Tuesday, January 19, 2010

to wrest from the oppressor his victim

Last week there was a rally at the state capital in Kansas by supporters of the Tenth Amendment Movement (which is distinct, I think, from the Tenth Amendment proper, which all of us, unless tyrannically ruling the Union, implicitly support by not tyrannically ruling the Union) and this was the first I had heard of it.

I honestly don't know much about the history of the movement. I imagine it has much in common with the 'tea party' folks and all that rabble-rousing in town hall meetings over health care. It seems pretty fucking clear that the movement, as it stands now, is just a way to express 'revolutionary' distaste for Obama's policies.

Which is a shame, not because they don't like Obama--fuck that guy-- but because they've hijacked a potentially very interesting debate that could be happening on the role of states vs. the federal government, a small hobby horse of my own for a while.

My basic idea runs thus:

Hey, let's limit power of all kinds!

Or at least think about it.

I don't know. The more I think about politics the muddier everything becomes. Why is so much of liberal thought based on the idea of a strong central government? That seems to go back to monarchy on one side and Marxist control of production on the other. Neither really worked out very well, and no liberal really wants to imitate either model. Is there a credible alternative vision? If there is, I haven't heard of it.

Now, the liberal tradition, which it's preference for a powerful centralized protector of liberty (from who?) is distinct, in my mind, from various Leftist movements that, when not actively aligned with the socialist or communist ideals, are generally against the centralized consolidation of power. Or is that just my own personal interpretation? Maybe the Left is made of wittle baby Castros, I don't know.

And the Right is equally compromised. Theoretically opposed to a strong central government unless they are in office (also weird, they want a weak central government but a BIG STRONG leader like Reagan or Bush...) while providing an umbrella for all kinds of racism and xenophobia.

And all this energy devoted by kind, brave, sincere, passionate people on both sides to simply discredit the other side so that their side can finally fix everything. This has been going back and forth for some time now. Did anyone ever fix it?

But why are we even still stuck with this 'grand experiment?' I don't think it worked, I don't think it's working, I don't think it's going to work. I think we done fucked up.

Let's try to devote some time to thinking up new communities, new possibilities, that learn from the excesses of this representative democracy. Is this really the best we can do?

Eh. I hate this post. I need to get out of the house.

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