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Atomized junior

Saturday, March 31, 2012
Post Racial

There is a school of thought in part sincere somewhat relying on wishful thinking, and in further part disingenuous; that with the election of Barack Obama, America's first Black President, this nation had entered a post racial era. It meant something, of course, the electoral moment at least. It affirmed our aspirational and egalitarian precepts. Or at least allowed us to say they were affirmed. Even if it were only some who so affirmed and this accepted as a gift to the general behalf. Even as rationales were developed and stood in to negate it: "An articulate man perhaps, but only around a TelePrompTer" -- "America's affirmative action president". A dubious shadow in such a merit based land. It did not mean, when the dust settled, that racism, coded and deep-boned within our culture, had suddenly disappeared, that hundreds of year of history had rolled back changed and unwound differently.

Many have claimed this for years As if their assertions of many decades that we were (color) Blind and (eyeless) on a level playing field made it so. That no intrusion upon the public or the private sector to ameliorate or rectify living economic striations and walls that held so many back were ever needed.

Such people openly mock the themes under which President Obama was elected in 2008 hope and change. Hope? You betcha. I do value hope. I hope that that in some manner of metaphor humankind is capable of maturing as an individual matures as he or she grows to adulthood. People talk of nations in this manner, but the story should move beyond nations to an evolution of those who people nations. I hope that the ability to care for others is not just a peak experience extended from a position of comfort, but an integral part of our nature. That all our problems are tractable before our capacity for innovation. That we can overcome mankind's propensity to divide always between a wealth capturing elite of haves and a mass captured by poverty. Where the only critical decision of a culture is whether the wealthy consider themselves trans-human or the peasantry subhuman.

I do desire change. Change that equals progress. One beyond conventional notions of human progress. The idea of a steady and effortless advancement obtained merely by traveling through time. The dubious notion of technological progress regarded as human progress. Technical change is an iterative process of improvement of tools. Refining tools towards greater efficiency of energy and time. In instances of easing mankind's material burden, it is a move against entropy. It assumes the appearance of the good. Ally of the reasoned living against the nonliving. But technical change has no moral component. It is neither good nor bad, praiseworthy or blameworthy. Technical change, often if not always opens new problems, as it is used to solve old ones. A matter of simple machines wrought to complex machines. In the manner of fractal geometric growth. Its only direction is not up but simply outward.

Mankind's distressing failings beg the question what varieties of change are available to man? The road of human progress. A change either to Humankind's physics or metaphysics. A change in Mans Nature. Our capacity for empathy increased. A greater propensity towards right reason. A Change in human culture: civilization and reason. This I regard as institutional change. Reason is as much a human institution as a part of human nature. Philosophy the study of the efficacy of reason in human perfectibility. By rigorous examination of the cultural institutions and moral codes of mass social living, we will gradually evolve into new ways of being. With an expanded conception of our place in the world, our just relation to other living things. A more inclusive less pre-judicial view of each other. Letting go a dubious and intolerant brutality of being as a preternatural duty.

None of these ideas are new. Nor is it accidental that with the second term election the Obama team is playing with themes of basic fairness The 'Fair' Question: If We Must Raise Taxes, Where Should We Start? - Derek Thompson - Business - The Atlantic:, a central and enduring theme of Socratic/Platonic philosophy from two and a half millennia ago, and having the weight of ages on them even then.

The stumbling block to more comprehensively treating others as you would have be treated by them lies the concentric circles of otherness from the ego. The Symbolic Assailant is a psychological assessment of the other. The Other being in concept anyone encountered falling into certain generalized categories. It is manifested as a vessel onto which to place the sum of your fears. An attitude towards the other that they mean you harm. All at once, in a person opposite, all your fears surround and oppress you. It is an attitude which contains a projected portion of ones own self; a secret and aware assessment. The chasing shadow. The logic of presumptive action, direct action, leads the inclined individual to a radical exhibition. The mere existence of the other in the imagination bringing about a point of crisis. To take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. It usually ends with someone dead on the ground.

Most of what we know -- what we think we know is the received knowledge of certain socializations. Institutional cast awareness following from automatic and predictable assessments of the axis of assailment. They are made along lines of power relations. The criminal justice system has grown into an institution that has become remarkably adept at putting young black men in jail Mass Incarceration and Criminal Justice in America The New Yorker. More than nine percent of the black male population in 2009 Perhaps more thans endured slavery during the golden age of that peculiar institution Incarceration in the United States - Wikipedia.

The general non integration of housing and schools belay a resistance of these institutions to any true color blindness. Surrounding municipal and state government work forces is a strident rhetoric in dismayingly unsubtle terms against affirmative action hiring and union protection against massive downsizing. Serving little end other than to keep middle class jobs and a middle class life locked away from minorities. According to Gallup poll in the article Politics - Ron Fournier and Sophie Quinton - How Americans Lost Trust in Our Greatest Institutions - The Atlantic trust church & religion are up up 3% since 2002. A rise likely derived from the utility failure of other institutions such as those that control access to credit such as housing or other small civilian loans (Banks are down 24% in this same poll) These institution are no longer seen as serving in meaningful and reliable ways. News media's contribution is to continue to present minorities as characters in pre-scripted productions. Hoodie equals thug equals vanquished in a never-ending cowboy morality play. In Journalism crime still pushes much local news and crime is invariably contextualized by race.

