The One Big Reason You Should Not Celebrate 9/11

Walking DeathAre you the kind of sick pervert that celebrates the murder of 3,000 civilians? More than likely the answer is “yes”.

“Hold on a minute, A-h*le,” you may counter. “It’s not a ‘celebration’.  It’s a ‘commemoration’.  It’s one of the few things that can bring divided America together as a nation. Mourning a shared tragedy, a loss of innocence. Expressing gratitude for the selfless courage of the first responders.  Building community.”

Ah, not so much. In reality, it is a masterful manipulation of the complementary moral and intellectual weaknesses of the both extreme wings of the American body politic, a satanic appeal to our vanity and invitation to the destruction of our democratic institutions. Stupid right wingers love the 9/11 narrative because it’s a simple authoritarian parable providing clearly delineated foreign villains and glorifying nativist military authorities. Spineless left wingers love it because they get to light all their coolest scented candles around the drum circle and feel each others’ pain.

However, it’s actual primary importance, though quite obvious to anyone who actually thinks about it, is rarely explicitly articulated: the destruction of our sense of agency. The sense of individual and corporate empowerment and responsibility necessary to the successful conduct of affairs is decisively undermined by a morbid preoccupation with victimhood.

Especially so when that impotent whinging becomes the sole focus of public discourse.  Remember:  The United States did NOT defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War. The Soviet Union defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War — through the tragi-comic stupidity of insisting upon its vision of itself as the embattled last champion of a communal ideology beset from all sides by an insidious, corrupt capitalist enemy. This tunnel-vision prevented a balanced, realistic interpretation of the nature and severity of the economic and political challenges facing them.  It foreclosed necessary policy options from even theoretical consideration. And it inevitably concentrated the latent energies of its ignored population to a breaking point. Even if those constituents’ ambitions have been imperfectly realized, and maybe even resulted in as much instability as progress, they undeniably achieved one goal — the destruction of the Soviet Union.

How ironic, then, that a nation of people professing to be can-do pioneers and innovators of the American frontier insist on painting themselves into a very Soviet-style ideological corner. All “American” solutions must be private sector solutions. Never mind that over-reliance upon and under-regulation of the corporate sectors recently resulted in the largest economic disaster in three generations. Never mind the obvious fact that the single common business purpose embodied int he charters of ALL corporations worldwide, profit, is essentially anti-social and undermining of the impetus toward activity and exchange for which Americans are starving. And never mind the fact that the most impressive and dynamic economic turnaround in our history was the result of progressive policy and vigorous governmental engagement. We are committed to a death spiral of stupidity.

Anyone with even a single semester of Econ 101 or one year in the private sector knows that the real challenges to successful enterprise are capital and access to markets, not taxation. If you’re netting more than $250,000 per year and you can’t get by on that, you are a pig. If, however, you find that your dream of opening a corner grocery store like the one your grandfather owned is impossible due to the simple fact that you’ll never be able to obtain the credit necessary to operate on the scale dictated by the Super-Walmarts of the world, you are simply being realistic.

But realistic observations like these count as heresy according to the current canon of acceptable American ideas.  Even if they accurately identify the forces thwarting individual economic freedom, they clearly run counter to the myth that America “won” the Cold War through total absence of economic regulation and the benign wisdom of the resultant corporate elites. The true narrative isn’t one of the plucky individualist overcoming adversity through enlightened self-interest; it’s actually the peasant-like surrender of our rights as free-born American citizens.

9/11 is arguably the single most important feast in the liturgical calendar of America’s cult of impotence. Maybe you feel like a real patriot on the surface, tossing off a couple of cheap, content-free platitudes.  But deep down you should probably hate yourself. Apart from displaying a disgusting indifference to the literally hundreds of thousands of lives lost and ruined in 9/11’s aftermath, and utterly failing to explain the event itself in the context of American foreign policy, celebration of 9/11 reinforces a hide-bound mythology of powerlessness. It guarantees, in fact, that America’s situation will only become worse and worse in the years to come.

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  • Anonymous

    No, I don’t celebrate 9/11. God trolling though faggot.

  • http://strictlyapathy.comoj.com SoulArbiter

    Totally brutal article!

  • http://strictlyapathy.comoj.com/ SoulArbiter

    Totally brutal article!

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Brutal and rooted in well thought out, albeit unfortunate, truth. 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Brutal and rooted in well thought out, albeit unfortunate, truth. 

  • Tuna Ghost

    How ironic, then, that a nation of people professing to be can-do pioneers and innovators of the American frontier insist on painting themselves into a very Soviet-style ideological corner. All “American” solutions must be private sector solutions. Never mind that over-reliance upon and under-regulation of the corporate sectors recently resulted in the largest economic disaster in three generations. Never mind the obvious fact that the single common business purpose embodied in the charters of ALL corporations worldwide, profit, is essentially anti-social and undermining of the impetus toward activity and exchange for which Americans are starving. And never mind the fact that the most impressive and dynamic economic turnaround in our history was the result of progressive policy and vigorous governmental engagement. We are committed to a death spiral of stupidity.

    Nail on the head.  

  • Tuna Ghost

    How ironic, then, that a nation of people professing to be can-do pioneers and innovators of the American frontier insist on painting themselves into a very Soviet-style ideological corner. All “American” solutions must be private sector solutions. Never mind that over-reliance upon and under-regulation of the corporate sectors recently resulted in the largest economic disaster in three generations. Never mind the obvious fact that the single common business purpose embodied in the charters of ALL corporations worldwide, profit, is essentially anti-social and undermining of the impetus toward activity and exchange for which Americans are starving. And never mind the fact that the most impressive and dynamic economic turnaround in our history was the result of progressive policy and vigorous governmental engagement. We are committed to a death spiral of stupidity.

    Nail on the head.  

  • 5by5

    I concur almost universally with every single thing said above. I mean to a degree that’s rare.

    Indeed, I’d change only one bit: altering “spineless left wingers” to be more accurate and say “spineless centrists”. A true left winger isn’t spineless. And I hate scented candles. Drum circle? I’m a left winger, not a hippie, and this ain’t 1967.

    But otherwise? 

    Nail, meet head.

    The celebration/commemoration is, as he says, “a morbid preoccupation with victimhood.” And the media is about to slather itself in that tomorrow. 

    In fact, much like the Christmas holidays, many of them have gotten started early. And it’s nauseating.

    Most of the people responsible are dead, or imprisoned. Let’s move on, shall we?

    And if you wish to “commemorate” the event, how about you get full medical care for the poor bastards who breathed in all that gawd awful dust? Those are the real people who need your help now. And if you’re really concerned with “learning the lessons from that day” how about you insist your Congressmen and women actually ANSWER the list of questions the 9/11 families STILL have unanswered. 

    Otherwise, jam it.

  • 5by5

    I concur almost universally with every single thing said above. I mean to a degree that’s rare.

    Indeed, I’d change only one bit: altering “spineless left wingers” to be more accurate and say “spineless centrists”. A true left winger isn’t spineless. And I hate scented candles. Drum circle? I’m a left winger, not a hippie, and this ain’t 1967.

    But otherwise? 

    Nail, meet head.

    The celebration/commemoration is, as he says, “a morbid preoccupation with victimhood.” And the media is about to slather itself in that tomorrow. 

    In fact, much like the Christmas holidays, many of them have gotten started early. And it’s nauseating.

    Most of the people responsible are dead, or imprisoned. Let’s move on, shall we?

    And if you wish to “commemorate” the event, how about you get full medical care for the poor bastards who breathed in all that gawd awful dust? Those are the real people who need your help now. And if you’re really concerned with “learning the lessons from that day” how about you insist your Congressmen and women actually ANSWER the list of questions the 9/11 families STILL have unanswered. 

    Otherwise, jam it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

      Don’t worry, his inclusion of the spineless left winger was a half-hearted and transparent attempt to appear unbiased, or at least equally disgusted by both sides. He loves you too.
      Frankly, liberals are spineless, but you shouldn’t take that as an insult. It is the liberal’s greatest strength.
      To call President Bush a cokehead while you’re snorting a line is ok, because he’s a conservative, holds standards for himself, and you don’t. It’s so fun and easy from a position sans accountability to attack those who are accountable.
      Also, liberals are stuck in a country that, by its name, hates Communism, so their spineless nature makes it easier for them to contort themselves into progressives.
      Be proud of yourself, and your hippie heritage.

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Wow…up above…I thought you had a point. It was wrong…but at least I thought you had one and I kind of respected that.

        I was wrong…you really are the low end of the neo-con, chum guzzling, bought the BS hook line and sinker, dittohead, meme spewing submoronic conservatroll.

        And heres a free clue just for playing:

        Two guys do a line of coke. One says “I’m a cokehead…coke is great…less harsh drug laws would be nice.” The other says “I’m a Christian, a family man, but I’ve had my struggles, lets not talk about my issues…and people like you should be in jail for your crimes.” Then he reaches for another line.

        One is exactly what he says he is with no apologies. The other is a lying, hypocritical douchebag…and its okay to call him that…because the point is just being what you are…not wearing a different hat for every situation. If I met a conservative with a principle that ever inconvenienced him…I’d die of shock…but I don’t meet many conservative men…mostly because I don’t hang out in truck stop toilets. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

          Nice… But I’ll hold off the name calling. The point that I’m making is not that conservatives are good, or even better than liberals. It’s that when a conservative cheats on his wife, everyone’s all “oh my God, he’s supposed to be a family man!” When a liberal does, no one notices. I’m no lover of conservatives, but I’d hold anyone in higher regard if he believed in some sort of standard, but fell short.
          I’m no conservative. In fact, I’m a “terrorist” ALF supporting vegan who would love to see the current system dismantled. My convictions inconvenience me every day.
          I applaud you when you said,
          “One is exactly what he says he is with no apologies. The other is a lying, hypocritical douchebag…and its okay to call him that…because the point is just being what you are…not wearing a different hat for every situation. If I met a conservative with a principle that ever inconvenienced him…I’d die of shock…”
          There are several people, pastors, politicians, business tycoons, that fit this bill, liberal or conservative. There are people who habitually preach the gospel, and just as habitually disregard what they preach.

          A good example of what I mean is this. As much as I really don’t like Sarah Palin, when her young daughter became pregnant, the left was all like “Oooh, Juicy!” I guess Christianity, abstinence, the pro-life movement, and holiness in general are eternally undermined! No. I have no reason to believe that Sarah Palin (whom I do not support politically) is anything less than sincere in her belief. They’re human. They set a standard for themselves and fell short.

