On being a drama queen was Re: Forwarded from Anthony (Bush victory)
g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Thu Dec 14 13:44:19 MST 2000
Carroll's post is a very interesting challenge to those of us who thought
that something important was happening round the Gore Bush fiasco. It is
impossible to judge from here but there has been no evidence of what I
would call a spontaneist response to a violation of what the working class
instinctively perceive as the social contract.
I have seen 4two such spontaneous upheavals in my time. 1971 after the
Bloody Sunday killings in Derry and 1975 in Australia after the sacking of
the Labor Whitlam government by a right wing cabal based around the
In both cases all those with a vested interest in preserving the existing
order had to work extremely hard to keep the lid on the protest. I would
argue that this task was performed in N. Ireland by the Official Sinn Fein
with the passive cooperation of Provisional Sinn Fein. In Australia it was
the Labor Party who set about defusing the outrage of their own supporters.
Spontaneity soon becomes a very sullen apathy if it does not merge with an
intellectual understanding of what has happened. And that is certainly
what has happened in Australia since 1975.
But what of the USA? It seems to me that so few people register to vote
and even fewer bother to turn out on polling day, that it is hard get
anyone to care about what was done to Gore.
Of course nothing was done to Gore at all. He simply was denied first
prize. The real outrage was performed on the poor and above all on the
Afro-Americans. That from what I can judge seems to be 'business as usual'
in the US of A.
So no spontaneous upheaval, no sudden penetration of the layers of "common
sense" that act as the protectors of the system. Does that mean I agree
with Carroll? Do we have better things to do? Well I cannot answer this
from Australia, but without sounding too Irish American comrades only have
better things to do if they have better things to do.
What other issues enable one to talk politics with a variety of
people? What other issues enable one to point out who Scalia is and where
the evil dog comes from (Thanks Lou for that)?
I cannot answer with certainty but I suspect there are not many. So
Leftists should continue to debate the whole affair and patiently work to
widen the tiny cracks. If that means being something of a drama
queen/critic so what?
As for Lou Paulsen's call, I would support it 100%. My comment here though
is that the key character is Jackson. Only he could initiate a truly
massive protest and march on Washington. He won't do it of course, though
In any case the Seattle anti-capitalist current may turn out and if they do
so much the better. In any case comrades the election result leaves us with
a President who really from the stand point of someone outside the system
looks like something out of Nixon by Reagan, with a dash of Gerald Ford's
brain power thrown in.
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