If you are a right winger, you may realize that we on Docudharma are not your typical liberals. Or you may not have.
We are not typical in that most of us here choose to think for ourselves and do not follow the typical Democratic Line. We believe, as some among you do, that the right to dissent from our government, even when it is in power, is sacred.
That may make us like you in that respect. However, it does not make us like you. You see, many of us may oppose our government for exactly the opposite reasons you do: it’s not that it does too much to solve problems destroying our society, it is that they do too little to correct the damage done since Ronald Reagan, George Bush I, and George Bush II.
Depending on our viewpoints, our solutions may be the same, though, and as long as we have common understanding, we may find common values.
Others on Docudharma may disagree, but I think one of the problems is in finding common understanding and common values.
So let me answer as best I can, speaking only on behalf, of course of myself, and not claiming to represent the entirety of the points of view of all Docudharmans.
What I would like to do is first talk about the ways we are unlike you and the ways we are like you. For the disinterested, this has the advantage of driving the disinterested away right away. Secondarily I want to divide you into groups, and the groups I am specifically talking to may have something or many things in common. Others we or I may have nothing in common with.
Like you, there are some among our number who want to sit across from a table with you. These are divided into, largely, two groups. The first group is that of Survivalists: If you count yourself a survivalist, these are people, who, generally, believe that civilization is doomed. Perhaps unlike you, many of us believe that the downfall of civilization will be answered, not with individualist, Ayn Rand style perfection, but rather with a return to communitarian values_. _I do not count myself among the group that wants to sit across a table with you, if you are a right wing survivalist. And the reason is very clear: Many of you are right wing survivalists because you are bigots. And I have no truck with bigotry. It may be that we share certain ideas and philosophies. For example, you may believe, as I do, that the downfall of civilization is either inevitable or close to inevitable.
If you are the type of “right wing survivalist” I described above, the difference between you and I is that number one, I do not believe that people with more melanin than you are either responsible for the downfall of civilization or a threat to me personally if it does. Secondarily, being a person with a prediliction for attraction to persons with the same sex to begin with, I also do not believe that it is those lousy homos who brought about the downfall of civilization either, rather that we are keeping it upright against the very best efforts of bigots to destroy it. Finally, no, the Jews are not responsible, in my world view, for all your miseries and then some. No, they don’t control the media. No, they don’t somehow secretly control your lives.
There is a second group of Docudharmans who would like to sit across the table from right wingers. This group, more pollyanish than the first, believes that it is possible, in today’s society, to sit across the table with you, in a similar manner to the Coffee Party, and discuss where we might find “common values”. Among these common values might be found, for example, things like what we get from the government in exchange for our taxpayer money, and so on. I do not count myself among this group either.
To be very clear, I am not among the groups that wants to talk to you at all. I style and believe myself, your enemy. However, many on Docudharma have noted the many things we have in common, which is why I undertake this sacred duty.
Due to concerns of space, I will only cover two classes of “right winger” with whom we at DocuDharma might find common ground, in this installment.
FOR THE LIBERTARIAN VIEWER OF DOCUDHARMA:
Like you libertarians, there are some Docudharmans who share, superficially, many of your values.
What you believe: Government is inherently corrupt and inefficient.
What we (I, or many of us) believe: Government has been made inherently inefficient, and unsalvageable, by people who proselytize that government is inherently inefficient.
Conclusion: In effect, we inherently agree. You believe that since government is so bad, it is imperative to “drown it in a bathtub”. By contrast, I believe that you, or those who think like you, have already drowned it in a bathtub. We therefore, essentially, agree. I do not agree that government is inherently bad, however I do tend to agree that libertarian viewpoints are naive, have let the corporations steal everything from us, and have therefore made it bad.
What you believe: You believe that the exceptional qualities of the individual overarch any common values, and to suppress the individual over that of the community is anathema, requiring resistance.
What I believe: I believe in common, communitarian values. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. Moreover, I believe that we are all one humanity, and we are all in this together. Finally, I believe that we strive to better ourselves.
These central qualities in my belief set, I believe, that will, over perhaps centuries and millennia, will destroy pure libertarian values. More than that, I believe that it is in the best interest of each individual to become exceptional. You may believe that the exceptional quality of each individual is muted by being drowned in the collective input of the greater whole. Like Ayn Rand, you may believe in the mythos of a libertarian superhero.
What I (we) believe: The first, most important credo of a liberal: We are all in this together.
If you have a modicum of human experience, you can see how our understanding is common sense, and that, contrary to the right wing meme of liberals being fantasists and conservatives being practicalists, it is really the Ayn Rand vision that is, essentially, fantastical here.
