An Undivided State of the Union?

comrades

If you were watching the State of the Union address last night, you might have asked yourself ‘What compelled our divided representatives to unite and sit together in a show of solidarity?

And you might have said ‘Oh…well, they must be doing it to honor those who’ve lost their homes because of poor oversight of the markets…you know embarrassment over all the corporate greed.’  And you would be wrong, that was not enough.

Or you might have said ‘Oh, then surely they were doing so in honor of those who have died from insurance companies dropping their care…and all those who suffer because of government inefficiencies.’  And again, you would be wrong, still not enough.

vacancyWell, then ‘Surely, they are doing it for those who serve the country, the soldiers, the teachers, the parks people…you know, all those folks, right?’  Nope.

Maybe it was simpler: ‘Ok, they were doing it for us, for the people, to show us that they respect the fact that we pay them, that we give them the life they have, and they want to give us the feeling that they are united to fix the problems we have…you know, a genuine change of heart.’  No, not really.

You might be getting confused since these are certainly valid reasons to put aside differences and find solutions.

What if I told you that they were sitting together because some lunatic went and shot one of them, and that gave them a sense that they were more alike than different?

arizonashooter

‘Well, that would be cowardice!  You mean to tell me, that they ignored all those other reasons to work together, and have instead chosen psychopathic behavior as an inspiration for solidarity?’

Well, that’s what the guy at the podium said.

And you might be inclined to say ‘Well, that’s not only humiliating, it’s actually stupid, because they are basically reinforcing the very behavior they are trying to avoid.  How can they be that stupid?’  Well, you know what they say about absolute power, it corrupts the mind.

For the pacifist such events are important because if distinctions are not made between ‘the people’ and ‘psychopathy’ then we get lumped together, and therefore become complicit in depending upon violence for progress.  Our government respects violence as an organizing principle, this is obvious.  But I do not wish to allow some murderous barbarian to define me or my political will, and so I must speak against a false unity in favor of one inspired by genuine and ubiquitous human suffering.  I must point to the many instances where these ‘representatives’ chose NOT to sit together when people were dying and suffering as a result of their self-interests.  We must not give our trust away so easily.  We must not be like the abused spouse, so eager to believe that some change of heart has taken place, that we deny our own past experiences.  We must have the self-esteem to demand a long-term penance for all the abuse, before we choose to believe.  Let us not allow them to so quickly congratulate themselves.

Equality is Freedom!

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  • Liam_McGonagle

    Interesting ideas.

    I played around with a few of the notions you address, but I think I put a slightly different emphasis on my conclusion thesis: They are ‘uniting’ in the face of this tragedy because it’s a pretty stark demonstration of their worthlessness as an institution.

    These events demonstrate the fact that neither the Presidency, nor the legislature, nor the judiciary show a single ounce of leadership–and it’s only a matter of time until the rest of society wises up and reaches that conclusion as well.

    Yeah, violence is the lowest-cognitive order response to this type of frustration. But luckily, for the band of useless eunuchs that haunt the hall of the Capitol, it’s also the easiest to manipulate for propaganda purposes. This back-slapping, tear-jerking bullshit in the name of the sainted dead is the perfect moral cover for sustained inaction against the financial/corporate onslaught that has been dismantling American democracy for at least the last 30 years.

    So this is the ultimate win-win-win situation: Anyone who pipes up to condemn the moral bankruptcy and incompetence of our ‘leadership’ will be portrayed as an anarchist, an incitor to violence. Therefore dissent must be stopped at all costs.

    End civil rights. End free speech. For the chillun’s.

    • sean carlo cordon

      I’m not sure how serious to take your last comments. If you are being serious, that is a really scary reality. Am sure that is the way they want you to feel and some times I fear the same too. But we can never give up.

      We are stronger and closer than we ever have been. They are exposing themselves as they separate themselves. We who are most informed must stay stronger than ever because we will be the light for those that are still in the dark.

      Be the light, show the light, and he light will grow

      • Liam_McGonagle

        It’s difficult to strike the right balance between provocation and contemplation. That’s why there are people who dedicate whole careers to writing about single topics.

