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An Experiment in Ideology

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I think it would be interesting to split this country in two. Perhaps that should have happened ages ago during the Civil War. Perhaps we should have broken up at the Mason Dixon line and parted ways as two incompatible friends with fond memories. But since we didn’t, and since Abraham Lincoln’s “united we stand; divided we fall” speech is turning into an eerily accurate prophecy, I think it’s time for just such an experiment in ideology.

So here is my proposal: Let’s separate the nation. We’ll call it a trial separation if you like, but let’s go our separate ideological ways and see what happens. Logistically, we would have to opt for some kind of European Union style pact whereby both trial nations get to use the same currency and travel freely across borders. We could both take the existing structure of the U.S. government and the existing constitution. But that’s where the similarity would end.

On the liberal side, we could socialize to our bleeding hearts’ content because people who would choose to live here would know that we are stronger acting collectively than as individuals. We could have health care for all people, an equitable educational system that isn’t based on the wealth of the surrounding communities, prisons that reform rather than lock away, and myriad other policies based on sound research and scientific study. We would take a clue from other social democracies such as Switzerland, Denmark, France, and Australia where quality of life is highest. Yes, we would pay more taxes, but they would be fairer taxes, and the benefits that come with them would outweigh the costs.

On the conservative side, they could individualize and privatize and religiolize to their hearts’ content because people who would choose to live there would know that pulling oneself up by the bootstraps and believing in Jesus Christ is all it takes. They could work hard and save and get the best of what they can pay for as individuals with no interference from government. They could do away with all government spending, all financial regulations, and pay minuscule taxes for a military and little else. They could have a national religion and make moral policies law. They could all go to private schools and drive gigantic SUVs and pollute their natural environment as much as they like. They could build a giant fence around their nation and isolate themselves from the rest of the world for as long as they live.

Either scenario sound idyllic? Well why wait?

The Sarah Palins, Newt Gingriches, and Mitt Romneys of the world are never going to convince liberals that their individualistic way of thinking is correct (because by all measurable standards it isn’t). And I’m certainly not ever going to be able to convince conservatives that “public” is not a bad word or that they consistently vote against their own best interests (even though it’s true).

So why do we insist on staying married? For the kids? Because we’re sure not doing our descendants any favors with all of this fighting.

Isn’t it time for an amicable separation?

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About Meggan's Moustache

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    It’s always nice to be reminded how consistently arrogance goes hand in hand with ignorance. If you know a subject it’s much harder to dismiss and disdain it, and since you clearly know almost nothing about the actual beliefs of the political right you can feel secure in your arrogant misrepresentations.

    And BTW, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin are hardly the kind of idealistic conservatives you are trying to stereotype. Romney is a moderate. Palin is a populist with some socialist leanings. Gingrich is basically a slightly more conservative moderate. They would probably prefer to be in your socialist paradise. They certainly wouldn’t want to be in the anarchist utopia you envision as the alternative.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    “Palin is a populist with some socialist leanings.”

    if that’s true, who isn’t a socialist at this point? if you believe in a city pool, you’re a socialist, it seems.

    tell us why palin is a socialist. it might be interesting.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The socialist net Dave casts gets wider by the minute, doesn’t it?

  • Arch Consewrvative

    I’m conservative yet not religious at all.

    Thanks for stereotyping me Meggan [Edited]!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena/ Is it Easter Yet?

    And I am more conservative than Arch Conservative in some ways and less conservative than Arch Conservative in some ways and more religious (read: I am more God-oriented, though not necessarily more moral) than Arch Conservative.

    Human beings are a fascinating bunch, oh Mustachioed One, and it’s far more enlightening and productive to find similarities rather than differences. That’s how you discover “common ground,” the land upon which you resolve differences, or learn to turn them into mutual assets.

