The 60s in Reverse: Part I

Liberals are afraid of change.

(Speaking of fear, I just woke up and started writing this post because I thought I heard someone trying to kick my front door down. (I think the noise came from somewhere else in my apartment building, and maybe I just inaccurately interpreted some noises in my sleep).)

Liberals are afraid of the social change that the Tea Party could represent. Tea Baggers views on reproductive rights, queerness and outright racism are often rather shameful frankly, but in keeping with the beliefs on non-interference, keeping them honest on reducing government power seems a dandy way to deal with these issues.

Liberals also buy the idea that government programs are necessary to keep the playing field even and promote social mobility. I think it’s clearer than ever that the government is failing in this regard (Google “The great divergence”).  Government insurance plans (a rally point for liberals who thought “if we get this one thing, things will start getting better”) might be a lot less necessary if insurance companies were not the sole drivers of cost. Reducing corporate power seems to have fallen out of discussion in the Tea Party even though the Bailout was a major catalyst in developing their movement. (Of course, I’m no Tea Bagging scholar or anything.)

Hope™ and Change™ mottoes brought about more bailouts and gridlock in Congress (okay, so the Republicans drove gridlock, but the only major pieces of legislation that I think are likely in the coming decade are crony capitalist Republicans’ bills after the next presidential election.)

This is one thing Obama supporters are in the process of learning: Change can’t be won with an election. Stunning victories by Democrats in ’08 brought about approximately ZERO change and NEGATIVE hope as far as my limited calculations can figure. I imagine Tea Party supporters will eventually learn the same, even if they do win the next couple elections.

The complete failure of Democrats to execute anything following the past election might not be enough evidence that radical change is the only option, but it is clear Leviathan has grown, but may no longer be powerful enough to counteract the great divergence & unrestrained growth of corporate power. Government and capitalism are too intertwined. Bureaucrats would have little influence upon the dynamics of the system, even if they operated with a unified will (Unless perhaps they struck down corporate personhood, but that would be the most radical change of the past 200 years and would have to either pass congress by supermajority or by state amendment convention and any legislation would likely be struck down by the Supreme Court based on precedent provided by Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad).

Leviathan was too well designed to be inefficient and slow radical change. Capitalism is the major element of change in our society and it has scared citizens on the Right (perhaps only subconsciously, but there is no arguing that the bailout has been a rally point for the Tea Party). Why has it not scared citizens on the Left? Are we just too caught up in the threats the Right could make in the realm of social issues?

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5 Comments

  1. “, if Tea Partiers ever forget the bailout and start supporting laissez-faire expansion of corporate power, we must stand against them”

    Can’t you support corporations and laissez-faire a little bit, for the sake of prosperity?

    • Many of those corporations might not exist right now without government assistance. That by definition would be laissez-faire. While it’s hard to know what would happen, it seems necessary to oppose corporate power considering how much help is has gotten over the past couple hundred years.

  2. Are you saying corporate power would be ok if it was for corporations that had not received help from the government?

    • NO. Your comment was illogically suggesting that I need to support laissez faire for the sake of ‘prosperity.’ First, you quoted a sentence in which I say we should not forget the bailout. It was a catalyzing moment for anti-government sentiment among many Americans. Additionally, this ‘prosperity’ of which you speak is kinda lacking. It was not being experienced by many even before the economic troubles of the past year or so. Look up “The Great Divergence” (or see this figure to start): Great DivergenceWilliam Domhoff

  3. “Additionally, this ‘prosperity’ of which you speak is kinda lacking”

    Wow, well we definitely have a different perspective here. I view even the poorest among us in the USA as living as princes, since there are so many new consumer goods, technologies and products that the rich of the 1800s could never know.

    Needless to say, you’re switching the subject. I was inquiring about whether you agree as to the positive effects of laissez-faire corporations vs. a world without them.


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