Monday, October 31, 2011

Occupy .* and the Iraq War

Then, as now, conservative opinion and elite bipartisan opinion was mostly contemptuous of the protesters. Well-fed, well-educated, well-salaried pundits looked on the shaggy protesters and remarked: how unsophisticated were the protesters' opinions, how disorganized their complaints! Fortunately, the nation was run by a select few who understood the harsh realities of a world where some suffering was necessary (for other people) so that the existing order could be maintained. And the march to war rolled on.

In all likelihood, the protests today will be as futile as those were. It's taken a couple hundred years, but the system of governance by elected representatives has evolved an immune system with nearly impervious defenses against street protests. Nevertheless in a society supported by the many and operated for the few, it is perhaps useful, for aesthetic reasons if nothing else, to have some people calling attention to that fact. If you, as a critic, imagine yourself on the side of the angels in damning the protesters, then you should perhaps reconsider.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cynicism and libertarian ends (again)

Why M. Yglesias is a nationally acclaimed writer and I am not, exhibit #7572: a couple of years ago I wrote a somewhat convoluted post about cynicism and libertarianism, whereas today Yglesias wrote this which is elegant, readable, and much more worth your time.