"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Apr 6, 2010


"...It's time to openly confront the fact that conservatives have spent the past 40 years systematically delegitimizing the very idea of US government.
April 6, 2010  

Sedition: Crime of creating a revolt, disturbance, or violence against lawful civil authority with the intent to cause its overthrow or destruction -- Brittanica Concise Dictionary

Well, finally. It's high time somebody had the guts to say the S-word -- sedition -- right out loud..."

Sara Robinson @ Alternet

Note to Sara Robinson: Conservative know-nothings and corporate stooges may act like assholes, but they haven't set about de-legitimizing government. You can understand the intended outcome of their policies and studied ineptitude just fine if you give it even a half-hearted attempt. Conservatives, generally, want a government that works like a streamlined mafia organization. Small, lean and deadly with a clear boss on top and a clear set of enemies. Those enemies might look like unhappy Arabs, Colombian indigenes living on top of gold or oil - or they might resemble Derrick Jensen and other people who don't like the taste of flesh, or the placement of ski lodges. They might look like any congregation of black men not dutifully employed in the sweeping of floors, or any Mexican grandmother not washing lunch counter trays. But, these enemies of the state serve a simple purpose: they stand-in as symbols of obstruction to power, as signs of those people who get in the way of the making of money and the accumulation of power.

The conservative, as a type, does not want to do away with prisons, or courts of law, Sara. He's not out to cripple Uncle Sam, or roll back police powers. He wants his enemies contained, and he's willing to have the government do it for him.

Liberals, Sara, do not play for a different outcome. They just want to pet the natives on the way to human zoo, and win their comfort, their iPads, their self-congratulatory and well-fed existences, with less troubled consciences. A liberal will use the club of the state to just as nasty an end as any conservative. He'll just lie more about it. He'll pretend he's got the better version of lawn order. He might even like a few black people, as long as they read the right books. He might not even get the icks around Teh Gays. He might like his pot, and turn his nose up at marijuana criminalization, but don't think for a moment that he won't cozy up to the protection racket the moment someone threatens to take away his toys, or just stop buying them.

He's got no problem with the so-called state monopoly on violence, Sara.

He might even, as does the current Dear Leader, send his staffers to defend torture, a global gulag system - or to quash revelations about the military murder of innocents.

You know what de-legitimizes the State, Sara?

The fucking state, itself.

h/t Charles Davis

Update (2:58pm):

Ms. Robinson possesses teh funnehs, in spades. If only the good people with historical historicality on their sides would just pass UHC, then the conservatronics would be "shut out of power for good."

Thanks for making the point, Ms. Robinson. What you want is your faction to control the machinery of state, in perpetuum.  No wonder you see "sedition" in the grumblings of the rear guard reactionaries. The competition wants its goodies back...


Richard said...

I remember Sara Robinson from the late Steve Gilliard's blog, "The News Blog". He was a sharp guy, and I respected him, even when I disagreed with him, because he respected sharp, vigorous argument, and never drove the left off his site. Sara, by contrast,was part of a group that presumed to create a successor blog after he died, and did, of course, promptly excommunicate the left.

But, what I remember the most, was when she made a disparaging, bigoted comment about Muslim men in her urban Canadian neighborhood, and I called her on it. Eventually, she admitted that it was false, but wouldn't own up that it was an indefensible stereotype, or even explain why she made in the first place. I posted a blog entry about it here, and I was especially alarmed at the willingness of everyone else who commented there to accept it, as if they would be excommunicated for criticizing her.

Anyway, Harris-Lacewell, now Robinson. The company line for the 2010 election is now taking shape: you are a Tea bagger if you don't vote Democrat. Don't think that it is going to turn out very well for them, and the response will be to malign every one as a racist for not doing it.

Ethan said...

This is brilliant, Jack. I find it astounding how willing to resurrect "sedition" the liberals are.

Richard---yee-ikes is all I can think to say.

Jack Crow said...

Richard and Ethan,

I used to read Orcinus, quite a bit. As Richard notes, it's a great resource for understanding conservative eliminationists.

But, Dave and Sara had nasty words for me, after I asked if he ever focused his spotlight on government power.


When I responded to the alternet article, I didn't even realize it was the SR from Orcinus.

That quote (thanks for the link, Richard) is very telling, and goes a long way to explaining the wagon circling during the discussion with D and SR.

It makes me sad, really. Because I think you're right. The line has been crossed, as the case of Jane Hamsher shows.

