August 21, 2008

How Deeply Stupid Can Progressives Make Themselves?

I have occasionally excerpted Dave Lindorff approvingly in the past, for he has sometimes offered very perceptive comments about the necessity of impeachment of the Bush administration criminals and similar matters.

However, with this column, Lindorff makes indisputably clear that he has joined the ranks of those who continue to hope for miracles that defy the simple laws and operation of politics, economics, history and culture, and that he is determined to obliterate his few remaining functioning brain cells in the name of his progressive political "faith." I'm trying to be polite. "Faith" is an enormously polite word for this kind of ignorant bullshit:
There is probably still time to turn this electoral debacle in the making around. Obama needs to come out unambiguously for a quick end to the war in Iraq. He needs to do an about face on his call for an expansion of the war in Afghanistan. He needs to flatly rule out preemptive war as a policy for the United States of America, unless the country is in danger of imminent attack. He needs to scotch plans for expanding the military, and instead to start talking about how to reduce military spending, so that those funds can be shifted to domestic priorities like improving education and dramatically increasing research into carbon-free energy production. He needs to call for a national healthcare system that will provide quality, affordable medical care for all, and he needs to call for an aggressive campaign to combat joblessness and to reduce income disparity within the US.

Do that, and we will see an Obama presidency and a Democratic sweep of both houses of Congress.
Are progressives who offer unadulterated crap like this truly this stupid? I find that hard to believe. I mean, this is stupid to the nth power. Perhaps they just pretend to be this stupid so they can vomit up another column.

Earlier in the same column, we have this Komedy Klassic:
One might think that after watching Democratic candidates lose the last two presidential elections by following exactly this kind of "strategy," if it can be called that, Obama and his campaign managers would have decided to try something different, but it appears that the Democratic Party at the top is hopelessly in the grip of corporate interests that favor war, free-market nostrums and corporate welfare.
"[I]t appears that the Democratic Party at the top is hopelessly in the grip of corporate interests..."

"[I]t appears that..." I take it back. They are genuinely this stupid.

I will have more on certain of the subjects Lindorff touches on in the future. Among other things, I will explain why ObamCo will bring you serious imperialism once they take power. If you think you've seen imperialism under Bush, you're as stupid as Lindorff. Bush & Co. are vicious, murderous amateurs. The people who make up ObamCo -- see here, for some examples -- are vicious, murderous professionals. You haven't even begun to see real trouble, to say nothing of real slaughter and real devastation.

For the moment, I will be brief. Start with the principle I identified in this aptly-titled essay, "Most of You Will Eat Shit Until the Day You Die":
Any individual who rises to the national political level is, of necessity and by definition, committed to the authoritarian-corporatist state. The current system will not allow anyone to be elected from either of the two major parties who is determined to dismantle even one part of that system.
See the earlier article for a fuller explanation, and for some comments about the few exceptions to this rule who manage to slip through, primarily so The Stupids "can continue to prattle about the virtues of 'participatory democracy.' That's so you don't notice that the ruling elites don't give a damn what you think, except for brief periods surrounding elections..."

Next, read "Killing Truth and Hope -- The Fatal Illusion of Opposition" and the Pam Martens articles I excerpt there. In that essay, I explain the reasons underlying this passage:
Even if we assume that Obama genuinely wishes to alter our political system, the critical point is unchanged: one individual cannot do it. It is folly to believe otherwise. More bluntly: it is deeply, profoundly stupid. And the truth is very different from this idiotic fantasy: Obama is the perfect embodiment of the system as it now exists. He will challenge it on no issue of importance. To the contrary, he will advance the goals of the ruling class and ensure that the powerful are fully protected. He will lie to you about all of this, as he already has on numerous occasions -- but as I have noted, many Americans, including many liberals and progressives, are enthusiastically willing to believe anything.
As evidence on that last point, Exhibits A unto Infinity if you will, consider Lindorff and the overwhelming majority of liberal-progressive writers and bloggers.

Next, follow a few of the links in the essays mentioned above. I put a lot of material into those earlier pieces. You might even set some time aside to read all the parts of "Dominion Over the World" (all the installments are listed at the conclusion of this essay). Who knows: perhaps a little history and a few facts might kill off some of The Stupid.

Finally, you very badly need to understand that in our thoroughly corrupt corporatist-authoritarian system, a system that has required over a century to reach its current stage of meretricious, stinking, filthy, bloodily murderous dishonesty, and which will only be altered over a period of many decades -- and then only if a critical number of people are willing to challenge the foundations of this system -- elections are an utterly meaningless charade. (This is not to say there are no differences between the two parties; see the discussion in the middle of this piece.) I am reminded of an argument I made in, "Once More into the Land of the Blind." That article concerned the pitifully desperate reaching by many progressives to explain why the Democrats act as they do. These progressives are prepared to believe anything, rather than admit what history and an endless stream of facts prove conclusively: that the Democrats are as inextricable a part of the corporatist-authoritarian system as the Republicans. Historically and until the last few decades, the Democrats and progressives have been much more active in the installation and strengthening of this system. Rather than admit that and face the challenge that truth represents to their political faith, which tells them that the Democrats really "mean well" and love peace and liberty more than anything, even little puppy dogs and kitty cats illumined by rainbows of dazzling intensity, and that the Democrats are forced to act against their beneficent true natures by something or other (usually those dastardly, apparently all-powerful Republicans), these progressives will grasp any explanation. One of their favorites is that the Democrats are being...BLACKMAILED! Digby pulls this one out whenever the going gets especially tough. No, Digby gets no points for consistency, although she gets full points for carefully cultivated dullwittedness.

