Thursday, February 24, 2005

On bringing down the political house

A long, thoughtful piece by Stirling Newberry:
... Now there are many who would scoff at this idea [that we're in a constitutional crisis], saying that big things don't happen. It is the strong version of the Copernican thesis - where ever you are is, by definition, unimportant. As far as I can tell there is exactly one person who has agreed with the reverse of that thesis all along, that instead we are at an important moment, and has methodically pursued the chance for the Republican Party to be the one that determines the shape of the new constitutional order. His name is Karl Rove, perhaps you've heard of him.

...The crisis isn't in the fall of the dollar, the jobless recovery, the budget deficit, voting irregularities, corruption in the media and congress - or even Iraq and Social Security.

It is in how these parts fit together to create one pervasive reactionary order. No one of them can be solved alone. One cannot fix the voting system, and not fix what people are voting for. One cannot shake up the corrupt rotten borough system of electoral districts, without changing the nature of parties. One cannot fix the jobs and debt crisis - without changing the politicians who are doing the deciding. And so on...
From Timothy Burke last September, in here:
But there’s another analogy [than Weimar Germany, to our current situation] out there that in some ways bothers me even more, and seems even more to the point, and that’s to the 1948 elections in South Africa.
Every society has moments where there is a chance that the pendulum of political change will stop swinging from side to side, where forces and circumstances align that threaten to break the pendulum altogether, where the rules of the political game get so thoroughly violated and discarded that the game comes to an end. When that happens, a lot more than the pendulum of change tends to get broken, and people decades hence will find themselves shackled to a future that they did not choose, do not want, but cannot escape.
Also Brian Leiter on this post by PZ Myers.

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