by Wayness Tamm-Clattuc
I often feel that today’s liberals in my baby boom generation are secret pessimists.
This is true both of EU bureaucrats as I have seen for many years from my nice snug Swiss vantage point, and it is certainly the case now as I can see for myself on my recent return home, with American liberals. In this last group I of course include also the so-called “neo-conservatives.” This seems to me to be shown by the widespread distrust by both politicians and management across the board, of people having guns in this most-recent case:
Or, to cite another example which seems to incite everywhere demands for regulation, there is the question of free access in a really open market to alternative medicines. This last is a personal kick of my own, of course, and so naturally enough I wonder why? One supposes it is significantly because, over seventy years since President Roosevelt and over sixty since the end of the Second World War and the Marshall Plan, a lot of professions have gotten in place and don’t want their monopolies and subsidies interrupted.
After all, as is well-known there is NEVER enough money for “everything!”
Sometimes, though, the mutual contempt between the established professions and the common people is just a little too apparent. The result is that there is an adversial relation even when one goes to the doctor! This has been a dreadful problem especially lately in the UK. Also, at how many public planning meetings right here in Minnesota have the common people been invited to “bring their concerns” only to find the agenda, topics and so on already are cut-and-dried — and, that the game of “public input” is just a kind of big Potemkin act?
I am thinking for example of the widespread push until last Fall or so, to inveigle county boards, throughout the Corn Belt and not just in Minnesota, to give away large concessions, tax breaks and so on, to would-be ethanol plant investors. Quite apart from the still-unanswered technical not to say moral problems (burning food for fuel!) needless to say this is just the latest case of professional self-display!
As a woman incidentally, I am amused to notice how this all typically gets put across on a lot of fifty-something male county commissioners, mostly already suffering the overweight signs of manager’s disease. The usual method to get over on the meeting is by parading a female “Resource Enhancement Specialist” or someone like that, in a short skirt and with low cleavage, to do a so-called “power-point” presentation. To be at the corporate level as some sort of project developer naturally means the lady already is likely to be in her forties…but she is indisputably still “young stuff,” certainly as far as our rustic goosetown politicians are concerned!
Now of course in all of this, as well as the appeal to sometimes lustful self-interest there is also a natural human tendency in the hearts of lots of politicians, to enjoy doling out benefits to “the people” and not all of it just to buy votes.
After all, there is also the perfectly legitimate desire to “really make a difference” and get into history and so on. But the historical problem in that case is to be really ahead of the curve, as they say, and actually to know for good and for all what the new thing is. Then you can lead somewhere!
However, as matters now stand, and certainly to one with an archetypal perspective, it is clear that there is a good deal of latent frustration throughout populations with the entire overly elaborate structure of contemporary human life. This is now so not only in the West and now globally, as rival systems seemingly collide their respective insistences. The usual historical “solution” of course has been a series of hellish wars, whenever things all get too congested. Then there can take places lots of nice atrocities and suffering and weeping, all with plenty of opportunity for moral outrage by onlookers, a real catharsis! But now given the danger of nuclear weapons since 1945, the proposed solutions of several generations to try to get away from war, of a UN or today’s “globalization,” altogether these only go somewhere but slowly.
And, alas, it is going much too, too slowly in fact to deliver the goods in all of these “crises” (some are actual) with which the competing politicians are progressively demoralizing the voters. The emergence of Senator Obama is a clear example of the collective striving to reach for a mythical or gordian knot solution, in the figure of the (comparatively) Young Hero, and so how well this all goes naturally remains to be seen.
But what most likely will sabotage Senator Obama will be the inertia of the organized structures of the very liberalism itself, in toto and including the claims of the neo-conservatives with their alternative vison of beneficial state power, and none of which by definition can very possibly welcome the sorts of real change needed for an actual American renewal.
[Emmett R Smith all rights reserved 30 June 2008]