Thursday, July 3, 2008

Call this a follow-up of sorts

A couple of quotes found over at Who is IOZ? seem apropos:
Liberal--a power-worshipper without power.

-George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language"

Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare!

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Raskolnikov in Crime and Punishment
Both quotes are appropriate within the context of Obama's recent embrace of that awful FISA legislation that I (among more bloggers than you could shake a stick at) have written about, along with the rather authoritarian turn Obama has taken in word and deed on a number of other issues. IOZ offers a perspective on why Obama would want embrace that unlimited spying power: not because he wishes to keep up appearances, but rather because he is so close to winning the presidency that he can taste it, and desires those powers for himself.

Again, to repeat myself:
I would not be at all surprised if either Obama himself were revealed to be some sort of wild card authoritarian in his own right, and/or numerous of his followers were wild card authoritarians - i.e., those who can pose as "leftists" but once in a position of power begin to crack down on dissent much like the right-wingers we all know and loathe. Obama's own embrace of warmongers, neoliberals, and of course of the awful FISA bill that is likely destined to pass does not bode well for those who wish to continue arguing that he is "progressive" (whatever that is supposed to mean any more). The behavior by groups of Obama fanatics on some of the community blogs (lots of bully tactics as I recall) and the apparent efforts by Obama partisans to shut down individually run anti-Obama blogs is a relatively mild expression of that authoritarianism; we should keep in mind that we're still early in the game.
We'll also keep in mind that Obama, like McCain, is willing to engage in right-wing rhetorical tactics, such as utilizing the Dolchstoßlegende, as he did recently. I would interpret this again, not as an effort to appear "strong" but rather to signal a willingness to crack down on dissent. I realize that some of you will immediately react that I'm being unnecessarily alarmist. I will submit, however, that the worst atrocities that have occurred in the course of human history have been wrapped up in noble intentions, with an air of exceptionalism on the behalf of the perpetrators, and a perception of victims and dissidents as subhuman and traitorous. Do not say you were not warned.

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