The left lies to itself just like the mouth-breathing morons on the right. They act just as naively, ignorantly, and idiotically trusting as the Michelle Malkin followers, as the weeping Glenn Becks, as the 70-year-old Medicare recipients who want the government out of their health care. They are every bit as deluded and dangerous. We are every bit as deluded and dangerous, because like the right we lie to ourselves. We refuse to admit the truth--we have traded our freedom for credit cards and health benefits. We have let them kill us off for money, and if we thought about it we would be so ashamed of ourselves that we would not be able to function. So we don't think.
We are going through a replication of the bank bail-out scheme. The right whips itself into a tizzy about moronic issues like dogs chewing over red meat their masters tossed to them to keep them busy. The left discusses the "issues," debating the best way to achieve their goals, arguing over more and more trivial gains which they will never get anyway. Meanwhile the elite continue to rake in billions while the peasants bicker among themselves. They consolidate banks, run up debt to be paid by the tax-payer, build fortified compounds with private security firms, and set the peasants against each other in amusing pit matches. How they must have laughed at the tea-partiers, fighting so vigorously and emotionally to be bent over and screwed by the elite. They must have been choking on their Crystal and Sapphire martinis, overcome with laughter as the boobs in the streets begged to be ripped off by their betters.
And the left has been no less amusing. See how they run in fear as they are being murdered by the frenzy of hate, bought and paid for by the likes of Steve Forbes and Dick Armey! They are so cowed that they are afraid to even raise their voices against lynchings! Shhhhh, mustn't be shrill! Mustn't embarrass one's peers, or risk being criticized by someone on the internet whom we depend on for links or approval or acceptance to the liberal club! Most of all we must never say that the powerful laugh at us, mock us, steal from us, send us off to die in wars, watch us collapse of illness and die in the streets or cheap apartments. No, we must lie instead.
We lie about our country. We are not the best and brightest. We are vain, greedy and murderous. We lie about God. There aren't any and we know it. But hey, maybe there is and maybe we'll get something out of it at some time. And it's useful for keeping the stupid masses in line. Plus people would fight back and that's hard and unpleasant and hey, let's have another glass of wine. We lie about our families. Our parents treated us like crap but we still want them to love us, still want to inherit their property (what's left of it), so what the hell, better not remind them of all the times they called us stupid, said we'd never amount to anything, hit us, used us, manipulated us. If we don't have them to
Our elite are killing us. And we are handing them the rope, writing FED on our chests, wrapping our mouth, ankles and hands in duct tape, and for our final act, telling our fellow citizens to not investigate, because you never know, our imminent death could be a suicide. Which, come to think of it, it is.
Good essay, Susan. Very Silberian.
As an outsider I find it very striking that the American 'Left' are so pathetic, lacking in solidarity with anyone that might possibly considered 'uncivil', so devoid of ideas or methods of resistance against the ruling class, so quick to join in with any sign of militant nationalism, and so hostile to anyone who happens to point it out.
During the last election I can't recall anyone who the left wanted in power saying anything about the working class, their empathy seemed only to stretch to the middle class (who aren't middle class at all, but that's one of the most important illusions people like to cling to).
I wish I could see signs of hope, but in a mainstream left wing that instinctively bashes people like Chomsky in order to be seen as 'serious', I can't see any.
Yes, Silber and I both read Alice Miller so we'll sound a lot alike. Miller says that once people let go of their need for approval and love from parents who are incapable of loving them, they will become free from the self-destructive behavior people use to avoid the truth. It actually works too, although it takes a lot of time to break yourself of destructive habits.
You don't need to find a substitute for your parents, which means you stop looking for something to fill the void in your life. That void is filled up with yourself. You start to figure out who your are, what you want, what you believe in. You don't need other people for that anymore. You are not so desperate for approval. You learn to have confidence in your own opinion. You learn to question and accept unpleasant answers. You learn that what really matters is what we do, how we treat other people, what kind of world we create. All the layers of self-delusion fall away and you start to deal with the truth.
Obviously I'm still working on all this. But it's amazing--you can understand other people so much better because you understand yourself. You can predict what they will do and why, depending on what emotional situations they are trying to cover up from themselves. It is/was very easy to predict what Bush and then Obama would do, once you stop wanting them to give you something they cannot and/or will not give.
My first response is "I WON'T have what SHE's having!"