          It just seems awfully convenient when someone who has a hard time setting any sort of bar ridicules those who don’t meet theirs.

          For my token conservative bashing remark, I know far too many anti-welfare state conservatives that ride the unemployment bandwagon for years. Their justification is “if everyone else is f***ing the system, why shouldn’t I?” That’s equally revolting.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Well shit, you had to be all reasonable didn’t ya!! Now I have to say sorry for the cheap shot :-)

            I thinks its more telling that when a conservative goes wild…he doesn’t hold back like the liberals do. If a liberal is cheating on his wife…he’s doing what a lot of people do…and frankly I can’t remember the last guy from the GOP that ‘only’ cheated on his wife with another woman. I couldn’t have cared less…GOP or DNC…sometimes people fail. It’s the spectacular failures from people who have spent a lot of time claiming the moral high ground that get attention.
            When they go nuts…they go all the way…its anti-gay, married pastor/politician caught in love nest with underage male prostitute snorting meth off each others d*cks…and then he gets on air the next day and repeats his screeds against homosexuality for being wrong and sick.

            …and he’s right…because the way he does it…it is wrong and sick…because he’s doing it wrong. When I do it…its awesome…but these jackasses can’t even do gay well. Trust me on this…it isn’t that difficult…you just have to not hate yourself and not lie constantly while projecting that self hate onto others. He didn’t fail or fall from grace because he had sex…he fell from grace years before when he started living a life based on pure lies and malice.

            But back to the point. It isn’t that the other side doesn’t have a bar or standards…some of us have rigid principles…lines we will not cross…but we don’t devote our lives and efforts to deciding what the bar should be for everyone else…and we’d like ours kept where they are. Now along comes some busybody with a chip on their shoulder because of their deep personal flaws they haven’t resolved…and they want everyone to live the way they were taught at their cult compound…AND they get caught doing everything they rail against. My bar isn’t too low…its actually insanely high…and I meet it with robust success by virtue of refusing to lower it or change it depending on circumstances…and I oppose people who would force by law a lowering of my bar to their inferior standard.

            What differentiates the cons from the rest is what they base their ‘bar’ on. No drugs, no excess drinking, no premarital or extramarital sex, no homosexuality, babies out of wedlock etc. Mostly…this stuff is penny ante stuff to base a moral high ground on compared to the great spiritual truths common to almost all world religions. They base their bar on trivia from Leviticus…I base mine on actually living in the world and dealing with people reasonably as much as humanly possible…which is why, when occasionally forced by circumstance, I apologize to people I disagree with for my heated words ;-)

        • Tuna Ghost

          …but I don’t meet many conservative men…mostly because I don’t hang out in truck stop toilets.

          Then who was that I saw scrawling on the wall, eh?  EH???  

          • sonicbphuct

            Opps, that was me, Tuna – I was doing the “Wide Leg Stance” on a lot of peyote and I swear I thought it was the peyote when I saw that translucent fish head looking over the stall at me, watching me send out Bathroom-Facebook-Invites to next tuesdays party @ the I-95 TA in Rhode Island.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            Sir…I’ll have you know that I leave behind only dirty limericks…but never DNA :-)

  • 5by5

    I accidentally left off one bit in my list of things you can do about this day. In addition to getting rational medical assistance to those who need it and getting people’s questions answered COMPLETELY, I would also add:

    If you’re concerned with justice in relation to 9/11, how about you start advocating for the vigorous prosecution and ultimate lifetime incarceration of those who used that day to lead us into a totally unnecessary and mindbogglingly costly war with a bunch of people who didn’t have squat to do with making those buildings collapse?

  • 5by5

    I accidentally left off one bit in my list of things you can do about this day. In addition to getting rational medical assistance to those who need it and getting people’s questions answered COMPLETELY, I would also add:

    If you’re concerned with justice in relation to 9/11, how about you start advocating for the vigorous prosecution and ultimate lifetime incarceration of those who used that day to lead us into a totally unnecessary and mindbogglingly costly war with a bunch of people who didn’t have squat to do with making those buildings collapse?

  • Gnosticdancer

    Hey….. there is nothing wrong with drum circles OR Hippies

    as for the use of the word “Left winger” well that is arguable.  I am Liberal yet I do notice that folks who adhere to the Democratic party tend to be spineless.

    I think many want a better place and work for peace and that is misconstrued as weakness.  But I did get a chuckle from reading about burning scented candles and feeling everyone’s pain. 

    I was reading about what my local schools were doing to honor 9/11 and I was disgusted at the level of vapid empty headed rituals.. standing around the flagpole, creating 3300 flags and placing them around the school.. there was also something about “apple pie” and heroes.   And then in one more disturbing activity an English teacher was having the room be a “funeral” and the HS kids had to imagine what it was like being in the buildings and who they would call and write letters to loved ones…. 

  • Gnosticdancer

    Hey….. there is nothing wrong with drum circles OR Hippies

    as for the use of the word “Left winger” well that is arguable.  I am Liberal yet I do notice that folks who adhere to the Democratic party tend to be spineless.

    I think many want a better place and work for peace and that is misconstrued as weakness.  But I did get a chuckle from reading about burning scented candles and feeling everyone’s pain. 

    I was reading about what my local schools were doing to honor 9/11 and I was disgusted at the level of vapid empty headed rituals.. standing around the flagpole, creating 3300 flags and placing them around the school.. there was also something about “apple pie” and heroes.   And then in one more disturbing activity an English teacher was having the room be a “funeral” and the HS kids had to imagine what it was like being in the buildings and who they would call and write letters to loved ones…. 

  • Anonymous

    Memorializing the Outrage of 11 September 2001 is waving the bloody shirt, as the Republicans were wont to do after the Civil War. Same agitational style, only this time over a different event.

  • robertpinkerton

    Memorializing the Outrage of 11 September 2001 is waving the bloody shirt, as the Republicans were wont to do after the Civil War. Same agitational style, only this time over a different event.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I agree with a lot of what you say here.

    Our reaction to 9-11 was guided into an entirely wrong shape by our national leadership. But, I think it’s pretty clear who benefited and why. They’ll get theirs.

    I’ve been hoping now that we’re at the decade mark, some adult in our society will stand up and say “It’s been 10 years. We need to get over this. We need to return to the path of a free and open society and start dismantling this prison we’re building around ourselves.”

    But of course, that ain’t gonna happen.
     

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I agree with a lot of what you say here.

    Our reaction to 9-11 was guided into an entirely wrong shape by our national leadership. But, I think it’s pretty clear who benefited and why. They’ll get theirs.

    I’ve been hoping now that we’re at the decade mark, some adult in our society will stand up and say “It’s been 10 years. We need to get over this. We need to return to the path of a free and open society and start dismantling this prison we’re building around ourselves.”

    But of course, that ain’t gonna happen.
     

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/52MOFB3JUGBLQ2CN6WSJNFCA7M Oldtown

    To bad the planes didn’t take out some Yellow Teeth UK people, the world needs less of UK people.

  • Anonymous

    This is the finest opinion article I’ve seen posted on this site in years.

  • Reasor

    This is the finest original opinion article I’ve seen posted on this site in years. There’s a difference between grieving and masturbating, and Liam clarifies what it means to lose sight of that difference.

    • cujo brocade

      There is indeed a fine line between grieving and masturbation, and here it’s limned better than most other  vociferous partisan screeds on the internet. But a similar line (similarity not width-related) runs b/n balanced critique and calendrial opportunism. I have no qualms with Liam’s contempt of the American media – mostly well-coiffed CO2-producers feeding soundbites and pop-culture pabulum to the ovine mass it means to cow into a consumerist frenzy – nor his description of the backseat our country took before Soviet Russia’s collision w/ reality – the parallels exist, though to a lesser, more self-conscious, degree on this side of the millennium. Compromise, despite the bicameral system’s worst intentions, does still occur. Profit, when governed (since at its conceptual apex it’s supremely self-serving), is still the most efficient engine to propel us out of lethal debt. But this would be better argued by someone else, who’d fault the finer historical points of the juxtaposition. For my part, I find fault in the unarticulated assertion that we are categorically disallowed the right to mourn, commemorate, or even openly remember, an event that brought a sea change to America’s neap tide, because it’s being used to disenfranchise us.
      It’s true, corporations are most likely delighted at our declining agency, renounced through apathy and siphoned into a nascent body politic. Yes, the aftermath of September 11 as perpetrated by America has been heinously destabilizing in unfathomable ways to scads of people. Yes, this fact is flagrantly omitted from the national consciousness*. And yes, we, through silence and inertia, share the onus of this blame. But we should not forfeit national or personal catharsis in order to regain a diminished agency . We shouldn’t do nothing because soon enough we’ll have no ability to do anything. This is not cogent. This is not to say that we should raise our voices with the zealous selfish keening of politicians. Nor should we mimic the vacuous ad-hoc solemnity of sophists planting paper flags beneath a real flag because they don’t want to seem callous. If September 11th is transformed into a symbol, into a means for whatever end, the stark reality of its significance is obscured. Imagine a document photocopied a dozen times and presenting the result as the original. Or a quote taken out of context and put into the mouths of innumerable speakers until it finds its legs, becomes its own entity with a new context, walking independently away from the sense (or senselessness) that spawned it. If one word of them is earnest it does not mean that all of them are. 

      Though McGonagle advocates refraining from “celebrating” (a crass semantic goad that begs the question) today, the tone and loquacious vehemence – not to mention the ad hominem attacks, the complex, club-footed sentences offset by vernacular winks, the hortatory rhetorical flourishes – of the writing seem, in my reading, to cohere into a crowd-stirring call to arms. So why all this venom about lack of agency when we’re not called to do anything to restore it? Political and economic assertions aside, Liam does make a valid point about the state of September 11th in the exploitative hands of the media and Congress. They have used it as a catalyst so frequent- and recklessly its contours have denatured to the point of fitting any purpose, however monstrous or benign. It has become wrapping paper for many an ideology. In their mouths it’s become scaffolding for a monument too expensive to build in this century.

