Embrace Obfuscation

August 18, 2009

So I was feeling frustrated with politicians in general and with all of the partisan hoo-hah about what healthcare reform is or should be, and my reading led me to this article. I could just not NOT share this after reading it. I’ve been feeling lately like I’m too left for Democrats, but definitely NOT a Republican. I am a fan of collectives and co-ops and have been learning more and more about Anarchism lately. And then I have several Libertarian-identified friends. And I agree with them at times, but then again we clash because I have Socialist leanings, too. Anyway, here’s a tiny piece of the aforementioned article that cites from another piece (hehe, a little confusing because of the citation within a citation, but bear with me):

In the United States’ proto-totalitarian election-focused political culture, Wolin elaborated, “the parties set out to mobilize the citizen-as-voter, to define political obligation as fulfilled by the casting of a vote. Afterwards, post-election politics of lobbying, repaying donors, and promoting corporate interests – the real players – takes over. The effect is to demobilize the citizenry, to teach them not to be involved or to ponder matters that are either settled or beyond their efficacy….The timidity of a Democratic Party mesmerized by centrist precepts,” Wolin observed, “points to the crucial fact that, for the poor, minorities, the working-class, anticorporatists, pro-environmentalists, and anti-imperialists, there is no opposition party working actively on their behalf.” (Wolin, Democracy Incorporated, pp. 201, 205, 206).
 (From ZNet article “Frank Rich, Barack Obama, and the Corporatist ‘Punking’ of America”)

This led me to think that, some days, I am a Libertarian Socialist.

Some capitalist libertarians argue that freedom and equality are often in conflict with one another, and that promoting equality (as valued by socialism) will inherently require restrictions on liberty (as valued by libertarianism), forcing the society to choose one or the other as their primary value. The Kurt Vonnegut story “Harrison Bergeron”, in which equality is enforced by imposing physical and mental handicaps on overachievers, can be seen as illustrating this point through hyperbole (though Vonnegut’s own belief in socialism is a point of interest).

Libertarian socialists typically dismiss the perceived contradiction between freedom and equality as a red herring. Noam Chomsky states that, “human talents vary considerably, within a fixed framework that is characteristic of the species and that permits ample scope for creative work, including the appreciation of the creative achievements of others. This should be a matter of delight rather than a condition to be abhorred.”  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism).

Know what I mean, Vern?



2 Responses to “Embrace Obfuscation”

  1. Miz H Says:

    Join the political party my friend and I created–the Liberaltarians! We believe in giving people what they need for a decent life (roads, schools, HEALTH CARE,living minimum wage, modest national defense, etc.) then leaving them the hell alone.

    My dad actively identifies as a hard core Socialist, and often says if it could work out, he’d be Communist. I like him.

  2. beamish Says:

    i’m THERE.

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