Saturday, July 23, 2011

Digressions on the Path to Bewilderment

We're silent to the degree that we're in despair. So I've been pretty silent about politics lately—maybe not just about politics—watching Obama follow the Tea Party into the abyss of "government austerity."

In short, it's become clear that Obama represents the concerns of Goldman Sachs at least as emphatically as George Bush did; and at some level he's more dangerous because he enjoys the camouflage of the Democratic Party.

That travesty aside: Ultimately, I'm trying to decide if I'm a Platonist.

Is it true that someone must be the boss? Must society design itself around that principle?

If it is true—and needless to say that's the current position of both Democrats and Republicans—then I suppose I prefer the tyranny of the welfare state to the tyranny of Goldman Sachs. At least the welfare state serves more than 1% of the population. I'll take the elitist Barack Obama and his ethics of compassion to the elitist Ayn Rand and her virtue of selfishness.

All of this is another way of asking: Can no one rule?

The call for small government pre-supposes that if we limit government's power, liberty fills the void. Plato says otherwise: Goldman Sachs will fill the void, or some other multinational corporation, or—prout Ayn Rand—John Galt, triumphant.

I do know that a fundamental problem with the ethics of compassion—perhaps its fatal flaw—is that people resent help. They'll take it, but they won't appreciate it, ever. To their credit.

Anyway, here are a couple of things worth reading, both of which can be held responsible, to some degree, for my current bewilderment:

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