Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to masturbate in public

monkey wank copyIt was Howard Zinn who said we need to stop looking at reform movements in terms of their immediacy and start thinking of these undercurrents of change as slow, progressive thrusts forward which occur over generations. I like to think of them as building a medieval cathedral. During the middle ages, if a township wanted a place of worship they needed to plan ahead - far ahead - in fact, those who began construction did so knowing full well that neither they nor their children would live to see its completion.

Ideas such as American Exceptionalism and religiosity need to be delegitimized, but are so deeply seated that these dogmas seem to be encoded in our DNA. Yet, we've overcome such ingrained paradigms in the past. Monarchies and slavery existed for centuries until they were recognized as being dehumanizing and eventually shed like sheets of dead skin.

The problem I've been fencing with, however, is that of voting. I've voted ever since I turned 18 in 2000, and have participated in both local and national elections, but I've matured politically since then. The ideology which best describes my world view is libertarian socialism otherwise known as anarchism or anarcho-syndicalism. How can somebody exist in this society as an "anarchist" without being a hypocrite? I contend you can't. But if you hold anarchist sympathies, which I do, there are certain institutions you need to condemn namely Uncle Sam.

Voting has been described as public masturbation. We step into the booth, push the magic buttons and our ballot is spirited away. Afterward we feel satisfied (and a little guilty) but nothing seriously changed. But everywhere I turn people are telling me to vote, that my vote is my voice. No. My voice is my voice. However, the culture is seductive, and I can't say with any certainty that I won't vote again. We anarchists in training need to start a support group: Voters Anonymous. Fortunately, with Rudy and Hillary being the most likely candidates in 2008 I can't exactly hear the siren's song of "revolution" courting me anytime soon.

But if Nader runs, that'll be a different story. Just like a five-finger wankfest I might not be able to resist myself.

2 comments:

Temy said...

You sound a lot like me, only younger.

Rich_Of_Spirit said...

Thanks. Not all of us young folk live under a rock. I'm just glad I'm not the only one who question these things.