Today something tells me to try being serious for once. So I thought, "Self, what a unique idea, let's try it on and see how it feels." So, here goes:
The primary problem with extremism, of whatever stripe, is its failure to ever achieve it's own stated goals, while simultaneously screwing things up for everyone else. Sort of a perfect s**t storm, if you will. In fact, even a cursory review of history will reveal not one single instance where extremism succeeded in a) achieving the exact ideal world envisioned by said extremists; b) doing as little harm as possible to those in disagreement; and c) still being around today. While the Far Wrong likes to parade charges of Socialism and Communism (come on! people, even when those things purported to exist, they didn't really exist - those, too, were extremist wet dreams that failed to ever meet their initial expectations, let alone have any coherence with their self-stated theories,) they fail to see how they are not much more than the mirror images of their own shibboleths. Whenever ANYONE espouses ANY kind of radical or reactionary makeover of "the system," it ultimately fails. Don't believe me - do the research yourself.
Show me ONE radical or reactionary system that has ever really "worked." By this I mean, have the people, as a whole, NOT merely those on top, EVER really prospered under draconian fantasies? China has been in its present form (psuedo-CommiCapitalism) for less than 20 years, and that change was itself a repudiation of the prior 40 years under so-called Marxism. I say so-called because, if any of the wing nuts on the Far Wrong ever actually bothered to READ his books, they would realize actual Marxism has never actually been tried. Instead, we've had one failed mostrosity after another parading under the "Marxism" banner while never coming close to it.
The same holds true for Conservatism, or shall we say, Reactionary ideologies. Name ONE far Right government that hasn't either (or both) brutally repressed/murdered it's own populations, or resulted in hyper-inflation and economic chaos. And name even ONE of those regimes that has stood the test of time. Yeah, I thought so.
The so-called Tea Party, which is just the latest name for the Patriot Militia Movement, and the Christian Right, and the Birthers and Birchers and Timothy McVeigh Book Club and Gun Society, will eventually run into it's own contradictions. In-fighting is already being seen. And what the adherents of this not-so-new ideology refer to as their "better ideas" are in fact the same failed ideas the world has seen in many other permutations before. And, need I add, with the same sad, and often misery-inducing results.
Please note - I am not by this critique suggesting, not in the slightest, that liberal or "progressive" ideologies are any different, especially where they purport to be the "right" answer to all that ails us. Not by a long shot, dear readers. In fact, what I am arguing is simply this: we have reached a critical juncture in human evolution, where what we thought were solutions in the past are finally proving their worthlessness, and reveal the true depth of the dilemma in all its gory details.
We cannot keep recycling the same ideological tropes in hopes one of them will succeed in pulling our collective fat out of the fryer. The Far Wrong and the Radical Whack-Pack both fear the notion of "globalism," and for not so different reasons. They use different rhetoric, but in the end, they are both nativists at heart. But nativism has never truly been a bulwark against the outside world, my readers - its all around us, that Big Bad World out there, and we damn well better learn to live in it, with something at least approaching harmony, or as the saying goes, we be gone, and we be stayin' gone.
There are no boundaries for air, for water. There is no way we are going back to the days (which, lets admit it, never really happened after all - Ozzie and Harriet was a fiction, ya'll,) when we were over here, they were over there, and we/they could ignore the other, unless they/we had something we/they wanted to take, when of course we/they would go over and whupp they/we until we/they got what we wanted, and then we/they went home, and, er, well...actually...WE hardly EVER went home, except when we got our butts handed to us. So, gee, I guess we need to rethink that isolationist/nativist thingy, wouldn't ya think?
So, dear reader, I leave you with two questions: Do you think it might be time to seek some new brand of pragmatism toward dealing with our political, social, environmental, etc., problems? And, if so, how might we start that conversation? Let's have some discussions, whether here, or your place, I don't really care. I just want to get started, because truthfully? I don't really think we have that much time to start fixing things. And some of those things are well and truly busted.
I think even the smallest amount of reflection will show that, no matter what you call it, extremism is NEVER in defense of Liberty - its only in the justification for oppression. Barry Goldwater notwithstanding.
Next time, back to my usual snarkism.