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The Weakness of Voice to Effect Political Change

February 9, 2012

La plus ca change and all that…Greenwald:

“The survey shows that 70 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s decision to keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay. . . . The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.”

Repulsive liberal hypocrisy extends far beyond the issue of Guantanamo. A core plank in the Democratic critique of the Bush/Cheney civil liberties assault was the notion that the President could do whatever he wants, in secret and with no checks, to anyone he accuses without trial of being a Terrorist – even including eavesdropping on their communications or detaining them without due process. But President Obama has not only done the same thing, but has gone much farther thanmere eavesdropping or detention: he has asserted the power even to kill citizens without due process. As Bush’s own CIA and NSA chief Michael Hayden said this week about the Awlaki assassination: “We needed a court order to eavesdrop on him but we didn’t need a court order to kill him. Isn’t that something?” That is indeed “something,” as is the fact that Bush’s mere due-process-free eavesdropping on and detention of American citizens caused such liberal outrage, while Obama’s due-process-free execution of them has not.

Power creates its own legitimacy. To weaken corrupt governments, you can either focus on undermining legitimacy or power, hopefully both. Suckered into the voice gambit, the anti-war, pro civil rights movement is nothing more than the cat’s paw. They thought they could lay bare the illegitimacy of Bush era policies, but because they did nothing to check a raging hulk, they’re stunned, back peddling, mumbling. The protests of 2007 have faded into a faint whisper. It is the dawn of acquiescence and denial.

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4 Comments
  1. February 10, 2012 12:30 am

    “Suckered into the voice gambit, the anti-war, pro civil rights movement is nothing more than the cat’s paw.”

    Please allow me to get up on my hind legs and ask,

    What does this have to do with competitive governance?

    From https://athousandnations.com/about/

    “Our aim is to find, analyze, and debate the innovations in governance today that may become the standards of tomorrow, especially those that utilize the best technology for social organization ever developed–the market. We are particularly interested in the meta-innovations that will alter incentives in the governing industry to improve the rate of innovation.”

    I’m just as pissed about Guantanamo STILL being open, about NDAA and the so-called “Patriot Act,” and all the other overreaches our two-headed hydra of a government have perpetrated over the years as anyone else is.

    That being said, how does this post advance our agenda?

    Is it your aim to alienate people who believe in peace and civil rights, and believe that competitive governance might be a way to accomplish that?

    Because from my point of view it looks that way.

  2. Mike Gibson permalink*
    February 10, 2012 1:01 am

    I am anti-war and pro civil rights. It’s a sad fact of politics that I cannot promote those values by voting for candidates who profess the same. By highlighting this weakness of democracy, I hope to show you that we should be rational in our efforts to effect change. Clearly voting is not as effective as we thought. The alternative is competitive governance. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

  3. Mac permalink
    February 10, 2012 5:58 pm

    I’m not especially pissed about any of the things you’re ranting about, but it looks like Nobilis really nailed it.

  4. Abelard Lindsey permalink
    February 16, 2012 4:46 pm

    Is it your aim to alienate people who believe in peace and civil rights, and believe that competitive governance might be a way to accomplish that?

    No, what I think Mike is saying is that the peace and civil rights people have failed to be sufficiently critical of government power on all levels, particularly with respect to economic liberty. Economic liberty is an intrinsic part of liberty in general. You cannot have personal and political liberty without economic liberty. The peace and civil rights people often fail to realize this.

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