      But in this essay Sept. 11 is a harbinger of slow-onset, inexorable calamity, which is coming b/c America still feels victimized by it. Due to this feeling the US has lost its sense of agency. How these facts correlate is not immediately clear, nor is it made clear (the tangent on the economic similarities of current and former superpowers elucidates the economic support…). But what is clear is that Liam is not above using a stratagem that works and has for a decade now, namely encasing one’s views in a specific tragic package and delivering them under intellectual radar with the stealth technology of bloviating casuistry and buzzword dissimulation. 

      In my mind, today is shock over an intercom, frantic hallway phonecalls, a bathroom mirror shaking my grandmother’s face, the first time terror shook everyone around me. For others it’s a palpable paroxysm in their gut. For some it’s a means to a demagogic end. Using 9/11 as like this, to perpetuate more brinkmanship or deliver smug pontifications, is repugnant and an affront to every innocent person affected by it. If one American honors this day it doesn’t mean all of them will. But if one American thinks all agency has been abdicated, there are legions to prove him wrong.

      *except in the loudest “whing[e]ing[s]” of naive, maudlin “left-wingers,” who advance only the cause of their own solipsistic sympathy which inspires a reaction, such as omission, just to spite/frustrate them…. 

  • Yomomma

    “Remember:  The United States did NOT defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War.” WRONG MORON! This article is whiny unsubstantiated dribble.. 

  • Yomomma

    “Remember:  The United States did NOT defeat the Soviet Union in the Cold War.” WRONG MORON! This article is whiny unsubstantiated dribble.. 

    • Tuna Ghost

      Please explain how the US defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War.  

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      The Soviet Union bankrupted itself. We won by default because capitalism may have many faults…but it does generate revenue for government like all get out. They fell because blue jeans that fit and food that tastes good make people happy…and bread lines and service vouchers don’t. In the end we didn’t have to fire a shot. They crashed and burned because Politburo bigwigs drove sedans and smoked Cuban cigars…and other people watched them live it up on the party dollar while everyone else got by on a few rubles a day. That’s what happens when a clique of gangsters holds all the diamonds and everyone else gets the shaft. Guess where else is headed that way, champ?

    • Anarchy Pony

      To paraphrase Dmitry Orlov, They both were destined to crash, the USSR just won the race.

    • sonicbphuct

      I agree. “MORON!” substantiates your claim of “WRONG”.

  • Yomomma

    ROFL!!! 

  • Tuna Ghost

    Please explain how the US defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War.  

  • Little buddy

    They did, about 67 or so of ‘em.

  • do not disturb

    lets go for a trip to nyc

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    The Soviet Union bankrupted itself. We won by default because capitalism may have many faults…but it does generate revenue for government like all get out. They fell because blue jeans that fit and food that tastes good make people happy…and bread lines and service vouchers don’t. In the end we didn’t have to fire a shot. They crashed and burned because Politburo bigwigs drove sedans and smoked Cuban cigars…and other people watched them live it up on the party dollar while everyone else got by on a few rubles a day. That’s what happens when a clique of gangsters holds all the diamonds and everyone else gets the shaft. Guess where else is headed that way, champ?

  • Wanooski

    To paraphrase Dmitry Orlov, They both were destined to crash, the USSR just won the race.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    I was thorougly confused by this schizophrenic article. Perhaps I err in equating collectivism with glorified victimization, by they generally go hand in hand. You say that the fall of the Soviet Union came about as a result of their inability or unwillingness to experiment and incorporate other “policy options,” without specifying which policy options would have saved them. Corporate greed may have won them the cold war.
    Buried beneath rewritten history, there is the painful fact that the movers and the doers, the greedy pigs who excel in their field by crushing competition, these are the ones who create wealth for everyone. The size of the american economic pie is not finite. The recent economic collapse was masterfully disguised as a failure of the free markets. It was not.
    This was an enjoyable article to read, though I disagree with 90% of what you’ve said.

    There was one point in particular that I laughed out loud:
    “But realistic observations like these count as heresy according to the current canon of acceptable American ideas. Even if they accurately identify the forces thwarting individual economic freedom, they clearly run counter to the myth that America “won” the Cold War through total absence of economic regulation and the benign wisdom of the resultant corporate elites.”

    Canon??? Really? YOU are writing the canon. Look at Wal-Mart, or look at any major corporation. It is the understood canon that we are slaves to the products we buy. If you’re born in a poor neighborhood and attend a public school, the best you can hope to attain all your life is food on the table and a SS check at 65. Wal-Mart is the reason for our downfall. That is the canon. I’m in the reddest state in which one could possibly reside and I’ve yet to hear a lassiez faire sentiment from anyone with whom I’ve discussed politics. Many of them have all too gladly bought the scapegoat you sell them and claim “Well, If only THEY weren’t holding me down, I could’ve been a millionaire.”
    Unity of the weak against the strong is what hurts us all. It’s planetary suicide. It must’ve been the devil himself that invented the idea of associating greed and ambition with guilt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    I was thorougly confused by this schizophrenic article. Perhaps I err in equating collectivism with glorified victimization, by they generally go hand in hand. You say that the fall of the Soviet Union came about as a result of their inability or unwillingness to experiment and incorporate other “policy options,” without specifying which policy options would have saved them. Corporate greed may have won them the cold war.
    Buried beneath rewritten history, there is the painful fact that the movers and the doers, the greedy pigs who excel in their field by crushing competition, these are the ones who create wealth for everyone. The size of the american economic pie is not finite. The recent economic collapse was masterfully disguised as a failure of the free markets. It was not.
    This was an enjoyable article to read, though I disagree with 90% of what you’ve said.

    There was one point in particular that I laughed out loud:
    “But realistic observations like these count as heresy according to the current canon of acceptable American ideas. Even if they accurately identify the forces thwarting individual economic freedom, they clearly run counter to the myth that America “won” the Cold War through total absence of economic regulation and the benign wisdom of the resultant corporate elites.”

    Canon??? Really? YOU are writing the canon. Look at Wal-Mart, or look at any major corporation. It is the understood canon that we are slaves to the products we buy. If you’re born in a poor neighborhood and attend a public school, the best you can hope to attain all your life is food on the table and a SS check at 65. Wal-Mart is the reason for our downfall. That is the canon. I’m in the reddest state in which one could possibly reside and I’ve yet to hear a lassiez faire sentiment from anyone with whom I’ve discussed politics. Many of them have all too gladly bought the scapegoat you sell them and claim “Well, If only THEY weren’t holding me down, I could’ve been a millionaire.”
    Unity of the weak against the strong is what hurts us all. It’s planetary suicide. It must’ve been the devil himself that invented the idea of associating greed and ambition with guilt.

  • Effewe2

    Oh no… economic collapse…That means your fat piggy ass won’t be able to hide on the internet anymore. You’ll go outside and get your ass kicked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    I was thorougly confused by this schizophrenic article. Perhaps I err in equating collectivism with glorified victimization, by they generally go hand in hand. You say that the fall of the Soviet Union came about as a result of their inability or unwillingness to experiment and incorporate other “policy options,” without specifying which policy options would have saved them. Corporate greed may have won them the cold war.
    Buried beneath rewritten history, there is the painful fact that the movers and the doers, the greedy pigs who excel in their field by crushing competition, these are the ones who create wealth for everyone. The size of the american economic pie is not finite. The recent economic collapse was masterfully disguised as a failure of the free markets. It was not.
    This was an enjoyable article to read, though I disagree with 90% of what you’ve said.
    There was one point in particular that I laughed out loud:
    “But realistic observations like these count as heresy according to the current canon of acceptable American ideas. Even if they accurately identify the forces thwarting individual economic freedom, they clearly run counter to the myth that America “won” the Cold War through total absence of economic regulation and the benign wisdom of the resultant corporate elites.”
    Canon??? Really? YOU are writing the canon. Look at Wal-Mart, or look at any major corporation. It is the understood canon that we are slaves to the products we buy. If you’re born in a poor neighborhood and attend a public school, the best you can hope to attain all your life is food on the table and a SS check at 65. Wal-Mart is the reason for our downfall. That is the canon.
    I’m in the reddest state in which one could possibly reside and I’ve yet to hear a lassiez faire sentiment from anyone with whom I’ve discussed politics. Many of them have all too gladly bought the scapegoat you sell them and claim “Well, If only THEY weren’t holding me down, I could’ve been a millionaire.”Unity of the weak against the strong is what hurts us all. It’s planetary suicide. It must’ve been the devil himself that invented the idea of associating greed and ambition with guilt.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    I was thorougly confused by this schizophrenic article. Perhaps I err in equating collectivism with glorified victimization, by they generally go hand in hand. You say that the fall of the Soviet Union came about as a result of their inability or unwillingness to experiment and incorporate other “policy options,” without specifying which policy options would have saved them. Corporate greed may have won them the cold war.
    Buried beneath rewritten history, there is the painful fact that the movers and the doers, the greedy pigs who excel in their field by crushing competition, these are the ones who create wealth for everyone. The size of the american economic pie is not finite. The recent economic collapse was masterfully disguised as a failure of the free markets. It was not.
    This was an enjoyable article to read, though I disagree with 90% of what you’ve said.
    There was one point in particular that I laughed out loud:
    “But realistic observations like these count as heresy according to the current canon of acceptable American ideas. Even if they accurately identify the forces thwarting individual economic freedom, they clearly run counter to the myth that America “won” the Cold War through total absence of economic regulation and the benign wisdom of the resultant corporate elites.”
    Canon??? Really? YOU are writing the canon. Look at Wal-Mart, or look at any major corporation. It is the understood canon that we are slaves to the products we buy. If you’re born in a poor neighborhood and attend a public school, the best you can hope to attain all your life is food on the table and a SS check at 65. Wal-Mart is the reason for our downfall. That is the canon.
    I’m in the reddest state in which one could possibly reside and I’ve yet to hear a lassiez faire sentiment from anyone with whom I’ve discussed politics. Many of them have all too gladly bought the scapegoat you sell them and claim “Well, If only THEY weren’t holding me down, I could’ve been a millionaire.”Unity of the weak against the strong is what hurts us all. It’s planetary suicide. It must’ve been the devil himself that invented the idea of associating greed and ambition with guilt.

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      “these are the ones who create wealth for everyone”…so when exactly will they be getting around to that? It’s been thirty-five years since we started lowering their tax rate so that the poor beleaguered wealthy could afford to enrich the rest of us… and it seems to have worked in reverse…since without high taxes to “incentivize” keeping money in corporations through hiring and expansion…all they’ve done is bankroll more and more and keep the difference.

