Saturday, May 31, 2008

CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL STANCES

from Murph

Looking at today’s political climate, I become dismayed by the seemingly harsh boundary of seemingly insolvable differences between the self proclaimed liberals and conservatives. I come upon written material over and over purporting one stance or the other. I engage in conversations that are much the same. There simply seems to be no meeting grounds between the two extremes.

As all of you steady readers at this site should be aware by now, I call myself a conservative, not a republican, not a neocon, not a liberal, not a democrat, not a libertarian. When I sit down and seriously try and define exactly what that means I get all bogged down in the devils details and what this would look like in our society. No easy answers there as far as I can see.

Whatever the two major parties originally stood for in the past sure doesn’t seem to be what they have morphed into today. Both parties today are heavy into social engineering, promoting fear of a variety of threats and promoting the great concept of never ending expansion, growth and protection of primarily big corporations. Of course, protection of big corporations is a direct result of the big corporations controlling the elections process and the seeming willingness of the population to be led around by their nose rings (the media). Without support from the corporations and big money boyz, you can’t get elected, you wouldn’t stand a chance. Witness Ron Paul’s attempt. Despite his grass roots support, he can’t garner anything like 20% of the vote to this point. So both parties are beholding to the big money people, and opposing them today is a good way to become politically marginalized and even killed.

We have talked endlessly about the agenda of the big money people, that is, global control. They sure seem to be well on their way to realizing that goal and there seems to be no controlling influence to this end in sight.

Another political term that comes up frequently is ‘progressive’. If you Google ‘progressive politics’ and go to the Wikipedia discussion of it, you will get a fairly good idea of what this term refers to. I will admit that it has a good feel to it, but---. The same applies to “conservative politics’, ‘democratic politics’, ‘republican’ and ‘democrat’. Essentially, there does not seem to be universal agreement at all concerning what these terms stand for nor how they actually are applied to governance. What we are left with is personal interpretation and looking at what will provide the greatest advantage to us individually and for society as a whole, if the individual is even concerned with society as a whole. Even the terms of ‘justice’, ‘equity’ and ‘fairness’ have no consensus.

Culturally, the American people have prided themselves on such ambiguous terms as fairness, friendliness, compassion and justice, conveniently forgetting the destruction and killing that has been the deliberate policies of our government with the popular support from the very beginning of this country. More often than not, these terms have traditionally been liberally applied internally, but only sporadically applied externally at a cultural level.

The term most often misused throughout out the total political spectrum is ‘freedom’, which I find raises far more question in its application than it answers. Our pact with the governing body in this country attempted to define it, and in some ways rather explicitly via the Bill of Rights. Obviously, this was not written in stone, and has been violated more or less throughout our history. We are always confronted with the question; freedom to do what and what are the legitimate restrictions on freedom? It seems to me that those questions are always answered in the context of what one has to gain and the particular value system individually and culturally we hold at the time. Political parties are constantly morphing their definition of freedom, and because power rests within the structure of government and political parties, the definition is always to the benefit of those in power. You might also observe that whatever definitions of freedom are used, that it is applied unequally across society. If you are already wealthy and powerful, you have the freedom to do all kinds of activities that are injurious to others with little to no consequences. The same activities by those further down the social ladder are heavily punished.

So here is where I make my assertions. All of the above reinforces my conviction that the whole of 19th and 20th century political parties have been for naught in this country, and applies to other countries as well. Due to the large societies involved, there never was and never will be agreement about how to organize society and having a consistent view about what that will look like in actuality. The only way I can see to have a consistent and workable and sustainable society is to make it small and have unanimous agreement on how to run it. That means a lot of small autonomous groups from which the general population chooses to live with based on individual value systems. There could be a larger overseeing group involved with a very strictly defined activity of general protection of these autonomous groups. In some ways, I think that our constitution originally envisioned something more along that line to begin with. Instead, what we have developed into is a very homogenous, relatively non diversified society. Despite our regional differences, a Wal Mart is a Wal Mart and a Dunkin Donuts is a Dunkin Donuts no matter where you go. For the most part, housing is boringly similar no matter where you go in this country. All this is due to corporate intrusion into this social organization. Mass marketing of sameness makes money and we are constantly bombarded with advertisement encouraging this sameness that we call consumerism.

