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Politics - Transience Divine
February 15th, 2005
10:19 am


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Every book I've read in the past three months has gotten me more charged to do some serious world changing! I want to rant somewhat on my recent reads (What's the Matter with Kansas, Good to Great, Don't Think of an Elephant), but I need to do it over a few days.

Thomas Frank's Kansas is a froth-mouthed, frustrating creature, waiting for its moment to rip out the last of "liberal hold on America". I think his pessimism is misplaced. Let me paint a different picture of Kansas.

The leaders of the conservative backlash live in simple homes, and have hard lives and day jobs, many in factories. Their efforts are hugely grassroots, going from door-to-door, and involving large sectors of their communities. Simultaneously, they're investing in their future, building infrastructure, and financing new ideas. These people are politically sophisticated, and they're working class people.

We're in the middle of the largest working class revolution in American history, and the poor are going about it right!

Sure, they aren't supporting what we were hoping for. But their current view of the world is warped. It's kept stable by their ideology and a lot of effort, but it can't be stabilized with respect to every perturbation, and sooner or later, it will fall apart. I think it's so unstable that when it goes, it will explode, and then there will be hell to pay.

But it won't easily fall apart on its own, but that's where the other two books come in.

Current Mood: energeticenergetic
Current Music: A World Turned Upside Down (the Diggers) -- Clandestine

(2 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:February 16th, 2005 08:50 pm (UTC)
Are you painting a picture of the world as you think it is, or is this a suggestion? One of the things that bothers me about the current Conservative trend is my sense that the ideologies that bring the votes are being manipulated and chosen by the leadership for other reasons. The leadership that I can see is not working class; is Frank presenting evidence that there is such a leadership?
[User Picture]
Date:February 17th, 2005 07:20 pm (UTC)
Yes, Frank shows that all the craziness and organizing power isn't coming down from the top, which is what worries him the most. These are poor people working around the clock to get people elected who will make them poorer. Some of the people they're electing are rich manipulators, but by no means all of them. Same goes for the idea mongers-- no one is surreptitiously forcing foreign words into their mouths.

Which is also why I think it has to be fantastically unstable, if we can just find the right way to tip it.
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