Friday, January 5, 2007

On the Goethe Quote

What I mainly had in mind in posting the Goethe quote yesterday was the challenge facing us in deciding whether and how to act politically in these times. Stepping forward can be a scary thing. We wonder if anyone will follow us. The point that Goethe is making is that through acting and stepping forward we bring into being a series of events that would never have otherwise happened. We create more favorable conditions for others to step forward. We give heart to others who are debating whether to act or wanting to act or not even quite fully aware yet that they ought to act. If we want people to come forward we must ourselves set an example for those others. As I wrote in the Preface of ITP:

"Had we a system that could protect itself against the predations and subversions of threats such as Bush-Cheney, there would be no reason for this book. Bush and his cohorts would have been driven from office and put on trial for their crimes long ago. Indeed, they would never have been allowed to seize the White House in the first place. It is up to the rest of us to rouse ourselves and rouse others, to bring forth from the grassroots new social movement leaders to constitute an alternative and powerful counterforce that fundamentally alters the overall political atmosphere, providing a competing legitimate authority to the bankrupt and illegitimate authority now leading this country. The existing establishment has left us no other choice." (p. xxii)

I actually meant the above literally: that we need to constitute a new, competing legitimate authority. Part of that can and must come from among those who are already known for their leadership - e.g., people like Paul Craig Roberts who is among the growing number of conservatives (he was Assis. Sec'ty of the Treasury under Reagan) who despise the neo-cons and who are alarmed about the direction we've been moving in, people like Catherine Crier, people like Sean Penn, Neil Young, E.L. Doctorow. Many more of these kinds of people need to step up and step forward in a bigger way. And there must also be people to come forward from among those who are lesser known or not known even yet to themselves what they are capable of doing and who will discover in the course of doing so what they are able to do and the difference they can make.

What do Bush and Cheney and O'Reilly and the rest of that despicable gang of mobsters have? They've got a lot of money and they've got their hands on the levers of institutional power. What does our side have? We have facts and truth and justice on our side, which the other side has none of. Take a look at what happened in this one case as an example of what can happen. This was the now famous guest appearance of Jon Stewart on CNN's Crossfire. Shortly after his appearance CNN cancelled the long-running Crossfire. Notice the Crossfire's audience's reactions during his appearance.

No comments: