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Endgame

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As democracy in the United States approaches its endgame, a question arises: how will the compressed rage of the excluded boil over?

Consider: On almost every issue facing the country, the majority of Americans is at odds with the rightist Revolutionary Power (as Paul Krugman calls it) that directs the national government. Although the President remains popular, and will be easily re-elected, this fact is misleading. The Revolutionary Power rules by diverting popular discontent into military adventures abroad and, at home, by the racial and sexual scapegoating of minorities.

A few facts:

Most Americans favor some sort of national health insurance, and, specifically, a drug benefit for seniors. The Congress, under the tutelage of the insurance industry, is busy constructing a benefit that is not only dauntingly complex and chintzy, but will actually disempower large sectors of the elderly population.

Most Americans are strong supporters of environmental regulation: the White House, in partnership with industry, is cheerfully dismantling such protection.

The country overwhelmingly opposes the media consolidation imposed by Michael Powell’s FCC; however, thanks to the machinations of the large media outlets, there will be no Congressional vote overturning these rules.

Perhaps most importantly, a solid public majority is against the $87 billion aid package to Iraq, and has been ambivalent about the war from the beginning. It has been overruled. A fierce minority, meanwhile, to which I belong, opposes the entire venture and regards the U.S. government as illegitimate and oligarchic.

It can’t go on forever. At some point, the excluded voices will lash out.

There won’t be a “revolution.” Nor will there be an outburst of crime and rioting. These are the fantasies and delusions of the far right and the far left. There will, however, be a reaction, unhealthy, possibly violent, and horrific to witness. What will it be? I don’t know.

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About mike larkin

  • http://mcfrank.blogspot.com Chris Arabia

    …walking to the beat of delusional drums.

    if your ideas are so great, why do your preferred candidates keep losing elections?

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Chris: Because the majority is wrong more often than it cares to admit, perhaps?

    Mike: “There will, however, be a reaction, unhealthy, possibly violent, and horrific to witness.” That is exactly what this member of the pacifist wing of your “fierce minority” expects and fears.

  • http://www.particleman.org/ Particleman

    When i saw your post, the first thing that popped into my mind was Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.

    Anyway, comments like these never sit well with me:

    “There will, however, be a reaction, unhealthy, possibly violent, and horrific to witness.”

    I don’t think these kind of doom and gloom events are possible. If the government of which you speak is as corrupt and twisted as we know it is, then I think they would find ways to put a stop to any quasi-revolutionary events. With all the control they have over, uh, everything, i don’t see how they could let anything slip under their noses.

  • mike

    If such “doom and gloom events” are not possible, what about 9/11? Few people, including me, thought something that horrific could happen in the U.S. As Krugman keeps saying, as bad as things are in this country, they are about to get a lot, lot worse. And I don’t mean the economy, necessarily, since that should rebound briefly to get Bush re-elected. After all, God is a Republican.

  • http://www.particleman.org/ Particleman

    I was referring to events occuring within and as a result of Americans themselves.

  • JR

    “I don’t think these kind of doom and gloom events are possible. If the government of which you speak is as corrupt and twisted as we know it is, then I think they would find ways to put a stop to any quasi-revolutionary events. With all the control they have over, uh, everything, i don’t see how they could let anything slip under their noses.”

    Well, they let Bin Laden, Saddam, and Iraq’s WMD’s slip under their noses. Far smarter rulers than these bozos have been toppled. Remember the Bourbons? The Czars? The Shah? Leaders who exert that much control over their government inevitably lose touch with reality because they dictate the information that reaches them; they tend to stop hearing the reality of their situation and just hear what they’d like it to be. Sound familiar?

    So I’m not so pessimistic about our future; I think Bush will lose next year.

