Wednesday, January 26, 2011


"There seems to be a widespread, deeply held supposition that politicians - politicians! - will save us, if we can only put the right ones in charge of the power structure. And behind this supposition there is an unspoken - and, in many cases, unconscious - belief in the inherent goodness of this power structure itself! To be sure, it is a goodness that most progressives believe has been lost or diminished, or perhaps not yet realized. But there seem to be few doubts in the ultimate moral efficacy of this power structure, however lost or latent it might be at any given time. It just needs to be guided properly.

"All this is very strange to me. I came of age in a time when politicians of every stripe were considered little more than sinister buffoons: gasbags, grifters and gloryhogs in the pay of the rich and powerful - and in happy thrall to a brutal power structure based on violence, war, corruption and cronyism. We thought this not because we considered ourselves cool or too hip or too cynical for that establishment drag, man; we thought this because of what we had seen with our own eyes.

"We saw people torn from their private lives by an implacable militarist state and forced to kill and die in a savage, pointless imperial war that left millions of innocent people dead. We saw people gunned down in the street or clubbed into bloody goo for peaceful acts of dissent against the power structure. Politicians mouthed witless pieties that no one believed they believed, while behind the scenes elections were fixed (or 'ratfucked'), contracts were rigged, laws were laughed at, and rules were broken at every turn. Cities were left to choke and rot; an entire industrial infrastructure was sold off to enrich a tiny, tax-dodging elite feasting on foreign slave labor. The wars went on and on, covertly and overtly; the living standards of working people kept plunging relentlessly; the prisons filled up; the farms went down; torturers, murderers, liars and thieves were applauded to high heaven." (From Goonstruck: The Mysterious Mind of Modern Progressives, Chris Floyd,, 24/1/11)

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