Friday, November 7, 2008

The Myth of 'Conservative America'

Meacham Repeats ‘Center-Right’ Myth, Says Progressives Won’t Care If Obama Breaks Pledges

By Satyam Khanna

originally published November 6, 2008 in Think Progress

On October 18, Newsweek ran a cover story titled “America the Conservative” by Jon Meacham, in which Meacham argued:

Should Obama win, he will have to govern a nation that is more instinctively conservative than it is liberal – a perennial reality that past Democratic presidents have ignored at their peril.

Yesterday, in an interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, Meacham again reiterated that America is “center-right.” Meacham suggested that progressives should not stake too much in Obama’s progressive agenda and that they’ll forgive him out of “faith” if he tacks to the right:

MEACHAM: I think progressives should be very careful feeling that the millennium is about to come, and you know, disease will be gone by Saturday and poverty by Monday. (Laughter)

This is a very practical man and I think that he’s a lot like Ronald Reagan in that it’s quite possible his core believers have such faith in him that they’ll forgive him his compromises, that — Reagan could raise taxes, Reagan could sign liberal abortion bills. Reagan could do all that, Reagan could grow government by 6 or 7 percent — and still be this figure. It’s just this side of possible that Obama will be able to govern what I believe is largely a center-right country.

As ThinkProgress has noted repeatedly, the country is not “center-right,” despite what the cover of Newsweek said last month. In fact, the center of the country favors progressive legislation like raising the minimum wage and providing universal health care, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) explained yesterday.

Based on the solidarity of progressives regarding past feuds over FISA legislation, for example, it’s highly unlikely liberal activists will just “forgive” Obama if he relents on his progressive agenda.

Meacham admitted that his article about conservatism was “probably going to look dumb, or at least out of step, for many months to come.” Apparently, he is happy making the same “dumb” argument well after Obama mustered the largest electoral victory ever on the most progressive agenda in 15 years.

"America is center-right" is the new with which the Right is trying to jack us again
Posted by: knowbuddhaU on Joshua Holland's article on AlterNet Nov 10, 2008 9:06 AM


It's our new and improved method for manufacturing consent, to jack to hell whole nations at a time; or just one voting bloc, as Liddy Dole so blatantly tried; and then stick them with the bill.

We've been jacked by the exact same 'fake election' ploy, that we've used all over the world, We're now experiencing 'economic shock therapy.'

Unexamined Newtonian Mechanism has completely
overtaken our modern thinking. But no less a scientific eminence than the late Stephen Jay Gould, almost 8 years ago, declared reductionism dead, and its attendant Newtonian Mechanism--sire of our demonic economics--along with it.

"Economics, as channeled by its popular avatars in media and politics, is the cosmology and the theodicy of our contemporary culture. More than religion itself, more than literature, more than cable television, it is economics that offers the dominant creation narrative of our society, depicting the relation of each of us to the universe we inhabit, the relation of human beings to God. And the story it tells is a marvelous one. In it an enormous multitude of strangers, all individuals, all striving alone, are nevertheless all bound together in a beautiful and natural pattern of existence: the market. This understanding of markets--not as artifacts of human civilization but as phenomena of nature--now serves as the unquestioned foundation of nearly all political and social debate....

"The problem is that the story told by economics simply does not conform to reality."
Note the unexamined Newtonian Mechanism that informs Free Market dogma. It's a violation of Spirit and Science both. They have no idea what they're talking about, but it sure sounds convincing.
Why was Greenspan so insistent on no regulation? Because he is the hardest of hardcore laissez-faire ideologues, holding a blazing disdain for government. An avowed worshiper of libertarian novelist Ayn Rand, he views public oversight of business as an evil force that deters the creativity of smart elites. He is so psyched by his religious-like faith in the "free market" that he fervently believes in what he considers to be the innate good will and moral superiority of investors and bankers. He asserts that these self-interested individuals can simply be trusted to do the right thing, and that government should not second-guess their decisions."
The mythical free market is a perpetual motion holy war cash machine. The war on terror is today the cash cow that the Crusades were in Medieval Europe. Hightower's outstanding essay is a catalog of zealots and fanatics, social Darwinists all, with their mechanistic rhetoric ('leverage' being the most telling example) and idolatry of competition.

Our intentions materialize our realities. My intentions are materializing these words. Without their ever being spoken, o reader my Reader, you hear them within you.

The intentions of McCain/Palin realized the threats on Obama's patriotism, faith, and person. The intentions of the Free Marketeers realized the collapse of our shared economy.

As a poet, I reject this horrible inheritance. We are not "just particles" not slaves on the plantation of someone else’s gods; not the creatures of the absolute tyrant-Creator of the universe.

We are KIN. We are divine vessels of a divine flow. We are in a Waste Land that may already be flushing us out of our Mother.

To release our selves from our hellish cellves, we can only do it the very same way all beings grow: from within!

What do I recommend?

Volume 6, 1999
Changing the Way Society Changes: Transposing Social Activism into a Dramatic Key

By Peter D. Hershock

East-West Center
Asian Studies Development Program
1601 East-West Road
Honolulu, Hawaii 96848-1601

While many Buddhists are rightly committed to working in the public sphere for the resolution of suffering, there are very real incompatibilities between the axiomatic concepts and strategic biases of (the dominant strands of) both current human rights discourse and social activism and such core Buddhist practices as seeing all things as interdependent, impermanent, empty, and karmically configured. Indeed, the almost startling successes of social activism have been ironic, hinging on its strategic and conceptual indebtedness to core values shared with the technological and ideological forces that have sponsored its own necessity. The above-mentioned Buddhist practices provide a way around the critical blind spot instituted by the marriage of Western rationalism, a technological bias toward control, and the axiomatic status of individual human being, displaying the limits of social activism's institutional approach to change and opening concrete possibilities for a dramatically Buddhist approach to changing the way societies change.

Formally established tolerance of dissent and internal critique has become a mark of distinction among contemporary societies. Indeed, with economic globalization and the rhetoric of democracy acting in practically unassailable concert, the imperative to establish and maintain the conditions under which political protest and social activism are possible has become the keystone challenge to developing nations throughout Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.

It is not my intention here to question the legitimacy of this challenge. The possibility of dissent is crucial to realizing a truly responsive society capable of correcting its own errors of judgement [sic] and organizational practice, and institutional changes of the sort brought about by political protest and social activism have undeniably been instrumental in this process. What I want to question are the prevalent strategies for bringing about such corrections and the axiological presuppositions on which they pivot. Although it may be true that "nothing succeeds like success," it is also true that nothing more readily blinds us to inherent flaws in the means and meaning of our successes than 'success' itself. Critical inattention to the strategic axioms underlying the successful engineering of political and social change might, in other words, finally render our best-intended efforts self-defeating.

My thesis, then, is a disquieting one: social activism's successes have hinged on its strategic and conceptual indebtedness to core values shared with the technological and ideological forces that have sponsored its own necessity. That is, the same conditions that have made successful social activism possible have also made it necessary. With potentially tragic irony, social activist practices -- and theory -- have been effectively reproducing rather than truly reducing the conditions of institutionalized disadvantage and dependence.

We don't need to 'overpower,' or to 'grab the levers of power,' and so forth. We change the way society changes as musicians change the tune in a jam session: from within!

No comments: