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  • Quote of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on September 20th, 2008 (All posts by )

    Wretchard of Belmont Club in a comment on one of his own blog posts:

    One sign that Obama isn’t a real organizer, as he claims, is his ignorance of the “radicalization moment”. This the psychological moment every organizer against a totalitarianism aims for. It’s the exact second the mask comes off and the truncheon comes down.
     
    Back in the anti-Marcos days it was the instant when a leader who thought he’d be respected for his grey hairs was kicked in the groin; when people who were minding their own business were stopped at checkpoints and shaved, by grinning thugs, until they had the “New Society” haircut. For the Filipino upper class the radicalization moment came when Ninoy Aquino was shot dead on an airport apron. Then the scales fell from their eyes and they saw Ferdinand Marcos for the first time.
     
    The unbridled campaign of disinformation and bullying is creating tens of thousands of radicalization moments and Obama will pay for this. But he won’t pay for it until someone — probably not McCain — comes along and creates its dual: the Empowerment Moment. The Empowerment Moment is the instant when you realize you can strike back at your tormentors. People have glimpsed it before. When Buckhead took down Dan Rather, for example. But it doesn’t happen by accident. An Empowerment Moment is the result of thousands of radicalization moments parsed through discussion and reflection. That’s what the Anbar Awakening was. But where is the Petraeus of politics?

     

    8 Responses to “Quote of the Day”

    1. Ginny Says:

      Less thoughtful but on-topic: Iowahawk’s Clockwork. If thuggery does break the nuisance level, it’s most destructive form may be Acorn.

    2. Andrew Garland Says:

      One political philosophy is based on the individual rights and thoughts of people. People are empowered and improved by taking control and responsibility for their lives. Government control should be sparing because it is coercing rational beings who have an innate right to control their lives. Call this “limited”.

      The other philosophy is that the best people must direct “society” for the good of all. There is no need to worry about what the people think, or spend much effort to convince them, except to win election or power. In fact, it is OK to lie to them, in order to achieve the better world. This is often a religious position. Call this “decisive”.

      Unfortunately, Republicans and Democrats are inconsistent. Republicans are limited about finances and work, but decisive about social behavior and abortion. Democrats are the reverse. They don’t recognize their own inconsistencies.

      Radicals are decisive in all things. They have seen the light and are going to impose it, whether we like it or not.

      See my post for more thoughts. EasyOpinions – Leading the People

    3. David Warner Says:

      Andrew,

      “Republicans are limited about finances and work, but decisive about social behavior”

      Proof? Examples?

    4. Andrew Garland Says:

      @David Warner

      Drat! My fuzzy associations are foiled by a request for an example. I tried to observe a symmetry that isn’t there. So, nevermind all that, and I’ll try to salvage what I can.

      One political philosophy is based on the individual rights and intelligence of people. People are empowered and improved by taking control of, and responsibility for their lives. Government should be sparing and focused on guiding, informing, and warning people, coercing them only as a last resort on only the most important or dangerous issues. Call this “Limited”.

      Another philosophy is that the best people should direct the rest of the people for the good of all. There is no need to worry about what people think, or spend much effort to convince them, except to win election and power. Explanations are sketchy, because the poeple can’t understand the details. It is OK to withhold information or lie to them, if needed to achieve a better world. Intervention is limited only by the availability of resources. Call this “Elitist”.

      Limited and Elitist people are in both major political parties. An Elitist may choose different issues on average in a political party. On each issue, the Elitist proposes a solution that reorganizes the relationships between people according to a grand plan. Often, that plan is no more than some requirements written on a cocktail napkin. The plan is everything; the unfortunate consequences are “unavoidable”.

      The War on Drugs is Elitist within the Republican party. Millions of people are in jail for transporting or selling drugs, or for being the girlfriend of a drug dealer. Illegal drugs are not good for people, but the War on Drugs is probably worse.

      The War on Wealth is Elitist within the Democratic party. Government programs such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were intended to give low-cost mortgages to the poor. They are now seen to have cost $50 to $200 billion (200,000 million dollars), and the bill is due. These Elitists want to redistribute wealth, rather than encourage a society where it is easier to work and earn. Next is healthcare, where the “rich” are supposed to provide services to the “poor”, regardless of cost.

      Radicals are the worst of the Elitists. They are willing to kill people to make political statements. The milder Elitists sympathize with them.

      See my post for more about radicals and their mainstream support. EasyOpinions – Leading the People

      Excerpt:

      “Around 1967 at the University of Chicago, I was talking to one of the radical guys in my dormitory, call him Brad. He argued that only a radical change in government would bring about a better society. I disagreed.

      He said that his movement would become stronger, and eventually I would agree with him. I asked, what if I didn’t agree with him, even later? He flashed anger and told me that if I didn’t agree on my own, he would make me agree. I saw that as the end of the discussion.”

