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View Diary: The Ethic of (Ir)Responsibility (238 comments)

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  •  I think the original post actually argued (none)
    that when a tree falls in a forest and there is noone there to hear it fall it still makes a sound--even in the 1940's there were people to hear/see acts of resistance. No act of resistance goes unfelt, even if only by the oppressor. But how does that relate to protest of bush/republican policies now? Nader's protest, because it is largely a protest against the whole system both republicans and democrats as presently constituted it can't have a salutary effect on the system as a whole. Republicans take it for what it is, a distraction for their opponents. Democrats can only be hurt by it in their current struggle against bush--they can not be pushed farther to the "left" because Nader et al refuse to engage with them, to work with them at a grass roots level. That reduces nader and his followers to a kind of side show/"protest vote" where the accent is on the total inutility of the act. Like most people I'd argue that choosing a symbolic act over a real chance at unseating bush and worse than mere showmanship since it takes the place of what could be positive action. To see why that is so one nearly needs to remind oneself that this election is not, in fact, the only moment for serious political action and serious political showmanship. Nader (and the greens under nader) have failed to do the attention drawing and the below the radar work that a serious party would have to do in the between-four-years-period between elections. If they had done so (and if they had any chance of sucess at truly troubling the two party divide) they would have seized control of hundreds of local electorates and cities already. Where are they? nowhere.

    Love weber, always loved that essay.


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