    I, similar to liberals, love latte, but usually go with “Americano with room” because then I can use the Cafe’s cream and sugar at the condiment stand for free instead of paying for it. Whether this is admiral conservative thriftiness or capitalist pig stinginess, is a matter of debate. Love of latte is “common ground” where we can work out that question. There’s also a good pun there somewhere.

  • http://www.somethingelsereviews.com Mark Saleski

    It’s always nice to be reminded how consistently arrogance goes hand in hand with ignorance.

    …stated without a hint of irony. awesome.

  • troll

    …the moustache has the right idea but clearly from the comments the division needs to be into quarters or eighths

  • Taquito

    I love how having a decent, humane standard of living without power-hungry murderers at the helm is considered an “anarchist utopia” by the first commenter, and not in what sounds like a positive way, either. Then he goes on to categorize fools like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin.

    Just another reason to wince at what goes on in the USA: people who cannot literally function without some neat title or category painted on top of everything and everyone.

  • Boeke

    Frankly, I think we should have kicked the confederate out of the union 150 years ago when we had a chance. We could have done away with forcing states to go slave even when they didn’t want to, we would have strengthened the real union and eventually the southern states would have begged to get back in as free states. And we wouldn’t have this horrible legacy of the confederacy, which was ignoble slavery.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    if that’s true, who isn’t a socialist at this point? if you believe in a city pool, you’re a socialist, it seems.

    Socialism has become the default in our society. Reversing that trend is going to be a big job.

    tell us why palin is a socialist. it might be interesting.

    I suppose she’s a socialist by default, but as governor of Alaska she actively expanded several major subsidy programs and social welfare programs. They’re mostly special programs which are unique to Alaska, but she did nothing to try to reduce the scope and cost of these programs.

    But look, most Republicans have become socialists as well. What do you think Pat Buchanan or these other anti-immigration dunces are? They want to use the power of government to counter the natural forces of the labor market for the “greater good” of the society. Same thing for the fanatics who want to use government to legislate morality. Socialism.

    Dave

  • http://meggansmoustache.blogspot.com Meggan’s Moustache

    Oh, the irony!

    @Dave: If you know a subject, it’s much harder to dismiss and disdain it, and since you clearly know almost nothing about socialism, you can feel secure in your arrogant misrepresentations. :)

  • Cannonshop

    #11 I’d suspect, Meggan, that Mr. Nalle knows more about socialists, than you know about capitalists, Libertarians, right-leaning fiscal conservatives, or small-government people.

    I’d further suspect, given the tone of your article, that any of the above that you MIGHT know, are probably relatives of the sort you avoid, but can’t avoid knowing…because they’re family members. (albeit likely distant.)

    Just a suspicion, mind…

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Just one question, but a biggie: Which side gets the flying unicorns?

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://meggansmoustache.blogspot.com Meggan’s Moustache

    @cannonshop: nope

    @dan(miller): fact: flying unicorns love liberals. it must be our rainbow flags that draw them in. seriously, it’s like moths to a flame.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I suppose she’s a socialist by default

    Huh???

  • Clavos

    By damn, I insist on the right to vote against my own best interests, and as soon as I find out what my own best interests are, will do so — early and often.

  • zingzing

    dave: “Socialism has become the default in our society. Reversing that trend is going to be a big job.”

    if that’s what you believe, have fun working that brick wall, sir. if it wastes your time, i guess that’s ok with me.

  • S.T..M

    It doesn’t matter who you vote for.

    Either way, you always end up with a government.

  • Cannonshop

    #14 Oh, so you don’t (in real life) know any…including relatives. at least, any that will actually admit to it, it must be interesting to live in such a sterilized, ideologically pure environment, or to be so isolated your only friends happen to share your politics.

    As a Liberal, you should endeavour to meet real-life people whose views are different-it gives you a scale by which to evaluate your own views, and some perspective on what constitutes an accurate critique of the other side, versus the canned talking points you only get from watching the telly.

