June 16, 2011

Revisiting "The Honor of Being Human," or: Don't Be a Pigfucker

As an introduction to upcoming articles, together with a review of some key concepts, let us consider this ghastly column by Sam Smith. Mr. Smith is not only a proud progressive but, as the endnote informs us, he "edits the Progressive Review." I have not included the link to the publication, for I choose not to encourage willing pigfucker-collaborationists in even minor matters.

Smith begins by describing the already-begun presidential campaign as "the great contemporary American fairy tale," and he further notes that "citizen participation in a fantasy doesn't make it any more real." He continues:
There has been over the past few decades a steady deterioration of the political difference between national Democratic and Republican politics, most notably with Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Today it is hard to define that difference given the strong bipartisan support for several illegal wars, the unconstitutional Patriot Act, and a bottomless desire to bail out Wall Street, and a stunning indifference to the financial problems of everyone else. On some days it seems like the only thing that stand[s] between Obama and the Republican Party is his voter registration card. Even on his better days he is just – to borrow a favorite term of his White House a "distraction from the real issues."

In fact, the political metaphor hardly works anymore. It's more sensible to regard the two major parties as Mafia mobs fighting for control of a region known as the United States.
Sounds like pretty strong stuff, doesn't it? But -- surely you knew there was a "but":
This isn't to say that there isn't a difference between them. But it's about survival, however, not politics. The Demos tend to do less damage to our lives than the Repubs. Both mobs may beat the shit out your father, but the Demos are less likely to harm your children or your grandmother.
This passage alone disqualifies Smith from editing a comic book for severely cognitively-impaired four-year-olds.

"The Demos tend to do less damage to our lives than the Repubs." Tell that to the growing masses of unemployed, to the families and individuals who can't afford decent food, or rent, or gas, or health insurance (even, make that especially, under Obamacare). Tell that to the many and increasing millions of people who are giving up all hope for a better future, or even a future that is survivable.

And, please, please note -- as Smith himself acknowledges later in his column -- that a Democrat pursuing these endlessly destructive policies has eviscerated any opposition that might have existed had a Republican pursued them, even if that opposition arose only out of the most primitive of political tribalist motives. Some of us tried to warn you about the profound danger of "The Fatal Illusion of Opposition" before the 2008 election. Most of you didn't give a shit.

And the "difference" Smith clings to permits him to arrive here:
This doesn't mean that one doesn't vote for a Demo thug as president or some lower position, but it means that one does so recognizing that the selection of the least dangerous mob in town is a far different matter than backing a political cause.


Vote for the bastards who will [...] do us the least harm.
Here's a bumper sticker for you pigfucker-lovers:
Eating shit yourself because you feel (wrongly) that you have no choice is one thing. Encouraging others to eat shit is distinctly different, far worse, and entirely unforgivable.

No column of this kind would be complete without the bland, futile appeal to "what will really save us!," and Smith obligingly complies:
If America is to be saved, it will because of movements outside the mainstream political game. It's always been like that and will continue to be so.


[I]f you want to be part of the story – and you are whether you desire it or not – then that only thing that will really matter is what you do outside the voting booth.

For in the end, there's nobody who can make a better difference but us.
"[T]here's nobody who can make a better difference but us." Gosh and gee willikers, that sounds a lot like the blood-guzzling, flesh-eating pigfucker that Smith tells you to vote for, because he'll "do us the least harm." Doncha love irony? I do, even when it makes me throw up.

Note that Smith doesn't claim that Obama and the Democrats won't harm you. He claims only that they'll harm you less than the Republicans. Also note why the argument so obviously fails: when Obama is determined to destroy you, either quickly (remember that Obama claims the "right" and power to murder anyone in the world, whenever he wants, for whatever reason he wishes, that is, he claims to hold absolute power) or more slowly (by determinedly siphoning every last bit of wealth, hope and possibility from everyone else to the upper one or two percent of the ruling class), to claim that your ultimate destruction at the hands of Democrats isn't quite as bad as your ultimate destruction at the hands of Republicans is to say there is no difference at all.

Get it, you obedient and willing pigfucker-collaborationists?

Oh, Arthur, some of you whine. You're being so extreme! And so, so mean and nasty. And isn't Smith actually on your side in the end?

Is he? Is he?

Consider these words from Hannah Arendt:
The reason, however, that we can hold these new criminals, who never committed a crime out of their own initiative, nevertheless responsible for what they did is that there is no such thing as obedience in political and moral matters. The only domain where the word could possibly apply to adults who are not slaves is the domain of religion, in which people say that they obey the word or the command of God because the relationship between God and man can rightly be seen in terms similar to the relation between adult and child.

Hence the question addressed to those who participated and obeyed orders should never be, "Why did you obey?" but "Why did you support?" This change of words is no semantic irrelevancy for those who know the strange and powerful influence mere "words" have over the minds of men who, first of all, are speaking animals. Much would be gained if we could eliminate this pernicious word "obedience" from our vocabulary of moral and political thought. If we think these matters through, we might regain some measure of self-confidence and even pride, that is, regain what former times called the dignity or the honor of man: not perhaps of mankind but of the status of being human.
You will find a longer excerpt from the Arendt essay in, "The Honor of Being Human: Why Do You Support?"

At the conclusion of that article, published toward the end of 2007, I wrote the following:
The Bush administration has announced to the world, and to all Americans, that this is what the United States now stands for: a vicious determination to dominate the world, criminal, genocidal wars of aggression, torture, and an increasingly brutal and brutalizing authoritarian state at home. That is what we stand for.

And who says otherwise? The Democrats could -- and the most forceful means of doing so, the only method that is appropriate to this historic moment, the method that is absolutely required if we are to turn away from this catastrophic, murderous course, is impeachment. That is the one method the Democrats will categorically, absolutely not utilize -- because the Democrats are a crucial, inextricable part of the identical authoritarian-corporatist system that has led us to these horrors. They have all worked toward this end over many decades, Democrats and Republicans alike, and now the horrors manifest themselves explicitly, without apology, even with the sickening boastfulness of the mass murderer who is proud of what he has done, and who vehemently believes he is right.

So the dare goes unanswered. These horrors are what the United States now stands for.
The Obama administration has proved the truth of my argument to a degree that makes my contention unarguable, and there is no longer any question whatsoever that "the Democrats are a crucial, inextricable part of the identical authoritarian-corporatist system that has led us to these horrors." Again, a few of us warned you about this -- see the essays discussed here as well -- but almost none of you gave a shit. It appears many of you still don't.

These are the final paragraphs from "The Honor of Being Human":
I repeat once more: these horrors are now what the United States stands for. Thus, for every adult American, the question is not, "Why do you obey?" but:

Why do you support?

Or will you refuse to give your support? Will you say, "No"? These are the paramount questions at this moment in history, and in the life of the United States. We all must answer them. Our honor, our humanity, and our souls lie in the balance.
You can make whatever excuses you want, and you can offer shabby rationalizations like those put forth by Smith. The brute and brutal, murderous fact remains unchanged: If you vote for Obama, if you vote for any Democrat or Republican, you are supporting these horrors.

That means that you are a pigfucker, too.

Given developments of the last few years, I would now go further. If you participate in national elections at all, you are supporting these horrors. I will explain why I say that next time.