I think the thing to undo here, more or less, is the thought that all the blame lies in the hands of a specific party. Whether it's government, the markets, conservatives, or liberals. All of them have synergistically fucked us over. The 'us vs. them' mob mentality basically has most of us in attack mode against tails and claws of the same monster, charging up the down escalators and vice-versa.DaMadFiddler wrote:No, I think that sums up the basic situation pretty well.
I'm still voting for Sanders in the primary, though, because fuck self-fulfilling prophecies.
And I think it's long past time for us to start undoing the right's past several decades of demonizing the very concept of being liberal or progressive, and start changing the conversation about what government is and should be: a means of organizing and executing the people's will, with the aid of experts, to promote the best interests of the people. Sometimes government is corrupt. Sometimes it is inefficient. Sometimes it is misguided. But always, its core purpose is to organize and exercise the needs, rights, and will of the people. To get rid of government is to remove the people's ability to guide and adjust their own society.
It's always struck me as funny how the people most outspoken about "keeping the government out of our lives" are the same people who'd leave us at the complete (and much more predatory) mercy of unfettered, unaccountable corporate interests.
There's a REASON regulations and red tape exist, and peak efficiency isn't alway desirable. Efficiency comes at the expense of safety, thoroughness, and accountability; it's a balancing act.
That inherent purpose of "organizing and executing the people's will", isn't that where all of the divisive polarity and means of exploitation come from? There is a never-ending ideological tug-of-war for majoritarian rule with compulsory participation for the minority, except for places that are solidly one-party (which, regardless of affiliation, generally have the highest amounts of corruption and inequality). Whether that is being forced to pay taxes for drug wars & tactical genocide, or being forced to pay fines for not being able to afford health insurance in the first place, there is always a gun at the disagreeing minority's head to do something that they don't want to do. Collectively, the two could team up, stop telling the gunman to target each other, disarm him, and sort out their differences.
Is it, perhaps, that the model of the traditional binary government is reaching it's theoretical limit of applicability? I'm convinced that there is some way that individualistic laissez-faire capitalists and expert-led collectivist communes can co-exist, share a middle-ground, and even celebrate their differences and compliment each other's weaknesses if some model of quantum government could be designed.
Rather than bouncing absolute power and emphasis back-and-forth between specific groups and their agendas (which results in kicking and screaming that slows progress down), it would have to be fixed on accounting for all the different agendas, relative to those which exist in the super-state as a whole. People that do want certain services pay taxes/volunteer for them and work together to make it what they truly want to make it, others that don't want to pay in the first place can opt out and/or seek some alternative.
The back-and-forth about Obamacare is a good example of why we need something like this. People that didn't want it were forced into it, increasing it's unpopularity dramatically. The people that didn't want it in the first place then started voting in people who promised to repeal it or gut it as much as they could, which they have been doing. Now it is a shell of it's original design, with numerous exemptions and exceptions. Compulsory mandates prevented the people who wanted out of it from staying out, and it prevented the people who wanted in on it from building a good single-payer style of public healthcare. The less roadblocks to each other's differences, the better. Saying "your inherent beliefs are wrong" only wastes more time and makes it worse for everyone.
Regulations perpetuate the cycle of corporatism. They are generally designed, lobbied for, and secured by corporations for their own interests. Markets outsmart government, buy anti-competitive protection thinly disguised as "safety", and most people barely notice or couldn't care less.
Good recent example: Hershey lobbied the FDA to ban the import of chocolate candy from the UK in the name of "consumer safety/protection" and "to help cause for less buyer confusion". Their lobbying succeeded. The FDA banned it. No one noticed, no one cared. The only ones that got hurt were little British import shops and their customers with an arguably superior taste in chocolate.