He begins by quoting from the recent post, then goes down memory lane a bit:
Dale,Democracy's definitive insistence on accountable authority. . . is. . . misunderstood. . . by [those]. . who mis*identify* state forms with a violence that precedes and exceeds them. . .
You wrote, more than 7 years ago,
Look, people, we know all this already. The Moral Majority was never a majority. Multiculturalists won the culture wars. . . America is becoming day by day by day an ever more diverse, secular, urban, pragmatic, convivial multiculture. Please make a note of it, get used to it, and act accordingly.That may be true (particularly trend-wise), but unfortunately it seems that **most** of the folks in this country who are officially charged with pointing and discharging the state-sanctioned puff-bangs[*] against targets both domestic and foreign, puff-bangs ranging in size from hand-guns all the way up to nukes -- i.e., the cops and the military, are anything but "convivial multiculturalists".
(via http://amormundi.blogspot.com/2009/03/america-is-diverse-secular-urban.html )
As always, Jim's a good no-nonsense critic with a finely honed bullshit-detector, and with a dauntingly good memory! I replied:
"My point about those who mis-identify the state with violence was directed at anarchists. I am far from denying the vulnerability of law and policing to violence, abuse, and organized exploitation. I just think there is nothing anarchists add to such critiques that liberalism hasn't understood for centuries at this point, and that by focusing their ire at the state itself as the indispensable site of the most organized violence they fail to grasp that the state is also the indispensable site of the most organized non-violence.
"Nor am I unaware nor would I diminish the fact that there are bigots and dangerous characters in the military and in our police forces. How could anyone fail to grasp the reality of that problem at this point?
"But the visibility of abuses and the wide circulation of long-understood reform proposals to ameliorate these abuses are going to turn the tide. De-militarization of the police, community policing models, representative policing, continued de-patriarchization of the military (women and queers rising in the armed forces, recognition of and crackdowns on rape culture, etc.), ending the drug war, getting commonsense gun safety regulations, banning military style weapons and private arsenals, eliminating for-profit prisons, shifting budgetary priorities from jails to education and housing... all of this is in the wind now.
"Far from seeing a worsening here, I am hopeful. In part, demographic diversification and secularizing is the driver here (and of backlash-formations needless to say, as well) but the phenomenon I addressed years back in my posts about winning the culture wars is also connected to this. I still think I was right and think with every passing year the evidence and the resulting force of the American left's victories in the Culture Wars are more palpable.
"Of course, assholes will always be among us and assholes will asshole in their variously catastrophic ways. I just see this as a more hopeful than dreadful story. At any rate, it is something where there is work to be done where the work can make a difference for the better, and that is all anyone can really ask for. New problems will raise their ugly heads soon enough. Environmental racism and climate disruption is a big and growing worry for our remaining years, but the Archie Bunkers with guns are dying off into a more or less manageable marginality in the diversifying, secularizing, planetizing REAL Real America."