I will assume that the people that frequent this site are all aware of the apparent direction our country is going, that is, greater and greater social control, every decreasing rights and choices, greater homogenization of the society and an every widening disparity of living standards wherein the very few have much and the rest have little. Our political parties advocate nothing nor pursue no policies to reverse this. This all points to a rather dismal future for most of society.

No political party wants to really address a concept of ‘social responsibility’ in this country. Instead, when the term is used at all, it seems to be more a platitude than anything substantive. The society at large can’t agree on it either so I guess we can’t expect the political parties to carefully define it either. No one really wants to start addressing whether ‘social responsibility’ should be the concern of government. We bat around such terms as universal health care, universal education, universal housing and a bunch of other terms that imply government concern in these areas. Isn’t it amazing that humans have survived so long without these concerns ever being totally addressed? Yes, there are countries that have attempted to address these concerns, with some varying results. It is my observation that without exception, the results of government intrusion in these areas has spurred widespread corruption within the government and widespread homogenization of the society despite whatever benefit may be perceived. It has been presented to me that this is entirely natural and to be accepted as a means to a general benefit to the population. My idealism on this subject says bull shit. I have been accused of being totally impractical and not accepting the reality of organized societies. I would rather say that I would much prefer to live in a society where freedoms are maximized, for the most part government stays out of society’s endeavors, we punish the abusers of this separation with a vengeance and end this concept of a corporation being the same as a person. I also advocate that it is absolutely forbidden, with extreme penalties, the obstruction of anyone else’s freedoms. That includes the freedom to breath unpolluted air, eat unpolluted food and clean water.

I think that to a large extent people fail to realize that almost any system of governance in its idealistic form works pretty well. It is when the corruption of the system occurs that people do not get their needs met. Even the dreaded S (socialism) word works fairly well at times and in some locations. Sweden and Norway are some examples. In any case, when population overshoots, or becomes complacent about their government, it seems to always become corrupted and damaging to the greater society. At the basis of this corruption it seems that idealization of the wealthy and powerful is the first step to that corruption. Of course, egalitarianism is an anathema to rugged individualism and is a necessity for sustainability for the long haul. Regard the largely egalitarian groups like the Amish.

If indeed the American empire collapses and western civilization goes down, we definitely will need to have a new means of social organization and governance. What that will look like makes good science fiction.

9 comments:

palooka's revenge said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
freeacre said...

The problem with all government, as I see it, is that no matter what system of governance us used (democracy vs totalitarianism) or economic principals upon which they are based (capitalism vs. socialism), all can be sabotaged by corruption or citizens that are not in integrity or have a very negative or opposing world view.
I worry that even if a new, great, cheap, efficient energy source came into being. . .then what? The same greedy bastards that run everything now will just continue to run (and ruin) everything then. Whoopee.
On the other hand, if we can shift the paradigm so that people realize in a big way that we are all in this together (including all living things and the earth herself), it could change everything. But changing from a culture of greed and fear to one of generosity and compassion, will be seen as an opportunity for some to bring the gentle into bondage. Sort of like bringing the lambs to the slaughterhouse. So, I don't have much hope for this country to be the one to lead anything. And, as far as depending on them to help us in an emergency...hahahahaha. Look at what they are doing now - bailing out the financiers, not the homeless.
It's going to be the smaller places that will have the capacity to make significant changes without attracting so much attention and resistance of TPTB. Like, maybe, Costa Rica or Ecuador or Belize or some other out of the limelight places. As for us that may be too old to start all over someplace, it is for us to plant seeds (physical and mental), and to create lifeboats for those that we will be leaving behind.
By the way, this is a total non-sequitur, but we just watched the last episode of The Sopranos, rented from Netflix. I think we started watching the series in March or so, and have now seen all six years worth in something like 3 months. All I can saw is "wow." What a lot to think about in terms of cultural and family dynamics, politics, power, ruthlessness, denial, rationalization, values, etc. And, now that I understand it, that last episode? Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KVTfcAyYGg&feature=related
LC

stoney13 said...

