

      D’ahhh ha ha ha ha ha ha haahhh. You owe me a new keyboard, man.

      The more I heard zombies like Chris “Baby Eater” Matthews and Rachel Maddow bitching about how the horrible, evil GOP had given the Finger to 90% of the entire country, the less I was inclined to believe it, somehow — especially when I recall that at the time George W. Chimp did his “Mission Accomplished” photo op, a sizeable chunk of us opposed his war, and the Baby Eater got on the air and demanded we apologize for opposing the war and shut up.

  2. Probably a safe rule to thumb to say whatever irks Liberals is probably not quite so unalloyed a bad as their rhetoric would make it seem. Although one wouldn’t want to be quite so vulgar as to adopt a motto of “When in doubt, do the opposite of what Liberals would do” but if one doesn’t want to be hemmed in their “steel cage” of disenchantment, thinking outside the box can be worthwhile (or at least keep one away from worthless causes as espoused by worthies):

    I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.

    • sk sez on 05.11.2013:
      …Although one wouldn’t want to be quite so vulgar as to adopt a motto of “When in doubt, do the opposite of what Liberals would do” but if one doesn’t want to be hemmed in their “steel cage” of disenchantment, thinking outside the box can be worthwhile…

      …but it’s always worked for me.

      I learned this a good decade and a half ago, when the Liberals started howling every four years about how this is the most critical, importantest election EVAR. This was reinforced recently when the zombies on MSNBC started rolling out their Sequester Horror Story Of The Day (unless we end the Sequest right now, our solar system will be SUCKED INTO A BLACK HOLE!!!!!11!!11!!!11!!!!!!).

  3. It’s really just talking points. Liberals and their mailing-list-Marxist comrades aren’t going to get their shoes dirty for anything, even a cause as dire as disarming rednecks.

  4. Big ups to you, Smiff, for being a Leftie with the courage to bitch-slap other Lefties around when they need it.

    Listening to alleged Lefties shrieking about those mean old right-wingers — the rodeo clowns of American politics — and yelling for action on guns from a gang of thugs on Capitol Hill who think nothing of slaughtering children in Afghanistan… Christ, man, it makes me throw up in my mouth a little, like a hot dog burp of disgust.

    A couple of other things that have always bugged the hell out of me — The Left™ has totally failed to notice that every piece of gun-control legislation that’s hit the table has been all about restricting citizens’ access to firearms while Obama and his pals are allowed to stomp all over the place, occupying and murdering and assassinating to beat the band. Y’think these clowns on the Hill will ever enact a gun-control law that disarms the State? Some chance of that. It’s also sadly comical that the “conversation” (spit) about Gun Violence™ totally ignores the fact that none of the legislation being considered even comes close to addressing the fact that violence is impossibly ingrained in American society, or that for the better part of a century or more, American society has consistently glorified violence in its politics and mass media, or the sad fact that the United States was built from the ground up on a foundation of bullying and violence.

    It also annoys me that The Left™ has totally forgotten how outfits like the Black Panthers and the Weathermen had no problem at all with guns or explosives. It’s an inconvenient truth that The Left™ chooses to ignore while they get all kumbayah ‘n’shit.

    Back in January, one of several counterinaugural protests I covered was Code Pink’s anti-drone warfare event at which one speaker after another invoked Newtown as they pissed and moaned about how a bunch of mass murderers on Capitol Hill were dragging their feet on gun control legislation and, in the middle of all the pissing and moaning, one protester’s placard asked a clear — though uncomfortable — question: If we can’t have guns, how can we have a revolution? It made the whole scene a little easier to deal with, knowing I wasn’t the only one there that day whose thinking wasn’t so muddled.

  5. Well Mike, here’s what Marx had to say in 1850 —

    ” To be able forcefully and threateningly to oppose this party, whose betrayal of the workers will begin with the very first hour of victory, the workers must be armed and organized. The whole proletariat must be armed at once with muskets, rifles, cannon and ammunition, and the revival of the old-style citizens’ militia, directed against the workers, must be opposed. Where the formation of this militia cannot be prevented, the workers must try to organize themselves independently as a proletarian guard, with elected leaders and with their own elected general staff; they must try to place themselves not under the orders of the state authority but of the revolutionary local councils set up by the workers. Where the workers are employed by the state, they must arm and organize themselves into special corps with elected leaders, or as a part of the proletarian guard. Under no pretext should arms and ammunition be surrendered; any attempt to disarm the workers must be frustrated, by force if necessary. The destruction of the bourgeois democrats’ influence over the workers, and the enforcement of conditions which will compromise the rule of bourgeois democracy, which is for the moment inevitable, and make it as difficult as possible – these are the main points which the proletariat and therefore the League must keep in mind during and after the approaching uprising.”

    and, though a century and half later, I pretty well agree [possibly owing to actions in another nation where citizens were not permitted to own/possess
    firearms of any type]

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