It appears we need a Leader with a capital L. The times often bring the leader forward; such as Churchill, Wellington, Washington and of course Roosevelt.
I was kind of hoping Obama would be that Leader: He Talks the Talk...sort of.
Notice others are beginning to step forward; Grayson, Rockefeller, Barney Frank. I don't suppose they will end up as "the" Leader, but they are showing the way: what to say and do in order to get results.
I like Grayson a lot, but unfortunately if we decide to wait for a leader we'll die waiting. We need to lead ourselves, which means we need to look at this from a different angle--we put someone in office who follows, not leads. Who does what we tell him to do, because we know what we want and have figured out how to get it.
Exactly, you should grant no-one power over yourself, unless you have a way of removing the power from them.
There's a reason the media and ruling classes want you to hate France, because France is still an example of a place where the Government is scared of the people. The result? who has happier citizens? France or the USA? Who has more lesuire time, less stress, better adjusted children etc?
I lived in France for almost a decade. If we're going to make sweeping generalizations, the French did not strike me as particularly happy or well-adjusted. There seemed to be a lot of barely contained anger and resentment about.
Also, if you don't think the French are governed by an elite you are kidding yourself. Notwithstanding the social democratic political consensus, there is marked class stratification, and less mobility between classes than we have in the United States.
Their single-payer health care system works great, though.
My first response is "I WON'T have what SHE's having!"
You and me both, sister.
But seriously: If the leaders of the left don't court the working class, it's because they think that "the working class" doesn't vote. And anyone in the working class that DOES vote is, or aspires to be, of the middle class.
I've had moods like the one you seemed to have been in when you wrote this, Susan. The mood will pass (it probably already has), but the basic content of it is true.
The one way possibly available to us to change this state of affairs--and this in itself is pretty utopian, and hard to imagine being realized--is to get money out of politics. To have public funding of national elections.
As long as corporations are considered "individuals" and money is considered "speech," we and our heirs and assigns are well and truly fucked. As long as bribery is legalized under the name "campaign contributions," most of the people in power will serve the interests of those with the money.
I know everyone here knows this. I'm just saying, that, to me, is the only place to begin changing things the way they have needed changing since the end of feudalism.
Also: Who's Silber?
Potent essay, Susan of Texas. Potent is the way you always seem to sound when you just let it rip.
We won't get health care because its good for us or because we demand it or because it's right.
We may still get it because the huge deadweight cost of the insurance leeches and inept ineffecient decentralization and patchwork piecemeal public health is bringing down the rest of the corporations.
Don't you just love irony?
Arthur Silber is a libertarian blogger, but mostly he uses his readings of Alice Miller to understand our current situation. Miller states the obvious in a way too clear to be denied--children who are damaged by their parents will grow up into damaged individuals. The biggest problem is that people won't acknowledge the abuse because they still want the love their parents denied them as a child. Since a person can't go back and get that unconditional love they try to find it elsewhere, and develop unhealthy ways of dealing with the emptiness.
When you accept that your parents didn't love you (because they couldn't), you realize that you don't have to punish yourself for not being good enough to be loved, you don't have to make someone, something or some group love you to replace that emptiness, and you now can actually accept yourself just as you are. You also lose all excuses and justifications for your behavior; you realize that you make your own choices based on your own needs. That means that you are responsible for everything you do, nobody else is controlling you anymore so there is no excuse for bad behavior.
You stop looking to other people for approval. You give yourself permission to like yourself. You find out what you like to do because you no longer look to other to tell you what to do, think or feel. You learn to have confidence in your own opinion because you know it is your own, you thought through the issue without biases leading you astray, and you are prepared to accept the consequences of your actions.
It's totally freeing and absolutely terrifying. You give up the hope of ever getting unconditional love but you gain so much in return. And when you examine the world around you, certain things become perfectly clear.
Arthur Silber sees clearly. He is angry and fed up--aren't we all--but he understands perfectly what we are doing to ourselves.
Once Upon A Time
Even at The Great Orange Squishy there are French bankers trying to wake people up -
The past crisis was obviously not sufficient to shake the current system; if anything, the grip has been tightened. Pain for the masses does not matter if it has no impact on the political process; the past year suggests that the corporatists have been successful at defusing public anger and pointing it away from the real culprits; in many countries, the traditional left has been compromised too much within the system and cannot provide a credible alternative.
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