If you want to believe you are better, more qualified, more exceptional than others, I can virtually guarantee you that this is an illusion. You may be exceptionally gifted at that which it is you do, but in the end, you do not surpass others in other necessary abilities, and, no, you are not entitled to use them as tools for your amusement for a buck, no matter how much you think you are. Eventually, there will be reciprocity. This is called justice, and injustice abhors a vacuum.
Second: We seek to improve ourselves.
What is the motivation to improve ourselves if some people are treated as serfs, but the facility to handle money is valued, or the ability to make profit, or a business sense, over all other abilities or facilities?
In the short run, you may find some profit for yourself, if not your children, by being a more savvy person in a capitalist system. But, bethink you: There are 7 billion people on the planet. If you, your family, your scions, remain vastly more wealthy than the remaining people on the planet, people will ask why. They will take it away from you, no matter what you think of the justice or lack of justice of such an eventuality.
Do you really want to do this to your children? Let us say that you escape what certain people, like me, would call justice for your greed. Do you really think your children will escape? Your children’s children?
Let me see if I can get something across from you without engaging in what you might think of as hyperbolic liberal dogma:
THERE IS NOT ROOM FOR 7 BILLION PEOPLE ON THIS PLANET WITH NO LIMITS ON WEALTH.
There is a balance in all things. There is a balance in nature and numbers of people as well. You cannot have infinite wealth, and even if you could, it would not be in your long term best interest. But the capitalist system you glorify allows this.
But another, more esoteric issue, is more to the point. Let us say that you (or let’s be generous, and say, you and your family) were the one person or family who had essentially or relatively infinite wealth, while everyone else in the world had less than what you have.
The problem is that this deprecates the ability for other humans to improve themselves. Greed and possession make it difficult for people to be exceptional, and individual exceptionalism is the libertarian’s central credo. Excessive wealth, in other words, creates a generally impoverished world.
I believe that libertarians generally believe that libertarianism, through exceptionalism, would improve the world. But the logic is inescapable: Libertarianism with no limits and no rules, would to the opposite, by the means of depriving people the ability to nurture their abilities and talents and become exceptional.
What you believe, if you are a libertarian: The exceptional (or lack of exceptional) qualities of each individual determines their value (or lack of) to society.
What I (we) believe: We are all in this together.
To me this is self evident. The capitalist system is run on money. Therefore, it stands to reason, if you have the better ability to manipulate numbers and money than some other people, you will do better, financially, less earning yourself the goodwill and assistance of people who are not so gifted with money.
But what about a system that is not based on money? What then? What you would say, if you were an Ayn Rander, is that the needed skills would rise in monetary value and money would still remain paramount.
But what of the people, or persons, who do not value money, but rather, value something else? Let’s say it is peace of mind, or a lifestyle that deprecates (horror of horrors) excessive work.
Can your knowledge of money bring forth tomatoes? Huh? What if all the money in the world won’t buy you a single tomato?
What you believe (if you are a libertarian): In theory, your philosophy disallows this, but in practice, people of your philosophy embrace it, and that is, it is acceptable to deprecate people on individual characteristics, or quirks, if the majority disapproves, and thereby enhance the relative stature of the majority.
What I believe: What I am talking about is GLBT people and others you have allowed your ideological brethren on the right to deprecate, oppress, persecute and diminish.
This is not consonant with your philosophy of glorification of the individual and individual capabilities. To the degree you are a libertarian and stand for this, you are a blatent hypocrite.
You allow GLBT people to pay taxes. You allow Native Americans on their own countries and lands, to pay taxes. You allow all manner of people who are denied services, taxes.
But taxing people without providing them equivalent or analogous services is theft, and if you countenance it, out of agreement with your conservative brethren or others, you are a hypocrite.
You have a choice. If you are a libertarian, you can either support not taxing such persecuted people, as they are denied the government services their taxes currently pay for, or you can, as I do, as we do here on Docudharma, support their legal equality.
You have no other choices, if you do not want to be a flat out hypocrite and liar when it comes to libertarian values. Either give marginalized people the services their taxes pay for, or don’t tax them. Period.
FOR THE SURVIVALIST/TEA BAGGER RIGHT WINGER VIEWER OF DOCUDHARMA:
There are several things you don’t understand.
The first thing is, there are people on the left who are sympathetic to you, or some parts of your viewpoint. We are dissuaded, however, from sitting across the table from you, on the basis of the basic fact that you are, in essence, completely incoherent or insane.
I say this not to insult you, but there are a certain few things I had to get straight with an anti-government Teabagger (does that insult you? You guys coined the term, we didn’t), before we can as far left liberal and far right nut, to have a conversation:
The first, most important thing is, WORDS MEAN THINGS.
