Thursday, January 12, 2012

Those who live in glass cult compounds shouldn't throw stones

The Fantastical Crackpot Cult of Ron Paul by Bob Cesca

Yes, his economic ideas are pure crackpot. And yes, if he could actually implement them, they would cause an economic collapse in this country. (Around the world, I'm not so sure; I tend to think that even though much of the rest of the world has been ideologically colonized by Unitedstatesian theoclassical economics, they can't be that dumb.)

But could his libertard ideas actually be implemented? It is, after all, Congress that holds the power of the purse. And roll back the Civil Rights Act? Sure thing, right after Paul unilaterally renames the country, The Federated States of Ayn Rand. Certainly, Congress will comply.

But the biggest problem I have with Bob's article is when he writes: "The reality is that our political system has remained relatively intact for 224 years because most people, despite their gretzing, are actually comfortable with the continuity it provides. If voters were as militantly anti-system as they claim to be in anecdotal conversations, they would elect more incumbents [sic] and fringy third-party challengers."
- This is so idiotic it pains me to read it. Elsewhere, Bob uses the word "meme" in his writing, but apparently he understands the concept only as deeply as marketers do. Bob, let me explain: information is physical - information outside of a physical substrate does not exist. Hence political information must be delivered; and a mix of logistics and epidemiology governs its spread. Voters make their decisions based on what they know. What they know is based largely on what they see, hear and read through the largest media outlets. That's why voters elect more incumbents, and don't elect fringy third-party challengers. Not because the voters occupy some kind of intellectual Mount Olympus, from which they can perfectly see all potential candidates and all sides of all issues, and judiciously choose between them. If that were so, the entire commercial media would collapse overnight, as its marketing and advertising base realizes that it is actually totally ineffective and a colossal waste of money. And campaign fundraising would be entirely unnecessary.

Finally, as for Bob's claim that Paul isn't as anti-war as his statements would lead one to believe: hey, quite possibly. Though the few thousand bucks in campaign donations from employees of defense contractors that Bob cites isn't convincing evidence. I'd take my chances with Paul, and only for the militarism issue - which, incidentally, is the one aspect of his platform that he would as Commander-in-Chief actually have direct control over, and wouldn't have to fight with a less-loopy-on-economic-issues Congress.

After all, why not? I held my nose and supported Obama over McCain. And yes, maybe I will get burned again... after all, to paraphrase Bob, "[p]eople who are devoted to Barack Obama appear to be more interested in the fantastical, fictitious idea of President Barack Obama than the realistic manifestation of President Barack Obama."

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