My wife and I were discussing Ron Paul last night, in light of a friend of hers having taken to campaigning for the guy. I find him really interesting, if only because he really sets things in a light different to that of the orthodox duopoly of U.S. politics. Personally, I think the guy is a 50/50 mix of way ahead of his time and utterly deluded. He is bold enough to say that government is corrupt, that central control of national spheres is insufficiently legitimate, yet blind to the inherently anti-social nature of capitalism and the danger of putting money before people. That got me thinking.
Ask anybody, Left or Right, this simple question: "Should people be able to work freely together to determine their own fate in a community that provides for each other?" Only severe ideologues would say no, right? So, let us assume that the vast majority of people, on the Left and the Right, would answer the affirmative. Now let us break down how Left and Right interpret that question and see where things go wrong...
From the Left, many would argue that America is already there; that democracy represents the rule of the people, that people live freely and that tax revenues, since they are administered by the people's representatives, is synonymous with 'providing for each other'. The threat, as they see it, are the corporations, those that would impinge on our ability to 'determine our own fate' by administering an economic system which keeps the majority in or near poverty, manipulating us as consumers and acting outside of the law.
The Right could make a good case for saying the same thing, though for very different reasons. Markets and the private sphere represent the most advanced form of working together, communities providing for each other in the most efficient manner. It is the Government that threatens this self-determination, it alone hampering the freedom of the private sphere with regulations, federal laws and tax (seen here as an illegitimate form of coerced cooperation).
If either of these descriptions fit the glove that you, dear reader, wear... please ask yourself this: Have you been lied to? Both interpretations are theoretically true (as in utopian/dangerous if acted upon/actually false), hence it's perfectly understandable how people can be led to believe them. Look again at the initial question I posed: both Left and Right want that - the great divide we see is nothing more than hyped-up bullshit jointly fed to us by the supposed leading lights of an apparently divided ruling class . Look at the differences in the two arguments, see how easy it is to join the dots and meet in the middle. Say it with me:
The government is corrupt. They do not work for the public good.
Corporations have corrupted it. They do not work for the public good.
Now, if one of these statements seems false to you, I am sorry. Nothing I say here will make the slightest bit of difference and I simply take heart that your views are the memetic equivalent of a genetically inbred evolutionary dead-end. If both these statements ring true, be you Left or Right, please recognise that you in this you share more in common than either do to politicians or CEOs. While bi-partisan bile continues to rise, the real irony lies in the closeness of state and corporation, our "leaders", GovCorp; collectively getting filthy rich while fuelling this charade of a battle between two "competing" concepts of freedom (the only difference is the method by which they take your money). They are not competing! They swap jobs, share lunch, do rich person stuff and quietly ignore the filthy cultural-wash that trails in their wake, dividing us, conquering us.
Wake up people. Corruption is what ails us all. Corruption is what that can unite us.