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Clav, you apparently are concerned (understandably) that you haven’t figured out what your own best interests are: as soon as I find out what my own best interests are. . . “

    Not to worry. When it is time for you to know, a flying unicorn will visit and tell you. Quite simple, really.

    Dan(Miller)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    @1

    I don’t see the reason for the vitriol, Dave. Obviously, the subject article verges on being a satire.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Meggan –

    I agree wholeheartedly – let the red states go their own way! I strongly support the segregationist movement in Texas. Let them find out the hard way what happens to the people when the oligarchs hold all the power, when they learn that without proper regulation, the rules of the marketplace are what the oligarchs determine them to be….

    But you know, there’s only one problem. Once the red states secede and make their own nation, it would – as many third-world countries do – devolve into a dictatorship…and in this case it would be a nuclear-armed dictatorship. And they would look at the much more prosperous blue states and accuse us of stealing all that they hold dear…

    …especially since through most of our history, blue states generally pay out more in federal tax dollars than they receive, and red states generally receive more federal tax dollars than they pay out. Then the red states will stop getting billions of blue-state money that they’re getting now…and we can all guess what happens then.

    So let’s try something different! Let’s pass a law stating that the federal government must spend an amount in each state equivalent to the amount in federal taxes paid out by that state! Of course this is completely unworkable…but I’d love to see what happens when the red states stop getting so much more money than they pay out, and how much they’d whine, moan, and complain.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Arch –

    I’m conservative yet not religious at all.

    Yet you, like all the other secular conservatives, will vote for the politicians who would enshrine creationism (if not completely refuse to teach evolution) in our schools and utterly destroy the separation of church and state.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Meggan writes pretty dreadful articles, but they always draw a colorful bunch of comments. Fun stuff.

    I enjoyed Dave calling Newt Gingrich a ‘moderate’ even more than I enjoyed his explanation for why Palin is a ‘socialist.’

    Actually, they are both the same thing: opportunists. True of most politicians, of course, but lately Palin and Gingrich have been borrowing just about exclusively from the far right, both socially and fiscally. Her [bare and brief] record as governor and his [long long ago] record as speaker are irrelevant to their current political masks.

    Anyhow, ‘socialist’ and ‘moderate’ are just more comical absurdity coming from the most rigid tunnel-vision propagandist writing on this site, who shares with us the wacky worldview he sees from inside a warped kaleidoscope.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    “Her [bare and brief] record as governor and his [long long ago] record as speaker are irrelevant to their current political masks.”

    An astute observation. Now, your assignment for today, should you chose to accept it, is to find parallels across the political divide.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    No problem: Obama’s political identity is fluid, too. But the current theatrical role he is choosing is Reasonable Grownup in a room full of extremist crybabies, left and right. It is serving him well, and whether he is sincere is secondary.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    There’s something to be said, though, for adopting political positions which appear to be rooted in empathy rather than in appeals to narrowly-conceived self-interests, especially when these roles are well-enacted and ring true with conviction and passion, At bottom, those positions tend to convey greater understanding of the nature of human societies/communities, are more comprehensive for the fact, and command a wider appeal. So apart from mere role enactment, there may well be substantive differences.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Playing the empathy card is made a lot easier when you have an opponent [Ryan] who appears to have more empathy for multimillionaires than for elderly and poor people.

    I’m sure Paul Ryan as an individual [and a good Catholic] holds somewhere within him a reasonable amount of empathy; but he allows himself to be completely constrained by robotically rigid ideology:

    Never. Raise. Taxes. Always. Lower. Taxes.
    and
    Must. Keep. Chopping. At. Welfare. State.

    The political tone-deafness is breathtaking.

