Saturday, December 10, 2016

When Facebook Becomes Blogging Becomes Facebook

Not that anybody has any reason to care at all what I think, but since various people over the years keep being kind enough to point it out to me, when it comes to politics, no I'm clearly not a progressive of the bleeding heart variety. I don't want a state that cares, I want a state that works, and if it works better by caring, as it clearly seems to, then that's the way to go. Politics is, thankfully, just one small part of the world, and certainly not the part that any more than a couple tens of thousands of people should find the most interesting - and certainly not the one I find most interesting. But when it comes to politics, I don't know how it wouldn't be clear by now to you faithful readers, but I will never have too much common cause with people who think that you can have multiculturalism without a pluralism of values in which debate is always necessary, that you can have nationalized industries without private options, any kind of socialist living without as much regulation from private companies as capitalist living requires regulation from government, or to any kind of society at all without stringent law enforcement. Liberals will have to try to make common cause with people to our left who feel the opposite way, and we'll probably give them 95% of what they want, potentially losing moderates along the way, and they'll reject it because we didn't give them 100.
But to me at least, having a state that works is what makes Trump so terrifying. Republicans, even Republicans in the Nixon and Reagan eras, wanted a government that was smaller, but they didn't want to destroy it. This is a cabinet designed to literally dismantle government's ability to function and replace it not with private enterprise, but with investors who court government's favor. The wealth disparities in Russia are staggering, but Putin went after every billionaire who ran afoul to him to the fullest extent of the law.
And if you think this was already happening, you haven't seen shit. Trump wants to improve our roads and bridges so he can sell them. He wants to ruin education to make the public even stupider. He wants to break organized labor into a million pieces. He wants small businesses bought up for bottom dollar, he wants urban development and housing ground to a halt, he wants banks in his pocket not so that the banks can run and pilfer the government, but so Trump can run and pilfer the banks. And if you have a problem with it and want to protest, you can be sent to jail without trial and perhaps even tortured without anyone knowing what's happening to you. There are more generals in this cabinet than any before in American history, and not just generals but hawkish generals, and not just hawkish generals, but hawkish generals who hate China. 
I don't think much of radical fanatics, particularly homegrown ones, who until now have had breathtaking freedom to tell you how horrible the USA is before they go home to their generally wonderful lives. Even now, the early morning of December 10th, America is the place you want to live, and will be for at least another 41 days. People can say all they want that America was no different from anywhere else - fuck them, they don't have the first idea what they're talking about and they're not interested in learning. Fanatics will always try to sell you on a bill of shit that sounds irrational from the moment you hear it, but you always have a choice to be skeptical of their crap.
But it's not that America was ever that great, it's that everywhere else was that bad. Even in these supposed non-capitalist utopias in Northern Europe, all you have to do is scratch the surface and you see that most of their national debts are even higher, most of their working class incomes are lower, and the moment immigrants start arriving on their shores they start talking about stripping their social welfare benefits squeaky clean. It may be pathetic, but no country has ever compromised through its tensions and contradictions as well as we have.
What we stand to lose is precisely the American greatness that Trump says we've lost, and if you think there isn't anything to lose, oh my, just you wait... There will be no rule of law in Trump's America. There will only be rule and anarchy, and seemingly nothing in between.

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