This is a confession of complete intellectual impotence and incoherence. Aside from all the reasons set forth in my previous essays, I have a few questions. First, keeping in mind that it is the Democrats the progressives look to for salvation, of the instant or incremental kind, salvation which shall bind up and heal each and every wound, bring justice and happiness to all, and see the blinding light of Truth spread over the entirety of creation, what exactly are the sins that the salvation-bearing, miracle-bringing Democrats are imagined to have committed? Doesn't it present a conundrum of sorts to believe that the Light and Truth Bearers are screwing, embezzling, snorting illegal substances, and doing who knows what to a degree that makes them capable of manipulation by blackmail? I don't object so much to the fact that these progressives engage in fiction untethered from all connection to reality; I object much more to the fact that they write such completely lousy fiction.

Second, riddle me this, Stupids: you say you look to the Democrats for salvation and, if we were as smart as you, we would, too. Cool, baby. And you also tell me that, when confronted with the choice between continuing to lie about and cover up the various horrible personal sins you imagine them to have committed, and seriously challenging an administration that has engaged in genocide that continues to this day despite the fact that it has been fully in the Democrats' power for a year and a half to defund the criminal occupation of Iraq, an administration that has established the full framework required for a dictatorship here at home, that has "normalized" torture as a standard and acceptable means of warfare, and that has engaged in innumerable other monstrous acts and destroyed the last vestiges of constitutional government, the Democrats choose to give in to blackmail and opt for lying and covering up their acts of personal malfeasance. In other words: the Democrats are devoid of even the smallest shred of integrity, or courage, or decency. They are content to see innocent people murdered in the hundreds of thousands, and even millions, they are content to see innocent people tortured, they are content to see this country destroyed completely and permanently. And the Democrats do all this so that their own lives of immense comfort and privilege continue uninterrupted, and so that we won't know they fucked the Third Assistant Secretary of Creeping Decrepitude, or how much they look forward to those sex and drug orgies every other weekend.

And these are the people who are going to save us? Stupid doesn't begin to cover the intellectual and moral betrayals involved, on the part of both the Democrats and those who endlessly peddle this self-justifying shit.

As to elections as empty, meaningless exercises in political charades, I wrote the following in "Once More into the Land of the Blind":
The ruling class does not care about you or your views. The MoveOn denunciation is an aspect of the performance put on by one part of the ruling class for the benefit of another part. They may criticize each other in certain predetermined ways and within certain narrowly circumscribed limits -- but you may not criticize any of them in ways that go beyond what the ruling class as a whole has decided is acceptable. ... Your role -- and your only role -- is to vote for them as required, and then to shut up. Almost everyone in the ruling class has identical beliefs, but they are usually more adept at hiding them from the unfortunately necessary voters (necessary for the moment, at any rate).

But, you might wonder, aren't there any principles at all that deeply matter to them? The answer to that is indisputably: No. There are not, with the exception of perhaps two or three members of Congress. I repeat what I said before: the ruling class is not like you and me. Their concerns are not ours. Their motivations are not ours. Their primary, and often their sole, concern is power: achieving it, maintaining it, and expanding it. Power. That's it. That's the whole thing.

It's hardly a secret. Overwhelming evidence for all these statements, and for all the arguments made in my earlier essays, lies all around you. Take off the blinders -- and look at it.
What was true of the MoveOn denunciation is true of our nauseatingly empty election charades in general.

As I explained in "Blinded by the Story," the longer you cling to a predetermined storyline because it flatters your self-image and your pathetic vanity, the more you must deny the evidence that undercuts that storyline and that is presented to you every day. You must restrict the range of your intellectual inquiry more and more severely, and you must cut yourself off from anything that threatens the precarious world of make-believe in which you scrabble out your pitiful existence. Thus, you become more and more stupid.

Unfortunately for progressives like Lindorff, and for all the rest of us, there is no limit to how stupid people can make themselves in this manner. Also -- and very importantly, as discussed in "The Fatal Illusion of Opposition" -- it makes all but impossible any serious and meaningful challenge to the system as it now exists. In terms of the fundamental principles involved, it makes no difference at all whether the next president is McCain or Obama. In different ways, and frequently in identical ways, both men could be exceptionally dangerous. At the moment, I remain undecided about which represents the greater danger, and I will be exploring that question in the future. I don't think this issue is nearly as clearcut as many seem to believe.

But of one development, we may be certain: The Stupids shall inherit the Earth, or what's left of it.

Well done, Stupids. And I so look forward to the fact that you'll be even stupider tomorrow than you are today.