Thursday, December 22, 2005
The Death Pit of Liberalism
The current secretive and blatantly repressive administration is nothing new. It is just more thorough and effective at it than most past administrations I'm familiar with. The cynic in me begins to doubt there is any benefit for the majority of people in this country through the actions of national politics. Like popular culture targeted at the lowest common denominator, what passes for discourse on national issues is shallow, clearly emotive rather than thoughtful.
While mainstream liberals and Democratic politicians serve to advance some progressive causes and are certainly better than having no opposition at all, I find it difficult to discern any underlying political philosophy consistent with my personal beliefs. As far as I can tell, the system is so biased toward corporations and the wealthy, any actions truly for the good of the general population are, in effect, practically afterthoughts or byproducts of the central business of rewarding power and money.
This is the kind of perception that creates revolutionaries. When there appears to be no other avenues open, violent and extreme action seem logical and necessary. When protests and letter writing appear ineffectual in affecting government and policy, the immediacy and gratification resulting from direct action is immensely appealing.
The boundaries and definitions of mainstream politics have changed and morphed into something quite different from the labels. What is called "conservative" these days is practically unrecognizable as the conservative of thirty years ago. The actions of dominant conservatism today is blatantly imperialistic on the international stage, actively belligerent towards the poor and lower classes, and best described as a kind of corporate oligarchy.
In the face of this de facto rule by the wealthy "conservatives", the so-called liberal strain in politics seems to have become moribund and ineffectual for the most part. The Democratic Party is an entrenched power structure in it's own right, currently limited to attempting weak procedural roadblocks to Republican actions. They don't seem to have a unified or dynamic philosophy that I can easily understand. Opposition and sloganeering are not a coherent political philosophy. Why does the phase "Hey, at least we're better than the Republicans" come to my mind? Democrats don't say it but I pick up this sentiment as a backdrop to most of their speeches.
So I'm left (ha-ha) wondering what a radical/progressive should do in these times which try our souls. I'm feeling particularly repelled by the state to which liberalism has devolved. So I write my little blog entries and do my best to keep my ear out for something better (and safer) than throwing Molotov cocktails in sheer frustration and anger. I haven't reached that point. Yet.