Daily Archives: July 4, 2010

Gay Pride / Video of the Day

harpercowboy1

Today is the 30th annual Gay Pride Parade in Toronto.  Our prime minister is not attending it, but he no doubt supports it in spirit.

Then again, a fully grown man dressed up as a cowboy may not be what he seems.  After the jump, Stephen Harper speaking at an anti-gay-marriage — or, as he winningly puts it, “real Canadian values” — rally on Parliament Hill in April 2005.  Harper can claim to know about “real Canadian values” because his government represents as many as one in three Canadian voters.

Continue reading

The Glorious Fourth

Teabaggers as oligarchically driven mob

It’s America’s birthday.  Like Canada, it doesn’t get a pass today either.  Here’s Frye in “America: True or False?”:

The economic development of America has been intensely competitive, and so has developed an oligarchic direction, taking advantage of everything that increases social inequality, like racism.  Exclusiveness breeds hysteria, because of the constant fear of revolt from “below,” and the hysteria is increased by an economy that depends on advertising, and so tries to create a gullible and uncritical public.  Advertising absorbs propaganda as the economic expansion goes beyond the limits of America and turns imperialist, and the two merge into the category of “public relations,” where one throws oneself into a dramatic role, and says, not what one means, but what the tactics of the situation are supposed to demand.  In so insane a context the question of whether or not murdering a prominent figure or planting a bomb would be good publicity for one’s cause becomes almost a rational question.  Hysteria breeds counter-hysteria, racism counter-racism, and American capitalism is now facing various opposed forces who may turn out to be stronger than it is, because they fight with the same weapons but believe in them more intensely.  On both sides of the social unit is the organized mob.  An appalling crash in the near future seems to be at least a possibility for American society, and Canada could no more avoid such a conflict than Belgium could avoid a war between Germany and France…

I do not see how America can find its identity, much less avoid chaos, unless a massive citizens’ resistance develops which is opposed to exploitation and imperialism on the one hand, and to jack-booted radicalism on the other.  It would not be a new movement, but simply the will of the people, the people as a genuine society strong enough to contain and dissolve all mobs.  It would be based on a conception of freedom as the social expression of tolerance, and on the understanding that violence and lying cannot produce anything except more violence and lies.  It would be politically active, because democracy has to do with majority rule and not merely with enduring the tyranny of organized minorities.  It would not be conservative or radical in its direction, but both at once.  (CW 12, 404-5)