Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Real Problem With The Tea Party, And Practically Everybody Else

I was listening to a news story about the Tea Party movement while I was driving home from work today. The speakers sounded a little more reasonable than I expected but there was also something new that put me off. I'm used to listening to people I disagree with but today I picked up on something different.

It wasn't really new or different. It just seemed that way because I wasn't listening for it. It's actually a very old phenomenon. Many people believe that what makes a government good is that it represents their views and interests.

I know that sounds benign. In fact it is a key piece in how direct and representative Democracy are supposed to work. I put it to you that it is bad, a harmful idea and an impulse that should be resisted...and not just because it supports the state.

Again, take The Tea Party as an example. The Tea Party claims to be about small government, low taxes and respect for The Constitution. This is not their will simply for their own lives or even their own communities. It is their will for the United States. They seek to improve this nation of hundreds of millions of souls by injecting their will into its laws.

Obviously this describes practically everybody involved in American politics at every level. It just happened to be The Tea Party that made me think of it in those terms. This arrogance, this idea that others should live as you will, this is as much what is wrong with the modern crypto-fascist "democracy" as crony capitalism. This is the fire that drives the identity politics that distract us from noticing that we are not free.

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