Saturday, February 18, 2012

Farcical Politics, Continued

Farcical Politics, Continued
P. Schultz
February 18, 2012

Discussion continued of the state of our politics today. Good discussion. Or so it seems to me.

Former student:

“well, i would also argue that the media are complicit in this, too. i have not yet seen a single reporter ask a serious question to a candidate. for example: contraception. george stephanopoulos, during one debate, spent a good fifteen minutes on that same topic. or this ever-present question: if you are elected president, what will it feel like? what does it mean to you?

“i disagree with your use of the term oligarchy, but, for whatever reason, people do not seem willing to engage in serious issues.

“i would say that we no longer have to fear the schoolmaster state. it has already arrived.”

My response:

Oh, to the contrary: People are prepared to discuss important issues and vote on them. It is the oligarchy that represses them. Ever heard of the Tea Party. Or Occupy Wall Street. However misdirected their anger might be, they realize they are being hosed by the few wealthy, the oligarchy. And other people, often the young, are prepared to listen to Ron Paul and his critique of our imperialism. And I have discovered that almost anyone who reads Howard Zinn's book A People's History of the U.S., likes it, provided of course they have not been "educated" by the likes of Mahoney/Dobski.

But I also wonder why you worry about what you call "the schoolmaster state" when we are bombing and killing people throughout the world in order to "project our power abroad" as "the realists" like to say? You know, Jon, Aristotle's political classification is much better, more illuminating than such categories as "schoolmaster state." And I have to say if you are unwilling to use the word "oligarchy" than you have as little to contribute to a useful discussion of our political situation as Peggy Noonan, and she contributes very little.

Finally, of course the media is complicit in this. The media merely serves the oligarchy, because after all it is the wealthy few who control it, just as they control the political process as well - constitutionalized by Supreme Court in Citizens United, which is another issue the people are willing to take on while the establishment is not. Is either party criticizing this decision? The only one in the media who is dealing with this is Colbert! Obama did criticize it once, a high profile once, but of course has done nothing since about it and rarely, if ever, talks about it.

Given the overwhelming power of the wealthy few, how can you not say this is an oligarchy?

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