Huh. There’s a post-election-theft, I mean post-election version of Eminem’s “Mosh” video. (grab the torrent here if you can.)
I like it but the original video was about voting as a revolutionary power, and it’s clear that with enough chicanery from corrupt Republicans in positions of power (that’s almost redundant these days), you can vote all you want; they’ll just throw votes away or modify vote totals until they get their 51% “mandate.” And the news media won’t dare cover the story seriously.
I guess the new video is kind of about not backing down even in the face of a victory by the bastards. But it just seems these days that there is no hope. They’ve got the power, they’re going to keep the power by any means necessary.
I wish things were like they are in the original video. I wish we had a system where you could actually vote a killer and torturer out of office, where the exploited could rise up and kick out the exploiters.
But things aren’t like that, apparently. We live in the Republican States of America. And are likely to for the foreseeable future.
Hope, and belief in the power of actual democracy in America, are so pre-November 2.
Actually, to put things a little less bleakly — the little people rising up and fighting the big bad guys is still fighting — and fighting is essentially illiberal. The people who are all about the fighting and killing and getting their way with violence are the conservatives, the Bushies, the Republicans. They believe that you can solve problems by hurting people. This video advocates demonstration, not violence, but it does its best to dress it up in a mood of righteous combat. And there’s the problem. Fighting, force, is never going to be on the side of liberalism, because getting your way by force is essentially illiberal — conservative. You can’t win by playing their game on their field. You just can’t.
14 thoughts on “Post-Election Mosh”
Our country was founded by people who decided to use violence (righteous combat) to escape a government they didn’t feel was right.
How do you reconcile that with your statements that it’s never right? Do you think America’s founding father’s were wrong to do so?
200 words or less, elaborate. :)
When did I say it was never right? I said that it was essentially illiberal. The liberal path to work out differences without the use of force. When you impose your will on people through violence you are playing into the hands of the illiberals. You’re using a means which is completely opposed to your final end. “The beatings will continue until morale improves.” Same principle. “The violence will continue until we have a peaceful society.” “We’re going to teach creativity to the kids by asking them to memorize the Seven Principles of Creativity and successfully recite them on cue.”
As for the founding fathers, well, they weren’t perfect. Is that news to anyone?
(Oh, by making these comments about imposing freedom by force I am placing myself in opposition to Marx, who thought that a utopia could be brought about through dystopian means. And in opposition to fanatics of all kinds, except the fanatically pacifistic, I suppose.)
I’m actually very intrigued with the idea that America’s founding fathers may have been wrong in rebelling against England. God tells us to respect Government. Where does rebellion come in?
You’re right, you didn’t say it’s never right, and you did say that it’s illiberal. As a liberal, could you be illiberal if needs be? Would you have fought the English? Where is that point?
I don’t ask these to belittle your stand, but partly to find out if you’ve thought through those issues, and if so, what you decided.
“Iâ€™m actually very intrigued with the idea that Americaâ€™s founding fathers may have been wrong in rebelling against England. God tells us to respect Government. Where does rebellion come in?”
You tell me. :)
“Youâ€™re right, you didnâ€™t say itâ€™s never right, and you did say that itâ€™s illiberal. As a liberal, could you be illiberal if needs be? Would you have fought the English? Where is that point?”
I’m sure I’m illiberal in many ways, and do many things wrong, and that those two things overlap a lot. :) As for fighting the English, what were they fighting for again? Some were fighting for the right for rich people not to be burdened with as many taxes. Some were fighting to create a better society. There were probably a lot of motives. I don’t know enough of the history to pass judgements either way. I do know that if they could have figured out a way to get what they wanted without shooting or killing anybody it would have been a better thing. Revolutions sometimes do happen without wars or killing.
“I donâ€™t ask these to belittle your stand, but partly to find out if youâ€™ve thought through those issues, and if so, what you decided.”
I haven’t thought about it, because the revolutionary war isn’t a particular area of knowledge or interest for me.
But in general terms, I’d say that any fight, no matter how good the cause, is at best a “lesser evil.” And because fighting is exciting and addictive and emotionally engaging, people are likely to jump to the conclusion that they have been “forced to fight” and had “no other option” when that either is clearly not the case, or we don’t really know if it was the case.
What if there were a way for a better society to be achieved in the Americas without a war? That’d have been great. Maybe it wasn’t possible, maybe it might have been somehow.
I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone who’s not in deep denial that this Iraq war was completely unnecessary. Maybe we had to do *something* in Iraq, but this sure hasn’t done the Iraqi people as a whole much good — not even the ones who are still alive.
I think it would be a brilliant experiment to get a bunch of creative historians together and try to figure out how the Nazis could possibly have been stopped without WWII. I sure don’t know how or if they could, but it would be interesting to see if the classic case of “we NEEDED to go to war, it was COWARDLY and WRONG not to want to go to war!” is really all that airtight.