      I agree that this was no failure of ‘free markets’…but only because there has never been a truly free market…and as we have loosened regulation over the preceding decades, especially with regard to derivatives and other new financial products…the market has actually become less free as a very small handful of players rig the game so that only they win either way…and everyone else foots the bill.

      I’m sure there are a few who adamantly believe they are persecuted by some mythical “Man” who is holding them back…but the truth is that our economic policy choices have flatly diminished the flow of money and encouraged its stagnation…which is not a question of property rights earnings or right and wrong…its only a question of necessity. The money must move…and in sufficient amounts that a difference is made…and if it will not move of its own accord it must be made to move…which is why taxes become necessary, albeit onerous.

      100 million people with larger weekly checks from their workplace…makes a bold and vibrant economy….

      100 people with staggeringly large checks and a huge population with next to nothing…makes Haiti. Decide for yourself which you like better.

      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        You’re right about this “no free market” thing.  Free markets are a hypothetical abstraction used by economists to suss out fundamental principles of economic activity.

        A thought experiment.

        Free markets aren’t real.

        If there were a market with no “rules”, some asshole would just arm up and take the shit and there wouldn’t be any cops or judges to stop them.

      • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

        Every public sector job will necessarily cost the private sector at least three. When taxation moves wealth, it drains it. This is because businesses and corporations have incentives for efficiency, the US Government does not. It simply doesn’t work. It’s not the wealthy’s job to provide wealth to the rest of us, it is our job to grab it for ourselves. Employment has a negative correlation to corporate taxation, which is why we’re still above 9% as we release stimulus bill after stimulus bill. However, when Bush was in office, we enjoyed a nice 4.5-5% unemployment rate (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000). Why is that??? Because, after the Bush tax cuts, businesses had money to hire. They aren’t stuffing it into their metaphorical mattresses. They’re GROWING their business, padding their greedy little pockets, and giving jobs to everyone!
        People get larger checks when they’re worth larger checks. When they make themselves indispensible. Our making excuses for people who live on minimum wage sucks the soul of our society and weakens the strongest and ambitious among us. Let them starve until they’re hungry enough to do something. Or let them enjoy McDonald’s and video games until they die. We enjoy buying $200 video game systems and $40 DVD players because someone is a shameless opportunist.
        You want some of that corporate money? Make that corporation need you. Why is it that we are determined to believe that the basic principles that made us the richest nation in the world cannot possibly hope to help us now?
        Our current economic policy encourages hoarding, from the smallest business to the largest.

        100 million people have larger checks when 3 conditions are present:
        Boss man has more money (Tax cuts and deregulation), the employee is worth more money (education and ambition), and the employee doesn’t have a million people standing behind him making excuses for him.

        Collectivism is reverse darwinism, and God help us when the world’s motor stops.

        • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

          Let me explain it to you this way…

          Stop paying for roads, cops, prisons and a smattering of welfare and see how long anyone hangs on to productive capacity.

          Think you’re going to move your goods and services over my property, or the road that runs in front of my house that I’m now going to claim, or fly over my airspace? Better pay the toll or I’ll gun your ass down.

          A certain amount of public expenditures are not only desirable, but necessary.

          I agree we’re way past that point of negative marginal returns in some areas, but to claim all public expenses are counterproductive is demonstrably foolish.

          • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

            Nice straw man you’ve built, but I never claimed that all public expenses are counterproductive. I’m not an anarchist.

            The police, fire department, roads, and military were all around long before Lyndon B. Johnson decided it was a fundamental human right to a job and decent living wage. It’s not. FDR and LBJ gave us everything, and took our souls.

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

             You: “Every public sector job will necessarily cost the private sector at least three.”

            Me:”… to claim all public expenses are counterproductive is demonstrably foolish.”

            You: “Nice straw man you’ve built, but I never claimed that all public expenses are counterproductive.”

            Hmmm….

          • Tuna Ghost

            So what exactly did you mean when you wrote “Every public sector job will necessarily cost the private sector at least three”?  

        • Yo_Ma_Ma_Wears

          unbelievable verbal excrement …

        • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

          And yet, inexplicably (for some…not for me…but apparently for you) the greatest expansion, growth, spreading of wealth, building of infrastructure, and the like all took place during the aftermath of a depression once high taxes were assessed upon corporations and the wealthy. So great a leap forward that America moved from rural isolationism to the forefront of the world stage in a single generation…and sustained that powerhouse showing for decades…apparently by pure coincidence ending exactly as taxes were reduced and the role of government diminished. Our corporations have done nothing but drain value by trading on bets against success…shifting our entire financial apparatus away from the creation of actual value…and investing it in scarcely supervised speculation.

          People do not get paid what they are worth…unless they force the issue…which no one has ever achieved alone. The ancient trade unions formed precisely because the very wealthy often tried to circumvent payment for skilled labor and unskilled alike…and the practice of collective bargaining developed over centuries to force even reasonable pay from the hands of people who had no intention of delivering it…however good the quality of work. It has little to do with Marx and others who came late to the game…it has much to do with the way of the world and the practical experience of every skilled worker trying to get paid after delivering the goods. Without the force of law to hold employers feet to the fire…you get early industrial America and England…with conditions and pay so foul that pitched battles and death were preferable to the status quo. Only the cushy lives of modern times could allow the naive to look back at labor and scoff so easily. I envy you that innocence.

          You are right about the hoarding…except that it has been encouraged by every tax cut and every loss of incentive to do anything with money save for keeping it. The Bush cuts were a last gasp of the same medicine that made us sick…a short term cure for a long term ill. Like Clinton before him with the loosening of credit strictures….Bush ‘bought time’ with a credit card and wasn’t to be found when the bill came due. In fact, of the two super stimulus packages…his was a no strings attached giveaway…while the second was actually partially recovered. Deregulation and low taxes do not encourage anything…except hoarding. You present a beautiful theory…most of it hand spun from the fiction writer known as Milton Friedman (or more specifically his acolytes…who twisted his theories in ways he never intended)……but its a theory has been a provable failure everywhere it has been implemented. The unhindered wealthy take the wealth and never budge…wages plummet…prices skyrocket…chaos ensues. The other case, the case against the free marketeers, has history on its side…several thousand years of it…most particularly the financial evidence of the last thirty years…the slow tumble from greatness that the right still promises will somehow end…if we just jump off the cliff altogether.

          Good luck with that. I’ll be on the other side…trying to turn this truck around and head back to glory.

          • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

            I suppose this all depends on which revision of history you believe. The depression was deepened and worsened by the New Deal, until America had to beat itself into shape to win WWII and ensure its own survival. We became a self-sufficient production machine. The stock market will crash, Goliath corporations will fall, and young David’s will take their place. It is absolutely foolish to bail out massive corporations that fail due to their own policies. You and I will never agree on the correct road to take because America has treaded a grey line between our two ideologies. I can blame all of her failures on her loyalty to regulation, taxation, and intervention, and you can blame all her failures on lassiez faire capitalism.

            What scares me is that we’re pursuing the same path we were on in the 1930’s. We’re looking to the government to help us, and it’s going to give us the same record high unemployment and concentration of wealth to the fewest individuals. Once again, so many are falling into blaming the wrong group.

            Alas, there will always be a war to blame our crash on. You’ll always scream it’s not enough taxes and regulation, and I’ll always scream the government needs to untie the hands of the employers.

            It takes the deepest level of empathy I possess to try and comprehend how you see the history of the free market as a history of failure. I can’t wrap my head around it, except to believe we’ve heard two different histories. I’ll resist the urge to point at the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, and every other socialist governmental failure.

          • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

            How about the deeply conservative Chilean experiment…or the Bolivian one? They came the closest to stripping away all regulation and state ownership and high taxes in an attempt (coached by Friedman fans on the sidelines) to induce a real free market economy. Their recovery took years…and required a hasty return to nationalized infrastructure, massive welfare programs, giant price fixing and more…all after the total collapse that hit a previously sound economy in the aftermath of free market engineering. When I say these policies have failed…I don’t mean it idly…I mean they were deployed to their fullest extent and left a few countries in utter penury almost immediately. No one has attempted to deploy them that quickly ever again…now they deploy the same theories slowly, piecemeal style…and not surprisingly…we see a slow piecemeal style downward spiral.

            It’s funny that you mention ww2 as the fix for the New Deals failures…since I was going to mention the GI Bill (as well as the Eisenhower infrastructure programs, the TVA, the CCC, and more), but I lacked space and aimed for brevity. By government taxation and subsidized education, the US built a generation of educated workers on a scale never before seen…precisely because government wasn’t seen as being responsible for higher education until that point. It resonates with your point about educated labor being able to command a higher wage…but only because despite the education it took collective bargaining to force higher wages into being even when workers were better educated and more capable. That single program altered the US landscape massively and permanently…for the better. Subsidized higher education was a staggering success that generated investment locally and eventually globally…but thats evil old leftie talk in todays world…never mind that it not only works in Europe…it worked here…for half a century plus…and now we’re railing to do away with such things and the price of an education is outpacing the wage scale very quickly. Do the math on that and see where we’re headed in a few decades.

            There’s only one revision these days…and its the washover that gets dealt out to labor issues everywhere except in isolated college texts and history books that are very specific. Small wars and pitched battles were fought in this country because when someone rallied for better wages or basic safety…many times they were stalked, beaten or even killed. Eventually they fought back…but only after every means of redress for grievances had not only been exhausted, but had been closed to them…violently. I’ll happily admit that in the latter days of the twentieth century, the auto unions devolved into arguments over the size of the hot tub in the break room and other pointless luxuries…but the original issues are dangerously close to becoming relevant again.

            And about collectivism…it aint reverse darwinism…it is evolution at its peak. It didn’t start with Socialism…it began when a dozen individual hunters still couldn’t feed themselves working alone…and teamwork…along with sharing the spoils fairly…became a necessity. People still find themselves in that situation even today…and their choice to work collectively to achieve a goal none can achieve alone (a national postal service, a highway, an overpass, a sewer, city water, an electrical grid etc) is born out of clarity and reason…not perfidious delusion. Reverse darwinism would be the slow eroding of these basic concepts to promote a return to the failed paradigm of another time…a delusional belief in the potential survival of a nation of 350 million…all struggling as loners to somehow carve out a tiny slice of success for themselves. The slice is just too tiny…and without a certain degree of agreed upon collective action…we all crash and burn as one.