      – Continued at EasyOpinions – Leading the People

    5. OBloodyhell Says:

      >>> “Republicans are limited about finances and work, but decisive about social behavior”

      > Drat! My fuzzy associations are foiled by a request for an example

      You’re kidding, right?

      I’m libertarian — the answers stand out like a sore thumb.

      1) Abortion
      2) Gay “Rights”
      3) Sexual Behavior in the privacy of one’s home
      4) Drugs
      5) Self-Induced, Voluntary Euthanasia

      “1″ is usually argued on a “it’s life!” argument, but at its heart is a presumption, generally based on the really, really absurd and silly premise of “it could become human” and/or “it’s got human DNA”. The respect one should have for a self-aware, feeling life form, when said lifeform is a clot of 4,8,16 cells can only be based in religion. I argue that law should not be based directly on religious teachings (most ethics & morals can be justified without a reversion to religious principles, though they generally share an alignment). Come up with a rational, objective definition for “self-aware, intelligent being”, and it probably, at this point, will exclude anything in the first month or two of gestation.
      NOTE: The above is not an argument against overturning Roe-v-Wade — it is aimed against the load of religious conservatives out there who class that as only a first step towards restoring things to the pre-R-v-W status entirely, with Abortion completely outlawed.

      “5″ is clearly a violation — it assumes that a person, an individual, in their right mind and thinking without interference, cannot, in the absence of coercion, possibly decide for themselves that life is not worth the struggle it represents, even when this is in the face of uncontrollable pain and suffering. “There is no need to worry about what the people think, or spend much effort to convince them”… *This*, you cannot do.

      “2″, “3″, & “4″, rather obviously, deal with an issue that at least 25% of the populace is in clear and obvious dispute with the other portion. “There is no need to worry about what the people think, or spend much effort to convince them”. Ist Gut, Ya, Mein Obermeister?

      ========
      Also note, my comments above don’t qualify as an argument for or against the positions in question. I’m calling attention to the fact that in all the above cases, most of them having no other adequate justification, are examples of Conservatives being “decisive”. I’m not arguing merit or propriety in any regard with the above.

    6. Tim Fowler Says:

      OBloodyhell –

      1 – For me the issue in abortion isn’t “its a life”. A fish is a life. E Coli is alive. The point is that its a human life. The human DNA is a clear sign of this, but its hardly the only one. You have a living unique member of our species. Not an unimportant blob of cells. And notice there is nothing about religious teachings in that argument. No “it has a soul”, or “God says its wrong.”

      2 – “Gay rights” can mean a lot of different things. It just two unspecific for me to give a comment unless my statement was quite long, or I just guessed what you mean.

      3 – With obvious exceptions (like the underage, or the unwilling), and possible exceptions (dealing with STDs) I don’t think private sexual behavior is the government business.

      4 – The same goes for drugs. Again there might be exceptions (drug sales to minors for example).

      5 – The problem with this one is being really sure that its voluntary and self induced. Also I can see why someone might want to stop a suicide when a person really can be helped. And there is an issue with people being temporarily depressed etc. But I do think in the end it should be the individual’s choice.

    7. ObamaRossi Says:

      “That’s what the Anbar Awakening was.”

      Not according to McCain. He said the Anbar Awakening was the response of that region to a US increase in troops (popularly named after a seldom-lamented sugarwater):

      http://customerevangelists.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/eric_karkovack.jpg

      which certainly contradicts your metaphor:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bxXLAdgCws

      I wonder how many McCain voters-to-be think the world splits easily and Manichean-ly into categories like: Moments — Radicalization vs Empowerment.

    8. Boonton Says:

      One sign that Obama isn’t a real organizer, as he claims, is his ignorance of the “radicalization moment”. This the psychological moment every organizer against a totalitarianism aims for. It’s the exact second the mask comes off and the truncheon comes down.

      1. Exactly how does the author know Obama is ignorant of this ‘radicalization moment’?

      2. Why is ‘real organization limited to rebellion against a totalitarian gov’t? This sounds like a kid whose worldview is limited to the Star Wars movies (the older ones preferrably). Can’t organization happen in a nice non-totalitarian society for the purpose of peaceful democratic policy change?

      This reminds me of a joke I read once about Soviet economics (from Krugman I think). Because they rejected markets, there was no easy way for Soviet bloc countries to properly price the goods they traded with each other (how many bottles of vodka should Poland get for one plow?). So they used the prevailing prices of capitalist economies. A Soviet economist was asked what would they do when the revolution came and the whole world was communist. He shrugged and said “we’ll keep one country capitalist just for this purpose”. What does the author propose to do if the happy day comes and alll totaltarian gov’ts are put down? Shall we keep one around to train ‘real organizers’?