I don't know why...

...but today seems like the most depressing news day in a long time. As an equal-opportunity cynic, it doesn't seem wrong for me to both feel anger towards the launching of another military adventure on behalf of "freedom" and also towards the predictable array of people, myself included, saying the same thing as myself and the same thing that they usually say and the same thing over and over again.

Exactly when were we going to stop bitching about the pan being too hot towards jumping out? I lost my E-vite.

The ease with which we all lump any new event into the same old formulations does not mean those formulations are wrong but it does mean that we have all of the evidence we need to justify any positive action towards change. Are we just going to keep reading the newspaper and feign outrage even while we know that there is nothing that those in power could do to shock us, bar offing themselves en masse and placing their money in a trust to which only the homeless have access?

I'm sort of bored with playing court taxonomist. Aren't you?

The fact that anarchists, communists, progressive apologists, "liberal" hawks, moderates, neoliberals, conservatives, paleoconservatives, fascists, etc., all put the same events into different boxes does not change our relationship to those events, nor theirs. While political belief is much different in nature to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, etc., don't you think that, ultimately, internecine squabbles between different groups of anarchists over their own visions of moral purity are, functionally, for those in power, exactly the same as the fights between working class whites and Hispanic immigrants? We distract ourselves with the "narcissism of small differences" and they distract themselves with renovating another house in the Hamptons.

But a thought came to me recently. What good is it to say one is moral without ever having been in a situation where one's commitment is tested? So what if you or I would never have attacked Libya? Exactly when did we have the choice?


ergo said...

are you referring to the arguments going on over on sartwell's blog?

:-p said...

Yes and no. I don't have any stake in those arguments nor do I intend to attack any of the participants. I think I just felt exhausted after reading all the entries and comments, etc. While I think the distance between no "interventions" in foreign countries versus "selective humanitarian interventions" is fairly wide, those arguments have the same tenor of others that are held across a much narrower terrain.

Sometimes I feel like we are all male eunuchs debating whether or not it is moral to sleep with a married woman. Until we can actually do the deed, do our beliefs really matter?

Has anyone in the USA really given a fuck about the Left since 193x? Should we be surprised?

But I am not without sin in this matter, so I don't want to cast any stones. I'll be back to "Obama sucks 'cause..." soon, I'm sure.

ergo said...

i agree with a lot of what you are saying here, particularly likening the benefit accrued to power centers from divisions between class, race, etc. to that accrued due to divisions between various types of radicals.

do our beliefs matter when we don't hold any power? i don't know. i think people's attitudes towards power centers may have some effect on the way those power centers operate. is engaging people about those attitudes the same as jumping out of the pan? not really, but it seems essential on some level.

as far as the moralist tenor of the debates going on, i am as guilty of that as anyone. i'm not sure how to avoid it though when one thinks that what we are doing is wrong and will cause more death and destruction than it will prevent. also that's generally the tone one gets from the pro-interventionists and it's difficult not to reflect it back. but you're right, it probably doesn't help.

:-p said...

Thanks for your comments.

We both know that, ultimately, these conversations have to happen. I just think they are the kind of conversations that should happen at a bar after a long day of political organizing as opposed to seemingly being the only type of conversations being held.

In other words, context, in other words, priorities.