        But if my comments provoke a sense of alarm, that’s good. America can’t just stand by and twiddle away what few year(s?) remain to us before civil rights and economic prosperity become just a memory. The DC-Kumbayaa express ain’t gonna get us where we need to go, though. Some type of aggressive, empowering action is called for.

        I’m still playing around with ideas. We’re all still playing around with ideas. Right now I’m researching a piece about how America’s public discourse has become something like the Cargo Cult behaviours of the South Pacific–hollow, half understood rituals repeated in a desperate an ultimately self-destructive thoughtlessness.

        What are the alternative courses open to us? Actions that incrementally build in the People a collective sense of agency and ability to acheive real change in the face of our ‘leadership’s’ complacent incompetence. This is the current state of my imaginary prophetic outline:

        1. A handfull of media savvy wise-asses successfully pull off hoaxes of major anti-corporate actions. False reports of crippling strikes, embarrassing defections of high-ranking elite drones, tearful confessions and suicides by the same, lamenting their failure to truly act on behalf of the public good.

        2. Despite the inevitable revelation of these events as hoaxes, the audacity and satisfying moral denoument created in the public mind creates a savage viral meme. Most people are happy to repeat the comforting narrative of moral resolution even if they intellectually know it to be false. Some few of us are even prompted to act upon the fantasy. A microscopically small percentage of the actual actors actually succeed, prompting imitators.

        3. The elites become more consciously aware of the ways in which popular enlightenment threaten to reveal them as impotent eunuchs and lash out visciously, creating a martyr cycle that inevitably spins out of control. At first the reaction is a shifting moral re-alignment of the masses to openly understand and favor more truly populist policies. A-la the aftermath of Easter 1916.

        4. Eventually the movement becomes an unstoppable political force that grinds the machine to a halt. Total capitulation ensues, or at least real real concessions MUST be made. A-la 1922.

        Of course, that’s all 5,000-foot cloud talk. And if it has any prognosticative value at all, clearly the ultimate acheivement of this goal is not going to occurr at any time during the lives of anyone reading this today.

        But for-sure, we’re not going to go anyplace but backwards if we keep up all the lame “Why can’t we all just get along?” talk. That only attempts, insultingly in my opinion, to put a bandaid on the savage lascerations bleeding the nation to death.

        • sean carlo cordon

          It is not a question, it is a simple truth: we must all get along. We are all one humanity which makes all equal to this earth. No one is better or higher than anyone else, just different.

          This line of thinking is not a “band-aid”. This line of thinking is revolutionary, in fact it is the same line of thinking that created us, that created the American Revolution. Forget bandages all together, its time to move on to laser surgery.

          Noncooperation is the key. That is all it will take. When enough people stop feeding the machine, the machine will stop. We will once again put this nation’s government back in the hands of the people…only if enough people wake up. We can never give up, especially now, we are closer than ever.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            Closer to what? That’s what I’d like to know.

            I personally see very little sign of immanent collapse of the Wall Street cabal that knifed democracy in the back.

            True, there are signs that the anamolous “recovery” of the financial markets is temporary, and will eventually require another taxpayer bailout–one that could destroy programs like Social Security and Medicare forever.

            But I think most informed observers agree that if that should become necessary at any point in the next two years, it won’t even come up for debate. It’ll get a silent rubber stamp that the People will be powerless to address. Remember, we don’t have federal recall procedures, and our unions are moribund, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. We would never be able to summon strikes like the French in 2010 when Sarkozy shafted them (not that even that succeeded).

            http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/1013/As-French-strikes-continue-unions-take-aim-at-Sarkozy

            No, it’s gonna be a long, long haul. Americans are nowhere near the required level of moral outrage to even begin to make an effective opposition.

          • sean carlo cordon

            Closer to revolution. But I cannot argue, we are nowhere near… I believe though, that in their fear they (the globalists and their conspirators) will exposed themselves for all to see.

            The resistance is making the difference, we are sending running with fear. That is why they are trying so vigorously to silence free speech, guns, and the internet: the very tool that have been keeping liberty alive. They will trip and fall and their ass will be exposed for all to see. They are going to cross the line. It may not seem like, but there is only so much people are willing to take or if a police of some sort, do.