Hamsher's no radical, no more so than Medea Benjamin. She's an insider with a conscience, and I respect her for it. But she's not challenging the status quo ante.

She's working towards a more humane state, but it's still electioneering and political coalition building which drives her activism.

Yet she was treated to a real shit storm, with political and social consequences, for having the temerity to reach out to Grover Norquist (no endorsement of the NRO line implied, mentioning him)in a challenge to the Obama Admin.

She didn't threaten the order of things, yet the loyalists responded as if she were Red Emma reborn.

Look also how Cindy Sheehan has been encapsulated as a "Nadirite." She went from cause celebre to embarrassment, in a political moment, because her interests did not remain in line with those of the other corporate party.

They used her, and now they use her again as a cautionary note.

I imagine that it will only get worse, too. Ethan's right - the willingness to use "sedition" is astounding.

But not surprising.

Americans are amenable to lawn order reasoning. They may have rejected Bush's ineptitude, but not his legacy. They'll sign off on the savaging of the domestic Other - especially given the portrayal of Tea Party folks as would be terrorists, en masse, and not simply as the lower middle class, anxious, petit bourgeois nationalists that they are.

And professional liberals have a marked capacity for betrayal, in the interest of power. I don't personally hold faith with PETA and the deep greens, but it was troubling to see how willing Dems and liberals were to cast that demographic off the moment the taint of radicalism threatened the donkey power bloc.

I won't endorse the rightwing idea that official Dem opposition breeds proto-fascist false populism. The GOP has nursed that flame long enough that it merits the majority of blame for the reactionary impulse.

But the Dems can only make it worse by treating political speech as sedition, playing directly into the NWO/Alex Jones/Beckian mythological structure.

The Dems will over-react, I imagine - because the gamble will be worth the reward: the retention of power, and continued access to the revolving door of corporate/government enrichment.

And in doing so, if they piss off enough "red necks" that some of them pop off rounds at a Federal Building, well that'll be good for them too.

Bill Clinton got his Omnibus Crime Bill after OKC ( and very few people outside of the same Bircher/Alex Jones set care that the Branch Davidians are dead).



Jack Crow said...

She makes it worse, @ Orcinus:

"The fact they're eliding is: the best FBI instigator cannot lead people in a direction they're not already predisposed to go. People who are so blinded by their rage and hate that they can't recognize where they're being led -- by the FBI or the GOP or their own leaders -- deserve everything they get when they get there. The reason DHS couldn't make anything stick on the peace groups is that the members of those groups were impervious to instigation. They weren't going to turn violent, no matter who was pushing them. That's clearly not the case on the right these days."


(see comments)

It's the "bitch deserved to get raped cuz she was wearing slutty clothes" defense of entrapment.


Richard said...

There has always been a scary, intolerant tone that runs through the work of Robinson, a nastiness that borders on hate of people who disagree with her, and this is just the most recent example.

I am very far to the left in my social persective, and yet, if anyone reads my blog over a lengthy period of time, they will see that there is a leftism born of an Enlightenment humanist perspective, a belief that politics and form of social organization must fulfill the material and emotional needs of people while respecting their autonomy.

At least, I hope that comes out.

The Tea Party scene brings this contrast very clearly. It is certainly corporate sponsored, and driven by right wing extremists, but to castigate everyone who ever showed up at a Tea Party event as bigoted seditionists is just crazy. This is the distinction that bought pro-Obama liberals don't want to make, because it would require them to consider why otherwise apolitical people are being attracted to the Tea Party, and deal with it when it is possible to do so, as Chomsky suggested late last year, and, as Frank Rich does again and again.

Liberals are caught in a bind here, because if the Tea Party really is how they characterize it, a union of the most extreme corporate and racist elements, then, it really isn't that much of a threat, it will turn people off and will lose the ability to mobilize people over time.

But, if it is more than that, then liberals are placed in the position of having to understand why otherwise politically disinterested people gravitate to it, and deal with it, and that they do not want to do. So, better instead to create the opposition you want so as to retain power.

Jack Crow said...

Spot on, Richard. Spot on. I've been trying to figure out how to do the second argument of my "Power or Liberation, Part Two" essay, and this just triggered an inspiration.

Charles Davis said...


Thanks for getting to this -- I didn't have the stomach for it. It's sad to see Alternet publishing such everyone-who-doesn't-agree-with-me-is-a-traitor trash, but I guess it was to be expected -- if not any less depressing -- that liberals, once in power, would act just like their neoconservative counterparts.

Jack Crow said...


Much obliged.