  • John Lake

    Hadn’t been for Nalle, I wouldn’t a-known it was a socialist thing. Thought it might be a birther thing.
    “On the liberal side, we could socialize to our bleeding hearts’ content because people who would choose to live here would know that we are stronger acting collectively than as individuals…”
    Talk about your Utopian paragraph. We should try that.
    But if we were a little noveo-socialist, we could assure that politicians would not benefit from taking the corporate stand. That corporate stand will soon take this once-great nation straight to hell.
    When the “interest groups” spread their talons to include Democrats, independents, and the throng, there won’t be much left. We can thank the Noble Supreme Court for their clear thinking on that one.
    If I have to sit through one more attempt to examine the McCarthy hearings, I may vomit.

  • Is It Easter Yet?

    @Meggan’s Moustache (and @Meggan, in general) and to Comments Editor:

    My earlier comment about latte vs. “Americanos with room” became a non-sequitur after Arch Conservative’s all-in-the-spirit-of-fun literary abusive of M&M and her liberal latte-sipping ways was deleted. The comment editors USED to delete any [innocuous] comments that were replies to the offending deleted comment, to preserve the continuity of the thread. It may be that the rule did not apply to my comment, which was more of a spin-off of Arch’s comment than an actual reply to it.

    But you know, the cafe Americano thing kind of WORKED better with Arch’s literary abuse in the comment preceding, at least the latte-sipping part of it, and perhaps, the comment editors might also, upon a second reading, perceive the stylistic deficiencies of the comment thread with Arch’s comment GONE and my comment REMAINING, and could delete my comment as well. Your call, comments editor. Of course, I suppose if you don’t delete my comment, THIS comment (the one you are reading now) would serve as a sort of footnote.)

    Now back to Meggan’s Moustache.

    Speaking of Arch Conservative’s (perhaps) all-in-the-spirit-of-fun literary abuse of you. It could be that this article WAS satirical, too, but fact is, my feelings were hurt too much for the signals coming from the satire-recognition center of my brain to gain the upper hand.

    Well here it is: It must be annoying for people who write satire when people don’t “get” that their articles are satire. So, I want to apologize that I didn’t appreciate the piece’s fine satirical qualities before commenting and acting all “why can’t we just get along” etc. But I DO get it now…unless…

    …it really WASN’T satire, and you really DO want me in a country remote from yours, in which case you probably also want me not to ever ever comment on any more articles of yours ever again. In which case I won’t because if there’s one thing I don’t want to be in Blog Critics, it’s a tiresome nuisance in the comment section.

    But back to the other hand, if it WAS satire, then if I don’t ever ever comment on any of your articles ever again, then might I not be projecting precisely the image that I am hoping to avoid, that of the satire-un-recognizing sulking humorless conservative who can’t take a joke?

    I am in an infinite loop now.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Socialism has become the default in our society. Reversing that trend is going to be a big job.

    But Dave, maybe ‘socialism‘ is more in line with human nature than individualism. Perhaps everyone is a ‘socialist’ because their nature cannot be denied. How can people all be ‘socialists’ if their very nature is to compete? Are people going against their own genetic make up?

  • troll

    Dave re #10 – what are these ‘natural forces’ in the labor market that you claim exist…pricing labor is (and has been from the jump) a political playground

  • Boeke

    31-Cindy is right: the human animal IS a social animal which is ENTIRELY dependent on it’s fellows. Not a ONE of us would have survived the first week of life without the cooperation of human social beings. Indeed, most of us require many many years of support and protection.

    It is the way that we are. The human is a gregarious animal.

    Cooperation is as important as competition. In fact, it may be much more important. Competition simply isn’t strong enough to power a society, and at the same time it has terrific destructive power.

    Most of the great achievements in human society proceed from the cooperative impulse. Competition is a sort of fine tuning step to allow strong competitors to express themselves, and maybe do some good for society. But over-dependence on competition leads to mutual destruction. The ultimate end-game is a winner-take-all in which one person prospers and ALL others are destitute.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Since Dave, as a Libertarian, would say that people are naturally competitive and selfish, I am wondering how he can explain all these socialists everywhere. Are people going against their naturally selfish nature? How can it be their nature in that case?

    Dave? What do you think?