            I cannot predict the future, as I said earlier, it is only my belief. That is why I feel it is more important than ever to keep pushing, hoping that it may not to be for very long.

          • Liam_McGonagle

            More power to you.

            But I don’t think exposure’s the problem. Even I, who may be closer to Inspector Cluseau than Sherlock Holmes, have known for quite a while now that the plutocrats are destroying democracy. In fact, the most insidious aspect of all this is that it’s all happening out in the open.

            For a nation to see it’s elected representatives rendered impotent and stupid in the face of the naked lies and incompetence of the private sector is just so painful, that most people are willing to go to great lengths to deny that it’s happening at all. And are accordingly totally unable to present any meaningful opposition.

            No, I think that the Net Big Step is going to be made in the study of Cognitive Dissonance. Stuff like the Stockholm Syndrome. Once there is a campaign to effectively address these perversions–and not before–will any progress be able to begin.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

            And we’ve got it pretty fuckin’ bad here in Wisconsin. These folks are in the most terrified flight from reality.

    • ken vallario

      i am very happy that you covered an aspect of this issue i was not able to capture….the idea that this can be used to create distance from dissent…well said, and i agree…

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Interesting ideas.

    I played around with a few of the notions you address, but I think I put a slightly different emphasis on my conclusion thesis: They are ‘uniting’ in the face of this tragedy because it’s a pretty stark demonstration of their worthlessness as an institution.

    These events demonstrate the fact that neither the Presidency, nor the legislature, nor the judiciary show a single ounce of leadership–and it’s only a matter of time until the rest of society wises up and reaches that conclusion as well.

    Yeah, violence is the lowest-cognitive order response to this type of frustration. But luckily, for the band of useless eunuchs that haunt the hall of the Capitol, it’s also the easiest to manipulate for propaganda purposes. This back-slapping, tear-jerking bullshit in the name of the sainted dead is the perfect moral cover for sustained inaction against the financial/corporate onslaught that has been dismantling American democracy for at least the last 30 years.

    So this is the ultimate win-win-win situation: Anyone who pipes up to condemn the moral bankruptcy and incompetence of our ‘leadership’ will be portrayed as an anarchist, an incitor to violence. Therefore dissent must be stopped at all costs.

    End civil rights. End free speech. For the chillun’s.

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  • Wrseanc

    I’m not sure how serious to take your last comments. If you are being serious, that is a really scary reality. Am sure that is the way they want you to feel and some times I fear the same too. But we can never give up.

    We are stronger and closer than we ever have been. They are exposing themselves as they separate themselves. We who are most informed must stay stronger than ever because we will be the light for those that are still in the dark.

    Be the light, show the light, and he light will grow

  • ken vallario

    i am very happy that you covered an aspect of this issue i was not able to capture….the idea that this can be used to create distance from dissent…well said, and i agree…

  • Liam_McGonagle

    It’s difficult to strike the right balance between provocation and contemplation. That’s why there are people who dedicate whole careers to writing about single topics.

    But if my comments provoke a sense of alarm, that’s good. America can’t just stand by and twiddle away what few year(s?) remain to us before civil rights and economic prosperity become just a memory. The DC-Kumbayaa express ain’t gonna get us where we need to go, though. Some type of aggressive, empowering action is called for.

    I’m still playing around with ideas. We’re all still playing around with ideas. Right now I’m researching a piece about how America’s public discourse has become something like the Cargo Cult behaviours of the South Pacific–hollow, half understood rituals repeated in a desperate an ultimately self-destructive thoughtlessness.

    What are the alternative courses open to us? Actions that incrementally build in the People a collective sense of agency and ability to acheive real change in the face of our ‘leadership’s’ complacent incompetence. This is the current state of my imaginary prophetic outline:

    1. A handfull of media savvy wise-asses successfully pull off hoaxes of major anti-corporate actions. False reports of crippling strikes, embarrassing defections of high-ranking elite drones, tearful confessions and suicides by the same, lamenting their failure to truly act on behalf of the public good.

