30 October 2006

Worst Congress Ever

Yet another scathing article from Rolling Stone on how corrupt and incompotent the current bunch of nimrods are in the United States congress. No doubt the Republicans will somehow manage to turn it all around using demagoguery about how the local Walmart is saying "happy holidays" rather than "merry Christmas" and about homosexuals having equal rights under the law. Or maybe not. It's too bad we don't see articles like this from Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News & World Report. I post these things mostly for my European friends such as Orla, so that they might have a little context as to why I get so worked up-- especially regarding fundamentalism in the United States --about certain issues and how they've effected the United States domestically and with regard to our foreign involvement. Yes, yes, I know that it is domestic politics and perhaps uninteresting outside America, but it is difficult to escape the impression that current American policies are significantly and adversely effecting the rest of the world... At least with regard to security, economic, and environmental issues. Or is this just American arrogance on my part?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Levi,

Thanks for your recent stimulating (as always) posts.

No, it's not American arrogance on your part. Your outrage is understandable and relevant. What I have previously been trying to problematize is whether it's not (OK, let's frolic a bit with Deleuze!) an expression of national aborescent thought versus more global rhizomatic thought.

The atavistic American religious fundamentalism of the past decade and its political power is troubling, but also a relatively isolated phenomenon in the so-called Western world, where secularism is spreading - also in Asia.

I have been a political junkie for the past 45 years, especially about U.S. domestic politics. I still remember the excitement about JFK in 1960, and of picking up my first copy of Newsweek when I was 14 (yes, I'm 60 now) trying to decipher the journalistic lingo. The year you were born, Levi, I was a graduate student in American Studies at Smith College / Amherst in Mass., daily following the Watergate scandal, and every summer for the past ten years my wife and I have spent a month exploring the U.S., sensing and talking politics all the time.

The Congress today is not more corrupt (probably less, certainly more transparent) than it was in the days of Russel1 Long and Lyndon Johnson in the 50's and 60's, and before them – oh, man!

This DOES NOT diminish the relevance of protests and the feeling of revulsion. It's more of a systemic flaw, analyzed and decried by numerous theorists.

Fortunately, the American political debate is far more vibrant, energetic, and yes: polarizing than in almost all European countries. And no other political culture has the same talent of correcting itself after fatal shocks as the American.

It has done so on many occasions, just think of McCarthyism in the 50’s, political assassinations and the Vietnam War in the 60’s, the scandals during Nixon’s presidency in the 70’s, Iran-contra in the 80’s, the GOP hegemony from 1994, Clinton impeachment in 1998, the Bush-Gore debacle in 2000, 9/11 in 2001, religious fundamentalism, invasion of Iraq, 2003, the war on terror, and let’s hope: some relief on Nov. 7.

Let me quote yourself from an unrelated post, and add a few comments:

To be old is to maintain a conviction ( - Yes, of always staying curious and hungry -), a bit of fidelity ( - Well, a bit of that, but never too much - ), to allow oneself to step a bit outside of time ( - Oh, yes, certainly THAT - ) and ignore the superegoic logic of capital ( - Yeah, it’s more about managing one’s portfolio - ) as it functions in the academic publishing system. ( - Screw that! - ).

Shit, I just realized I ended up patronizing - which is exactly what I didn’t want. Please delete – and keep posting, Levi.

All the best,

Orla Schantz

October 30, 2006 1:33 PM  
Blogger Sinthome said...

I sure hope you're right, Orla.

October 31, 2006 6:45 AM  

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