It don't matter who the fuck is in there, we're fucked! All we get to do is pick the dick!

murph said...

LC

G. Carlin is pretty blunt and dead on in my view. Hes routines have changed a lot over the years. Not just a funny routine anymore but direct stabs at our owners.

Stoney,

lol A really graphic observation.

Anonymous said...

Yes Murphy my Guru is blunt.I can only wonder how he made it out of Catholic programming. What opened this mans eyes?

Stony, George has something to say about picking the dick Why bother?

The three YTs that follow are curiously refreshing. Wonder why?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMBZDwf9dok

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTN3s2iVKKI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0T9fENn_zQY&NR=1

Sorry Murphy and Freeacre if this departs from your campfire. I hope you understand. My log for the fire is offered with a heart felt purpose.

Wake-ing-up is a fun thing to do.

LC

palooka's revenge said...

This recent comment from Palooka's Revenge is continuing the discussion from the previous post...

rp.... more on BLP in the wake of the news release here....
http://venturebeat.com/2008/05/30/blacklight-power-claims-nearly-free-energy-from-water-is-this-for-real/

pure energy solutions, inc.... "promoting cutting-edge energy technologies" has been monitoring BLP for years.... http://pesn.com/2008/05/29/9500481_Blacklight_commercially_ready/

there's a link to PESI's wiki entry on BLP in the comments section of the venture beat write-up.

i've mentioned before that one of our guys that works with us has been following so-called cutting-edge energy solutions for several years. anyone following and investing time and energy in such interests has ended up having their chain pulled so many times they get veeeeeery discriminating. in the case of BLP he tells me he's never before seen a "theory" proposed that strives to follow standard scientific practices of review, etc like BLP.

he also tells me that according to BLPs latest papers there will be another paper available shortly regarding a 5th fundamental force.... gravity+EM+weak nuclear+strong nuclear+?????. this would, if it proves out, be a walkin talkin paradigm shift in the GUT of physics. bigger even that e=mc sq'd.
my guess is force 5 would somehow be the counterpart to G.... the necesary existance in universe of which, imo, should be obvious. the existance and sebsequent threat of scalar weaponry should tell us some already know, and are now using, something about which classical physicists prefer to dismiss. they'd rather defend their limits than open to potentials... a character flaw apparently even evil, anti-life forces appear to not recognize. human nature's predisposition to annihilate itself - as mf and the bug have been so generous and couragous to point out - seems to be in play no matter if we view ourselves as one of "us" or one of "them".

so what's the causative dynamic upon which this operates? i suspect the bug has given us a big fat clue here as well.... p

RAS said...

Murph, I have often said that outside of rhetoric, there is little difference between the two political parties today. One claims liberal values, one claims conservative values, and both actually serve the all mighty dollar.

That should not be construed to mean I do not think there is a difference between liberal and conservative stances; of course there is, and those stances differ from the "parties". One thing I have noticed over and over is that the truly intelligent, thinking people I know all hold a mixture of supposedly liberal and conservative stances. Has anyone else noticed this? I includ myself in that example; for instance, I believe in the principle of universal healthcare (i.e., if you're sick you should be able to get care, period) but the idea of this government taking over healthcare makes me shudder. I'm pro-gun (don't tell my Quaker friends) but believe in background checks to keep known psychos and wackjobs from getting them. I'm peace loving but not a pacifist; f*ck with me and I'll fight back.

Sorry I've been absent for a few weeks. I've been busy with summer jobs around her and my other jobs, I've been sick, and I've also been doing a lot of heavy thinking. I'm not ready to talk about that yet, but I will soon.

freeacre said...

Sorry to learn that you've been sick, ras. But, very happy to hear from you. I was getting worried.

I agree with you about the false Liberal vs. Conservative dichotomy. Anybody with sense realizes that they both have good and bad points. And, it seems, neither side is willing to take a look at what works in the world, and what doesn't, and just imitate the useful tactics.

what a world, eh?