    2. Despite the inevitable revelation of these events as hoaxes, the audacity and satisfying moral denoument created in the public mind creates a savage viral meme. Most people are happy to repeat the comforting narrative of moral resolution even if they intellectually know it to be false. Some few of us are even prompted to act upon the fantasy. A microscopically small percentage of the actual actors actually succeed, prompting imitators.

    3. The elites become more consciously aware of the ways in which popular enlightenment threaten to reveal them as impotent eunuchs and lash out visciously, creating a martyr cycle that inevitably spins out of control. At first the reaction is a shifting moral re-alignment of the masses to openly understand and favor more truly populist policies. A-la the aftermath of Easter 1916.

    4. Eventually the movement becomes an unstoppable political force that grinds the machine to a halt. Total capitulation ensues, or at least real real concessions MUST be made. A-la 1922.

    Of course, that’s all 5,000-foot cloud talk. And if it has any prognosticative value at all, clearly the ultimate acheivement of this goal is not going to occurr at any time during the lives of anyone reading this today.

    But for-sure, we’re not going to go anyplace but backwards if we keep up all the lame “Why can’t we all just get along?” talk. That only attempts, insultingly in my opinion, to put a bandaid on the savage lascerations bleeding the nation to death.

  • http://twitter.com/Marklar_Prime Marklar Kronkite

    Are we all sure that they weren’t unified by the tragedy of a psychopath that chose to kill one of them rather than joining them in the halls of power. All that psychopathic potential wasted. A unifying tragedy indeed.

  • Marklar_Prime

    Are we all sure that they weren’t unified by the tragedy of a psychopath that chose to kill one of them rather than joining them in the halls of power. All that psychopathic potential wasted. A unifying tragedy indeed.

  • justagirl

    well written and informative for people like me. i liked it.
    separately, can we stop posting that ugly mug(shot)? it’s like a whammy every time. ):

  • justagirl

    well written and informative for people like me. i liked it.
    separately, can we stop posting that ugly mug(shot)? it’s like a whammy every time. ):

  • Anonymous

    I thought what united them was the battalion of lobbyists fellating them all equally.

  • Markov

    I thought what united them was the battalion of lobbyists fellating them all equally.

    • E.B. Wolf

      I thought it was the other way around.

  • JoJoDancer

    Is it just me, or did Jared Loughner miss his calling as the lead role in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”?

  • TennesseeCyberian

    Is it just me, or did Jared Loughner miss his calling as the lead role in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”?

  • E.B. Wolf

    I thought it was the other way around.

  • grooveboss

    use magick to change what seems out of your control and use your limbs and communication organs to manipulate the things right in front of you in the rendering of reality, and take a break after that you deserver it.

  • grooveboss

    use magick to change what seems out of your control and use your limbs and communication organs to manipulate the things right in front of you in the rendering of reality, and take a break after that you deserver it.

  • Kalinex

    Interesting to me that you reference abused spouses in your closing statements. That the public should not be like an abused spouse. Well, in fact your comparison is more apt than perhaps even you intended. When a woman is victimized by domestic violence and chooses to remain in a relationship with her abuser there are SEVERAL very good reasons why she might do so. Of course there is fear of leaving, which people often go to as an answer when they are not commenting that “if I were in that situation, I’d make him pack his bags and get out.”

    As with an abused woman, it is not helpful to put your sense of safety into the place of someone who is not safe. I think we as the American public are safe to our opinion, within limits. I think that we tend to believe in the USA government because recognizing the illusions is too painful. To realize that we are in a plutocratic corpocracy where most people are little more than slaves to capitalism provides such a profound sense of powerlessness in most people that they would prefer to just not acknowledge such realities.

    But also, a reason that is forgotten and unresolved when considering why a victim of DV stays with her abuser is love. The victim often wants the abuse just to end because she loves the abuser as a person and as a companion. Citizens of the USA have been abused for decades by a government who has turned ever so slowly toward respecting big business and greed more than its own people. Yet we love our country and want to stay with it… And we want the abuse to end as well, but are not sure how to do it.