  • http://mcfrank.blogspot.com Chris Arabia

    no nat, what i mean is, sure, everyone can say they are pro-health care (the implication of the label borders on idiotic), but the real issue is how do you get there and at what cost. the same people who are pro-health care didnt seem to like hillary’s version.

    the same with the environment. everyone will say they are pro-environment, but what does that mean and who has to sacrifice? the “limits to growth” crowd, with its woefully inaccurate forecasts and pseudo-science, also cast the credibility of the greenish people into perennial question.

    in my view, this post takes a tautological cliche like “americans are pro-health care” and uses it to rationalize an inability to deal with the fact that “progressives” can’t win elections.

    your seemingly continual lack of faith in the electoral process is somewhat alarming. i’ll take an electorate over leftist philosopher kings any day.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Why is it alarming? I have a continual lack of faith in the government, period, and for many reasons, some of which I believe you already know. And I bow to no king.

  • http://www.particleman.org/ Particleman

    “your seemingly continual lack of faith in the electoral process is somewhat alarming.”

    I don’t think it’s that alarming considering the huge mess that was the Bush-Gore election.

    Philosopher kings claiming to forsee future catastrophic events don’t have much to stand on anyway, no matter their political stance.

  • http://www.particleman.org/ Particleman

    “And I bow to no king.”

    At least not knowingly ;o)

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Well, I bow to no one, so…

  • http://www.makeyougohmm.com/ TDavid

    Well, I bow to no one, so…

    It’s a traditional sign of respect in some cultures to bow, yes. Another Freudian slip, Natalie? Ok, ok, I’ll stop picking on you today. I’m just kidding really on this one.

  • http://mcfrank.blogspot.com Chris Arabia

    to point to imperfections in the u.s. electoral system is a bit of a diversion. the bush-gore election was a mess, so what? would 99-1 elections be better?

    krugman suffers from blind hatred of bush. he’ll look at a recovery and assert that it’s just a sinister plot.

    nat, what government would be better? (i mean as a system, independent of the single issue on marriage) the slowly decaying and untenable european model?

    somebody likened our government to the tsars, an indescribably idiotic comparison, so by godwin i’m leaving this post to the bollocks.

  • Taloran

    “as bad as things are in this country, they are about to get a lot, lot worse.”

    I hope Krugman is wrong, and fear he’s right. The current administration feeds my fear, and does nothing to help my hopes.

  • http://www.nataliedarbeloff.com/blaugustine.html Augustine

    Oh, so we’re slowly decaying and untenable over here in Europe, are we?

    Well, since we’re cheese-eating surrender monkeys and other similar critters, what do you expect? You’ll just have to come over and give us a regime change.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    Watch it, Augustine. Some warmongering fool over here is probably dumb enough to try it. No one on BC, of course, but anybody can access the site.

    Some of us love the people of France dearly.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    And in line with the title and theme of this essay:

    Something is taking its course.”

  • http://www.nataliedarbeloff.com/blaugustine.html Augustine

    Thanks, Natalie, you’re right. Mustn’t give anyone ideas!
    Anyway, being French-born, American-educated and naturalized, British-married, now living in London, formerly long-time Latin America resident, with Italian and Russian family links, and rather multi-lingual, I guess I’m fairly immune to any nationalistic put-downs.

  • http://fando.blogs.com Natalie Davis

    You are a citizen of the world, which IMO, is the best thing to be. London is like my second home; I love it there.

  • Eric Olsen

    I actually found this to be a fairly rational, calm, and effective presentation of mike’s political perspective, much more so than this – I assume – satirical screed.

    I do in general agree with his first three concerns: I want health care, am an environmentalist, and am against recent FCC moves, but Chris is also right – who isn’t in general agreement with these themes. It is the details that cause debate and contention: what specific health for whom for how much and who is going to pay for it? What is the best way to balance economic and environmental concerns, both of which are very real, and indeed vital?

    As far as Iraq and the War on Terror in general goes: this is where mike and I differ almost diametrically. This is, for him, Bush’s weakest area, his greatest folly – for me it is his greatest strength, and would be the primary reason for me to vote for him, if indeed I end up doign that. I have not come close to making up my mind yet.