My favorite odd moment from the article by Laksin attacking not only Lew but LRC in general: He refers to “[Lew's speech's] paranoiac allusions to a dissent-crushing ‘state’”. Why the scare quotes around “state”? Is the U.S. government a tea party? A haddock? Later the author lets us know what he thinks: “the U.S. government… representing the democratic consensus of the American people”. Ah! So it is not a “state”, it is just representing the will of the people. Well, no problems there. Conservatives have always loved governments that represent the democratic will of the people. (I note that the “far left” would have no problem with Mr. Laksin’s conception of the U.S. government).
11:37 am on October 5, 2005
Email Stephen W. Carson
Reading that delightful hack job on Lew, as well many of comments to his speech, got me to thinking: Conservatives aren’t so much clamoring for “government-defined freedom” — the freedom to love one’s government and be loyal to it — as they are apparently driven by a sense that it is every human being’s fundamental right to have a government they can (or possibly must) love.
Americans are odd in that they define freedom almost exclusively by how they are governed, and tend to view the liberty of non-Americans only in the context of how those people are governed. Of course, American duh-mocracy is the only form of government that anyone should ever love, but there is a lot more to it. Right now, Conservatives, especially the rapid, nationalistic, militarisic Right, are stricken by a kind-of “ein volk, ein vaterland, ein fuehrer” mentality, a belief in the mystical union of a people with and through the state, the nation and the leadership. (But only if the leaders come from the one proper party…) Combine that with the sense of historical mission, and you have a kind-of American Ba’athism, or, as Lew has pointed out, a uniquely American form of Fascism that is a much of a threat to the peace and wellbeing of the world as National-Socialism ever was.
We, of course, will never see eye-to-eye with these people. Freedom to dissent, freedom from government and from the state, freedom to live as human beings with no involuntary attachments, those things are not freedom for them. Only love for state, country, party, ideology and leader are freedom. “There is no God but the United States of America, and George W. Bush is its prophet!”
1:02 pm on October 5, 2005
Email Charles H. Featherstone