Sunday, July 02, 2006

The ghost in the machine

Over at TalkingPointsMemo guest blogger dk ( discusses the reality of what we are seeing in our current politics: Machine politics. I think dk has hit on the central fact of our current crisis.

The skin of this era is ideology. We see it in the knee-jerk genuflection (is that possible?) of the Republican majority to its sacred base. We also see it in its more germaine Corporatist philiosophy which wants to give catre blanche to the masters of the universe in corporate America.

But in reality it is machine politics. Both the evangelical right and the Corporatist master race were deliberately chose by the Rpublican comrades to further the purposes of the machine. I cannot overstate the cynicism in this calculus. It is as cyinical as it appears. There is no true ideology here. The erstwhile conservative Republican credo of low taxes and limited taxes has been shot straight to hell. There is no attempt at ideological consistency exactly because there is no ideology.

Enter into this morass, George Bush - a hapless opportunist (naive but always with enough grease to make things work out) and more importantly the Cheney junta.

One could weave a conspiracy theory that makes all this coherent as a deliberate attempt at a corporatist takeover of the United States.

But it is both comedic and maybe more dangerous that the current Constitutional and governmental disaster we find ourselves in is the result of a perfect storm of a confluence of naive opportunism, willful executive expansionism (ironically the only honest if wrongheaded political philiosphy in the i whole mess) and plain old machine politics.

Does this matter? Probably not lightning will kill you when it hits you regardless of whether or not it meant to hit you.

I have been reading recently The Unknown American Revolution by Gary Nash. And though I am only about 1/3 through it is clear in his discussion of the situation in the runup to the American Revolution that much of what was possible to even bring about revolution was a confluence of disparate events that we would term class issues.

Most of the mechanism - the communication network and even the climate of potical action - though steeped in Locke and Rights of man rhetoric was put in place as a more or less populist response to the immportation of aristocratic instutions into the colonies.

There is no direct analogy here and I am not intending one. Except that it is the law of unintended consequences in action in both cases.

One established the foundation of the Great American Experiment. The other, if brought to its logical conclusion will bring about the experiments demise.


Remember only you can prevent tyranny.

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