Forget About Centrism: We Must Reclaim The Inspired Edge
Date: Monday, November 20 2006
Forget About Centrism:
We Must Reclaim
The Inspired Edge
By Phil Rockstroh
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell
Rumsfeld is gone. Mehlman is gone. DeLay is gone. Yet let's not have our progressives' version of a strutting-on-the-flight-deck-of-an-aircraft-carrier moment. Because mission has not been accomplished.
For those who haven't noticed, while we were busy with other concerns, many of our rights and liberties went missing. Moreover, along with them have gone or are going fast: our planet's polar ice caps and the accountability of the corporate sector (our nation's true power brokers)-not to mention a sense of place and history, and even a cursory understanding, among a large percent of the populace of the U.S., of the precepts of civilization and of democratic discourse.
These circumstances, like the melting of the polar ice caps, have transpired incrementally, and have been going on for longer than that Reign of Terror in Tiny Town known as the Bush presidency. For example, regarding the increasingly authoritarian terrain we negotiate our way through daily: In American workplaces, bosses routinely snoop into underlings' personal e-mails and monitor our web-surfing practices. How did it come about that so many of us Americans have grown to accept such demeaning intrusions into our privacy?
In such a repressive societal milieu, there is no need to threaten would-be dissidents with old-school totalitarian measures such as forced deportment to Siberian labor camps. Threats, overt and covert, to one's economic security and social standing serve to dissuade most of us from political and social dissent. In the class-stratified structure of the U.S. work force, where the personal consequences borne of financial upheaval are swift, punitive and severe, the implicit threat of being deported to America's urban gulag archipelago of homelessness renders most of us compliant to the exploitive dictates of corporate oligarchy.
Where did this all begin? How did it all get away from us? Furthermore, why do we stand for it, when these practices are antithetical to everything we claim to believe in as a nation?