  • Cannonshop

    #34 When you can use the collective to advance yourself over others? it’s easy to see how. Socialism requires centralized control of resources, and relies on creating addiction to the System as the means to address all problems, therefore, you have people who’ve bought into an offer of largesse (consider the Nigerian Internet banking scam as your example, and how easily people fall for THAT.)

    Socialism offers something-for-nothing or something-for-very-little, human beings tend, like water, to find the easiest route, offer them an easy route (Uncle Sam will pay for it!) and you’ve got a guaranteed voter base.

  • Boeke

    #35 is utterly mystifying. How does one “use the collective to advance yourself over others?” Is that somehow different from struggling for a promotion?

  • Cannonshop

    #36 It hinges a lot on whether your struggle for promotion is based on merit, or on connections. In a non-socialist system, connections don’t get you squat most of the time-too much competition, organizations can’t afford cronies or nepotism. In a highly-centralized situation (Such as socialism) Merit doesn’t get you squat-it really does not matter how hard, or well, you work, only that you know how to grease your way into the good offices of those with political power-because in a socialist system, political power IS economic power-the two are never at odds, having the same power structure.

    Producers and Regulators should NEVER be in bed together, much less in bed, and related.

  • Cannonshop

    Let me try to clarify, Boeke: it’s the same problem you have with managers belonging to/holding offices in the union. The only healthy relationship between regulators and business, is essentially an adversarial one, predicated on service to the customer base/taxpayers, when they collude, it only ever harms taxpayers and customers-and don’t make a mistake about it, Big Business interests and Big Government interests are mutually INclusive-that is, they’re the same interests, “Public/Private Partnership” is a nice way of saying “Corporate Welfare at the expense of the common citizen.”

    Entitlements are the snake-oil used to grease this machine- by telling the taxpayer/citizens that they will recieve benefits if they just sacrifice more and more of their autonomy, it creates a situation where the rational choice at the individual level, is potentially catastrophic at the societal level when the bills come due. Extension of unending credit and addiction to debt is the fuel that keeps this burning, and straw-man make-believe issues like Abortion or where the President was born provide a smoke-screen and distraction to hide the real damage being done in the people’s name.

    Socialism is the control, by a central authority, of the means of economic production. This, by definition, means your producing sector is controlled by your regulators DIRECTLY, and those regulators in turn are controlled by the rhetoric of the ruling party-directly. Effectively it’s bribe-culture and influence-peddling writ large and legitimized as policy.

  • Cannonshop

    Oh, and clarifying the original question a bit…

    Getting people to do things against their own self-interest is at the heart of an entire industry-it’s called ‘Advertising’ and it’s a refined process of getting people to buy shit that they don’t need, and often shit that isn’t good for them…

    i.e. to act against their own self-interest. If people acted in their own self-interest, tobacco companies would have to rely on religious sales to Native Tribes (representing, at most, one to two uses per year, not sufficient to support a multibillion dollar industry), Alcohol companies would have to rely on industrial solvent sales, drug-dealers wouldn’t be making millions with imported organic poisons, and the crime rate would be a lot lower than it is-the amount of work it takes to run a crack-house could run a corner store at a large profit without the legal hassles or violence.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Cannonshop,

    Socialism is an economic and political theory advocating public or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources.[1][2][3] A socialist society is organized on the basis of relatively equal power-relations, self-management, dispersed decision-making (adhocracy) and a reduction or elimination of hierarchical and bureaucratic forms of administration and governance, the extent of which varies in different types of socialism.[4][5] This ranges from the establishment of cooperative management structures to the abolition of all hierarchical structures in favor of free association.”

    Why do you imagine that CENTRAL control of anything is required under socialism?

    (Consider your claims about the state and corporate welfare, couldn’t a state also similarly distort socialism?)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    You may wish to find out what libertarian socialism is. (Hint: it is a form of stateless socialism.)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    37 – …connections don’t get you squat most of the time-too much competition…

    That is the exact opposite of the bulk of my direct personal experience with regard to privately held businesses.