          • Tuna Ghost

            It takes the deepest level of empathy I possess to try and comprehend how you see the history of the free market as a history of failure. 
            Because “free market” is a fable.  Corporations don’t want a free market, and they get what they want.  Even Reagan, at the same time he was extolling the virtues of a free market, was running the most protectionist market to date.  Couldn’t let those cheap, reliable Japanese cars fairly compete with US cars, now could we?  

            The sole responsibility of a CEO is to make put money in the pockets of his shareholders.  They value short-sighted monetary gain over everything else.  If they don’t behave with this goal in mind, they will be fired and probably sued, just like Henry Ford was when he tried to pay his workers more, the idea being that higher wages meant his workers could buy his cars and would attract better talent that would build better cars, earning higher profits in the long run.  But two stockholders, the Dodge brothers, sued the shit out of him and won.  Because they didn’t care about the long-term profits.  

            So what about this makes you think that, given a free hand, corporations will do anything to help anybody but themselves?  That they will do anything other than what they have already done, which is screw us all?  

        • Anarchy Pony

          Not really, collectivism from an evolutionary standpoint is generally what would best promote the survival of any given group. And really, we are all living collectively all the time. Any corporation could be described as collectivist to a point, you think one person trying to operate on their own could possibly match a corporation which is a collection of people? You think one man shoveling coal could beat a coal company? Of course not. 
          And your really sullying the entire concept of evolutionary biology when you talk about foolish invented concepts like wealth, economy, worth, money and all these things. To say nothing of the relation to sustainability of the whole endeavor, which none of this garbage is. The capitalist greed driven system will leave this whole planet a smoking wasteland.

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            I concur.

            Howard Bloom’s _The Lucifer Principle_ presents (but far from proves) a lot of interesting concepts on this matter. Well worth the read.

        • Tuna Ghost

          100 million people have larger checks when 3 conditions are present:
          Boss man has more money (Tax cuts and deregulation), the employee is worth more money (education and ambition), and the employee doesn’t have a million people standing behind him making excuses for him.

          Except that corporate profits have been soaring steadily, but wages have remained the same or dropped lower.  De-regulation and people not properly handling the regulation already on the books is what caused the economic collapse that crashed the world’s economy.  The fact that you haven’t noticed this makes me wonder if you’re actually paying attention or just getting your ideology wholesale from someone else while ignoring the reality of the situation around you. 

    • Yo_Ma_Ma_Wears

      “Buried beneath rewritten history, there is the painful fact that the
      movers and the doers, the greedy pigs who excel in their field by
      crushing competition, these are the ones who create wealth for everyone”

      That’s the kool-aid talking, put it away before you hurt yourself further …

      • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

        Problem is, who exactly is serving this Kool Aid? George W. never had the cojones to support the virtue of greed. He made excuses.

        The Kool-Aid is being served all about this room. Read down the comments. There’s a lot of “Yep I agree with that” and “Ooh you just hit the nail on the head.”

        I’m just the antagonistic a**hole to come in here and play devil’s advocate.

        • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

          Look, I think we all went though the Ayn Rand phase in high school or whatever.

          It’s cool. 

          But try not to take it all so seriously. Maybe go read some Popper or something. I think that’s what helped me move on from Rand.

        • sonicbphuct

          i wonder if, after you read “Atlas Shrugged”, or any of the Friedmanites scribblings, did you ever read “On the Moral Sentiments of Men”? All of your lassiez faire arguments are based on the idea that Men, generally, don’t want to do more than provide for themselves and their families/community, that they are not greedy (as kings were to Smith), that they were “rational” in ways that kings were not, etc. Unfortunately, Smith never met Rupert Murdoch, or any of the other “Movers and Doers”. In his day, the Movers and Doers were already in power.

          But what do I know, I, too, am just an antagonistic asshole that types out the whole word w/o **.

        • Tuna Ghost

          No no, you’re right, agreeing with someone is totally a “drinking the cool-aid” deal.  That’s not a pathetic attempt to dress up an ad hominem as something else.  No one could ever think it was.  

          No one.

          No one at all.

    • sonicbphuct

      ahhh, objectivity at its finest :-) When you’re shot in the face and they take your money, is that “crushing the competition”? Cause, the the guy doing the shooting is in fact, DOING and MOVING. Or, would you apply a rule to that and regulate the competition?

      • sonicbphuct

        hmm… that’s supposed to be for Derek Goff. bamboozled by technology.

      • Tuna Ghost

        (FYI, it’s “Objectivism”, not “Objectivity”.  You’re referring to Ayn Rand’s joke of a philosophy, correct?)

        • sonicbphuct

          can i blame it on auto-correct? Yes, Objectivism … which Firefox thinks is misspelled, while I find it just a miss.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    Don’t worry, his inclusion of the spineless left winger was a half-hearted and transparent attempt to appear unbiased, or at least equally disgusted by both sides. He loves you too.
    Frankly, liberals are spineless, but you shouldn’t take that as an insult. It is the liberal’s greatest strength.
    To call President Bush a cokehead while you’re snorting a line is ok, because he’s a conservative, holds standards for himself, and you don’t. It’s so fun and easy from a position sans accountability to attack those who are accountable.
    Also, liberals are stuck in a country that, by its name, hates Communism, so their spineless nature makes it easier for them to contort themselves into progressives.
    Be proud of yourself, and your hippie heritage.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    “these are the ones who create wealth for everyone”…so when exactly will they be getting around to that? It’s been thirty-five years since we started lowering their tax rate so that the poor beleaguered wealthy could afford to enrich the rest of us… and it seems to have worked in reverse…since without high taxes to “incentivize” keeping money in corporations through hiring and expansion…all they’ve done is bankroll more and more and keep the difference.

    I agree that this was no failure of ‘free markets’…but only because there has never been a truly free market…and as we have loosened regulation over the preceding decades, especially with regard to derivatives and other new financial products…the market has actually become less free as a very small handful of players rig the game so that only they win either way…and everyone else foots the bill.

    I’m sure there are a few who adamantly believe they are persecuted by some mythical “Man” who is holding them back…but the truth is that our economic policy choices have flatly diminished the flow of money and encouraged its stagnation…which is not a question of property rights earnings or right and wrong…its only a question of necessity. The money must move…and in sufficient amounts that a difference is made…and if it will not move of its own accord it must be made to move…which is why taxes become necessary, albeit onerous.

    100 million people with larger weekly checks from their workplace…makes a bold and vibrant economy….

    100 people with staggeringly large checks and a huge population with next to nothing…makes Haiti. Decide for yourself which you like better.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Wow…up above…I thought you had a point. It was wrong…but at least I thought you had one and I kind of respected that.

    I was wrong…you really are the low end of the neo-con, chum guzzling, bought the BS hook line and sinker, dittohead, meme spewing submoronic conservatroll.

    And heres a free clue just for playing:

    Two guys do a line of coke. One says “I’m a cokehead…coke is great…less harsh drug laws would be nice.” The other says “I’m a Christian, a family man, but I’ve had my struggles, lets not talk about my issues…and people like you should be in jail for your crimes.” Then he reaches for another line.

    One is exactly what he says he is with no apologies. The other is a lying, hypocritical douchebag…and its okay to call him that…because the point is just being what you are…not wearing a different hat for every situation. If I met a conservative with a principle that ever inconvenienced him…I’d die of shock…but I don’t meet many conservative men…mostly because I don’t hang out in truck stop toilets. 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Wow…up above…I thought you had a point. It was wrong…but at least I thought you had one and I kind of respected that.

    I was wrong…you really are the low end of the neo-con, chum guzzling, bought the BS hook line and sinker, dittohead, meme spewing submoronic conservatroll.

    And heres a free clue just for playing:

    Two guys do a line of coke. One says “I’m a cokehead…coke is great…less harsh drug laws would be nice.” The other says “I’m a Christian, a family man, but I’ve had my struggles, lets not talk about my issues…and people like you should be in jail for your crimes.” Then he reaches for another line.

    One is exactly what he says he is with no apologies. The other is a lying, hypocritical douchebag…and its okay to call him that…because the point is just being what you are…not wearing a different hat for every situation. If I met a conservative with a principle that ever inconvenienced him…I’d die of shock…but I don’t meet many conservative men…mostly because I don’t hang out in truck stop toilets. 

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Wow…up above…I thought you had a point. It was wrong…but at least I thought you had one and I kind of respected that.

    I was wrong…you really are the low end of the neo-con, chum guzzling, bought the BS hook line and sinker, dittohead, meme spewing submoronic conservatroll.

    And heres a free clue just for playing:

    Two guys do a line of coke. One says “I’m a cokehead…coke is great…less harsh drug laws would be nice.” The other says “I’m a Christian, a family man, but I’ve had my struggles, lets not talk about my issues…and people like you should be in jail for your crimes.” Then he reaches for another line.

    One is exactly what he says he is with no apologies. The other is a lying, hypocritical douchebag…and its okay to call him that…because the point is just being what you are…not wearing a different hat for every situation. If I met a conservative with a principle that ever inconvenienced him…I’d die of shock…but I don’t meet many conservative men…mostly because I don’t hang out in truck stop toilets. 

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    You’re right about this “no free market” thing.  Free markets are a hypothetical abstraction used by economists to suss out fundamental principles of economic activity.

    A thought experiment.

    Free markets aren’t real.

    If there were a market with no “rules”, some asshole would just arm up and take the shit and there wouldn’t be any cops or judges to stop them.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    You’re right about this “no free market” thing.  Free markets are a hypothetical abstraction used by economists to suss out fundamental principles of economic activity.

    A thought experiment.

    Free markets aren’t real.

