My logic here is simple: the lesser evil is evil. Choosing the lesser evil means choosing evil. It means things get worse. If you’re arguing that making a particular choice will make things better, then you aren’t articulating a “lesser evil” argument.
Choosing the lesser evil means choosing a lesser evil. You seem to be under the illusion that in our current reality we have a third choice (nationally). In reality, we don’t.
I didn’t show the “advantages of the corporatist right” list to fill space. That’s vital to everything else. Those advantages of the corporatist right are insurmountable to overcome quickly by any stretch of the imagination.
As I showed, their power is vast, entrenched, smart, devious and self-sustaining. It feeds sick megalomaniacs who are addicted to the the “God of More”. They are never satisfied and they don’t care who they hurt and kill to gain… more. Trying to thwart vastly powerful, lustful, greedy, manipulative, unethical addicts is never going to be easy, ok?
As my list also shows, the Internet as a medium can’t stand up to corporate-controlled mass media (yet). And, it also shows that civil disobedience and actions, while necessary, can only go so far when there’s zero support from a lesser evil in place. How can you read that list and not understand the raw, entrenched power we’re up against? That’s reality. That’s the obstacles. That’s why the political choice is lesser evil and greater evil and not much more. Hey, I don’t like it any better than you do. But, that’s reality and the best thing to do is cope with our reality and strategize.
You’re trying to kill the messenger because you don’t like the message. What the rest of us are doing instead is continuing to make change where we can instead of spinning our wheels trying to fight entrenched power head on… on their terms, where we can’t win.
Surfers who try to paddle straight into large, powerful waves to reach the lineup will be smashed against the reef. The red “X” is the lineup, the goal…
While it may seem brave and quicker to take a direct route head-on, you’ll only get smashed. Those that use long-term strategy achieve success when faced with power much greater than themselves.
They paddle into the deeper water of the channel where the powerful waves aren’t crashing directly onto their bodies and they utilize the deeper water backflow current (lesser evil) that actually helps to slowly (but consistently) push them towards their goal instead of being outright smashed backwards entirely.
With that strategy, timing and some healthy duck-diving, these people are able to pass otherwise insurmountable, massive walls of hydrodynamic power that obliterates the uneducated novice who rejects proper strategy, facing the reality of the situation and overcoming it in the long-term.
I think the only real use for a vote in this era is to register a protest, or at best to elect a candidate who is effectively an enduring protest vote.
Protest votes and candidates do not take away votes from the greater evil, they inevitably take votes away from the lesser evil that at least leans closer to them. And when third parties inevitably lose in our current reality when faced with greater, entrenched power, they very often usher in greater evil that gets even further entrenched.
Trying to tackle the current, entrenched power structure head-on isn’t going to work for all the reasons I already gave in my “advantages of the corporatist right” list. You’ll just be flailing in the water, never reaching your goals and drown. The corporatists laugh in the face of protest votes and candidates that do nothing but further entrench them.
You often point to Rootstrikers, so I expect you’re familiar with Lawrence Lessig. … In short, Lawrence Lessig, who is given to describing himself as a liberal, believes that our political system cannot be reformed through the election of candidates.
I think you summed up Lawrence Lessig’s strategies about as well as you summed up mine and that’s not a good thing. Lessig absolutely does believe in electing candidates and picking the lesser evil and he’s made that case many times.
Of course I support rootstrikers, but it’s just one of many attacks I’m supporting.
The problem is you keep oversimplifying the strategy of others without offering much of your own. His attack is multi-pronged (as it should be) as mine is (that you oversimplified and distorted as well).
Our other forms of attack aren’t going to get anywhere as long as we continue to usher in greater evil by ignoring reality and not supporting people who can actually triumph over greater evil. The alternative is more stagnation and that’s what we’ve already done as a country by ping-ponging back and forth between lesser and greater evil instead of making long-term progress.
Long-term progress in the face of the raw push-back power of the corporatist right is only achieved by supporting lesser evil consecutively until we’re in a better position strategically down the road to actually push through agendas that won’t be smacked down from a short-term head-on assault. Like I said in a post above, the Art of War is required reading here.
Once again, how about dismissing consecutively voting in a lesser evil once we’ve ever actually tried it? We never have and my chart proves it beyond any doubt. That’s the reality.
Who is we? There are several major cities, and large regions of the US, in which one party effectively has a lock on the electoral machinery.
“We” is the entire United States. It should be obvious I’m referring to national elections by my chart. Have you not looked at that chart and studied it? You act like you’re tired of seeing a chart you’ve paid no heed to.
I have never stated that local third party candidates who can actually win against both parties should never be supported. But on a national level, we don’t have that. Of course it’s vital to vote locally, but that can only do so much against superior federal power that keeps greater evil corporatists entrenched via the ping-pong effect I showed in my chart.
Like I’ve said and shown, it’s a multi-pronged attack. And, once gain, I refer to the Art of War. If you haven’t read it, then please get the pdf’s I linked to in my previous post in this thread. It’s extremely germane to the OWS (and factions thereof) strategies.
But given your positions on civil liberties and privacy, I’m sure you’ve had some moments of real anger at Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein.
They do what lesser evil will always do when we keep ping-ponging back and forth like we have for decades (see my chart again). That’s the best lesser evil you can expect with short-term strategy. We as a citizenry haven’t opened the doors to better candidates over decades with a long-term strategy and this is the end result. Corporatists, in general, thrive on false equivalency and that’s why their corporate media spends so much time and effort conflating lesser and greater evil as one in the same.
