Friday, September 19, 2008

Condoleezza Rice Tries To Re-ignite The Cold War.

I can't tell you how many times in the last few weeks I have had people suggest that I am a "communist" because I disagree with them about the proper direction of our county. This would be completely understandable if I was advocating the common ownership of all property in the United States, or if I wanted a single, self-perpetuating political party to control all aspects of the nation's social and economic spheres. If I was stating my support for such a situation, then it would be fair to accuse me of communist tendencies. That's clear because those are the definitive conditions necessary for that type of government. But I've never been in favor of those things. No, instead my opponents are reacting to my support of Barack Obama- who coincidentally has also never called for the aforementioned measures.

How long is it going to be before the McCarthy-ites in the extreme Right Wing abandon the tired and ignorant tactic of branding all those who disagree with them as "communists", "socialists", or "Marxists"? Never mind that these terms are used interchangeably as if they were truly communicating the same thing (a "socialist" is in favor of the government assuming control over the country's "means of production", and a "Marxist" is someone who follows the philosophies of Karl Marx*). Never mind that I've never actually met an American who seriously aligns himself with these views. These are simply outdated labels that have lost any connection to the reality of the world. Someone needs to remind "conservatives" that employ these labels that the Soviet Union collapsed nearly two decades ago.

Still the spectre of our former "superpower" rival seems to loom large on the periphery of GOP perception. I was frankly dismayed to hear about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's comments to an audience at the German Marshall Fund on September 18th. If you aren't familiar with what she said, here are some highlights:

Our strategic goal now is to make it clear to Russia's leaders that their choices are putting Russia on a one-way path to self-imposed isolation and international irrelevance. (...) Russia's international standing is worse now than at any time since 1991. And the cost of this self-inflicted isolation has been steep.”

In typical Red-baiting fashion, the Bush Administration's reigning "Sovietologist" called out the world's largest nation (and the world's largest exporter of natural gas, the second largest oil exporter and the third largest energy consumer) in one of the most provocative manners possible.

Besides the fact that Rice's position betrays the essential hypocrisy of the Bush administration, it exposes the decreasing relevance the United States has on the international stage. Bush can send out his surrogates to deliver veiled warnings to rising powers all he wants- but the sad truth is that the policies put in place by this presidential administration (with the fawning assistance of Republican legislators) have consistently eroded our ability to be respected (or even feared) by would-be competitors. Given our inability to stabilize a third world country such as Iraq, I don't think Rice is fooling anyone. She is merely inflaming any two-bit opponent that dreams of giving the United States a hard time.

I believe it's time for us to take a good hard look at our new standing in the world. No matter what you might hear from Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly or John McCain- our self-image as the dominant force in the international realm is becoming nothing but a delusion. Our economy is on the brink of collapse. The free market system that we've been trying to forcibly impose on the rest of the world is in dire need of re-evaluation. More and more we are being seen as a "paper tiger". And as far as "socialism" is concerned, the Bush administration is embracing that approach with its proposal to nationalize the home mortgage industry. It's time to abandon previous assumptions.

*Characterized by a "system of economic and political thought developed by Karl Marx, along with Friedrich Engels, esp. the doctrine that the state throughout history has been a device for the exploitation of the masses by a dominant class, that class struggle has been the main agency of historical change, and that the capitalist system, containing from the first the seeds of its own decay, will inevitably, after the period of the dictatorship of the proletariat, be superseded by a socialist order and a classless society."


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What, no lengthy discourse on the superiority of Obamenomics over laissez-faire capitalism? Oh, so you're just one of those Simpletons from the school of vulgar Marxism.

Now that's a shame...

11:48 AM  
Blogger Merge Divide said...

Well Berty,

Here's a suggestion for you offered in a spirit of generosity... because I actually respond to posters who come on my site and offer an alternative view...

Have another look at my post, and see where I addressed the issue and definition of Marxism. Go back to my post and find the instance where I expressed an advocacy for Marxism. And then we'll discuss the merits of your argument.

4:33 PM  

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