    If there were a market with no “rules”, some asshole would just arm up and take the shit and there wouldn’t be any cops or judges to stop them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    Every public sector job will necessarily cost the private sector at least three. When taxation moves wealth, it drains it. This is because businesses and corporations have incentives for efficiency, the US Government does not. It simply doesn’t work. It’s not the wealthy’s job to provide wealth to the rest of us, it is our job to grab it for ourselves. Employment has a negative correlation to corporate taxation, which is why we’re still above 9% as we release stimulus bill after stimulus bill. However, when Bush was in office, we enjoyed a nice 4.5-5% unemployment rate (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000). Why is that??? Because, after the Bush tax cuts, businesses had money to hire. They aren’t stuffing it into their metaphorical mattresses. They’re GROWING their business, padding their greedy little pockets, and giving jobs to everyone!
    People get larger checks when they’re worth larger checks. When they make themselves indispensible. Our making excuses for people who live on minimum wage sucks the soul of our society and weakens the strongest and ambitious among us. Let them starve until they’re hungry enough to do something. Or let them enjoy McDonald’s and video games until they die. We enjoy buying $200 video game systems and $40 DVD players because someone is a shameless opportunist.
    You want some of that corporate money? Make that corporation need you. Why is it that we are determined to believe that the basic principles that made us the richest nation in the world cannot possibly hope to help us now?
    Our current economic policy encourages hoarding, from the smallest business to the largest.

    100 million people have larger checks when 3 conditions are present:
    Boss man has more money (Tax cuts and deregulation), the employee is worth more money (education and ambition), and the employee doesn’t have a million people standing behind him making excuses for him.

    Collectivism is reverse darwinism, and God help us when the world’s motor stops.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    Nice… But I’ll hold off the name calling. The point that I’m making is not that conservatives are good, or even better than liberals. It’s that when a conservative cheats on his wife, everyone’s all “oh my God, he’s supposed to be a family man!” When a liberal does, no one notices. I’m no lover of conservatives, but I’d hold anyone in higher regard if he believed in some sort of standard, but fell short.
    I’m no conservative. In fact, I’m a “terrorist” ALF supporting vegan who would love to see the current system dismantled. My convictions inconvenience me every day.
    I applaud you when you said,
    “One is exactly what he says he is with no apologies. The other is a lying, hypocritical douchebag…and its okay to call him that…because the point is just being what you are…not wearing a different hat for every situation. If I met a conservative with a principle that ever inconvenienced him…I’d die of shock…”
    There are several people, pastors, politicians, business tycoons, that fit this bill, liberal or conservative. There are people who habitually preach the gospel, and just as habitually disregard what they preach.

    A good example of what I mean is this. As much as I really don’t like Sarah Palin, when her young daughter became pregnant, the left was all like “Oooh, Juicy!” I guess Christianity, abstinence, the pro-life movement, and holiness in general are eternally undermined! No. I have no reason to believe that Sarah Palin (whom I do not support politically) is anything less than sincere in her belief. They’re human. They set a standard for themselves and fell short.

    It just seems awfully convenient when someone who has a hard time setting any sort of bar ridicules those who don’t meet theirs.

    For my token conservative bashing remark, I know far too many anti-welfare state conservatives that ride the unemployment bandwagon for years. Their justification is “if everyone else is f***ing the system, why shouldn’t I?” That’s equally revolting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    Nice… But I’ll hold off the name calling. The point that I’m making is not that conservatives are good, or even better than liberals. It’s that when a conservative cheats on his wife, everyone’s all “oh my God, he’s supposed to be a family man!” When a liberal does, no one notices. I’m no lover of conservatives, but I’d hold anyone in higher regard if he believed in some sort of standard, but fell short.
    I’m no conservative. In fact, I’m a “terrorist” ALF supporting vegan who would love to see the current system dismantled. My convictions inconvenience me every day.
    I applaud you when you said,
    “One is exactly what he says he is with no apologies. The other is a lying, hypocritical douchebag…and its okay to call him that…because the point is just being what you are…not wearing a different hat for every situation. If I met a conservative with a principle that ever inconvenienced him…I’d die of shock…”
    There are several people, pastors, politicians, business tycoons, that fit this bill, liberal or conservative. There are people who habitually preach the gospel, and just as habitually disregard what they preach.

    A good example of what I mean is this. As much as I really don’t like Sarah Palin, when her young daughter became pregnant, the left was all like “Oooh, Juicy!” I guess Christianity, abstinence, the pro-life movement, and holiness in general are eternally undermined! No. I have no reason to believe that Sarah Palin (whom I do not support politically) is anything less than sincere in her belief. They’re human. They set a standard for themselves and fell short.

    It just seems awfully convenient when someone who has a hard time setting any sort of bar ridicules those who don’t meet theirs.

    For my token conservative bashing remark, I know far too many anti-welfare state conservatives that ride the unemployment bandwagon for years. Their justification is “if everyone else is f***ing the system, why shouldn’t I?” That’s equally revolting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    Nice… But I’ll hold off the name calling. The point that I’m making is not that conservatives are good, or even better than liberals. It’s that when a conservative cheats on his wife, everyone’s all “oh my God, he’s supposed to be a family man!” When a liberal does, no one notices. I’m no lover of conservatives, but I’d hold anyone in higher regard if he believed in some sort of standard, but fell short.
    I’m no conservative. In fact, I’m a “terrorist” ALF supporting vegan who would love to see the current system dismantled. My convictions inconvenience me every day.
    I applaud you when you said,
    “One is exactly what he says he is with no apologies. The other is a lying, hypocritical douchebag…and its okay to call him that…because the point is just being what you are…not wearing a different hat for every situation. If I met a conservative with a principle that ever inconvenienced him…I’d die of shock…”
    There are several people, pastors, politicians, business tycoons, that fit this bill, liberal or conservative. There are people who habitually preach the gospel, and just as habitually disregard what they preach.

    A good example of what I mean is this. As much as I really don’t like Sarah Palin, when her young daughter became pregnant, the left was all like “Oooh, Juicy!” I guess Christianity, abstinence, the pro-life movement, and holiness in general are eternally undermined! No. I have no reason to believe that Sarah Palin (whom I do not support politically) is anything less than sincere in her belief. They’re human. They set a standard for themselves and fell short.

    It just seems awfully convenient when someone who has a hard time setting any sort of bar ridicules those who don’t meet theirs.

    For my token conservative bashing remark, I know far too many anti-welfare state conservatives that ride the unemployment bandwagon for years. Their justification is “if everyone else is f***ing the system, why shouldn’t I?” That’s equally revolting.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Let me explain it to you this way…

    Stop paying for roads, cops, prisons and a smattering of welfare and see how long anyone hangs on to productive capacity.

    Think you’re going to move your goods and services over my property, or the road that runs in front of my house that I’m now going to claim, or fly over my airspace? Better pay the toll or I’ll gun your ass down.

    A certain amount of public expenditures are not only desirable, but necessary.

    I agree we’re way past that point of negative marginal returns in some areas, but to claim all public expenses are counterproductive is demonstrably foolish.

  • Anonymous

    “Buried beneath rewritten history, there is the painful fact that the
    movers and the doers, the greedy pigs who excel in their field by
    crushing competition, these are the ones who create wealth for everyone”

    That’s the kool-aid talking, put it away before you hurt yourself further …

  • Anonymous

    unbelievable verbal excrement …

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    And yet, inexplicably (for some…not for me…but apparently for you) the greatest expansion, growth, spreading of wealth, building of infrastructure, and the like all took place during the aftermath of a depression once high taxes were assessed upon corporations and the wealthy. So great a leap forward that America moved from rural isolationism to the forefront of the world stage in a single generation…and sustained that powerhouse showing for decades…apparently by pure coincidence ending exactly as taxes were reduced and the role of government diminished. Our corporations have done nothing but drain value by trading on bets against success…shifting our entire financial apparatus away from the creation of actual value…and investing it in scarcely supervised speculation.

    People do not get paid what they are worth…unless they force the issue…which no one has ever achieved alone. The ancient trade unions formed precisely because the very wealthy often tried to circumvent payment for skilled labor and unskilled alike…and the practice of collective bargaining developed over centuries to force even reasonable pay from the hands of people who had no intention of delivering it…however good the quality of work. It has little to do with Marx and others who came late to the game…it has much to do with the way of the world and the practical experience of every skilled worker trying to get paid after delivering the goods. Without the force of law to hold employers feet to the fire…you get early industrial America and England…with conditions and pay so foul that pitched battles and death were preferable to the status quo. Only the cushy lives of modern times could allow the naive to look back at labor and scoff so easily. I envy you that innocence.

    You are right about the hoarding…except that it has been encouraged by every tax cut and every loss of incentive to do anything with money save for keeping it. The Bush cuts were a last gasp of the same medicine that made us sick…a short term cure for a long term ill. Like Clinton before him with the loosening of credit strictures….Bush ‘bought time’ with a credit card and wasn’t to be found when the bill came due. In fact, of the two super stimulus packages…his was a no strings attached giveaway…while the second was actually partially recovered. Deregulation and low taxes do not encourage anything…except hoarding. You present a beautiful theory…most of it hand spun from the fiction writer known as Milton Friedman (or more specifically his acolytes…who twisted his theories in ways he never intended)……but its a theory has been a provable failure everywhere it has been implemented. The unhindered wealthy take the wealth and never budge…wages plummet…prices skyrocket…chaos ensues. The other case, the case against the free marketeers, has history on its side…several thousand years of it…most particularly the financial evidence of the last thirty years…the slow tumble from greatness that the right still promises will somehow end…if we just jump off the cliff altogether.

    Good luck with that. I’ll be on the other side…trying to turn this truck around and head back to glory.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    Problem is, who exactly is serving this Kool Aid? George W. never had the cojones to support the virtue of greed. He made excuses.

    The Kool-Aid is being served all about this room. Read down the comments. There’s a lot of “Yep I agree with that” and “Ooh you just hit the nail on the head.”

    I’m just the antagonistic a**hole to come in here and play devil’s advocate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    Nice straw man you’ve built, but I never claimed that all public expenses are counterproductive. I’m not an anarchist.

    The police, fire department, roads, and military were all around long before Lyndon B. Johnson decided it was a fundamental human right to a job and decent living wage. It’s not. FDR and LBJ gave us everything, and took our souls.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

     You: “Every public sector job will necessarily cost the private sector at least three.”

    Me:”… to claim all public expenses are counterproductive is demonstrably foolish.”

    You: “Nice straw man you’ve built, but I never claimed that all public expenses are counterproductive.”

    Hmmm….

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Look, I think we all went though the Ayn Rand phase in high school or whatever.

    It’s cool. 

    But try not to take it all so seriously. Maybe go read some Popper or something. I think that’s what helped me move on from Rand.

