Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Pretender



















There is much pretending throughout the progressive and liberal community in my view.

Success and the good life, credentials and status, position and privilege must be protected, at least for people like "us." At the same time, our position and privilege is dependent upon playing a certain role. We must pretend that we are not defending privilege and position and must pretend that we are for the downtrodden. We must pretend that privilege and position is all earned, and that anyone could have anything that we have. We must defend the system of dog-eat-dog competition without allowing that to be too obvious. So we pretend that introducing "fairness" rules and regimens into our personal life nullifies all of the things we do to attain and preserve the spot we have clawed our way to in society.

Sometimes this balancing act is fairly easy, since there are so many people willing to help us keep the facade up and since reality doesn't intrude into our "reality based" fantasy world, but once in a while something like the Bush administration arises and calls our bluff.

When our bluff is called, there is no amount of time and energy we will spare in internecine warfare arguing fine points of what a liberal is, or what our position should be on each and every minute issue and sub-issue and variations on every issue. These arguments can never be resolved, because there is no basis of consensus. Actually there is a consensus, but an important component of the consensus is that we never talk about it and we must pretend that it isn't there.

The consensus from which liberals and Democrats operate:

We are the better people. We are smarter, we are humane, we are more compassionate, we are better informed. We are better citizens, we are more cooperative and realistic. We are winners, not losers, and we deserve everything we get. We are spiritually superior. We are centered and balanced, calm and insightful. We are on the right side of history. We are building a better world.

The general public does not realize that we are the better people, and the ones who should be making the decisions. This is because Republicans are able to take advantage of the people's stupidity and ignorance and turn them against us.

Most of the problems in the world are the result of stupid people running things. If we smart people were in charge, all of the problems could be solved with science and technology and rational social planning.

Class analysis, and the struggles of working class people against tyranny have no place in modern society. They are obsolete and passe, and only something that we read about or see in movies. Romantic as those stories are, they are no substitute for hard-headed practical reality, whether we like it or not. This is a matter of being a mentally healthy, modern, well-adjusted adult in society. None of the lessons from history apply, because things are different now. Only strange maladjusted people are attracted to obsolete political ideas. They are all obviously losers, and are a great danger, almost as much of a danger as the Republicans are.

Since politics and economics in the traditional sense are dead, we embrace a new paradigm of self improvement and self-actualization. Anything that interferes with our focus on ourselves and our pursuit of creating ourselves as an actualized being is to be rejected. The way to achieve the perfect society is first to create a perfect self. Meanwhile, so long as the authorities do not interfere with our self-actualization, we must comply in all ways with that authority. This allows us perfect self-expression within perfect social conformity. Anyone who attacks our personal choices is the enemy, and anyone who attacks the social system based on personal choice is also the enemy.

Others, however, who do not share our values are not to be given personal choice, when and as we can prove that their personal choices are wrong, often with convoluted claims that their choice impacts us somehow. We support the police state and massive incarceration of people, so long as they are being harassed and imprisoned for the right reasons. Any variance from our idea as to how people should be is the right reason, by definition.

We believe that we must “be the change we wish to see,” and the change we wish to see is more people like us: polite, talented, beautiful, intelligent, calm, successful, clever, enlightened. So we merely need to be ourselves, focus on ourselves, and serve ourselves. Those who cannot or will not become like us need to back down and get out of the way.

We fully support aristocracy, capitalism, corporate domination, and consumerism, provided that they support our self-actualization and afford us the personal lifestyle choices we prefer.

Thanks for that mberst.

3 comments:

The Wendigo said...

I never used to think much of the disparaging label "limousine liberal," probably because I didn't quite grasp what it was trying to convey. But after watching the fiasco of the Clinton/Gore Administration's "liberal" policies that were identical to those of the Bush/Quayle Administration, and watching the utterly smiling complicity of the Congressional "liberals" during Bush/Cheney and their ridiculous fucking adventures domestically and abroad, I know now what "limousine liberal" means.

It means a phony position adopted for the purpose of maintaining a charade of choice -- the false binary of US vs THEM, the bullshit non-alternatives of

Saintly, Noble Democrat

versus

Repugnant Rethuglican

while both are thugs, both are repellent, both pretend at sanctification and nobility.

Anyone who supports any Democratic candidate other than Mike Gravel or the Green candidate Cynthia McKinney is practicing limousine liberalism, the sort that finds a "Democrat" happy with empire, with global oppression, planetary violence, Earth-wide theft and restructuring of all nations and cultures that refuse to bow to empire.

What is left of Brazil's rainforests, isn't it something like 5% remaining after only something like 30 years of logging? I really don't know, maybe things are better than those numbers... but why should Brazil be in the position of finding itself selling off a national treasure such as rainforest wood products? Is it so IKEA disposable wood furniture can be created for Limousine Liberals to furnish their "progressive" yuppie apartments in "liberal" cities around the USA?

The USA has made (or tried very hard to make) the people of the planet Earth emulate the disposal-based culture of consumerism practiced here in America. Our government has served the interests of American and other "first world" businesses who seek to dominate affairs on a planetary scale and who seek to use resources beyond the simple reach of the businesses themselves.

Most of these businesses are very "successful" -- read, wealthy -- and could afford to negotiate on their vaunted "free, open market" for the resources they need. But they don't have to do that because they can force the American and British governments to subsidize their needs and the means to meet them. Why should any private business pay the actual costs of its operation, when they can be foisted on uninterested, unconcerned individual American and British taxpayers?

Phil Badger said...

wow, good one. I love your take on things.

The Wendigo said...

keep coming back, Phil.

chlamor drops the intellectual hammer on things, regularly. rarely is the aim poor. lots of value here.

almost always refreshing, and I'd be surprised if you can poke any factual or logical holes in chlamor's positions.