Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Here's a real enchilada

That's my term for a document that's crammed full of hyperlinks and/or footnotes to all kinds of information. I think the author's over-reliance on Wikipedia is a weakness, but not one that is insurmountable for those who are activated when the research imperative shows itself.
What's more interesting is that if you read through the comments, you'll find that people have good arguments for their agreement or disagreement with the points of the article. I wanted to bring some of them to light here.

Now one of the strengths of this essay is early assertion of the thesis and the stated limts of the discussion at the beginning.
Quote: However, a coup seems to be occurring in the United States, but it is a slow coup. It may be culminated by one drastic move that consolidates the plan, but the pieces are being clearly put in place for a coup of the entire government with the eradication of democracy and the Constitution. I will constrain my discussion to three areas: executive power, intelligence, and military reach. end quote.

There is the assertion that knowledge is power-- it's power for the neocons, but it's also power for us.
Regardless of the nomenclature, the Bush Administration's commitment to massive data collection approaches zealotry. The old adage that "knowledge is power" has been taken to heart in a twisted way by this group. The power resides in knowing everything about everyone else and not letting anyone know anything about you. end quote.

To that point, I would like to add this.
Those who are gathering information about, oh, Quaker peace advocates and political adversaries, are influenced by the knowledge is power idea certainly. But what they come to know is gutter-level mundane. They fancy themselves the next founding fathers, or the direct descendants of founding fathers, yet all the knowledge they employ is banal, it's the position of the gravel at the curb, it's whatever they might smear. There are no principles at work. Just interest and tactics. It's a very heavy way of thinking, not unlike that one may observe in Hitler's Mein Kampf. The unitary executive is not a principle, it's a tactic for the control of outcomes through the control of the people whether as legislators or judges. It is based only on the assumed supremacy of the president, his arbitrary, that is, unreasoned, authority.
The neocons reach out for knowledge to fuel innuendo, but there are those of us who are thinking not about what people are doing & saying, but thinking about the principles and cultural assumptions underlying the distribution of faith, power, and the freedom of speech. The sovereignty of the people is based on the idea that the capacity to reason is the common attribute of humanity that brings people together and facilitates just societies. The people are sovereign not because they've earned it through loyalty, but because of an intrinsic characteristic that is acknowledged to be universal. The sovereignty of the people in America and the universality of reason have many different implications for our society, our assumptions about what an educated person is, and who should be educated. It dictates a just society-- and yet our society is not just.
I'm convinced that this coup happened not because of what we negate or what we don't like, or even what threatens us. This coup happened because of what we allowed, what we thought we could live with. We let the monster in the door. And like most of the monsters I've read about in fairy tales, this one will not be defeated on its own ground. We must employ the weapons the monster cannot understand, the weapons which ambition and interest have denied it. These are principle, understanding and fortitude in the place of faith.

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