    (Which just made me realize that sexism is rampant in the ‘actual’ free market!)

  • troll

    (…’adhocracy’…I shoulda thought of that)

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: “In a non-socialist system, connections don’t get you squat most of the time-too much competition, organizations can’t afford cronies or nepotism.”

    holy shit. that’s the biggest load of fantasy i’ve ever read. it’s a “who you know” world out there, and that’s just a fact. it’s like you’ve never heard of networking. what the hell is this, the 50s? did the 50s even exist?

    cannonshop, you’re only fooling yourself.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    All modern democracies are a hybrid of free markets and socialism, but the US is by far the least socialistic. [If I’m wrong on that, please tell me what the other countries are.]

    Yet Cannon and others here continue to make jaw-dropping claims about how dependent people are on the government. It’s Fantasyland.

  • Boeke

    I can’t follow cannonshops argument at all.

  • zingzing

    “I can’t follow cannonshops argument at all.”

    read it as what it is… fiction.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I never said that people are necessarily selfish, but certainly most are. And I never said that selfishness was a good thing on which to base society, though it certainly has to be accounted for.

    Many here seem to be confusing society or the social contract with socialism. Having a functioning society does not require socialism, and caring for others and wanting to have them lead better lives cannot only be addressed with socialism.

    Socialism as it functions today is the forced equalization of the members of society against the interests of some and to the benefit of others. It is the use of mob rule and democratic institutions to improve the conditions of the unproductive at the expense of the productive members of society.

    This is particularly bad today as we now have an unproductive majority and our productive minority is shrinking and less and less able to support this growing burden.

    You can praise this as more human or more equal, but even if that is true, the fact remains that it is not a functional way to run a prosperous society. It discourages success and accomplishment and ambition and encourages dependence and corruption.

    Taking the entire country down to financial ruin in the name of doing good for the needy still plunges us all into disaster despite the good intentions.

    Dave

  • Cannonshop

    #48 might also add that, in the long run, it not only doesn’t help the needy, but it creates MORE needy that won’t be helped. “Equalizing” everyone into a mud hut isn’t a good idea.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Many here seem to be confusing society or the social contract with socialism.

    Including yourself, Dave.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Neither 48 nor 49 is an accurate depiction of the United States. They present an ideological fantasy.

    Since the last 30 years [at least] have seen a great increase in income inequality, a financial stagnation or regression for the middle class and the poor, how can anyone claim with a straight face that we are ‘equalizing everyone into a mud hut’?

    Dave talks about a productive minority and an unproductive majority. These sound convenient, and fictional, to me. Any stats [and for that matter definitions] to back them up?

  • troll

    too bad the word ‘socialism’ is dug into the language and the debate like a tick – it sure doesn’t facilitate communication

    Dave and Cannonshop abhor the free rider and the elements in our distribution system that encourage him – and mistakenly lay the blame on ‘socialism’

    but the modern US free rider is the political child of capitalist production with its required ‘army of unemployed’ and its captured and corrupted government – there is no good reason to assume that the problem would persist among workers at least in any big way if folks weren’t forced into idleness in order to control labor’s price

    …cutting owners off from subsidies advantages and protections might prove more difficult than simply pointing board members and shareholders towards productive jobs though

  • troll

    too bad the word ‘socialism’ is dug into the language and the debate like a tick – it sure doesn’t facilitate communication

    Dave and Cannonshop abhor the free rider and the elements in our distribution system that encourage him – and mistakenly lay the blame on ‘socialism’

    but the modern US free rider is the political child of capitalist production with its required ‘army of unemployed’ and its captured and corrupted government – there is no good reason to assume that the problem would persist among workers at least in any big way if folks weren’t forced into idleness in order to control labor’s price

    …cutting owners off from subsidies advantages and protections might prove more difficult than simply pointing board members and shareholders towards productive jobs though

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Troll, the negatives you describe are not characteristic of capitalism, they are characteristic of state corporatism, which is certainly a problem. But it is iteself a sort of outgrowth of socialism, where the risk of business is socialized by the government – shared among the people instead of shouldered by the corporations themselves. It’s one of the worst kinds of socialism.