    And again with that analogy, a victim of DV has no power to MAKE the abuser stop – that abuser has to make a choice to change in order for the relationship to heal. The rich and powerful of the USA have to make a choice to change their patterns of greed and exploitation, or else nothing will change until it is too late and things fall to pieces.

  • Kalinex

    Interesting to me that you reference abused spouses in your closing statements. That the public should not be like an abused spouse. Well, in fact your comparison is more apt than perhaps even you intended. When a woman is victimized by domestic violence and chooses to remain in a relationship with her abuser there are SEVERAL very good reasons why she might do so. Of course there is fear of leaving, which people often go to as an answer when they are not commenting that “if I were in that situation, I’d make him pack his bags and get out.”

    As with an abused woman, it is not helpful to put your sense of safety into the place of someone who is not safe. I think we as the American public are safe to our opinion, within limits. I think that we tend to believe in the USA government because recognizing the illusions is too painful. To realize that we are in a plutocratic corpocracy where most people are little more than slaves to capitalism provides such a profound sense of powerlessness in most people that they would prefer to just not acknowledge such realities.

    But also, a reason that is forgotten and unresolved when considering why a victim of DV stays with her abuser is love. The victim often wants the abuse just to end because she loves the abuser as a person and as a companion. Citizens of the USA have been abused for decades by a government who has turned ever so slowly toward respecting big business and greed more than its own people. Yet we love our country and want to stay with it… And we want the abuse to end as well, but are not sure how to do it.

    And again with that analogy, a victim of DV has no power to MAKE the abuser stop – that abuser has to make a choice to change in order for the relationship to heal. The rich and powerful of the USA have to make a choice to change their patterns of greed and exploitation, or else nothing will change until it is too late and things fall to pieces.

    • Jordan

      Agreed in all, except for the last statement. They do have to choice to change, however, we cannot rely on them to do so. So, it’s time to leave the old relationship and begin a new one all together. Keeping to the analogy: We would never be able to trust the abuser again.

      • Andrew

        In other words, we must leave the country.

  • Wrseanc

    It is not a question, it is a simple truth: we must all get along. We are all one humanity which makes all equal to this earth. No one is better or higher than anyone else, just different.

    This line of thinking is not a “band-aid”. This line of thinking is revolutionary, in fact it is the same line of thinking that created us, that created the American Revolution. Forget bandages all together, its time to move on to laser surgery.

    Noncooperation is the key. That is all it will take. When enough people stop feeding the machine, the machine will stop. We will once again put this nation’s government back in the hands of the people…only if enough people wake up. We can never give up, especially now, we are closer than ever.

  • Jordan

    Agreed in all, except for the last statement. They do have to choice to change, however, we cannot rely on them to do so. So, it’s time to leave the old relationship and begin a new one all together. Keeping to the analogy: We would never be able to trust the abuser again.

  • chinagreenelvis

    I’m sorry, but you seriously overestimate the human race.

    While we should aspire to be great things, both philosophically and morally, it can hardly be expected of us.

    This article is nothing more than a very loud, “Nothing you ever do can possibly be right, for we will scrutinize, analyze, and criticize. You will always be wrong, for you are the government.”

    Sometimes, the right things happen for all the wrong reasons. But that’s how things work. That’s how we’re brought into the world.

    When you were a kid, did you stop cussing around your parents because you realized it was crass and made you look intellectually stunted? No, you stopped cussing around your parents because the last time you did it, they whooped you red.

  • chinagreenelvis

    I’m sorry, but you seriously overestimate the human race.

    While we should aspire to be great things, both philosophically and morally, it can hardly be expected of us.

    This article is nothing more than a very loud, “Nothing you ever do can possibly be right, for we will scrutinize, analyze, and criticize. You will always be wrong, for you are the government.”

    Sometimes, the right things happen for all the wrong reasons. But that’s how things work. That’s how we’re brought into the world.

    When you were a kid, did you stop cussing around your parents because you realized it was crass and made you look intellectually stunted? No, you stopped cussing around your parents because the last time you did it, they whooped you red.

