Friday, February 29, 2008

Origins of Right Wing Consciousness and the Closed Mind

In my previous post I basically made a strongly negative appraisal of the Postmodern Left and Right, and praised the candidacy of Barak Obama is a sign of hope in rising above the Left and Right. I praised both political centrism and a minority representing its rise.

I posted the same blog entry to Craigslist Philosophy Forum. I got several nonsensical replies (which is the CL way of replying with a negative vote), and also got one reply that is on display here for some analysis (please post comments). Here it is:

Subject: PC Username:Bill_F_Buckley Time: 02/28 23:25:41

Centrism, like it's a good thing. my a**.

Tie goes to the government? sh**

our nation was founded on individual rights, not the rights of the government.

the postmodern age has confused rights of the criminal with rights of the individual. it is this cockeyed structure that creates a system biased in favor of the lawbreaking citizen at the expense of the law abiding citizen.

all other rights are abdicated to the government.

bullshit. Obama is not centrist, the hope that postmodern centrism is going to provide some sort of political balance is naive.

until the founding father's radical empowerment of the individual is recognized as the philosophy behind the founding of this country, conservatives will be at odds with the center and left.

thats what you commie f**** don't get.

After my decade of deeply embedded activity on the Left I thought my pro-centrism on this blog was sort of....right-wing. Then this CL poster gives a good expression of the true right-wing. "The postmodern age has confused rights of the criminal with rights of the individual. it is this cockeyed structure that creates a system biased in favor of the lawbreaking citizen at the expense of the law abiding citizen". I charge this is a half-truth that enables another wrong. I think the statement is true of the Postmodern Left, that they more often fight for the criminal because he/she is an individual, rather than than fighting for the individual's right to the pursuit of happiness ( which is bounded within both not being a criminal and not being a victim of crime). But notice the CL poster's hatred of government? Why? Because the Postmodern Right has their own class of criminals they are trying to defend and keep from behind bars.

The USA now has the dystopic distinction of having 1 in 100 citizens behind bars. The Postmodern Left encouraged the pursuit of life as a criminal, and the Postmodern Right encouraged the ruination of the same people's lives through poverty and incarceration. This is a formula for exponential unhappiness in middle to lower class society.

Their are signs of hope. Barak Obama represents them. Also, I noticed this news story, and within its semiotics is an instance of the right thing. In the story minorities physically stopped a fugitive, tying him up for the police to pick up. Chinese community catches America's Most Wanted fugitive.


The Serpent Lord said...

I don't know much about how the brain decays after death, but Mr. Buckley apparently wrote this post only a day after his demise and already he seems to be losing his edge :-)

Criminal rights means individual rights to life and liberty as the writers of the constitution understood them. Our impious, rebellious, mischevious "founding fathers" did not intend for everyone to have these rights, but that rights should be granted on the basis of sex, race and class, and not on the basis of religious, political or criminal status.

Individual rights is a euphemism for property rights, another preoccupation of the founders, who pulled an Animal Farm and changed the "pursuit of property" to "pursuit of happiness" to recruit working class foot soldiers.

Most people still want life, liberty and property for themselves and tolerate it in others. Even communism hopes for eventual populist privatization of industries that need state control during the revolutionary period.

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is nothing more or less than criminal rights and access to markets.

So here's where I disagree with both of you: Neither centrism nor conservativism tries to substantially increase access to property and markets or criminal rights for the average person. They are two brands of the same problem: It's much easier to get people on the fringes of political discourse to communicate, understand each other and find common ground than for people who are fighting to define themselves as the mainstream.

Politicians in both camps expect us to believe that a single mom working at a diner is "middle class". Centrists are apparently unaware of or opposed to the emerging class consciousness in the US, and flogging a half-century old racist propaganda story about a classless society.

Does centrism have to be that way? Can they treat their radical allies as assets rather than liabilities? Can they settle for participation instead of domination? Can they work effectively with not only opposite-center parties but also the extreme elements of the opposite fringe?

We can't get the center-left and center-right to work together without the libertarians, greens, flat-taxers, isolationists, imperialists, pacifists, gun-nuts, anarchists, and so forth. For real progress, we need more extremism and radicalism, not less.

LanceMiller said...

That was a tour de force, Seth.