If you want to call Barack Obama a socialist, you need to understand a few things. The first and foremost thing you might want to understand, if you want to talk to a liberal, you might endeavor to understand what socialism means, in true academic (and not raving nutbag) terms, and the historical context of that word. If you can find a single thing Barack Obama has done that average Western societies in a modern context can find “socialist” I can find ten things, about that same thing, that would more adequately describe that thing as conservative and corporatist.
But even more imporant, if you want anything to mean anything to anybody, please stop describing people, things and ideas in mutually exclusive terms in order to bemuse and amuse people and make them think you are anyone but an idiot.
For example, you could say that Obama is a communist and like Stalin, and not be completely dismissed as a nutbag, even though most everyone would disagree with you. However, if you try to say that Obama is like a socialist, like Adolph Hitler, and like a Muslim terrorist, in contravention of all fact, logic, and mutual inconsistency, the average educated American is going to deem you a nutbag. I don’t say that to insult you. I say that because if you hold this philosophy, you are a moronic individual and need to learn something.
Second: The enemy is not who you think they are.
I know, you have been inculcated with the United Nations taking over your beloved America. That you are white and exceptional, that no one lives in America but you, and that America the beautiful belongs to you.
This is why your very own government is, to you, bent on world domination through the United Nations, the Illuminati, brown people, or people who inexplicably prefer people who have the same sexual organs as they do.
No one in the United Nations is going to take over “your country”. “Your country” is not, and never has been, “your country”. It also belongs, you see, to others. It may not be what you were taught, but it is so.
And, frankly, (and I know you’re going to call me an unpatriotic atheist homosexual weasel for saying so), the United Nations would not want to take over the United States. You see, you may think yourself, and the U.S., all that and a bag of chips, but the rest of the world doesn’t.
What you need to understand is a scary thought, but I will offer you some comfort at the very end.
First of all, you are not the be all, end all and exceptional light of the world. Some people actually want to let you live the lifestyle you lead, and yet find you as repugnant as you find, say, homosexuals. We don’t want to take your lifestyle from you, but just because you are white and Christian doesn’t make you better than us. You see, I was white, and raised as Christian, but was shunned by you and yours by having the misfortune of intelligence to question your vengeful God, and also happened to have the even graver misfortune of being born with a desire for people of my own sex.
My impression is that you are not that intelligent and have grave difficulties with understanding that a world that is complicated and dangerous.
But, fear not. There are others, even some of the dreaded brown people, who will become white and like Europeans if they stay here for very long, share your ideas about certain things. For one thing, there are Roman Catholic who share your odd predilections about sexuality and the desire to project your sexual perversions and neuroses onto other people.
As you can see, if you’re a right wing anti-government Teabagger, I don’t respect you very much. But, finally, here is something you need to know and understand:
Third: THE U.S. Constitution does NOT forbid what you call “Marxism”.
I have been reading all over how the U.S. government is supposedly “Marxist” and how this, supposedly, is unconstitutional, requiring our U.S. military to intervene, so as to defend America from “Marxism”.
But, you can look it up. Really, the concept of Marxism was developed AFTER the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Constitution doesn’t say a word about capitalism as opposed to Marxism, and our military or others, in “protecting and defending the U.S. Constitution” as per their sacred oath, have not a thing to do when it comes to “defending” the United States from Marxism.
I know this is hard to swallow. I know that you have been taught to hate and despise what you call “Marxists” with every ounce of your being. But, really, neither the United States, nor its founding documents, nor any of the Amendments to the Constitution, actually require the defense of the United States against “Marxism”.
Therefore, it is understandable, when you ask your military leadership to defend their oath to defend their Constitution against Marxism, they have nothing to do. Really.
Now you could try to pass an Amendment to the Constitution to forbid and defeat Marxism. But it would never pass.
And, finally, with your preternatural focus on Marxism, you have missed the final point:
THE ENEMY IS NOT WHO YOU THINK THEY ARE.
You have been taught, perhaps in your homeschooling, perhaps otherwise, to hate and fear “Marxists” and “socialists” and because Barack Obama is a Scary Brown Skinned Dude, to associate him with these evils.
What we liberals would ask you to do is entertain, just for a moment, that you have your entire world overturned on its head.
Obama may be a Scary (to you) brown skinned dude.
But he is not a Marxist. Rather, he is using companies to steal from you. He is using companies to lie to you.
This is not what a Marxist would do. This is what we liberals call “corporatists” would do. People who use corporations to steal from us, and from the government, to which we pay taxes, and is also “us”, (us, being, US ALL, and not just “YOU”)
When you lose your job at Winn Dixie, you aren’t losing it to a terroristic, brown skinned Marxist who hates America.
You are losing it to the Owner of Winn Dixie, who wants to make more money, and is also probably, due to the very things you fear, taking money from the government (OUR government) while doing it.
If you are a Teabagger, and truly understand the above, you have earned the right to at least speak to me. Otherwise, there is not really anything to discuss.