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

Monday, December 24, 2012

GOP/NRA Is the Froth of the Anarcho-Capitalist Cauldron

I fear that people who have expressed shock at the frankly dystopian vision of a total police state expressed by NRA head Wayne LaPierre, a vision of guns and guards in every American classroom -- and presumably, every store, every theater, every bedroom -- in his combative lucratively fund-raising sermon Friday have simply not been willing to follow the logic of our nihilist GOP back to its driving assumptions and aspirations:

Neoliberal/ Movement Conservative "smaller government, fewer taxes" slogans that never happen to specify what good government would actually consist of to them and just what portion of GDP should be apportioned with what progressivity to pay for that good government while still facilitating a healthy economy in their view always effectively amounts to the stealthy advocacy of no government and no taxes, which amounts in turn to the same batshit crazy anarcho-capitalism that the extreme right libertopians advocate openly.

Gun-nuttery is the ruggedization of the hyper-individualized cyborg-protagonist in these Randroidal/ Friedmanian nightmare-fantasies.

To be a gun nut is to experience any state as an occupying force, it is to identify with some variation of the fantasy of "spontaneous order" -- of market forces in which any contractual transaction is non-coercive by fiat whatever terms of precarity or misinformation duress it, or of omni-competent technocratic elites, or of superior incumbent elites of the plutocratic, white power, or patriarchal varieties all of whose rule is, of course, "only natural" and hence neutralized into a seamless entirely imaginary anarchic harmony.

If you were surprised to hear Wayne LaPierre speak, I really have to wonder if you have been paying attention to the prevailing political discourse in this country since the Reagan Administration.

To step back from this a bit, the New Deal and the Great Society were the Democratic left's counter-proposal, the 2006 mid-term election was the turning point, the Obama Administration is a gathering of the forces for a generation of progress, while the witch's sabbath of Death Panel Summer, Birthers, the Crazytown GOP Primary, the Skewed nonsense, the NRA freakout are all death-throes of a suicidally self-marginalizing movement organized to destroy the New Deal and Great Society that managed to hurt a lot of people but failed in its task and is now defeated utterly.

The regional consolidation of the GOP counter-revolution is troubling, the damage the right will do is still exasperating and, to the extent that it manages to stall constructive engagement with climate change, potentially catastrophic. But there is no mystery in any of this if you are paying attention.


Black guy from the future past said...

"the Obama Administration is a gathering of the forces for a generation of progress"

Dale, you put too much faith in Obama. How can you know that a generation of progress is coming? Already there is a sense of disillusionment and disappointment with the administration. And Obama's politics are firmly center-right. I am not saying Obama is as bad as the republicans, he most certainly is not. But the "change we can believe in" has been more like the status quo we can believe in. Obama talks a smooth and attractive game, but then again if he were not for corporate interests and domination, I am sure he would not have been elected in the first place. In short, I am saying your assumptions might a little misplaced.

Dale Carrico said...

I have no "faith" in Obama at all, and people who say such things tend to be very glib and uninformed at precisely the moment when they fancy they are being serious and informative. This is not only annoying, but counter-productive.

Of course I am well aware that Obama is to my right politically, I'm a green democratic socialist feminist queer trained in non-violence at the King Center in Atlanta and teaching critical theory at UC Berkeley and a San Francisco Art School, for heaven's sake. I'm as far to the left as you can be without being crazy, essentially.

But I do actually know what Obama's policy accomplishments are, by which I mean to say I have actually read them, and actually know what they do. You should spend an afternoon reading actually knowledgeable people talking about the progressive provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Seriously.

Obama is already objectively the most progressive President since FDR -- that is true, and it has real consequences to real people, even if it may also be properly seen as an indictment of how reactionary US politics have been throughout our century as well. (If you are tempted to educate me about the Unitary Executive and Drone warfare -- both of which I revile as any sensible citizen would -- I recommend you explore the archives on those subjects before doing so, and yes I know everything there is to know about Chained CPI and pretty much every other wonky term denoting feared Obama betrayals over the last four years as well, so be warned).

In other words, you should take care to actually know what my assumptions are before you designate them as misplaced. The Obama Administration does indeed represent in my view a key inflection point in US politics given that the Obama coalition represents a host of diversifying secularizing planetizing realities that have undermined the post-Nixonian Southern Strategy, the post-Reagan Christian coalition, and a set of market developmentalist discourses discounting stakeholder-accountable fact-based harm-reduction policy models prevailing in the corporate-military think-tank public sphere of the post-WW2 Washington Consensus. He is engaged in progressive reform against the unprecedented obstruction of an unprecedently crazy GOP and doing so in a way that does not replicate the failed Clintonian strategy of triangulation because it is informed by community organizing strategies of best-compromise and long-term enablement and virtuous circles. The angel, as well as the devil, is in the details and informed people who want to help out should pay attention to them.

My claims have nothing to do utopian dreams and guilty liberal fee fees. Just saying.

Also, since you are a newcomer to this blog -- I should warn you, my written voice sounds harsh and sarcastic and off-putting but believe me when I say I'm not mad at you at all.

jollyspaniard said...

They aren't for no government. They've got a hard on for the DoD, the biggest government bureacracy in human history.

Black guy from the future past said...

Thank you for your reply, and indeed your writing style reflects a harshness, but in my experience harshness also reflects sincerity.

Dale Carrico said...

Glad you didn't take it amiss -- also, I'm a teacher and a pedantic tone is something of an occupational hazard.