Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Digby Predicts (Plus a Bit More on "Positivity")

I predict that the right wing noise machine will shout far and wide that the election was stolen (probably with the help of "illegal aliens.") The new president will not be allowed to weed out even one right wing plant anywhere in the executive branch without being accused of politicizing it. There will be no executive privilege as the courts rediscover their "responsibilities." Scientists and experts will all be accused of being shills for the liberal special interests. The president will be accused of violating Americans' civil liberties and destroying the constitution. There will be widespread accusations of fraud and corruption and non-stop investigations.

In other words the Republicans are going to accuse the Democratic president of everything we know the Bush administration did. And because it was never fully investigated or even fully discussed, people will lay the sins at the feet of the Democratic president and feel a sense of relief that the balance of power is being restored and Washington is finally being cleaned up.

I fear that everything she says here will indeed come to pass. The lesson she draws from all this, is:
Democratic presidents are going to have to learn that their most important and difficult job will be dealing with relentless baseless political attacks from the Republicans and the media. It's the way our politics are currently constructed. Republicans accrue vast amounts of power and wealth for themselves at the expense of the taxpayers, and the Democrats are expected to clean things up by paying the debts for them. The Dems don't do it out of altruism or commitment. They do it because they are held to standards of integrity and effectiveness that aren't expected of Republicans.

I notice that this conclusion is not itself framed as a prediction, probably because she rightly suspects that what must be learned by those who must learn it may well not be so learned after all and she would rather not say so because it is just too stupid and too depressing and because, like most sunnily disposed secular democrats with brains slogging through the swamp of our debased era of failed and failing institutions, she knows enough to know people can come together and surpass our expectations in democracies after all so why dwell on the depressing likely eventualities?

Perhaps the Netroots will raise the Village after all, perhaps Machine politics will be democratized by p2p organization and reform, perhaps American armed forces demoralized by neoconservative adventurism will no longer permit us to bully the world into self-destruction, perhaps planetary networks will defuse fundamentalisms (including market fundamentalism) and immerse and invest us in viable secular consensual multiculture, perhaps awareness of shared environmental problems from global warming to soil erosion to aquifer depletion will usher in co-operative problem solving and public investment in renewable technologies and permaculture techniques, perhaps emerging genetic, prosthetic, and cognitive medical techniques will seduce the world into public investments in education, welfare, and co-operation rather than corporate-militarist competition, and then perhaps things really will be all right, after all, because they can be and they should be and people turn out to be quite reasonable and capable and well-meaning when they have anything like real fair access to knowledge, resources, and the rule of law.

I realize that the attribution to Digby here of a sunny political disposition (and by implication of a comparable disposition to myself) may seem somewhat jarringly at odds with the rather desolating implications of her analysis, as well as with the comments on "negativity" expressed in my earlier post about Edwards, but the point is that discussions of "negativity" governed by incumbent interests and their spokesmodels in the corporate media really aren't ever discussions of negativity or positivity in any remotely reality-based construal at all, but always actually express the same relentless insistence that everything always is about them and their comfort level and their being interminably petted and complimented and maintaining their hold on as many of their unearned privileges as possible even in a world their shortsighted idiotic greed and narcissism has reduced to a septic sewer of ballooning deficits, ballooning starved children's stomachs, and ballooning bullet riddled civilian corpses.

The negativity negating their vapid lying "positivity" offers the road to any sane positivity actually worth having. Or something like that. I think I read about that in Hegel or Adorno or somewheres.

No comments: