Saturday, April 22, 2006

How hopeful are you for the future?

    I've had a lot of trouble blogging the past few weeks, and besides my busy schedule, I think the big reason is that I just don't feel that the situation in the world and in the U.S. is going to get better in both the near and distant future and it really sucks the motivation out of me.

     I hear a lot of people talking about how things are going to change after the 2006 midterm elections, but I really don't think it's going to make a difference. The Republicans might lose a few seats, but that's probably it. And in my opinion, it wouldn't even make a difference if the Democrats won a ton of seats. The Democrats don't even have the moral and intellectual clarity to call out the Republicans on all the crazy ass shit they do. Think it's because the dems don't have a backbone? On the contrary, I think they do, it's just that they really don't differ too much from the Republicans on these issues. Both are pro-business, pro-war parties who are in the hands of the wealthy. Sometimes you hear rumors that the Democrats are for giving gays the right to marry, funding stem cell research, and pulling the troops out of Iraq. But these are usually just quiet murmurs, and few Democrats take an actual strong stand that would be necessary to infuse enthusiasm into the issue. Not supporting scientific advances and equal rights for people of different sexual preferences SHOULD make it utterly impossible to get elected in a free, democratic society. And lying to the public to start a war of aggression is a war crime by the Geneva conventions. However, the current administration and mainstream media have made war crimes "patriotic" and dissent "treason". In a poll conducted in March, only 38% of the American public thought that the President should be censured for war crimes, much less impeached. Hell, this guy's approval ratings are still in the 30s! It would be utterly impossible for the remaining people to disapprove of him it seems, and these people are a large enough group that they themselves can almost get someone elected.

     If the Democrats take back a lot of seats this year, what will we get to look forward to? Well, maybe they'll start the process on stem cell research and gay marriage. After a few years perhaps we'll have those things. Big deal, we'll still be sprinting toward disaster because of our utter disregard for any issue that's important to our civilization's survival. And even if they allow gay marriage, I'm going to have to wait forever until the slippery slope allows me to marry that deer in the woods I've always had the hots for.

    So I'm curious, how hopeful are you for the future?

10 comments:

vjack said...

I certainly agree that there are many reasons for pessimism. On my dark days, I feel like giving up and moving to Canada or Europe. However, I try to remind myself how black people felt during the early stages of the Civil Rights movement. It must have seemed hopeless, and yet they accomplished a great deal. I don't think we'll live to see the evolution of humanity beyond religion, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some fairly major social and political changes in our lifetimes. In any case, I'm not ready to give up just yet.

SH said...

As Chomsky, Zinn and many others have repeatedly pointed out, none of the rights and freedoms that people have today were "given" to us by the authorities willingly. All the progressive changes in our societies were the result of popular struggle (I hate this word) for change. The positive changes only come when powers can't afford to ignore the voices of the people any longer.

I think that you are correct that Democrats are not much different from Republicans, and in some ways, I find their silence and lack of desire to stand up for what they claim to be their values despicable. But perhaps they are the lesser of 2 evils and we have to work with what we've got.

This means that if we want changes it is up to us to make them happen. We can't wait for some group of politicians to suddenly abandon their economic and ideological ties in order to help us.

What you are doing with this blog might seems like an insignificant activity, yet even if it makes at least one person think or understand things better it is very important. Don't give up.

TheJollyNihilist said...

After the 2004 elections, when Bush was re-elected, I got into a funk for about 3 months. I basically said, "This country re-elected the worst president in its history, and now it deserves whatever the fuck it gets." After about 3 months, I decided I really should regain an interest in the future of the US, if only because I have to live here. So, I began reading the paper again and re-engaging on all the issues.

What I saw during the next year and a half was exactly what I predicted. Bush has marched this country even deeper into the toilet than we were back in 2004. Warrantless domestic spying. More torture allegations. Secret prisons. His Katrina abortion. His continued Iraq debacle. He has cemented himself as the most atrocious U.S. president ever to hold office.

As for the future: I hope Dems win back control of at least one house of Congress. If they do, they will get subpoena power. At that point, they can dig into the last six years, calling up formal investigations of all Bush's blunders and embarrassments. By 2008, he could be censured, and publicly tarred and feathered. It would take years for the Republican party to fully recover!

Prophetic Farmer said...

Actually, I think investigating the Bush presidency after he is out of office would be a terrible waste of time. Of course he did things that weren't worth our money, that were ethically condemnable, and that hurt the environment, among many other atrocities. But, I think spending valuable political time on finding the faults of the past is not important. In my opinion, better to note the mistakes of the past, and move on with a personal vow not to repeat them.

The similarity of the two parties in this country is a fact that makes me support a multi-party system, as suggested by delta on an earlier post. In a way, the similarity of the two parties is stifling freedom and individuality. I say this because if you want to be a part of anything remotely influential in this country, you support one of the main two parties, which are unbearably cessile and similar.

Sportin' Life said...

I've been thinking about this since you posted, Delta, not sure what to answer.

Often I do feel pretty pessimistic. There are some long-term trends that are pretty disturbing, and then there are the current crisis situations which expose the grave dangers of the long-term trends.

But tying our psyches too closely to the political situation and getting burned out is a real danger. When I feel that sort of mood coming on, I try to remember that there's never going to be a point at which human beings have finished the project, have figured it all out, so that we can all sit back and relax in satisfaction.

Part of "winning" is simply continuing to fight the good fight, living happily and well, and being the engaged citizens we know we should be--regardless of whether or not the wider world seems to be going our way.

...

On the other hand, Bush is polling at 33% approval! 33%! Hahahahaha! :-)

TheJollyNihilist said...

On the other hand, Bush is polling at 33% approval! 33%! Hahahahaha! :-)

And, I believe that Cheney's floating somewhere around 18%. Nice!

Fair Enough said...

I agree with many of you, it's most depressing. Though, we've got to keep up blogging and the like, voicing our concerns, even if changes do not occur in our lifetime. I just hope that my kids and future family (assuming i have any)don't live in a country (or world, for that matter) plagued with such ignorance.

I'm speechless when i think that if things don't change, I may be a victim (or my family, friends, love ones) of such religious ignorance/intolerance. Literally, I could die, my mother could die, my "x" (insert loved one) could die, simply because of the religious opposition to scientific research, for example. SIMPLY because someone doesn't understand the psychological basis for religious belief.

I just imagine, lying in the hospital with some form of cancer for example, realizing that a cure could have possibly been created, had society not been numbed by religion. Or, perhaps i'm terminally ill,in unspeakable agony and I ask to be euthanized, and it is rejected on the bounds of "Only God can give and take life away".

Anonymous said...

I actually enjoyed this blog until now. What's wrong with being "pro-business". Business, commerce, and capitalism is the strength of this nation. And just by someone quoting Chomsky, I think I almost threw up in my mouth. I studied at MIT and I heard that moron speak. He has zero speaking skills and has the worst outlook on international affairs and America that I have ever heard. While I whole-heartedly agree with atheism, these politics are flawed. I will no longer frequent this blog.

Delta said...

Vjack,
It must have seemed hopeless, and yet they accomplished a great deal. I don't think we'll live to see the evolution of humanity beyond religion, but I wouldn't be surprised to see some fairly major social and political changes in our lifetimes

You bring up a good point. Even though things seem pretty static on day to day basis, things change considerably over the span of a lifetime. In the 1900s you've got women getting the right to vote and the end of segregation, while in the 1800s you've got big things like the end of slavery. So yeah, perhaps there will be large social and/or political changes in our lifetime.

sh,
As Chomsky, Zinn and many others have repeatedly pointed out, none of the rights and freedoms that people have today were "given" to us by the authorities willingly. All the progressive changes in our societies were the result of popular struggle (I hate this word) for change

It's definitely true that the rights and freedoms that we enjoy were fought for, not given. I guess part of my concern was that many people today seem to be much more supportive of sacrificing their freedoms for "security" than anything else.

FTM,
By 2008, he could be censured, and publicly tarred and feathered. It would take years for the Republican party to fully recover!

I personally don't think the republican party will get into that sort of situation. They're way too good with spin and the democrats won't call them on anything. But I definitely share your hope!

prophetic farmer,
actually, I think investigating the Bush presidency after he is out of office would be a terrible waste of time. Of course he did things that weren't worth our money, that were ethically condemnable, and that hurt the environment, among many other atrocities. But, I think spending valuable political time on finding the faults of the past is not important. In my opinion, better to note the mistakes of the past, and move on with a personal vow not to repeat them

I guess I have a differnet opinion on this than you do. While I think you're correct in that wasting valuable political time on these issues would be bad, I don't think that the government is going to be doing anything else of value. Plus, I think making a bold statement that this kind of "leadership" is not okay might be a very worthwhile thing to do.

SL,
But tying our psyches too closely to the political situation and getting burned out is a real danger. When I feel that sort of mood coming on, I try to remember that there's never going to be a point at which human beings have finished the project, have figured it all out, so that we can all sit back and relax in satisfaction.

Part of "winning" is simply continuing to fight the good fight, living happily and well, and being the engaged citizens we know we should be--regardless of whether or not the wider world seems to be going our way


Your statements are pretty much what I needed to hear. You're right, there's always going to be problems. Maybe I should be happy that there's so many areas that I could potentially help improve =)


Fair enough,
I just imagine, lying in the hospital with some form of cancer for example, realizing that a cure could have possibly been created, had society not been numbed by religion. Or, perhaps i'm terminally ill,in unspeakable agony and I ask to be euthanized, and it is rejected on the bounds of "Only God can give and take life away".

Yeah, that's a tough thing to think about. It's almost certain that our lives will be cut short because of the existence of religion. Just imagine how advanced medicine would be today if we hadn't wasted all those years before the enlightenment. We might be the fucking Jetsons now if it weren't for religion.

anonymous-

I actually enjoyed this blog until now. What's wrong with being "pro-business". Business, commerce, and capitalism is the strength of this nation. And just by someone quoting Chomsky, I think I almost threw up in my mouth. I studied at MIT and I heard that moron speak. He has zero speaking skills and has the worst outlook on international affairs and America that I have ever heard. While I whole-heartedly agree with atheism, these politics are flawed. I will no longer frequent this blog.

There's a difference between wanting people to have good jobs and for the nation to have healthy levels of production and being solely dedicated to helping the rich and providing public funds to subsidize private business. Pro-business doesn't mean pro guy on the corner that just opened a restaurant by taking out a loan, it always means being for giving tax breaks to corporations who are paying their CEOs 50 million dollars a year. We could discuss this further, but I understand if it's important to you to avoid ideas that you don't agree with.

Jason H. Bowden said...

"How did we get into this mess? I really don't know how. We seem to be made to suffer. It's our lot in life."

"We'll be destroyed for sure! This is madness! We're doomed."

Supporting the left is like suggesting that Star Wars character C3P0 represents an ideal leader. Despite its successes, the left loves to feel like it is struggling against impossible odds. It goes with the terrority. You guys feed on misery, despair, and hopelessness -- philosophies like socialism harness these feelings as their emotional fuel.

If one accepts the proposition that things aren't so bad, the shaky intellectual foundation of the left cannot survive alone with no support from negative emotions. The reality is much more sunny -- things have never been better in human history, and things will continue to get better. As long, of course, we don't let leftists realize their dreams of suffering and misery by destroying the economy, letting Muslim fanatics run amok, and so forth.