Thursday, September 29, 2011

Taking Lumps

Much ado has been made of N.C. Governor Bev. Perdue's statement about wanting to suspend congressional elections for two years. The tale of the tape revealed that the statement showed little evidence that it was a joke, hyperbole, or sarcasm as was variously claimed. Some circles have divined a number of things up to and including a certain National-Socialist ring to the statement, an exxageration surely, but it does betray a another certain tendency abroad in Progressive circles to wistfully long for a "wise authoritarian" to cut through the messiness of politics so that that the really important things can just get the heck done already.

Being Progressives this naturally means things that Progressives would like to see happen but are having a hard time selling to more than a minority of the electorate. These things comprise a long laundry list which is pointless to recount here but I think that at the least this wistfulness betrays a deep-seated dissatisfaction with the normal chaotic workings of the democratic process. The 900 pound gorilla on that laundry list is of course the "saving" of the planetary environment. This cause is viewed by some as so utterly paramount that mere niggling considerations of consensual governance should be subordinated to it--whatever the cost. Thus emerges the dreamy notion of the wise authoritarian or intelligent strongman who might take charge and steamroll over the naysayers and foot-draggers.

Progressives can not really point out any current exemplar of such a wise authoritarian, the current lot being such a parade of thuggish sleazeballs, but surely there must be someone out there who might fit the bill. Absent from these yearnings is an apparent lack of cognizance of the hoary adage that "absolute power corrupts absolutely". Unfortunately this adage has a predictive track record of exactly 100 percent and there is not the slightest indication that this record will not continue thusly for, well, ever.

These authoritarian yearnings are inchoate and diffuse to the extent that if pressed Progressives may backpedal and admit that no such personage exists but if they think the thought at all then perforce they must believe that such could exist and most certainly should exist. That the historical record entirely fails to supports such notions is deemed an irrelevancy since the modern academy, with its presumed salutary and consciousness expanding diversity, supposedly has produced an enlightened cadre possessed of vasty reams of "settled" scientific knowledge, a luminous perspicacity, and an honorable intent heretofore undisplayed by our learning benighted forbears. Seen though the gimlet eye of history perhaps this line of thought should be characterized less as wistful yearning and more as, to put it as charitably as possible, blinkered self-aggrandizement

Some call these notions an au-courant manifestation of what is called the "totalitarian impulse" but understandably current Progressives recoil from this. Recoil as it may the self-styled "reality-based community" does not appear to recognize that to achieve their goals supra-politically would require not a wise authoritatian but rather a massively repressive absolute dictatorship which would have no truck with another evergreen Progressive touchstone--dissent. The deep and crushing level of social control required to advance the grand overarching green agenda with no naysaying backtalk would make the depredations of Adolf, Mao, and Stalin look like the smugly feckless edicts of Nanny Bloomberg.

This attitude, however sighingly wistful and unrealistic it might be, does I think tend to inform and strengthen the enthusiasm of the Progressive political class for the next best thing to a wise authoritarianism which is a steady and gradual usurpation of the freedom of action by the lowly messy recalcitrant "people". If a creeping Federalism abetted by similarly inclined regulatory agencies can eventually achieve all that Progressives yearn for then that will just have to do. That is an achievable goal and much "progress" has been made in the last few years.

A pity then that the nasty hateful racist fascist reactionary idiotic conservatives have fully twigged to the scam and are ferociously pushing back. How dare they think that there is any issue more important than "Saving The Planet"! What boobs, what clueless dimwits, what knuckledragging bog-stompers, what heartless vicious defilers of the biosphere these conservatives must be to not promptly and graciously assent to such a manifestly unassailable high nobility of purpose. This puppy-dog rollover has failed to occur however and thus Progressive frustration with the alledgely inefficient and unresponsive democratic process slips out occasionally in the form of such as Perdue's cri-de-coeur.

An additional pity, although obviously not from where I stand, is that these cries of the heart are liable to come more frequently as the conservative pushback accelerates against the truly insane and economically suicidal costs, in every metric, of a wildly hubristic planet saving campaign. The brainless lumpen-proles are beginning to ever more resist climbing on board for a multi-zillion dollar planet saving and freedom abrogating boatride, selfish swine that they are, and the elite un-lumpen may just have to, uh, lump it.

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