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Prosthetic Conscience

Jason McBrayer's weblog; occasional personal notes and commentary

Sun, 26 Oct 2008

Forums of the Libertarian Left

I’ve been participating lately in a new forum called Forums of the Libertarian Left. Although I generally prefer mailing lists to fora, I’m enjoying it more than Leftlibertarian2, partly because the crowd there doesn’t seem quite as closely tied to the right-libertarian movement in terms of terminology and theory. Go check it out.

[ Posted: 13:22] | [ Category: /politics] | Permalink | Comments: ]

Soothing anxieties with cynicism

A friend of mine writes:

This has been floating around the Radical Mamas Tribe on CafeMom, and I was wondering if you guys had any input/insights/information about it. Also, do you think this is what will happen if Obama gets elected - people will riot and then the government will take over? I believe the chances of “them” assassinating him or rigging the election are quite high. Did you see this week’s postsecret? There is one about that possibility.

One of the brigades being rotated home from Iraq was moved to under the command of NORTHCOM. There’s a link to a story about it in my blog. Basically, they’re on leave, but available to the DHS to be deployed for any emergency (including civil unrest). It’s worrying in the general sense of the ongoing erosion of our civil liberties and self-government, but I don’t think it represents any specific plans for martial law in the near future. IMO “they” can get everything they want with less resistance without using that tool.

I halfway suspect that there will be rioting by the losing partisans no matter who wins. I think that the military would be used to put down rioting by disappointed Obama supporters, while I think they might take a lighter touch to disappointed Obama supporters. But I don’t think that any election results, once announced, would be overturned. Not because “they” believe in democracy, but again, because on the one hand, “they” care more about the existing political and economic system staying in place rather than who in particular chairs it, and because on the other, both major candidates have broad support among the ruling class. I say this not to disparage Obama — I agree with Chomsky that Obama is the lesser of two evils, and will probably even vote for him rather than Nader or McKinney — but just to emphasize that national electoral politics are not a very effective way for the left to operate in our society.

On the election being rigged, I think that is not certain, but certainly more likely than an overt coup. Any competent news organization already has rationalizations prepared for the day after the election to explain why the election results don’t match up with the poll results of the previous day. As long as the election results can be made credible, rigging them doesn’t undermine mass faith in the system in the way that a coup or assassination might.

[ Posted: 13:11] | [ Category: /politics] | Permalink | Comments: ]

Links for 2008-10-26 Sun

[ Posted: 11:22] | [ Category: /web] | Permalink | Comments: ]


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