11.04.2005

zealotry

In a recent comment, Kyle_From_Ottawa posted a link to an essay examining anti-Americanism, nationalism and the difference between hating what a government does and hating its people. The author also looks at how the rabid right uses that confusion to its advantage.

As we frequently discuss anti-Americanism here at wmtc - how to define it, whether it's plentiful in Canada - you might want to take a look. It's worth reading.

2 comments:

Kyle_From_Ottawa said...

What I thought was most intersting about it is that "real" anti-Americanism and uber-nationalism are two sides of the same coin. They both equate the government and the people, they just disagree with whether they are good or bad.

As for James's comments: the government is the tool by which the people administer their country, I think that would be the ideal, but not the reality. It's only partially true even in a democratic society, but it's even less true in the two-party race that is the U.S. To sum up "don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!".

A quote from another article sort of reveals this:
"Our options at this point are few and limited.

Most obviously, the electorate could bring back the Democrats.

Unfortunately, this avenue doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. Does anyone really believe that our problems will be solved by returning folks like former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to power? She is, of course, the one who famously stated that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children caused by our sanctions were "worth it."

Or how about Democrats like former NSC advisor Sandy Berger, who was recently caught slipping out of the National Archives with stolen top-secret documents stashed in his underpants?

Or how about Sen. Clinton, who believes that we need to expand our military and send more troops to Iraq?

Or how about Bill Clinton, who attacked Serbia with no UN mandate and who based his assault on inaccurate (falsified?) intelligence?

Or perhaps we should elect Senators Kerry and Edwards, both of whom voted for the Iraq War and the Patriot Act. Both men also stated during their election campaign that they meant to stay in Iraq until "we win it".

Do these folks have the right ideas to guide us out of our current difficult circumstances?

Obviously not.

If the Democrats are not to be trusted…then who? Can the electorate turn to a third party?

This betrays yet another misunderstanding of our system. Our congressional districts are gerrymandered, insulating almost all incumbents from the possibility of losing their reelection bids. Our ballot access laws force third parties to waste most of their resources merely getting their names on the ballots. Our campaign finance laws disproportionately favor the established parties by allowing them to trade "favors" to special interest groups in exchange for campaign contributions. Our system even lavishes funding on the major parties’ nominating conventions…essentially subsidizing naked propaganda."

James said...

As for James's comments: "the government is the tool by which the people administer their country", I think that would be the ideal, but not the reality. It's only partially true even in a democratic society, but it's even less true in the two-party race that is the U.S. To sum up "don't blame me, I voted for Kodos!".

But it would be much closer to the reality if people actually realized that it was the ideal. Far too often, people simply assume that government is some strange independent entity imposed from outside (which it used to be, back in the day of true monarchies).