  • http://www.facebook.com/derekgoff1983 Derek Goff

    I suppose this all depends on which revision of history you believe. The depression was deepened and worsened by the New Deal, until America had to beat itself into shape to win WWII and ensure its own survival. We became a self-sufficient production machine. The stock market will crash, Goliath corporations will fall, and young David’s will take their place. It is absolutely foolish to bail out massive corporations that fail due to their own policies. You and I will never agree on the correct road to take because America has treaded a grey line between our two ideologies. I can blame all of her failures on her loyalty to regulation, taxation, and intervention, and you can blame all her failures on lassiez faire capitalism.

    What scares me is that we’re pursuing the same path we were on in the 1930’s. We’re looking to the government to help us, and it’s going to give us the same record high unemployment and concentration of wealth to the fewest individuals. Once again, so many are falling into blaming the wrong group.

    Alas, there will always be a war to blame our crash on. You’ll always scream it’s not enough taxes and regulation, and I’ll always scream the government needs to untie the hands of the employers.

    It takes the deepest level of empathy I possess to try and comprehend how you see the history of the free market as a history of failure. I can’t wrap my head around it, except to believe we’ve heard two different histories. I’ll resis the urge to point at the Soviet Union, Cuba, China, and every other socialist governmental failure.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Well shit, you had to be all reasonable didn’t ya!! Now I have to say sorry for the cheap shot :-)

    I thinks its more telling that when a conservative goes wild…he doesn’t hold back like the liberals do. If a liberal is cheating on his wife…he’s doing what a lot of people do…and frankly I can’t remember the last guy from the GOP that ‘only’ cheated on his wife with another woman. I couldn’t have cared less…GOP or DNC…sometimes people fail. It’s the spectacular failures from people who have spent a lot of time claiming the moral high ground that get attention.
    When they go nuts…they go all the way…its anti-gay, married pastor/politician caught in love nest with underage male prostitute snorting meth off each others d*cks…and then he gets on air the next day and repeats his screeds against homosexuality for being wrong and sick.

    …and he’s right…because the way he does it…it is wrong and sick…because he’s doing it wrong. When I do it…its awesome…but these jackasses can’t even do gay well. Trust me on this…it isn’t that difficult…you just have to not hate yourself and not lie constantly while projecting that self hate onto others. He didn’t fail or fall from grace because he had sex…he fell from grace years before when he started living a life based on pure lies and malice.

    But back to the point. It isn’t that the other side doesn’t have a bar or standards…some of us have rigid principles…lines we will not cross…but we don’t devote our lives and efforts to deciding what the bar should be for everyone else…and we’d like ours kept where they are. Now along comes some busybody with a chip on their shoulder because of their deep personal flaws they haven’t resolved…and they want everyone to live the way they were taught at their cult compound…AND they get caught doing everything they rail against. My bar isn’t too low…its actually insanely high…and I meet it with robust success by virtue of refusing to lower it or change it depending on circumstances…and I oppose people who would force by law a lowering of my bar to their inferior standard.

    What differentiates the cons from the rest is what they base their ‘bar’ on. No drugs, no excess drinking, no premarital or extramarital sex, no homosexuality, babies out of wedlock etc. Mostly…this stuff is penny ante stuff to base a moral high ground on compared to the great spiritual truths common to almost all world religions. They base their bar on trivia from Leviticus…I base mine on actually living in the world and dealing with people reasonably as much as humanly possible…which is why, when occasionally forced by circumstance, I apologize to people I disagree with for my heated words ;-)

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    How about the deeply conservative Chilean experiment…or the Bolivian one? They came the closest to stripping away all regulation and state ownership and high taxes in an attempt (coached by Friedman fans on the sidelines) to induce a real free market economy. Their recovery took years…and required a hasty return to nationalized infrastructure, massive welfare programs, giant price fixing and more…all after the total collapse that hit a previously sound economy in the aftermath of free market engineering. When I say these policies have failed…I don’t mean it idly…I mean they were deployed to their fullest extent and left a few countries in utter penury almost immediately. No one has attempted to deploy them that quickly ever again…now they deploy the same theories slowly, piecemeal style…and not surprisingly…we see a slow piecemeal style downward spiral.

    It’s funny that you mention ww2 as the fix for the New Deals failures…since I was going to mention the GI Bill (as well as the Eisenhower infrastructure programs, the TVA, the CCC, and more), but I lacked space and aimed for brevity. By government taxation and subsidized education, the US built a generation of educated workers on a scale never before seen…precisely because government wasn’t seen as being responsible for higher education until that point. It resonates with your point about educated labor being able to command a higher wage…but only because despite the education it took collective bargaining to force higher wages into being even when workers were better educated and more capable. That single program altered the US landscape massively and permanently…for the better. Subsidized higher education was a staggering success that generated investment locally and eventually globally…but thats evil old leftie talk in todays world…never mind that it not only works in Europe…it worked here…for half a century plus…and now we’re railing to do away with such things and the price of an education is outpacing the wage scale very quickly. Do the math on that and see where we’re headed in a few decades.

    There’s only one revision these days…and its the washover that gets dealt out to labor issues everywhere except in isolated college texts and history books that are very specific. Small wars and pitched battles were fought in this country because when someone rallied for better wages or basic safety…many times they were stalked, beaten or even killed. Eventually they fought back…but only after every means of redress for grievances had not only been exhausted, but had been closed to them…violently. I’ll happily admit that in the latter days of the twentieth century, the auto unions devolved into arguments over the size of the hot tub in the break room and other pointless luxuries…but the original issues are dangerously close to becoming relevant again.

    And about collectivism…it aint reverse darwinism…it is evolution at its peak. It didn’t start with Socialism…it began when a dozen individual hunters still couldn’t feed themselves working alone…and teamwork…along with sharing the spoils fairly…became a necessity. People still find themselves in that situation even today…and their choice to work collectively to achieve a goal none can achieve alone (a national postal service, a highway, an overpass, a sewer, city water, an electrical grid etc) is born out of clarity and reason…not perfidious delusion. Reverse darwinism would be the slow eroding of these basic concepts to promote a return to the failed paradigm of another time…a delusional belief in the potential survival of a nation of 350 million…all struggling as loners to somehow carve out a tiny slice of success for themselves. The slice is just too tiny…and without a certain degree of agreed upon collective action…we all crash and burn as one.

  • Wanooski

    Not really, collectivism from an evolutionary standpoint is generally what would best promote the survival of any given group. And really, we are all living collectively all the time. Any corporation could be described as collectivist to a point, you think one person trying to operate on their own could possibly match a corporation which is a collection of people? You think one man shoveling coal could beat a coal company? Of course not. 
    And your really sullying the entire concept of evolutionary biology when you talk about foolish invented concepts like wealth, economy, worth, money and all these things. To say nothing of the relation to sustainability of the whole endeavor, which none of this garbage is. The capitalist greed driven system will leave this whole planet a smoking wasteland.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Care to put that in terms that have anything to do with the discussion at hand, buddy? 

  • Tuna Ghost

    …but I don’t meet many conservative men…mostly because I don’t hang out in truck stop toilets.

    Then who was that I saw scrawling on the wall, eh?  EH???  

  • Anonymous

    Opps, that was me, Tuna – I was doing the “Wide Leg Stance” on a lot of peyote and I swear I thought it was the peyote when I saw that translucent fish head looking over the stall at me, watching me send out Bathroom-Facebook-Invites to next tuesdays party @ the I-95 TA in Rhode Island.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. “MORON!” substantiates your claim of “WRONG”.

  • Anonymous

    ahhh, objectivity at its finest :-) When you’re shot in the face and they take your money, is that “crushing the competition”? Cause, the the guy doing the shooting is in fact, DOING and MOVING. Or, would you apply a rule to that and regulate the competition?

  • Anonymous

    ahhh, objectivity at its finest :-) When you’re shot in the face and they take your money, is that “crushing the competition”? Cause, the the guy doing the shooting is in fact, DOING and MOVING. Or, would you apply a rule to that and regulate the competition?

  • cujo brocade

    There is indeed a fine line between grieving and masturbation, and here it’s limned better than most other  vociferous partisan screeds on the internet. But a similar line (similarity not width-related) runs b/n balanced critique and calendrial opportunism. I have no qualms with Liam’s contempt of the American media – mostly well-coiffed CO2-producers feeding soundbites and pop-culture pabulum to the ovine mass it means to cow into a consumerist frenzy – nor his description of the backseat our country took before Soviet Russia’s collision w/ reality – the parallels exist, though to a lesser, more self-conscious, degree on this side of the millennium. Compromise, despite the bicameral system’s worst intentions, does still occur. Profit, when governed (since at its conceptual apex it’s supremely self-serving), is still the most efficient engine to propel us out of lethal debt. But this would be better argued by someone else, who’d fault the finer historical points of the juxtaposition. For my part, I find fault in the unarticulated assertion that we are categorically disallowed the right to mourn, commemorate, or even openly remember, an event that brought a sea change to America’s neap tide, because it’s being used to disenfranchise us.
    It’s true, corporations are most likely delighted at our declining agency, renounced through apathy and siphoned into a nascent body politic. Yes, the aftermath of September 11 as perpetrated by America has been heinously destabilizing in unfathomable ways to scads of people. Yes, this fact is flagrantly omitted from the national consciousness*. And yes, we, through silence and inertia, share the onus of this blame. But we should not forfeit national or personal catharsis in order to regain a diminished agency . We shouldn’t do nothing because soon enough we’ll have no ability to do anything. This is not cogent. This is not to say that we should raise our voices with the zealous selfish keening of politicians. Nor should we mimic the vacuous ad-hoc solemnity of sophists planting paper flags beneath a real flag because they don’t want to seem callous. If September 11th is transformed into a symbol, into a means for whatever end, the stark reality of its significance is obscured. Imagine a document photocopied a dozen times and presenting the result as the original. Or a quote taken out of context and put into the mouths of innumerable speakers until it finds its legs, becomes its own entity with a new context, walking independently away from the sense (or senselessness) that spawned it. If one word of them is earnest it does not mean that all of them are. 

    Though McGonagle advocates refraining from “celebrating” (a crass semantic goad that begs the question) today, the tone and loquacious vehemence – not to mention the ad hominem attacks, the complex, club-footed sentences offset by vernacular winks, the hortatory rhetorical flourishes – of the writing seem, in my reading, to cohere into a crowd-stirring call to arms. So why all this venom about lack of agency when we’re not called to do anything to restore it? Political and economic assertions aside, Liam does make a valid point about the state of September 11th in the exploitative hands of the media and Congress. They have used it as a catalyst so frequent- and recklessly its contours have denatured to the point of fitting any purpose, however monstrous or benign. It has become wrapping paper for many an ideology. In their mouths it’s become scaffolding for a monument too expensive to build in this century.

