This little screed was triggered by the call-and-response started by Publius2008 today, which in turn is inspired, like so much else that is being released and buoyed up, by the OWS phenomenon: http://www.dailykos.com/...
Thank you, Publius, for adding this important bit to the wave of sentiment and wisdom that might actually excise some of the revolting, metastatic greed that is killing us. Lookie here, folks – you can maybe have a Revulsion Revolution, without hardly any bloodshed!
The electoral process is all about legitimizing the result in the minds of the many, a substitute for conquest and looting, and a displacement of the urge to civil war, so that even the "losers" will at least support keeping on with the keeping on, in the hopes that next time, like with my beloved Chicago Cubbies, "Wait 'til next year!," when it will be "our" turn. Then "we" will be able to take advantage of the mantle of legitimacy that an election is supposed to confer.
Seems to me, and of course this has to be a minority viewpoint in this space that started out and still for many is nominally all about "electing more and better Democrats," a space where all the important people have tacitly accepted that polling is the new election process, is predictive and therefore renders the actual polling-place stuff largely academic, and thus run their activities and participation in relation to moving the poll numbers, that
Voting, as currently practiced, is broken. Irremediably. Humpty-Dumpty. Ming vase. Broken.
Leave aside the hyperinfluence of huge money and sneaky messaging, and the whole huge polling and advertising and spinning and lobbying and special-pleading and regulatory-capture and corporate-media and reciprocal-back-scratching-and-pud-pulling What We Have Now. Ignore the cynical bullshit about how spending trillions on TVlections is Good For The GDP. I bet that maybe a plurality of people in America have logged on to the notion that their vote, on election day, is a meaningless exercise.
Two things seem fundamentally, unarguably true to me, and have for a long while:
(1) We really are all in this together, want-to-be or not, and
(2) There is enough of everything that matters to go all the way around the table, if we can keep the Kleptocrat from stuffing all but one of the cookies in his mouth, and suckering all the rest of us into fighting over the last cookie on the plate.
Elections have consequences, and I gotta say, because of the way that process has been re-configured in modern times, they are all bad.
Voting: Any more, we don't even have the "spoils system." We have a SPOILED system, where the myth has so obviously become incongruent with the reality that the mantle-of-legitimacy has hardened up, like the liquid-metal "Terminator" dude, and the shrinkage is causing the cracks and fractures to show.
Is OWS the 12-gauge slug that will shatter that brittle mantle, with, one might hope, enough wise and educated participants to re-create, to re-weave, the social fabric?
Look at the turnouts, and all the electioneering strategies intended to drive people away from the polling places. Even sorta-close elections get flipped to the power side, via simple crony corruption and a "fuck you" to the electorate and a flip invocation of some broke-dick "interpretation" of the Rule of Law.
People know that there really is no rule of law any more, except for the activities of the Kleptocrats who get to use the social necessity of an authority structure and the residuum of popular belief in Blind Justice to beat the 99% around the head and shoulders and take our wallets and purses and the futures of our children. And force us to fill up the huge and growing black hole where the common wealth, the "commons," used to reside. And lookie here, empower "the banks" to do a Henry Potter and steal our homes by re-writing 600 years of common-law notions of legitimate land titles, to the point that simply saying they own the property is enough, don't need no fucking deed or provable chain of title or evidence of indebtedness...
Economists and "libertarians" lie about the "paradox of the commons" all the time. Where commons exist and persist, it's because of the face-to-face nature of relations between people who perceive the ultimate necessity and utility of the Golden Rule. And those who frequent the commons, graze their cattle there and cut their turves and glean their straw and fallen wood, are willing to enforce limits on all for the benefit of all, and plant and fertilize and maintain for the benefit of all.
Seems to this observer and cheerleader that maybe the folks who are doing OWS are onto something leading back to a way of extending the not-perfect-but-pretty-darn-good notion of the commons, and maybe even the notion of "community" in the quaint sense of people sharing and taking care of each other, even the eccentrics and buttheads.
What's needed, it seems to me, is the social analogue of the homeostatic processes controlling pH and O2-CO2 and electrolyte balance and blood sugar and so much else, that keep each one of our billions of body cells humming or limping along -- including the immune system, that picks out the millions of aberrant little cancer or pre-cancer cells that we grow inside ourselves every day, and gives them a macrophage embrace and breaks them down into their useful components and puts them back into circulation.
This is all stuff that's been churned over for milennia, and there ain't no pat answers to how you restrain greed, how you limit the fratricidal impulsiveness of a Cain in the face of self-provocation. All I got to add is that this What's Happening Now sure smells like the Hope and Change that so many of us were told by the last guy we elected was going to be coming.
We go to the movies and learn to fear the Borg, that collective organism of seeming individuals, that seeks to submerge the Perfect Individualism of Captain Picard into the hive. The Borg have a psychic linkage, facilitated by technology. I wonder if the folks coming up today, all interlinked by various technologies, might show the rest of us how the Collective is maybe not such a bad thing. Except for the aberrant, cancerous tumors that simply want to "prosper" and "grow" at the expense, the ultimately fatal expense, of the rest of the body.
Hey, I just read somewhere that this present condition is Level Ten of the Eleven-Dimensional Chess Game, and that The Only President We've Got -- well, his community organizer genius let him play out the stuff that's been running us into the ground for the last 2+ years and previous two-score of decades, so that we would finally stand up for ourselves and slap down the Parasitic Great Combinations who have fielded their hordes of Vampire Squids that are eating us from the inside out! I feel much better about voting for him again, now...
Sure looks to me like the "grow up and choose a party" notion is a dead-ender, maybe even just a siren song from folks who hope to profit from Business As Usual. A "business," operated by people who know they will live out obscenely "comfortable" lives and die peacefully, so who gives a shit what happens outside the walls and gates of the Great Estate, or happens to those voiceless, influence-less fuckers in the future who anyway can't vote or labor or consume-for-profit, that is killing the planet, and my grandkids...
GO OWS, whatever you are!
Any more, there is a growing chance that one might actually be able to say, truthfully, that "it's a free country..."