Tuesday, May 31, 2011
But it is simply the case that with regard to many (not all, but many) of the most controversial issues in this area, Obama has either equaled or exceeded Bush/Cheney. That Obama refuses to seek Congressional approval for his war (and his top officials even suggest they have the power to defy any Congressional bans) -- while Bush sought and obtained Congressional authorization for his -- should be added to that ever-growing list.
Monday, May 30, 2011
Saturday, May 28, 2011
[07/13/2012 note: Regarding whether or not the Nazis are socialists, see this post.]
Some time ago I was having a casual discussion with an acquaintance of mine when we somehow stumbled upon the subject of our respective left-wing socio-political ideologies and the appeal of faux authoritarian aesthetics. We agreed that while we both deplored totalitarian governments there definitely was an appeal to being able to metaphorically grab someone by the shoulders and scream, "Shape the fuck up and do something useful!"
Socialism in respect to its means. Socialism is the visionary younger brother of an almost decrepit despotism, whose heir it wants to be. Thus its efforts are reactionary in the deepest sense. For it desires a wealth of executive power, as only despotism had it; indeed, it outdoes everything in the past by striving for the downright destruction of the individual, which it sees as an unjustified luxury of nature, and which it intends to improve into an expedient organ of the community. Socialism crops up in the vicinity of all excessive displays of power because of its relation to it, like the typical old socialist Plato, at the court of the Sicilian tyrant; it desires (and in certain circumstances, furthers) the Caesarean power state of this century, because, as we said, it would like to be its heir. But even this inheritance would not suffice for its purposes; it needs the most submissive subjugation of all citizens to the absolute state, the like of which has never existed. And since it cannot even count any longer on the old religious piety towards the state, having rather always to work automatically to eliminate piety (because it works on the elimination of all existing states), it can only hope to exist here and there for short periods of time by means of the most extreme terrorism. Therefore, it secretly prepares for reigns of terror, and drives the word "justice" like a nail into the heads of the semi-educated masses, to rob them completely of their reason (after this reason has already suffered a great deal from its semi-education), and to give them a good conscience for the evil game that they are supposed to play.
Socialism can serve as a rather brutal and forceful way to teach the danger of all accumulations of state power, and to that extent instill one with distrust of the state itself. When its rough voice chimes in with the battle cry "As much state as possible," it will at first make the cry noisier than ever; but soon the opposite cry will be heard with strength the greater: "As little state as possible."
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Over the past several weeks, I’ve found I can change the conversation at any social gathering by mentioning Louann Brizendine’s book, “The Female Brain.” Brizendine is a neuropsychiatrist and the founder of the Women’s and Teen Girls’ Mood and Hormone Clinic in San Francisco. She’s written a breezy — maybe too breezy — summary of hundreds of studies on the neurological differences between men and women
All human beings, she writes, start out with a brain that looks female. But around the eighth week in the womb, testosterone surges through male brains, killing cells in some regions (communications) and growing cells in others (sex and aggression).
During adolescence, the female brain is washed in estrogen. Female teenagers, in general, experience an intense desire for social connection, which releases near-orgasmic rushes of oxytocin in the brain. They are, on average, more sensitive to stress (by age 15, girls are twice as likely to suffer from depression). The male brain, meanwhile, is producing 10 times more testosterone than the female brain, meaning the male sex drive is, on average, much greater.
The problem is that both the feminist movement Clinton rides and the civil rights rhetoric Obama uses were constructed at a time when the enemy was the reactionary white male establishment. Today, they are not facing the white male establishment. They are facing each other.
The interesting split is not between the feminist and civil rights Old Bulls, it’s between the establishments of both movements, who emphasize top-down change, and the younger dissenters, who don’t.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Somebody's found the antidoteSomebody's found the antidoteto human sufferingWipe us out of existence
You're not the firstsurely not the lastto think you have the answersand are dead wrong
Cherish the darkin a ring of firereach for the unknownas the pages turnin a ring of fire