“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Bollettino

For a particularly nauseating mixture of cravenness and pomposity, LI recommends going to this article by Robert Wright. Wright’s idea is that the American hoi polloi, fearing the world their children are growing up in, where it is possible they will even have sex at some point in their lives, would have been wooed by liberals coming out and forthrightly condemning Janet Jackson’s nipples.


We expect the “let’s all try to get along with the Taliban” line to be very popular in those quarters of the Democratic party where they are ‘fightin’ for liberal causes – and willing to betray them all if they are elected.”

Wright is the author of a totally nonsensical book, Non-Zero, that I eviscerated in a review a few years ago. For a while he stalked Stephen Jay Gould, having appointed himself, bizarrely, the defender the true Darwinian orthodoxy, as reflected in the pages of Richard Dawkins and (bizarrely) run through Wright’s own affection for Teilhard de Chardin, a charlatan priest who impressed people in the fifties with pseudoscientific mumbo jumbo. Teilhard, unfortunately for him, died to soon to great the New Age movement, where he would have certainly made a hit.

Wright, as a man who did feel he could serve two masters, wanted to water down science with gestures of reverence towards the Father of us All – his milquetoast religiosity forming an odd contrast to his Dawkinsian eccentricities.

Anyway, he purveys the kind of tripe you would expect. As we have been saying, however, the answer is simple. Progressives have to stop feeding the beast. They have to stop trying to help a constituency that would prefer to see its children wounded in war and their veteran’s benefits cut than to have them have gender inappropriate erections. It is time to reverse the flow of money out of the creative set. As LI pointed out when pondering Ayn Rand, the one good thing about her was the notion of the general strike, which she put into the minds of millions of high school students. Time to start pondering the consistency of some such strike. LI has been arguing about this with a friend, who believes, as we believed ourselves, recently, that it is the fault of the media, and the fault of history that the Godfearing masses are sunk in the acids of their cretinous hatreds. We actually believe the Godfearing masses have cleverly managed things so they could take a free ride on the massive entitlement programs devised and protected by liberals and get their emotional jollies by voting for psychos like the soon to be Senator from Oklahoma.

The intellectual defense of the liberal welfare state goes back to the enlightenment: that a level of prosperity would soften manners and bring about a spirit of generosity. Although conservatives confuse the welfare state with socialism, in reality the two are as different as a bear and a moose. The distinct feature of the welfare state is that the private sector is not simply preserved, but organic to the larger functioning of the social whole. Distributive justice, then, will have many channels to choose from. In debased intellectual form, this is the spirit behind both George Maximus' thousand points of light and Kennedy's ask not what your country can do for you.

Well, if the beneficiaries of that kind of state refuse to support its operations politically, and use it (by massive borrowing) to the malign end of warring across the globe, looting now a Middle Eastern country, now a South American country; if they use it to secure their homelives while they go out lynching gays and lesbians; if they use it to break up unions, and encourage the world wide impoverishment of the working class; then they abuse it. The abuse has to end.

The historic task now, it seems to us, is to make America, the ‘indispensable nation”, into a dispensable one. This means the slow creation of countervailing power outside of the old logic of class where that is appropriate. It is rather simple. But one despairs of the Democrats catching on to the simple logic of the situation – instead of, say, opposing the hairbrained new Senator from South Carolina, De Mint, and his scheme to burden the poorest with the majority of taxes – the sale tax – it should definitely be embraced. The people have chosen the morality of raising straight kids in abstinence happy schools (the same type that produce the highest teen pregnancy rates in the country) over economic self interest. Let them eat this decision until they puke. As Scrooge once said, are there no poorhouses in England?

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