Wednesday, August 31, 2005

  God bless the "two-party" system

It’s refreshing to see that the current state of affairs in our country is helping some people recognize that there are fundamental problems with the system that we’ve allowed to evolve. The idea that one political party or the other has any abiding interest in doing anything for anyone apart from maintaining and increasing its own power is an illusion. And in fact, maintaining that illusion (that you have a choice in who governs you and how) is a high priority for those who hold and exercise power.

I’d suggest that any honest person who steps back from the dogma of whatever label one has adopted to describe their affiliation and beliefs could easily find many, many examples of very similar ideas being promoted by “both sides” that are disagreeable as well as counter-productive to one’s perceived best interests. Two recent glaring examples are the “significant differences” between the two candidates offered up in last year’s presidential election and the mostly unashamed essentially identical position both political parties have held concerning our involvement in Iraq since the beginning of the episode. (That some anti-war people continue to believe that putting a Democrat in the White House or a bunch of them in Congress will fix the whole thing is remarkable.)

In my opinion, getting past preconceived ideas about left-right/liberal-conservative/Democrat-Republican is essential to making any real progress in any of the areas that we, the people are concerned about. These artificial divisions are the creation of those who aim to consolidate control (no matter what well-meaning, wonderful sounding language is used to describe their aspirations) and encourage us to think of our neighbors as the enemy. It works well, don’t you think? Righties and lefties hate each other and that works out well for the divide-and-conquer mentality used so well to keep us in line. As long as we’re fighting each other, we’re far less likely to look behind the curtain.

If nothing else makes the point, consider this: no matter which side of the philosophical divide one calls home, there tends to be fairly universal agreement that it’s acceptable for our government to use force against citizens to achieve ends that are for the “good of the people.” If you agree with a specific end, then you don’t tend to think about the force involved to achieve it. If you don’t agree, you may voice disagreement about the goal and even maybe the means being used to get there. But for the most part, people don’t consider whether or not the ends EVER justify the means (as most humans do in their own personal interactions) when it’s the government who’s exercising force. Traditional conservatives are likely to be against being forced to give up their guns but want their government to use force to keep other citizens from having abortions. Traditional liberals don’t want the government telling them what books to read but actively petition the government to make Darwinism the law of the land. However, no one seems willing to accept that the club that’s put in the hands of those in power to do all those things you’re in favor of is STILL A CLUB. And when push comes to shove, make no mistake about it…the club will be used on you (for the good for the people, of course).

So, if we can’t see anything else, we should be able to recognize this: What we all have in common is a government to which we’ve granted the power to literally kill us if that suits its ends. Is all we’re every going to do is try to figure out which “side” might be a little less likely to pull the trigger? Or are we going to recognize that something far more fundamental needs to be addressed?
Sunday, August 28, 2005

"State sovereignty which is set up for the good of 'the people' is easily turned against the people."

Name: Bill St James
Location: Portland, OR

Let's celebrate uninformed uniformity

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