RE: Revolutionary War
I was only sort of talking about America’s first revolutionary war. At point would you take part in another one?
I agree, it would be REALLY cool. It partly depends on how you define “we”. I think the Poles had no choice. The Germans came to their door with guns and started killing them. The English had no choice. The Germans started bombing them.
Did America have a choice? Against Japan I’d say no. They started killing us with plain intent to take over as much as they could. Against Germany? Yes, they had a choice. They decided to go to war because they FELT it was plain that germany wanted to attack America at some point in the future, but Germany never said that.
When to go to war is a very very very hard thing to decide because you’re right, it’s a bad bad bad thing. The fact that God did it tells me there’s a time it’s right. I just think He may be the only one to know when that is.
Maybe only ancient Israel should go to war; I don’t remember God in the Bible ever authorizing any war except ones by or against Israel. (Of course, some people think that all the stories in the Bible of the Israelites taking over Canaan by force, under the banner of Yahweh, are actually mythical, and the Israelites, or at least the vast majority of them had been there all along….)
A theme of your post seems to be that if your nation is attacked, you *must* engage in a war. But that’s not true. An attack far more egregious than the probably mythical Gulf of Tonkn incident happened in 1967, when Israel attacked the U.S. Liberty. 34 American crewmen were slaughtered. Yet we did not go to war on Israel. We covered the incident up, and refused combat benefits to the crew. Should we have started a war on Israel? Obviously we didn’t, so it’s not true that one *has* to respond to aggression with aggression.
Part of the problem is that we invested immense amounts in the “solve problems by killing people” strategy, in the form of a military budget. We know more than anyone else how to kill people in the hopes of solving problems that way. But we don’t know very much about how to solve problems without killing people. We don’t have a gigantic budget for studying how to effectively solve problems with diplomacy. We don’t have a gigantic cadre of people to deploy to other nations to help solve problems by means other than violence. We have diplomacy, but our current leaders don’t like it very much. The prefer force. (And maybe there is something better than diplomacy as we know it, or options besides diplomacy we could use. We’re not busy finding out.)
> Maybe only ancient Israel should go to war; I don’t remember God
> in the Bible ever authorizing any war except ones by or against
I have given that serious consideration indeed. Ironically, Ghandi’s method of fighting governmental oppression is a lot more in line with the teaching of Jesus than America’s Founding Father’s method. Both “worked”.
I agree that a single act of agression is not reason to go to war. Japan declared war on the US however, and they specifically said “We are coming to kill you”. What should be a response to that sort of thing?
This may not be the forum for that discussion, I’m not even sure I remember what your original post was, and I’m too lazy to scroll up. That right there tells me that maybe I’ve gone astray on the topic. :)
Well, I don’t know my history enough to argue it. What if we *had* refused to go to war? What happens if one country declares war on another and the second one declines the invitation? I have no idea, but there have to have been situations in history where that happened, don’t there?
It just seems unlikely that there is ever really only ONE possible response to a given situation.
It was Japan’s declared intention to take all of the pacific islands and Alaska. Canada was worried they’d move in, but who knows? Our alternative to war was to give them to them. There would have been minimal loss of life actually, we just wouldn’t have kept that land.
Germany intended to take the American mainland. Would could have let them have that too. It makes for GREAT alternative history stories.
One alternative was to give it to them. OK. What other alternatives might there have been?
Was it better for the loss of life that occurred in WW2 to occur (including the development and deployment of the only two atomic weapons ever used in war) than for them to get that land?
Were there any other alternatives besides going to war on them in the traditional sense and giving them the land?
Reading up on Pearl Harbor in the source of all knowledge (Wikipedia), it seems that the attack on Pearl Harbor happened because we had put an embargo on Japan in response to their aggression in the Pacific. Military war as an escalation of and response to economic war, declared in response to previous military activity in other contexts.
Big ol’ mess.
But it’s not like out of the blue and for no reason Japan decided to take all our land in the Pacific. One might make just as good a case that we forced Japan to attack Pearl Harbor as that we were forced to attack Japan *by* the events at Pearl Harbor.
And then you could go back, and say that the Japanese forced us to force them to attack Pearl Harbor, and so on and so forth.
If there really is no other response to a hurt than to hurt back, though, then as they say, an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Would Ghandi’s tactic have worked, say, in modern day North Korea?
The difficulty in solving problems without using violence and force is that it depends on human free will and unpredictability. If we could know whether or not a particular tactic would work, as a 100% certainty, then using it would essentially constitute force.
Could one have predicted that Gandhi’s or MLKJr’s tactics would work in India and America?
There is also the fact that what we’re doing right now with North Korea (isolation and a generations-long military standoff) *hasn’t* changed that nation for the better so far. It’s quite possible that there are situations where no “tactic” will “work” — and in such a situation, it is better to try things that don’t hurt people than things that do, because they’ll be equally effective and one has bad side effects.
Comments are closed.