photo by SG

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Failure of Idealism, or Ron Paul and Barack Obama are Evil

Okay, time to get a little self-righteous: Barack Obama is not going to save humanity. And Ron Paul is the Antichrist.

I'll explain.

Most of the liberals in this country, from spokespeople-for-oppressed-minority liberals to white-bourgeois-"radical" liberals, have jumped onto the Obama bandwagon, next stop Presidentville. Let's stop and consider for a moment. Even IF Obama gets elected, is he really gonna do anything? Aren't his hands tied by the financial interests that get him elected? Because, let's not mince words, everyone knows how dirty a game politics is. You simply can't get elected President of the United States unless you sell your soul to the Devil.

But why speculate? Let's review Obama's fantastic track record: 1. He's down with economic globalization, that horror of the global South. The Economist has him wanting to work to "deal with globalization," not "slow it down." Well, fuck that! Anyone who has ever heard or seen a damn thing about what globalized capitalism has done to our brothers and sisters in the "Third World" knows that it's sick shit. Globalization is only inevitable? Hah, tell that to the Zapatistas in Mexico!

2. He wants to invade the Sudan. In the Washington Post, he and Sam Brownback (yes, good ol' Creationism Sammy) wrote a piece where they say: "It has become clear that a U.N. or NATO-led force is required." Awesome! Just what I wanted for Christmas! Another invasion, another occupation, another bombing campaign. We'll call it Bosnia Part II: The Revenge of the Imperialists. Lemme say what you don't want to hear: The West invading Sudan to solve the Darfur genocide is EXACTLY THE SAME THING as the U.S. invading Iraq to solve the Saddam horror show. Sorry hippies, no difference at all. There's gotta be a better solution than blowing people up.

3. He voted to build a fucking wall on the Mexican border. I don't think we really need to say anything more about that. (True story: I've never been to Mexico, my folks don't have the money to travel much. But I've heard stories from people who've flown over the border and not a single one of them has seen a giant red line in the desert, demarcating "us" from "them." Fuck the border, says I.)

Now, let's move on the that patron saint of angry white men, Ron Paul. Ah yes, Senator Paul. He opposed the war right from the start, his rabid fanboys pronounce. Too true, but let's think a wee bit about what else he's said and done: 1. He was one of the first Republican senators to endorse Ronald "The Butcher" Reagan over Gerald "The Baker" Ford in '76. (In case you're wondering, Nixon is the Candlestick Maker.) Not that this is really such a big deal, since they were both evil. But whereas Ford was slimy-plotting-henchman evil, Reagan was full-blown straight-from-hell
brimstone-smelling bat-head-eating evil. I mean, fuck, he was Ronald fucking Reagan!

2. He introduced and supports legislation (the tragi-comically titled "Sanctity of Life Bill") which would effectively overturn Roe vs. Wade (describing himself as "unshakably opposed to abortion." Yikes! The only thing I'm unshakably opposed to is Everybody Loves Raymond.) Now, this is already terrible, but it's part of his larger campaign to return things from federal control to state control. Ah, state's rights. The ever-so-common distraction of libertarians. Lemme say this loud and clear: Just because the boss/master/leader has the same accent as you, or the same skin color as you, or knows your neighborhood, doesn't make them not your boss/master/leader! "Same shit, different name," as the enlightened say. State's rights are not progressive, but a distraction from the real problem with goern'ment: government. "My" politicians in state congress are just as incurably bourgeois as "my" politicians in national congress.

3. He hearts capitalism. No, but seriously. At least Obama is a bureaucrat-lovin' AFL-CIO-ass-lickin' social democrat. Under all of Paul's rhetoric railing against the corporations, he thinks that capitalism is a fundamentally good thing. Bootstraps, rising to the top, poor getting what they deserve, the whole shebang! He's a libertarian insofar as he doesn't recognize that capitalism inherently oppresses workers and minorities, no further. He likes free trade, school prayer, hates amnesty for illegals and placing environmental concerns over business property rights. He's a Republican, fer chrissakes!

Idealism sucks. Idealism is the alienated line of thought which says that the world will magically work out if we believe hard enough: boom! Kim Jong Il becomes a Buddhist monk, poof! George Bush comes out, zap! white guilt goes away! Idealism is for hippies and rich kids. The sad truth is that society has rules which are not voted upon and cannot be changed no matter how hard you believe or how many verses of "We Shall Overcome" you sing. Now, we may not like that, but I think that the way to overcome these problems is not to wait for some superhero to save us from the clutches of peril.

This is the part where I exhort you to vote for someone else. Having listed all the qualities of these two gentlemen that I think you will find distasteful, I'm about to turn you on to someone who lacks these qualities. Well, tough luck there. But maybe, if you're feeling up to a challenge, you could try your hand at running your own life and solving your problems with the help your friends, family, coworkers and community, rather than waiting for some dude in a suit to do it for you. It's harder, I know, but it presents the only realistic way of getting rid of this messed up structure once and for all.


William said...

Sorry Brendan, Idealism (in politics/activism) means having concrete ideals and working to actualize them. Nothing more. And it has nothing to do with the tactics you use. Like ballots or bullets.

Setanta said...

Not so. Idealism in the Hegelian/Marxist sense is basically what I described. It is opposed by materialism.

William said...

Yes and who the fuck besides Hegel and his small posse of dead Germans at the very edge of historical relevance actually line up with that definition?

I love Marxists and their ridiculous self-centeredness. No the entire world does not revolve around you. Granted, okay, my mother, for instance, is a Christian Scientist and therefore actually a member of your coming dread strawmen apocalypse of "idealists." But you're ranting about a fraction of the populace who at the very best estimate don't exist. Idealism in the practical people-who-you-deal-with-in-everyday-life sense means precisely what I said. And idealism in the philosophical tradition has very little to do with Hegel and even less to do with your accusations.

You're being an stuffy idiot about terminology and underhandedly attacking a huge number of people by aggressively *defining* them into the corner of shame. (Willing them there by sheer linguistic bullheadedness is a technique, I should point out, that is itself actually rather Idealist in a Hegelian kind of way.) But then, I suppose if you only have one tool of argumentation you gotta use it for all it's worth. I should be less hard on the Marxists.

Setanta said...

Just 'cause you don't understand the way I speak doesn't mean my points are wrong. I use the word because a lot of people think that way and it's basically useless.

I don't understand why this gets you so riled up. Another excuse to throw around epithets like "Marxist"? Fine by me. I forgot, the internets are serious business.