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Step Into the Void

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Politics seems, at times, to be played very much like a game of chess. You watch the pieces being maneuvered around the board being positioned either for the next attack or to repel the next invasion. In our country, we generally have a two-player game. Republicans are camped on one side of the board, Democrats on the other. Lately, the Republicans have controlled most of the territory of the board, while the Democrats have been left to hurl insults from behind their barbed-wire trenches.
What I've noticed in the past few election cycles is that Democrats seem to flourish whenever Republicans run their own party into the ground. The American public gets tired of being beat up by the Republican Party, so they collectively step back from the table long enough for the Democrats to gain control of the board. When the American public again grows weary of the Democrat's meddling, they return to the table to exert control.
This yo-yo effect appears to have been occurring for a number of years. It's just my observation, and I've not really looked into it closely. What is interesting to note this time around, is that the Democrats don't seem to be in a position to take the lead role in politics. The Democratic Party seems to have exploded and the pieces are still in orbit waiting to settle. The Republicans are bleeding out all over the country, and the Democrats are caught with their pants down (no pun intended). Now is the time for a third party to make its move on the board. Now is the time to show a guiding light to the American public and wrest control of the board from the Republicans. I'm talking about the Libertarian Party stepping up to the plate. But, all I hear from their corner is crickets chirping. Hell of a time for a potty break!
It is now my turn to take the LP to task for being asleep at the switch. LP Leadership: you had better grow a pair if you want to play in this game, because waiting to be invited will leave you watching from the sidelines for an eternity. You're the enemy, remember? The Republican Party or the Democratic Party will never invite you to challenge them in this game. You need to attack while the opportunity presents itself! Move! Now! Storm the board with your best players positioned to strike down any resistance the other Parties may throw at you. Remember, your first battle is to gain a foothold on the board, not to win the whole thing. Your task is to get the Libertarian Party to be recognized as the opposition, not The Democrats. Step into the void!


Anonymous Mark said...

The phrase, "Libertarian Party", is an oxymoron. That's the root of the problem. Libertarians are anti-politics; they believe that problems should be left to individuals to solve through voluntary exchange and negotiations, not through a formal political process that involves such things as voting. So, libertarians cannot wholly commit to a political party that engages in conventional political deal making with other parties. Their principles always get in the way. The LP is always half-hearted because of this inherent conflict. It may try to "step into the void" but it ultimately can't do it with the passion and commitment necessary to win in the political arena. It will always find a way to commit suicide.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Steve Rankin said...

In a speech a few years before his death, ex-CA Rep. John Schmitz said the Democrats would've become defunct if not for the Watergate scandal. Schmitz got a million-plus votes as a 3rd-party presidential candidate in 1972.

I cast my first non-Republican presidential vote for Ron Paul, the '88 LP nominee. Paul had to run again as a Republican to return to Congress, where he's practically a one-man caucus.

I've become really frustrated with the GOP during the Bush presidency, especially with the profligate spending. The main thing they care about now is perpetuating themselves in power.

And you're right: the Democrats have nothing with which to fill the vacuum. They have no real agenda except 'anti-Bush' and 'anti-Republican.'

A big problem, too, is that the Dems and GOP have set the rules to favor themselves; it's very, very difficult for independents and minor parties to make any headway. In reading, a great site, I'm constantly amazed at how the deck is stacked in favor of the 2 big parties. And, of course, the 2 big parties largely control the selection of judges, who usually rule in their favor.

The LP has been running presidential candidates since '72. For all the years that they've been around, they haven't made a whole lot of headway. 2 of the candidates for the '04 nomination, Gary Nolan and Aaron Russo, hate each other's guts. You don't see that with the Dems and GOP, at least not publicly. (Harry Browne refused to shake Jacob Hornberger's hand at the 2000 convention.) You'd think a minor party would spend its time attacking the 2 big parties instead of each other.

The Reform Party is now split into several factions. It seems that some people prefer a social club over a political party.

For a minor party to become the 2nd party, one of the 2 big parties would have to go out of existence. With the rules stacked in favor of the Dems and GOP, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

3:00 PM  
Blogger A Christian Prophet said...

Attack is the approach of those who secretly wish to declare how little they are and deny their natural grandeur. See Our Holy Inheritance blog:

12:30 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

I see something like a long-wave political business cycle involved in it.

The fundamental underlying crisis tendency of state capitalism is overproduction/underconsumption. The cartelized and overbuilt economy produces more output than can be absorbed without state intervention. So the Rockefellers, Swopes, etc., back corporate liberal policies to buy up the surplus product and shift purchasing power to the bottom of the pyramid.

The problem is that these policies lead directly to the opposite crisis tendencies, fiscal and accumulation crisis (the "capital shortage," "excess of democracy," wave of wildcat strikes, etc., that had U.S. elites so panicked in the early '70s). Elites react with neoliberalism, fake "free market" reforms, that shift resources from consumption to accumulation.

The problem is that, even in periods of accumulation crisis, the underlying crisis of overproduction is still there. Any significant curtailment of working class purchasing power and repolarization of wealth brings back the old problems, with a vengeane. And the Rockefellers decide that neoliberalism has gone too far, and it's time to swing back at least partly in the direction of Ted Kennedy-style corporate liberalism.

I really thought, before last November, that U.S. financial elites had decisively shifted their support to Kerry (with Bush being sabotaged by a "quiet coup" of Plame, Abu Ghraib, Kean, etc.). Clearly, it wasn't decisive enough. But the civil war in the state capitalist elite continues.

Of course, in a genuine free market, where labor's natural wage is its product and there are no state-enforced monopoly returns to land and capital, this wouldn't be a problem. The purchasing power of labor would be sufficient to absorb economic output, and there wouldn't be a boom-bust cycle.

10:34 AM  

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