October 17, 2008


Our election spectacle suggests that we are seriously contemplating being “led” by some very questionable people. Their ideological compatriots are in office, but these particular individuals do not (yet) represent us.

But we submit that our behavior is, in itself, in deed and fact, a VERY BAD THING.

How do we reconcile our thinking, our beliefs, when people are betraying democratic principles and institutions to GET OUR VOTES? What straining and distortion of our reason is needed to so convince us? How do we understand ourselves as actors in a theoretically representative democracy when we require that power-seekers betray democracy so they can act IN YOUR NAME?

Peculiarly enough, some of us who imagine ourselves to be Very Good People will eagerly vote for people who will do Very Bad Things, in our names. We know that others will do harm in public office that we couldn’t ourselves do. We know that these are very great abuses that will do terrible damage. They will be done, without apparent hesitation or scruple, in YOUR NAME.

These people will do wrong just to get there- to get into these positions of power. Remember- they are doing them now. We refer you to our Essay titled What Wouldn’t You Do and dated 29 September 2008.

Imagine the fundamental dishonesty, perfidy and immorality of anyone who is not only able, but also willing to act, to don costume and make-up and join the stage in this set piece, to be powerful. This is a manner of deceit, distortion and perversion of meaning and reason that is far beyond what you or we might cook up. It is difficult to even describe, no? This is truly the Magic of the Wizards of Power.

We The People are unable to imagine ourselves doing such things. Yet, we resolutely vote for people who do. We believe in the Truth of what we do, in the name of democracy. Here, we argue that this is a very great transgression on our parts.

We are a hapless, foolish, disenfranchised and victimized people. We are seemingly sane people who apparently can’t imagine ourselves in positions of public trust. We vote for bad people. We empower and embolden the anti-democratic, the unethical and the evil.

But MUST these people lie and steal and abuse power in order to convince us that they should represent us? Think of our skepticism to “give” our votes to a candidate until they have proved to us that they are like the armies of others who have abused and imprisoned us. How can we imagine that they act in our interest?

This is the Great Magic of the heroic spectacle of two-party politics in the Age of Empire. We must believe that they are unlike us; that they are unrecognizable monsters we cannot conceivably identify with- nor they with us. They are so ethically removed from us that we cannot imagine being like them. We must believe that that they are callous tyrants. We must know that they will betray and impoverish us. And perversely we must KNOW, with the full weight of our hearts and our reason, that they, somehow, magically, rhetorically, polemically, but convincingly represent our interests. To “give” them our votes. But on this matter we refer you to our Essay entitled Wrong People. Wrong Ideas and dated 08 August, 2008.

No wonder those who appropriate our voices and our power are the astonishing prestidigitators of words that they are. It is no wonder that their hypocrisies are so transparent, the tissues of their lies so tawdry, and their contempt so apparent. It is no wonder that many of us can justify the way our “leaders” act in the world: killing and enslaving and impoverishing. Look what we do make them what they are.

Think of the distortion and straining of the idea of representative government we have described here. We, the Editors, have herniated something up here in our right frontal lobe –here- just thinking about it. Herniated. See? Look at that little bulge. What is the matter with our thinking when we actively endorse and empower the anti-democratic, who will abuse and injure US?

No wonder our understanding of and relationship to our world is so distorted and unsupportable. No wonder our beliefs about our self-interest are so bizarrely twisted. We are, after all, listening to what these frauds are saying to us, aren’t we? About who we are?

We rend asunder not only reason and common sense but any calculus of your interest or mine. This is our argument: we, the people, do something which may, in epistemological terms, be worse. We do unimaginable violence to the foundations of morality, ethics, accountability, community and civil commonwealth. We are the cause.

What is our accountability for this? What is our responsibility for their abuses of power and politics when WE have made them what they are? When they are compelled and obliged to lie and betray and steal and kill not only claim our voices and our names, but to GET US TO VOTE FOR THEM?

At this interlude we implore you, our Reader, to go and read an Irreproachable Quote, by Etienne de La Boetie, posted here among our Features.

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editor @ 10:40 pm

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