The well spring of injustice that is institutionalized racism, is given particular point by the NRA and conservative state legislature's new project of so called stand-your-ground laws America's deadly devotion to guns | World news | The Guardian. Two things stand out about Stand-Your-Ground laws. They favor the survivor, they serve only the survivor. Those most caught up paranoiac narratives, those inclined to shoot first. They favor those the criminal justice system favors. A system that often puts little professional distance between themselves and the general prejudices of society.

Another thing giving the lie to this post racial America is the increasing creep of low level racism. Particularly racist speech, which by the cryptic and uncertain measure of online news comment sections is as virulent as I've seen it in my lifetime. There is a powerful desire to say it out-loud, to give voice to loathing. To move it into the mainstream. This is the starting point of an agenda. To rationalize hatred, celebrate fear, and divide. The extreme dislike of the realities of a multicultural society feeds their conviction that regarding the expansion of the franchise, that mistakes were made.

True human progress is written small against the years. Within the story of centuries is another of hope and well being; the thought that next generation of every family can gain a little against the last. With increased security peace education and health. Where nations do not in fear of chaos turn over their democracy and rule of law for the gruel of guarded perimeters parceled rights and a stratified society where only the elite is rewarded with true opportunity, and the rest fall back.

Primary education, K-12, is one place where this slide can be arrested. Where every generation can set out unencumbered, by the baggage of the past. The educational system is the primary institution of any culture. There are in any culture institutions of gravity which name and reinforce the societies core values. These will be the ones which prevent men from disappearing as responsible individuals into accumulations of power and wealth. Requiring that all people live and act before all other people. The courts, markets and congress however much money is coursing through the system must remain transparent. No hidden deals No hidden exercise of power.

There is no reason why predatory economic activity ought to be allowed in the name of unfettered economic activity. In the context of this discussion that includes a range of cheap practices of credit institutions: store front check cashing, reverse mortgages, car title loans/financing. As well differential small-grained geographic advertising (cigarette and alcohol) by large national corporations, pushed heavily into poorer neighbrhoods. That this activity can be considered upright and legal is a signal of the disfunction of politics not poverty.

I feel I am grasping for something larger; though. While much of our world is still resolutely organized there are parts of our faux post-racial culture, desire for dialed back governance, that no longer forcefully demonstrates progress. This post Bretton Woods world should be a period of critical review of our institutions. A priority given to a stabilization to human affairs, not just industrialization. One that would mitigate cyclic return to Hobbesian states of nature, dividedd on difference. A carefully wrought centuries stable culture selecting and harmonizing our amenable nature.

11:24:48 PM    ;;

Saturday, March 17, 2012
GOP Seppuku

Manufacturing is weak, the housing market still comatose, GDP growth an anemic 1.7% half of what it should in ordinary times, compare it with China's growth rate possibly five times higher. Additionally unemployment levels are quite high; 8.3% with the labor force participation rate, labor force divided by the overall size of the employable cohort, at historic lows. There is no handy foreign policy rallying point on the horizon. That is the president has not started or ended a war triumphantly. That's not exactly true, the Iraq war is over, he has set up what ought to be a solid roadmap to end the Afghan war, barring the inevitable errors of attenuation. Further the primary enemy for which so much was done, al Qeada, is now decapitated and largely blind. There is nothing; though, like starting a good war for popularity, they're nothing but trouble once up and running

The Ordinary Result of such circumstance on a presidential race is that the incumbent loses. This is the crux of it. There is simply no way this election should be in contention, yet manifestly it is. The republicans have managed to perversely organize this into an odds on proposition. Part of this may simply be that despite a conventional wisdom that any president owns the prevailing economy by re-election time, the people may remember some of how all this came about.

The GOP has made a hard right turn along their road Anti-Government Extremism Thrives As Politics Get Angrier | TPMMuckraker. The push to establish tenants of conservatism, social conservatism at least, as Matters of Conscience is their key to abrading rights won - restored rather - by women and minority groups over the course of the 20th century. It is their work-around to the commerce clause's forcing open all those bus and lunchroom counter seats. A right turn echoing that of Yukio Mishima's fatalistic fascistic nationalism. Mishima after a lifetime as novelist, playwright and poet, decided as a matter of conscience that Japan had grown soft and weak, not properly venerative of religious sentiment. So he pitched himself (and a small cadre of followers) into an intensive program of martial arts and Bushido. Then sort of lost his head and tried to stage an amateur coup...not necessarily in that order. It didn't really work out. Fewer than he supposed thought the answer was to turn back to the past.

