Tuesday, September 30, 2008

"Just the facts Ma'am"

Bummed from the website 'Dream World'

My Independent self is rearing its uncomfortable, probing head. Ok, in light of my previous posts, I probably should've posted an 'ick alert' but I'm tired. I want to write politics now. (can't help it, I'm drawn that way)

So as an Independent, AND as someone who was born and raised in the Netherlands where there are quite a number of parties that make up coalition cabinets (now now, gotta play nice no one's getting the whole piece of pie..)..the difference between the Democrats and Republicans are very nominal. Naturally, the extremism of the neoconservatives have widened that gap a bit but on the whole, both dems and reps pursue the same foreign intervention agenda in the interest of economics and yes..oil! Except the dems call it humanitarian intervention (like in Kosovo which was dumb, thank you Clinton).

If you are a 'truth seeker' and it is not too painful for you to see , do check out Fact Check, the organization set up by Walter Annenberg in 1994 with the goal to "to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state, and federal levels". Click on the fact check to inform yourself.

Quote from Jacques Ellul, famous author of Truth or Propaganda, the formation of the minds of men:

[This] sociological propaganda in the United States is a natural result of the fundamental elements of American life. In the beginning, the United States had to unify a disparate population that came from all the countries of Europe and had diverse traditions and tendencies. A way of rapid assimilation had to be found; that was the great political problem of the United States at the end of the nineteenth century. The solution was psychological standardization--that is, simply to use a way of life as the basis of unification and as an instrument of propaganda. In addition, this uniformity plays another decisive role--an economic role--in the life of the United States; it determines the extent of the American market. Mass production requires mass consumption, but there cannot be mass consumption without widespread identical views as to what the necessities of life are. One must be sure that the market will react rapidly and massively to a given proposal or suggestion. One therefore needs fundamental psychological unity on which advertising can play with certainty when manipulating public opinion. And in order for public opinion to respond, it must be convinced of the excellence of all that is "American." Thus conformity of life and conformity of thought are indissolubly linked.
(underlining linked by yours truly)

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Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Why is it I want to go out and get a Big Mac, Coca-Cola and a box of Kleenex after reading this post?

3:57 PM  
Blogger Mariamariacuchita said...

Eating for comfort? well, why not?
I think you are right, that both the Repubs and Dems have a lot in common. They are both part of the oligarchy.

Yet there are also some differences. Call me sappy, but I am counting on these differences in making some sort of different world that actually may be better.

Ok, I'm a dreamer.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Will said...

Hi Ingrid, I'm "Musclemouth" of olden days. You left a comment on my blog Great Power is a Blunt Object over two years ago. I was combing through my old posts, marveling over how optimistic I used to be [note: I just now mis-typed "used" as "sued" and it somehow struck me as humorously appropriate], when I ran across your comment. I clicked your name and here I am.


Just nice to see you're still tackling the big subjects. The psychology of conformity, for example, as in this blog post. It's tough when historians and theorists try to explain things in terms of human intentionality. Out of context, the author you quoted here seems to implying that someone or some group came up with the express idea of fostering uniformity among the early Americans.

Here's my new theory (well, not new, more of a toddler): When humans get together in very large groups, i.e. nations, a new species is born. It has a mind of its own. It is a mind and a force, like a force of nature, with but one basic tendency:

1. To form a single hierarchical internal structure.

All else is caveat.

That's my theory.

6:22 AM  
Blogger lindsaylobe said...

I’m not sure given a systemic change there is ample room for minority parties and greater diversity. There is no bar to new political parties being established except for the rather obvious practical and cost factors. The cost factor is the principal driver to ensure politics dominated by just the 2 parties.

The huge cost (one billion dollars for a serious presidential candidate) provides a stumbling block to many well qualified aspirants or indeed to any fledgling minor parties seeking representation.
The strange alliances representative of those massive campaign contributors provides a cocktail of conflicting ideologies, with the Piper more often than not having its way, and hence with the power money wanting to make each way bets both parties are captive to its strangulated grip.

Any significant change to limit cost and increase opportunity requires a shift in ideology to a more socialized system, redefined systemically with restrictions on funding or alternate funding from the public purse and regionalization of voting ( elections determined in say 13 regions whose heads elect a president ) to curtail the time involved to say 3-4 months.

Best wishes

6:51 AM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Roberto..big mac and a coke?? aiyaiai! [g]..We have this rule when we watch tv; when the commercial is on, put it on 'mute'. It diminishes the verbatim slogans replay my son used to make ("look mom, a swiffer jet it's good for...").
Maria, it's one of those 'uncomfortable truths' I think. If one looks at foreign policy, it's pretty much the same, it's just not as 'obvious'. And the Iraq war means 'nothing'. Clinton engaged militarily abroad but called it 'human intervention'.
Will, you're back! I commented on you at length on your site so I don't feel like repeating myself..I have stuff to do and as what happens often; I blog in between. Glad to see you 'out and about'![g]
Lindsay, you're not saying ANYthing I disagree with. Naturally it's the system and I'm not advocating for third parties to run for the Presidential office. I think the only way to try to make some real changes is one; do it on a state by state basis, expand your independent electorate. Get those dang Libertarians to think out of the box (for them) and actually work together with Independents to work towards those changes necessary as you say; it takes a LOT of money for politics, heck, even local politics, it's ridiculous. The money that libertarians waste on having anyone run for office just so that they are on the ballot whilst putting their money into it is a waste of time and space and effort. Pick your battles and look at the big picture. Cooperating with other groups, whether ideologically the same or not, is necessary in order to ensure true pluralism, society and political.

As always, your words are well thought and make absolute sense..



10:41 AM  

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