    But in this essay Sept. 11 is a harbinger of slow-onset, inexorable calamity, which is coming b/c America still feels victimized by it. Due to this feeling the US has lost its sense of agency. How these facts correlate is not immediately clear, nor is it made clear (the tangent on the economic similarities of current and former superpowers elucidates the economic support…). But what is clear is that Liam is not above using a stratagem that works and has for a decade now, namely encasing one’s views in a specific tragic package and delivering them under intellectual radar with the stealth technology of bloviating casuistry and buzzword dissimulation. 

    In my mind, today is shock over an intercom, frantic hallway phonecalls, a bathroom mirror shaking my grandmother’s face, the first time terror shook everyone around me. For others it’s a palpable paroxysm in their gut. For some it’s a means to a demagogic end. Using 9/11 as like this, to perpetuate more brinkmanship or deliver smug pontifications, is repugnant and an affront to every innocent person affected by it. If one American honors this day it doesn’t mean all of them will. But if one American thinks all agency has been abdicated, there are legions to prove him wrong.

    *except in the loudest “whing[e]ing[s]” of naive, maudlin “left-wingers,” who advance only the cause of their own solipsistic sympathy which inspires a reaction, such as omission, just to spite/frustrate them…. 

  • cujo brocade

    There is indeed a fine line between grieving and masturbation, and here it’s limned better than most other  vociferous partisan screeds on the internet. But a similar line (similarity not width-related) runs b/n balanced critique and calendrial opportunism. I have no qualms with Liam’s contempt of the American media – mostly well-coiffed CO2-producers feeding soundbites and pop-culture pabulum to the ovine mass it means to cow into a consumerist frenzy – nor his description of the backseat our country took before Soviet Russia’s collision w/ reality – the parallels exist, though to a lesser, more self-conscious, degree on this side of the millennium. Compromise, despite the bicameral system’s worst intentions, does still occur. Profit, when governed (since at its conceptual apex it’s supremely self-serving), is still the most efficient engine to propel us out of lethal debt. But this would be better argued by someone else, who’d fault the finer historical points of the juxtaposition. For my part, I find fault in the unarticulated assertion that we are categorically disallowed the right to mourn, commemorate, or even openly remember, an event that brought a sea change to America’s neap tide, because it’s being used to disenfranchise us.
    It’s true, corporations are most likely delighted at our declining agency, renounced through apathy and siphoned into a nascent body politic. Yes, the aftermath of September 11 as perpetrated by America has been heinously destabilizing in unfathomable ways to scads of people. Yes, this fact is flagrantly omitted from the national consciousness*. And yes, we, through silence and inertia, share the onus of this blame. But we should not forfeit national or personal catharsis in order to regain a diminished agency . We shouldn’t do nothing because soon enough we’ll have no ability to do anything. This is not cogent. This is not to say that we should raise our voices with the zealous selfish keening of politicians. Nor should we mimic the vacuous ad-hoc solemnity of sophists planting paper flags beneath a real flag because they don’t want to seem callous. If September 11th is transformed into a symbol, into a means for whatever end, the stark reality of its significance is obscured. Imagine a document photocopied a dozen times and presenting the result as the original. Or a quote taken out of context and put into the mouths of innumerable speakers until it finds its legs, becomes its own entity with a new context, walking independently away from the sense (or senselessness) that spawned it. If one word of them is earnest it does not mean that all of them are. 

    Though McGonagle advocates refraining from “celebrating” (a crass semantic goad that begs the question) today, the tone and loquacious vehemence – not to mention the ad hominem attacks, the complex, club-footed sentences offset by vernacular winks, the hortatory rhetorical flourishes – of the writing seem, in my reading, to cohere into a crowd-stirring call to arms. So why all this venom about lack of agency when we’re not called to do anything to restore it? Political and economic assertions aside, Liam does make a valid point about the state of September 11th in the exploitative hands of the media and Congress. They have used it as a catalyst so frequent- and recklessly its contours have denatured to the point of fitting any purpose, however monstrous or benign. It has become wrapping paper for many an ideology. In their mouths it’s become scaffolding for a monument too expensive to build in this century.

    But in this essay Sept. 11 is a harbinger of slow-onset, inexorable calamity, which is coming b/c America still feels victimized by it. Due to this feeling the US has lost its sense of agency. How these facts correlate is not immediately clear, nor is it made clear (the tangent on the economic similarities of current and former superpowers elucidates the economic support…). But what is clear is that Liam is not above using a stratagem that works and has for a decade now, namely encasing one’s views in a specific tragic package and delivering them under intellectual radar with the stealth technology of bloviating casuistry and buzzword dissimulation. 

    In my mind, today is shock over an intercom, frantic hallway phonecalls, a bathroom mirror shaking my grandmother’s face, the first time terror shook everyone around me. For others it’s a palpable paroxysm in their gut. For some it’s a means to a demagogic end. Using 9/11 as like this, to perpetuate more brinkmanship or deliver smug pontifications, is repugnant and an affront to every innocent person affected by it. If one American honors this day it doesn’t mean all of them will. But if one American thinks all agency has been abdicated, there are legions to prove him wrong.

    *except in the loudest “whing[e]ing[s]” of naive, maudlin “left-wingers,” who advance only the cause of their own solipsistic sympathy which inspires a reaction, such as omission, just to spite/frustrate them…. 

  • Anonymous

    i wonder if, after you read “Atlas Shrugged”, or any of the Friedmanites scribblings, did you ever read “On the Moral Sentiments of Men”? All of your lassiez faire arguments are based on the idea that Men, generally, don’t want to do more than provide for themselves and their families/community, that they are not greedy (as kings were to Smith), that they were “rational” in ways that kings were not, etc. Unfortunately, Smith never met Rupert Murdoch, or any of the other “Movers and Doers”. In his day, the Movers and Doers were already in power.

    But what do I know, I, too, am just an antagonistic asshole that types out the whole word w/o **.

  • Anonymous

    hmm… that’s supposed to be for Derek Goff. bamboozled by technology.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I concur.

    Howard Bloom’s _The Lucifer Principle_ presents (but far from proves) a lot of interesting concepts on this matter. Well worth the read.

  • Me

    how do YOU celebrate 911?
    This morning I’ve been practising flying into tall buildings in my
    flight simulator,

    and this afternoon to celebrate the TSA I’ve scheduled a rectal exam.

    This evening I like every else I will take 2 tall thin cardboard boxes
    and burn them in my front yard….

    REMEMBER …

    It’s 911 only one day a year…

    But the fear should last forever…

  • Me

    how do YOU celebrate 911?
    This morning I’ve been practising flying into tall buildings in my
    flight simulator,

    and this afternoon to celebrate the TSA I’ve scheduled a rectal exam.

    This evening I like every else I will take 2 tall thin cardboard boxes
    and burn them in my front yard….

    REMEMBER …

    It’s 911 only one day a year…

    But the fear should last forever…

  • Tuna Ghost

    100 million people have larger checks when 3 conditions are present:
    Boss man has more money (Tax cuts and deregulation), the employee is worth more money (education and ambition), and the employee doesn’t have a million people standing behind him making excuses for him.

    Except that corporate profits have been soaring steadily, but wages have remained the same or dropped lower.  De-regulation and people not properly handling the regulation already on the books is what caused the economic collapse that crashed the world’s economy.  The fact that you haven’t noticed this makes me wonder if you’re actually paying attention or just getting your ideology wholesale from someone else while ignoring the reality of the situation around you. 

  • Tuna Ghost

    100 million people have larger checks when 3 conditions are present:
    Boss man has more money (Tax cuts and deregulation), the employee is worth more money (education and ambition), and the employee doesn’t have a million people standing behind him making excuses for him.

    Except that corporate profits have been soaring steadily, but wages have remained the same or dropped lower.  De-regulation and people not properly handling the regulation already on the books is what caused the economic collapse that crashed the world’s economy.  The fact that you haven’t noticed this makes me wonder if you’re actually paying attention or just getting your ideology wholesale from someone else while ignoring the reality of the situation around you. 

  • Tuna Ghost

    It takes the deepest level of empathy I possess to try and comprehend how you see the history of the free market as a history of failure. 
    Because “free market” is a fable.  Corporations don’t want a free market, and they get what they want.  Even Reagan, at the same time he was extolling the virtues of a free market, was running the most protectionist market to date.  Couldn’t let those cheap, reliable Japanese cars fairly compete with US cars, now could we?  

    The sole responsibility of a CEO is to make put money in the pockets of his shareholders.  They value short-sighted monetary gain over everything else.  If they don’t behave with this goal in mind, they will be fired and probably sued, just like Henry Ford was when he tried to pay his workers more, the idea being that higher wages meant his workers could buy his cars and would attract better talent that would build better cars, earning higher profits in the long run.  But two stockholders, the Dodge brothers, sued the shit out of him and won.  Because they didn’t care about the long-term profits.  

    So what about this makes you think that, given a free hand, corporations will do anything to help anybody but themselves?  That they will do anything other than what they have already done, which is screw us all?  

  • Tuna Ghost

    So what exactly did you mean when you wrote “Every public sector job will necessarily cost the private sector at least three”?  

  • Tuna Ghost

    (FYI, it’s “Objectivism”, not “Objectivity”.  You’re referring to Ayn Rand’s joke of a philosophy, correct?)

  • Tuna Ghost

    No no, you’re right, agreeing with someone is totally a “drinking the cool-aid” deal.  That’s not a pathetic attempt to dress up an ad hominem as something else.  No one could ever think it was.  

    No one.

    No one at all.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Sir…I’ll have you know that I leave behind only dirty limericks…but never DNA :-)

  • Anonymous

    can i blame it on auto-correct? Yes, Objectivism … which Firefox thinks is misspelled, while I find it just a miss.

  • Malkav

    This is beautiful.

  • Malkav

    This is beautiful.

  • Yomomma

    ROFL!!! 

  • do not disturb

    lets go for a trip to nyc

  • Cortacespedes

    They did, about 67 or so of ‘em.

  • Tuna Ghost

    Care to put that in terms that have anything to do with the discussion at hand, buddy? 

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