Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, July 28, 2005


Commies and Republicans in argument share a trait: they never, ever concede that anything you say could have any validity; they never seek a common ground of understanding, but only use rhetoric to dominate. When the facts stack against them, they change the subject, pronto. It's an anti-humanist mode of discourse, and it drives me mad, and I frequently succumb to the temptation to *Be Like Them* and *Respond In Kind*. Pointless, destructive, ugly, weak; a sort of nightmare it's always nice to wake up from.

Case in point, Jane continues to ride his beef with me on the subject of Gramsci, in cryptically snide allusion to this blog. Thing is, his stuff on Gramsci is good. His stuff on the relationship between hegemony and Clinton signing NAFTA is good too, though unnecessarily snide; yes, Jane, NAFTA, CAFTA, and the rest are indeed betrayals. I don't know why he thinks Lesser Evil-ists don't know this.

Jane hasn't raised the specter of Lesser Evil-ism, but it haunts his slagging of the Democrats. I voted for Nader in '96 and campaigned vigorously against him in '00, thinking Bush worse than Dole and Bush's prospects for victory greater. I recall "Lesser Evil" as an epithet to describe the D's first coming around in the '96 campaign; it's probably much older. "I refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils" is the old slogan. I embrace my Lesser Evil-ism, given the actual material circumstances, as a necessary step to slowing what anti-Lesser-Evil-ists admit is the GREATER EVIL. After the election, it's back to pushing the D's to be more progressive. I did nothing to fight CAFTA. To my shame. I've worked the phones and letters on a bunch of other issues. Democracy, free speech -- I'll take 'em over the alternative. Weak and ineffectual? Too much of the time. Anybody got more effective methods, don't be such a wallflower. Show us the way.
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