Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Belief Must Die

The news makes me laugh these days.

Tanned, bleach-blonde cable news anchors, clutching their pearls, asking "Are we in a recession?" Laughing about the troubles that face modern American families. Feigning looks of concern any time someone brings up dead soldiers. It isn't their fault, you know. We enable them. We, the American public, don't want serious analysis, or hard looks at the consequences of our passivity. We don't want change. We want to carry on the belief that we are God's Chosen, that we are the Blessed, and that if we just look the other way, Everything Will Be Just Fine.

Take the war, for example. People think, "If we can just get the Troops home!" But no. It won't be that simple. Because you'll still have an entire region laid waste by your folly. You'll still have that section of our population who believes that All Muslims Are Evil. You'll still have that group of people who didn't learn. You know who they are: the ones who quantify all matters of military engagement as either "victory" or "surrender;" the ones who mourn our past fallen while the bodies of the most recent dead cool in the dust. Who make shows of "remembering our vets," while their leaders conspire to send even more off to die tomorrow.

So how can you be surprised that this same group of people has wrought such great evil elsewhere: in our markets, in our hospitals, in our churches and schools and bedrooms and uteri?
Who would trust corporations to act responsibly in the face of deregulation? Who would think that guns have more of a place in women's purses than birth control? It isn't just a war. It's a way of life. It's a way of thinking--one that has done nothing for us. It is a worldview that cannot imagine or create, only fear and destroy.



Social Security.


The environment.




It is not just a war, or even culture war. It is a belief system. It is a worldview, sick and misguided, which has rendered us nothing. Do you understand that? NOTHING. It is Conservatism, and until its philosophies are condemned to the dustbin of History, there can be no hope for us. We must poison Its wells; we must lace Its fields with salt. We must dismantle Its buildings, brick by brick, and throw them into the sea.

The Belief, in all its forms, must die.

Conservatio delenda est.


Anjha said...

Yes, Milo, excellent writing and fabulous truth - and dammit, why did I not know that uteri is the plural of uterus!?

Thom Hartmann always talks about the severe damage being done with Reagan's joke "The nine worst words in the English language, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'"

The bullshit idea that government is the problem and that government can do no good.

It is bullshit of course, but it is the premier mantra of Conservatism.

The idea of government is that we have decided, collectively, that there are certain shared things - The Commons - that we all use and want and have agreed that government is the mechanism by which these are administered and protected. Conservatives, however, want to dismantle all of this and privatize it - yet, we have not all agreed to turn it over to corporations and people cannot see this simple truth at the forefront of the Conservative idealogy...instead they reduce it to simplistic social battles of abortion and gay rights and some mythic view of 'takin away yer gun.'

Then, as you point out, the myopic militaristic view of America as Imperialism which is absolutely contrary to everything that America was founded on. We were really a mind-our-own-fucking-business state who wanted independence from those who would not mind their own fucking business and here we are being that which we fought against.

Add to this the absolute terror of pre-ventive (no, it was not even pre-emptive, it was a preventative war, for which there was nothing to prevent) and we are stuck with an America that is so far away from what we stood for (adding in torture and bye-bye to habeas corpus and do whatever-the-fuck-no-warrant-needed) and America is barely a remnant of her former self.

A once stunning beauty who denied her true stature and traded it in for silicone tits and plastic surgery induced cat eyes, her face stretched backwards and upwards beyond recognition. Can we undo permanent damage disuised as face-lift?

I dunno.

I see the insanity of my-way or the highway, at all cost, cowboy 'diplomacy' reflected in our own primary fight and I am terrified that we have been reduced to this.

We are not supposed to do things this way; we are not like THEM...

If this primary has shown us anything, it seems it has shown us the ugly mirror of fighting the way the Conservatives fight, denying any truth that does not already conform to our own worldview, inability to 'discuss' anything - diplomacy be damned.

All of ours behavior will be written across the history books with the blood and treasure squandered away in dubyas war as it manifest in our own primary fight which might just doom us for the fall; at least offer some plausible 'explanation' on how we 'lost' as the Republicans use their electronic-proprietary-privatized-vote system to steal another election. In our Partisanship we cannot see this writing on the wall, even though funny things have been happening since the first electronic vote cast in New Hampshire.

I sometimes feel great hope and pride, empowered and excited - then I blow it and read the comment threads on TLC and remember that we are fucked.

Oh Milo, I do hope that people remember our true fight, what we are really fighting for. I hope that we can find within us humility and empowerment and Universe-help-us Our Humanity before it is too late.

Duckman GR said...

We need to remind people that it isn't the government, because the government is a thing made up of laws written by people, and run by people.

The problem isn't the government, it's the particular people running it. and we need to remind people of that all the time.