    Dave

  • Boeke

    State corporatism IS American capitalism!

    And that, incidentally, is Facsism.
    u

  • Dan

    No one seems to notice that Megan M. and like minded progressives here are embracing a conservative traditional value.

    Federalism provides for the kind of social laboratories where people could be free to associate with others who shared their vision.

    fifty states could become fifty laboratories. We could learn a lot about ourselves from a national experiment like that. That’s not something everyone would want known.

    Progressives forget their reliance on authoritarianism some times. But they’re the ones who killed freedom of association.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Dan, you seem to me to have unwarranted confidence in a particular outcome of the experiment.

  • Dan

    Not me Dr. D., but some here have expressed confidence in “particular” outcomes of such experiments.

    I was mainly clarifying for them the conservative roots of their social fantasies, and reminding them how their totalitarian ideology forbids societal experimentation.

    I like the idea of states rights. I would guess that to some extent any type of government would run smoother with ideological homogenity of it’s population.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Speaking of states serving as incubators for social “innovations,” Rachel Maddow has been spotlighting the authoritarian side of several newly Republican state governments:

    Michigan can now forcibly take over local governments and appoint a czar [emergency financial manager] with unlimited power to fire elected officials. [Investment banks and other firms are lining up to take on this new set of jobs; 200 are currently being trained.]

    Doctors in Indiana will be required to read a state-mandated script to any woman requesting abortion — a medically inaccurate script at that.

    In Florida, anyone wanting to work for state government will face mandatory urine screening for drugs. So will everyone receiving unemployment benefits. [The governor’s wife just happens to run a company that provides the testing, how convenient.]

    She has several other examples, just visit her video site and blog.

    Viva la small, unintrusive government!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Dan (#58), you’re probably right, although no state is an island (at least not geopolitically). I suspect that the particular constitutional makeup of some of these politically homogeneous states would make outsiders uninclined to (a) do business with them (b) not make war on them.

  • Dan

    Dr. Dreadful, I guess everyone should have the right to boycott any state they don’t like, but since a shared obligation for maintenance of a scaled back Federal government is the only actual dealing with the disfavored state you need to engage in, war wouldn’t seem logical. Live and let live.

    handyguy demonstrates in #59 how unhappy he is with other states political decisions. That’s the problem. It is an unwillingness to allow others to structure their society contrary to his liking. He prefers constant political tension.

    Maybe there could be one state that featured constant political tension for people who like that.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    since a shared obligation for maintenance of a scaled back Federal government is the only actual dealing with the disfavored state you need to engage in, war wouldn’t seem logical. Live and let live.

    Such a system would be fine as long as everyone agreed to abide by it. However, I would remind you that a similar arrangement stopped working for about four years in 1861, resulting in the most catastrophic loss of life in American history.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    And the concept of states as separately governed countries is a fantasy that was decisively rejected in 1865.

    I would think examples of [as opposed to fictional claims of] anti-democratic, intrusive government might bother anyone, not just me.

  • Dan

    “And the concept of states as separately governed countries is a fantasy that was decisively rejected in 1865.”

    Yes, rejected by violence.

    “I would think examples of [as opposed to fictional claims of] anti-democratic, intrusive government might bother anyone, not just me.”

    I’m not bothered by people living the way they choose. All the examples you mention, despite your Orwellian perceptions, were the result of democratically elected officials acting in accordance with the wishes of a majority of their constituents.

    Handyguy reveals the regressive nature of “progressive” ideology. It’s the same primitive totalitarianism favored by Islamic jihadists.

    This was my original point, any sort of enlightened societal experimentation would never originate with “progressives”.