Do you really think it’s by accident that most Americans think that Democratic Representatives at large supported the Iraq War resolution when they didn’t? Democratic Representatives who voted against the war vastly outnumbered Republicans. If the American public had resisted falling for false equivalence and had voted in more lesser evil Democrats up to that point, we wouldn’t have entered the Iraq War. That’s just one of many disasters that could have been averted if less Americans embraced false equivalence, short-term thinking and voted in more lesser evil instead.
Unlike pushing a third party that can’t win into the face of the raw power of the corporatist right, we can educate Americans to at least stick with a lesser evil and make long-term progress that way. We’ve never done that and it’s time we did.
The best we can do is educate the American public to resist the very concerted effort to ping-pong back and forth via embracing false equivalency and inducing stagnation. Stagnation benefits the corporatists and that’s well documented.
The path of least resistance is lesser evil in the short and mid-term and in our current reality (once gain, please closely read the “advantages of the corporatist” list), it’s regrettably the only path on a national, political level. Only this will allow for third parties and public participation down the road in the long-term on a national level.
Otherwise, we keep doing what we’ve done, keep spinning our wheels and inducing a narrative where Democrats can blame Republicans for inaction instead of being held responsible and forced to make slow change. If the country is wrecked after decades of voting in lesser evil Democrats, then it’s time to pounce. Instead at most what we’ve done is further empowered greater evil by jerking back and forth and even doing the entire opposite in the past (by electing a vastly greater evil Reagan & then HW Bush Republican admins back to back in office).
I have seen, and participated in, incipient mass movements. In particular, there was the anti-globalization movement in the late 90s, and the wave of anti-war demonstrations in 2003. In both cases, I saw activist groups completely disintegrate as the election season began, as many activists insisted that it was of utmost importance that they participate in the campaigns for the Democratic Party candidate. These were explicitly "lesser evil" arguments; given that Gore did not represent the views of the anti-globalization movement, and that Kerry did not oppose the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, campaigning for them effectively precluded continuing to work on the issues those activists most cared about. This was disastrous for those movements.
Campaigning for Democrats wasn’t disastrous for the movements. Two GW Bush terms, mass media influence and violent protests is what really thwarted them. Bush further entrenched every aspect of corporatist control of mass media (by radically enabling consolidation at a ridiculous rate) among many other factors he exacerbated as I covered in my “advantages of the corporatist right” list.
You also called them mass movements. It may have seemed that way when you were in the thick of it, but please understand it was considered a fringe element to most Americans overall at the time. It had zero impact of stopping us going into war because at the time there was very little Internet reach to counteract mass media influence.
Don’t get me wrong, the actions of the 90’s are appreciated here and I took part in some of it as well, but overall, it failed in the face of greater evil taking control, not lesser evil. Hence, two GW Bush terms with a mostly greater evil, conservative, rubber-stamp congress to push his agendas and entrench corporatism at an alarming rate. Gore was defeated because too many of Americans embraced false equivalence in the face of greater evil. That’s how is really went down. And, to focus on the similarities of Gore to GW Bush like a laser instead of their numerous differences is exactly what corporatists want you to do and they prove it all the time by actively promoting false equivalence (as I’ve repeatedly shown).
It’s no coincidence that OWS was fruitful at a time when spreading info via the Internet was getting much more mature than it was in the past. The dynamics have changed and comparing the actions of the 90’s to our current reality isn’t a good strategy. It’s also no coincidence that OWS gained so much more mainstream traction and success after voting in a lesser evil Obama administration.
If McCain had won, he would have put down the ban-hammer much more quickly on OWS in the streets. With Democrats in office, warhawk Crazy-McCain has only later pandered to the OWS as a strategy. He wants to see if he can possibly use OWS as pawns against Democrats and not much more. Obama sucks, didn’t support OWS in many meaningful ways, but he could have also put far more pressure to end the protests far more quickly than he did. To ignore that is to embrace false equivalence. If you need more evidence, just look at Syria. McCain’s only gripe with Obama is that he hasn’t threatened to go far enough. We’d be at war with Syria right now under a McCain presidency. He’s made that very clear. Sometimes lesser evil is more.
I was struck by how every partisan journalist quickly tried to claim that OWS was simply doing a poor job of expressing their regular talking points
You shouldn’t have been. That’s the actual job of the mass media as I showed in detail with my “corporatist advantages” list. While most journalists lean to the left by their very nature, they have editors that are instructed to neuter and restrict them by the corporate owners. This is the reality of mass media and as I’ve already shown in my list, it’s going to stay this way for a very long time.
But, instead of being dumbfounded and caught off-gaurd by the actions of the mass media, it’s much wiser to understand how it works, strategize and manipulate this media to work within it where we can and around it where we must. It’s an Art of War thing, once again. One of the only weaknesses of the mass media is the hubris and greed of it owners. But that strategy lends itself to another discussion entirely.
What most astonished me was that, despite the liquidation of encampments, many OWS veterans managed to maintain some sort of organization, and flew into action in organizing mutual aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Instead of being disrupted by the 2012 presidential election, OWS maintained continuity and entered a new field of activity.
Yes, and it’s with this tenacity and long-term strategy that we’re going to win.