Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Conservative Counter-insurgency Movement

You see it in forms both subtle and pervasive. Republicans and their lock-step supporters within certain law enforcement agencies, treating dissidents as insurgents. Organizations that pose a threat to the status quo, are targeted and any means necessary are used to marginalize and weaken them.

What we have seen as conservative attitudes have become ever more strident, is systematic infiltration of organizations that conservatives find threatening, whether they are gun-control advocates, vegetarians, peace activists or even garden-variety environmentalists. Even forms of civil disobedience are portrayed as "terrorist activities", lumping basic protesting with exploding IED's near an Iraqi eheckpoint. The treatment of protesters in St. Paul Minnesota illustrates the lines of thinking of law enforcement towards those who seek to express their point of views through protest.

The Cheney pre-emption doctrine has now been applied to American citizens. Police raids of houses that contain people who disagree with Republicans in St. Paul illustrates how close we have become to a police state. Where the government can conduct surveillance on us, without reasonable oversight, the very mechanisms that Nixon wanted to utilize with his plumbers are surpassed with speed and zeal. Where law enforcement and conservative activists purposely infiltrate groups they are threatened by, you get a sense of just how radical and totalitarian the movement has become.

It just seems in looking at the big picture, that with so many conservatives viewing politics through the lense of manichaean absolutism, that any means must be deployed to prevent undesirable ends. Armageddon is imminent, and all must take up arms in whatever way possible, to ensure this nation sides with Jesus. All I can say is, I'm glad the Republicans didn't hold their convention here. For all I know, I would have needed a new door.

4 comments:

kneedeepinutah said...

Know any Manichean leftists? I do.

Obi wan liberali said...

So do I. But the ratios between manichean leftists and rightists is off the charts. For every ten m.r's, I can usually find a m.l.

However, as I'm sure you know, Christianity with it's roots in zoroastrianism was leaves for little middle ground. The ultimate conflict between good and evil, or armegeddon is deeply intrenched within Christian dogma.

kneedeepinutah said...

I suppose it depends on where one lives. In Utah one will encounter more Manichean conservatives. In San Francisco one would encounter more Manichean liberals.

When one reads right wing blogs there are some pretty scary right wingers. When one reads left wing blogs there are some pretty scary leftists. I agree that absolutism is not a good thing, but I don't think that either side can claim that the other has some monopoly on it.

As for Christianity, I believe most contemporary opinion polls show that the overwhelming majority of self-identified Christians don't believe it is the sole path to heaven, despite what the Bible may say.

There is a lot more to the Bible than good and evil and armegeddon and all that sort of stuff.

A good place to start is Christ's sermon on the mount (my edits):

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Obi wan liberali said...

Most Christians agree with Jesus, that except through him, one cannot be saved. Jesus loved the meek, but he loved them because they were liable to follow him, rather than ask uncomfortable questions of him.

And those who didn't accept him seemed to fare rather poorly during life and the afterlife under his rule. Read the New Testament in it's entirety and don't cherry pick from the beatitudes or the sermon on the mount, which were superceded by the writings of Paul in his epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, etc(atleast in the minds of most Christians).

In Christianity, there are many roads to salvation, but they seem to converge upon a certain set of dogmas that are irrational. John of Patmos made it clear in his "Revelations" that a great battle was to take place between the forces of good and evil. There is no middle ground with John of Patmos (whoever he was). Yet Christians cling to his writings and base much of their manichean world view upon his delusions and rantings. Historians recognize the strong influence upon John by zoroastrian manichean philosophies. That influence is pervasive, and is more powerful than any liberal philosophy you'll find in abundance in the inner depths of San Francisco.

Most of the liberals I've talked to view the world based upon trade-offs between competing considerations. Security/freedom or economic progress/environmental degradation. There are dogmatic liberals. I am not among them. I want business to succeed, and to employ as many people as possible and to provide them as high as wages as possible.

Most of the conservatives view the world in a lock-step uniform fashion that values loyalty to dogma, rather than loyalty to people. I believe in asking hard questions, not in placidly accepting dogmatic assumptions about how the world should work.

Check your assumptions at the door. BTW, I appreciate your willingness to engage in discussion. I don't feel at all threatened by your discourse and really appreciate it. I would like to learn more about you, and what you think, and why you think it. I may disagree, but I do ascribe to the idea that Stephen Covey promoted, that we should "seek first to understand." Any enlightenment upon what you think and why you think it is welcome on this blog.

Best regards.