Sunday, August 27, 2006
Okay, so I'm going to do great violence to the ideas of the political right and left by making them even dumbier than they already are. Kurt Vonnegut (keeps coming up lately, eh?) once wrote that the American right's ideas can be boiled down to something like "Winners are better than losers". Essentially, conservatives see history as a struggle between winners and losers, the weak and the strong, and side with the winners in every case. The reverse of this would be that liberals are people who always side with the losers.
I've said that there is a difference between libertarian leftists and vulgar leftists in that us libertarian types (drug-addled perverts basically) tend to focus on issues, while the vulgar leftists (crybabies and statists) tend to focus on groups and nations. The reason that vulgars are so often opposed to America is that America is huge and powerful and annoying- winners basically. The reason that vulgar conservatives believe that America should be able to do whatever it wants is that they see America as a big winner as well- might makes right. The extreme of the left is essentially self-loathing, and the extreme of the right is essentially authoritarianism.
Take, for example, homosexuals. Vulgar conservatives hate gays because 'God hates gays', and 'we love families', and 'what they do is disgusting', and blah-blah-blah. But, really, they hate gays because gays are a rarity- there are less of them, so they have little numerical power. They're an easy target. They're losers, in other words, and when they act like winners, they need to be slapped down by the winners, who are winners because there's more of them. Liberals, on the other hand, will pretend that gays, as losers, have some secret knowledge that the rest of us lack. They idealize homosexuals as bestowers of value, and argue that hetero families are just teddible, teddible. For the rest of us, in the sane world, gays just aren't a big deal. We don't hate or idolize them- we just accept that some cats dig cats, and some dig chicks, and so what? My postion on gays? They should have all the same rights as everyone else, and the state should not intrude into their lives. Surprising, I know.
So, vulgar conservatives support the rich, men, straights, Christians, the police, the military and every other group that generally comes out on top in this society. And, vulgar liberals support the poor, women, gays, non-Christians, criminals, guerrilas and every other group that is, in some sense, weaker. They tend towards a slave morality, while conservatives tend towards might as right- fascism basically. But, ironically enough, both extremes end in increased state power. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
The first thing to notice here is that Christianity actually is a slave morality, but it's not strange that it eventually became a victor ideology. Secondly, one should notice how fluid these vulgar ideas really are. If gays become numerically and socially superior, expect the Ann Coulters of the world to become their lickspittles. If Christians become an oppressed minority, expect the Michael Moores of the world to take up their cause.
Secondly, notice how bizarre this makes the War Against the Boogeyman. "Islamic-fascism" is hardly Islamic, but very much a fascist ideology. That is, it believes that might makes right. The reason that it has an aversion towards gays and women is that it sees them as weaker. Similarly, it has dreams of domination, and a mythology of past domination that was thwarted by clever schemers- and not surprisingly, Jewish schemers. Essentially, it is classic conservative fascism.
However, these people are a numerical minority that opposes the "winners"- so very vulgar leftists valorize them. For libertarian leftists like myself, this is repugnant- if there's anyone that Osama bin-Laden really hates, it's my friends, who are not only North American, but happy homosexuals, sluts, drug users and perverts. In fact, I've been saying forever that GLAAD needs to make posters in the old 1940s propaganda style, reading:
"If you're not gay, are you sure that you're really against terrorists?"
Nobody listens to me though.
So, I'm opposed to all fascists, but unlike the vulgar conservatives, I don't believe that the solution is to greatly increase state power (imagine that). I've seen how disasterous this tactic has been in fighting the Drug War, and conversely how successful education and advertising has been in opposing cigarette companies. In North America, smoking is becoming a rarity, while drugs...? Not so much.
Vulgar conservatives believe that you can promote our values through the use of great force. Vulgar liberals believe that our values are a cover for great force, and should be equally opposed. I think they're both full of shit. The values of the Enlightenment- religious tolerance, empirical reason, women's rights and minority rights, equality of opportunity and freedom, etc.- are worth fighting for, in my opinion. But, they're 100% worthless if they come at the end of a gun-barrel. If you want to torture me into loving kittens, expect that when you're done, I'm going to kill every kitten I see. Similarly, don't expect that you can bomb a country into religious tolerance and democracy. Terrorism and Democracy are not opposites of each other- sadly, they're often compatible.
But, don't try to convince me that Hamas has really good ideas, and we just need to listen to them. Fuck that. People who believe that my gay friends should be hanged? Not worth listening to. People who believe that Jews run the world, or that liberated women are a problem- not my allies. People who honestly believe in religious legalism- Phariseeism, in other words, and theocracy? Well, I hate them both over here and over there.
So, how exactly do we win the War on the Boogeyman? Well, first off, let's start admitting that the other side has no chance, okay? Nobody in their right mind thinks that Osama will rule the world- which is why both religious fascists and vulgar conservatives do expect this to happen. And then, let's start saying, very loudly and repeatedly, why it is that we support Enlightenment liberalism. Let's become evangelists against evangelists. Let's actually try to remember why is was that the founding fathers were so opposed to the idea of a state church in the first place, especially since we have people in power who would like one very much. Let's actually advocate for ideas, and not groups. Let's get the word out- liberated women are awesome! Gay rights just make sense! Marijuana does no harm! Free love is fun! Sex is healthy! Spirituality is healthy, but Osama bin Laden is a great example of why religion and politics don't mix. The government that governs best governs least. Only bullies believe that might makes right.
The ideas really are brilliant, and letting buffoons be the spokesman for them is a terrible idea. What we need isn't a war against terror and religious fascism. What we need is to throw a big fucking party against terror and religious fascism, and for increased and ever- increasing freedom. Let the religious nuts have their religious wars and thin out their mangy herds. I'd rather be mixing drinks. Like Emma Goldman said, if I can't dance, I don't want your revolution.
Posted by Rufus at 11:03 AM