    • ken vallario

      never liked cursing as a child…but that was because i was born with an over-developed sense of decency…perhaps as a defense against the indecency around me…but i was never ‘whooped red’, so my ideas were able to come quite naturally as the result of neglect. this is turning rather Freudian, but only to respond to the parental references.
      perhaps you are right…perhaps you are right about every point you make…history would seem to be on your side…
      but, there are those of us who choose to believe in the greatness you believe cannot ‘be expected of us’
      and perhaps we are fools…perhaps we are superstitious in this choice…
      however, my motto lately has been this…’if i have to live with them…then they have to live with me.’

  • Andrew

    In other words, we must leave the country.

  • ken vallario

    never liked cursing as a child…but that was because i was born with an over-developed sense of decency…perhaps as a defense against the indecency around me…but i was never ‘whooped red’, so my ideas were able to come quite naturally as the result of neglect. this is turning rather Freudian, but only to respond to the parental references.
    perhaps you are right…perhaps you are right about every point you make…history would seem to be on your side…
    but, there are those of us who choose to believe in the greatness you believe cannot ‘be expected of us’
    and perhaps we are fools…perhaps we are superstitious in this choice…
    however, my motto lately has been this…’if i have to live with them…then they have to live with me.’

  • Paul Panza (who are you)

    Politicians are obsolete. They all should be made to stand in a corner until they actually produce a democratic government. The other reason they all huddle together is their sexual preference and that the corporations who own them told them to behave this way. Whores that play together stay together.

  • Paul Panza (who are you)

    Politicians are obsolete. They all should be made to stand in a corner until they actually produce a democratic government. The other reason they all huddle together is their sexual preference and that the corporations who own them told them to behave this way. Whores that play together stay together.

  • Jdouglasallen

    Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?

  • Jdouglasallen

    Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?

  • Anonymous

    Closer to what? That’s what I’d like to know.

    I personally see very little sign of immanent collapse of the Wall Street cabal that knifed democracy in the back.

    True, there are signs that the anamolous “recovery” of the financial markets is temporary, and will eventually require another taxpayer bailout–one that could destroy programs like Social Security and Medicare forever.

    But I think most informed observers agree that if that should become necessary at any point in the next two years, it won’t even come up for debate. It’ll get a silent rubber stamp that the People will be powerless to address. Remember, we don’t have federal recall procedures, and our unions are moribund, with one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel. We would never be able to summon strikes like the French in 2010 when Sarkozy shafted them (not that even that succeeded).

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/1013/As-French-strikes-continue-unions-take-aim-at-Sarkozy

    No, it’s gonna be a long, long haul. Americans are nowhere near the required level of moral outrage to even begin to make an effective opposition.

  • Anonymous

    Closer to revolution. But I cannot argue, we are nowhere near… I believe though, that in their fear they (the globalists and their conspirators) will exposed themselves for all to see.

    The resistance is making the difference, we are sending running with fear. That is why they are trying so vigorously to silence free speech, guns, and the internet: the very tool that have been keeping liberty alive. They will trip and fall and their ass will be exposed for all to see. They are going to cross the line. It may not seem like, but there is only so much people are willing to take or if a police of some sort, do.

    I cannot predict the future, as I said earlier, it is only my belief. That is why I feel it is more important than ever to keep pushing, hoping that it may not to be for very long.

  • Anonymous

    More power to you.

    But I don’t think exposure’s the problem. Even I, who may be closer to Inspector Cluseau than Sherlock Holmes, have known for quite a while now that the plutocrats are destroying democracy. In fact, the most insidious aspect of all this is that it’s all happening out in the open.

    For a nation to see it’s elected representatives rendered impotent and stupid in the face of the naked lies and incompetence of the private sector is just so painful, that most people are willing to go to great lengths to deny that it’s happening at all. And are accordingly totally unable to present any meaningful opposition.

    No, I think that the Net Big Step is going to be made in the study of Cognitive Dissonance. Stuff like the Stockholm Syndrome. Once there is a campaign to effectively address these perversions–and not before–will any progress be able to begin.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

    And we’ve got it pretty fuckin’ bad here in Wisconsin. These folks are in the most terrified flight from reality.

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