Make no mistake about this; though, the intent, the desire is there to undertake a re-litigation of the 20th century point by point case by case. Suffrage, the legality of unions -- any rights for workers. To overturn it all until America again resembles their preferred version of the nineteenth century Republicans for Revolution by Mark Lilla | The New York Review of Books. A project of this magnitude requires that conservatives remake themselves as the new relativists. Objective facts of current life as reported by the media (the despised main stream media) are to be cast as false and created by the media. This really requires that, at end you, believe that there are no facts merely opinions about fact constructs.

But all this is chasing what exactly? This small article on the the way "American Exceptionalism" has come to grip the popular imagination of the right is instructive How Joseph Stalin Invented 'American Exceptionalism' - Terrence McCoy - Politics - The Atlantic. An image of the future as myth of the past. Reagan Remembered. Thirty years revisionism of the GOP's most popular politician in a generation, spun and re-spun until he becomes an empty symbol of the most extreme and un-compromising conservatism. His real existence as a man simultaneously forgotten and advanced as proof of the attainable nature of ideological ambition. Reagan's Morning in America reelection campaign the emotional appeal of which is still playing on these people was advertising, it was marketing. It was designed to push the buttons of a certain subset of the population and invoke nostalgic feelings for an American past that never existed. Simplified, orderly, appealing, sepia tinted. It is now accepted as a true reality and model for the future they strive for. What they want to get back to. What they wish to gain is the image of control those ads represented. A control that reflected an assumed natural superiority and dominion by white males over the rest of creation. Over wealth women reproduction and sexuality Frank Rich: The GOPís Problem With Women -- New York Magazine:. A continuum of patrimony and property. And most certainly that America was to always mean European settled America, its true owners.

Before looking for reason or logic in this, it's worth asking to what degree is this an accident or intentional? Is the intent to crash the republican party as it exists? That is to wrest control of it intact mid-air, or take ownership of what pieces can be dug out from the crater. Others look at this more mundanely as just a disagreement of means but not way. To defeat Obama retake the White House and Congress. I think that it really seems more like a battle for the soul of conservatism. That there is a faction that no longer believes in divided government in any rapprochement with liberalism of any kind or strain. Still, believing in a aspirationally rational world for any event I ask Cui Buono who will benefit from all this. The center cannot hold, it shifts tectonically. Wealth always seems to land on its feet.

Movement conservatism has been more willing recently to engage in local and retail politics and is more successful at it. Primarily by building majorities in state legislatures. This could be somewhat of a dead end eventually as radical state legislatures may not prove a precise analogly to national legislatures or even state executive priorities Symbolic Legislation to Nowhere: Why Statehouses Fail in Governance - Andrew Cohen - Politics - The Atlantic:. But as the federal government is weakened and paths for constitutional amendments are forged through these legislatures, the future of the nation is formed.

It's difficult to pry apart the cause and effect of the matter, but it is also very likely that the widespread and increasing practice of creating Gerrymandered incumbency-safe congressional districts often at the hands of these same radicalized state legislatures had a hand in the total evaporation of national level moderates, the near enemy in the Republican party. In uni-party districts there is never a nod toward the center only flight to the edges Snowe identified problems; fixes up to us - Opinion - Bangor Daily News - BDN Maine:.

This republican party is divided, not only as to who will lead the party but as to what the party is about. The season's primaries test the parties candidates, Gov. Rommey, Sen. Santurum, Speaker Gingrich, Rep. Paul against the parties affinities. None have been able to mesh effectively with the un-embodied nascent swirl within the party Republican Party at odds with itself in presidential nomination fight - The Washington Post:. It is still unclear how much voting blocs like the Tea Party -- revealing more of a social conservative construct to their debt reduction rhetoric -- will have on the party as it decides itself. The Tea Party blocs are geographically balkanized and as they look across county and state lines from one collective to an other they may mistake all that lies between as being like them. Over estimating the national desire to pick up the reins of a previous centuries mores.

There are problems facing the United States many of them part of a suite of problems shared by the rest of the developed world. The aggrieved wing of the Republican party clings steadfast to the belief that Obama is the only problem The demonizing of Barack Obama - The Washington Post. This is the primary logic error of conservative America. They are an echo chamber listening only to themselves.

When libertarians (and near-libertarions talk about rights. I always think of soap bubbles. Libertarian focus overly on rights as experienced by themselves, a special case of individual rights. The ideology of personal and property rights leads them to subscribe to these rights in absolute terms. Equating a right to a bubble expanding from a point infinitely untrammeled into the universe. Of course when a second bubble from a second entity point is introduced and expands, the two come together in a wall the way two soap bubbles meet. As more bubbles come into being the press of concerns create an intricate geometric plane. It is at this boundary that rights, all rights, all property, all law exist. They are not in the point or the expansion, that is simply the hunger of the id. It's at the wall this adjudicated plane of existence answering to nature and mathematical balance that right comes into existence. This barrier, elastic to a point, will hold and push back every time someone believes they have a right to possess according to desire, or assert a special order of conscience. Suborning the will and well being of others by gender race and whim.

8:43:06 PM    ;;

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