Thursday, September 27, 2007

Creative Thinking

Like a lot of people, I neglect the magazines I subscribe to. When I do read them, I am usually reminded why I subscribe.

And this month's Harper's has a truly great article that offers a novel way by which we the people can stop this war: a general strike.

Of all the various depredations of the Bush regime, none has been so thorough as its plundering of hope. Iraq will recover sooner. What was supposed to have been the crux of our foreign policy—a shock-and-awe tutorial on the utter futility of any opposition to the whims of American power—has achieved its greatest and perhaps its only lasting success in the American soul. You will want to cite the exceptions, the lunch-hour protests against the war, the dinner-party ejaculations of dissent, though you might also want to ask what substantive difference they bear to grousing about the weather or even to raging against the dying of the light—that is, to any ritualized complaint against forces universally acknowledged as unalterable. Bush is no longer the name of a president so much as the abbreviation of a proverb, something between Murphy’s Law and tomorrow’s fatal inducement to drink and be merry today.

If someone were to suggest, for example, that we begin a general strike on Election Day, November 6, 2007, for the sole purpose of removing this regime from power, how readily and with what well-practiced assurance would you find yourself producing the words “It won’t do any good”? Plausible and even courageous in the mouth of a patient who knows he’s going to die, the sentiment fits equally well in the heart of a citizen-ry that believes it is already dead.

What I really like about this article, too, is that Garret Keizer is finely attuned to the way in which we have become inured to this war such that "normal life" continues apace while Blackwater (and our army, too, let's not forget) shoots people down in the street.


Gerry Canavan said...
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Gerry Canavan said...

After posting this on my own blog a few days ago, I posted it to MetaFilter. Here's the often-very-depressing comment thread.