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This fascinating intersection…

December 12, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Okay, so this is how I see it.

Almost unnoticed there is an emerging consensus between otherwise irreconcilable groups over their attitudes toward Washington. It would be too much to say this consensus is intentional, let alone acknowledged or conscious — it is some sort of quasi-consensus; apparent only in the overwhelming rejection of the Obama-GOP tax deal as well as the outpouring of support for, and defense of, Wikileaks.

Mind you, I am not prophesying the dawn of the millennium here. There isn’t a single positive statement both the far Right and the far Left can agree on. For the Right, it is all about Patriotism, Property, Sound Money and the Constitution; while the Left champions One World, Hostility to Property, Equality and Social Justice. Even on a good day, you couldn’t get the two sides to agree on what to have for lunch.

And, that is the point: There is a convergence happening despite the gulf in world views.

Let me be extremely cautious here; I don’t want to blow this convergence out of proportion. The Libertarians will never agree with the Socialists on the need to abolish private property. And, the Socialists will never agree with the Libertarians on the fundamental necessity of unfettered capitalism. Mises.org will not be publishing excerpts from Karl Marx (except to debunk them) any time in the near future — say, until the Sun goes nova.

Still, the followers of Ron Paul and the followers of Karl Marx have been expressing an identity of interest these days on, at least, the following issues:

  • End imperial adventures abroad
  • End the suppression of dissent and attempts to regulate private individuals
  • End the Federal Reserve and the domination of banker cartel
  • End the politics of compromise and backroom deals
  • End the lobbying and corruption of public life by special interests
  • End the bailouts and life support for the banks

And, there may be a reaction to it — a pullback from association between the sides generated by a genuine horror of this prospective practical convergence. Since, at root, there is nothing in common between them in terms of a positive vision of the future, both sides are subject to manipulation and the deliberate introduction of sophisticated well-crafted wedge issues of no real significance to keep the sides at each others’ throat.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Like anyone believes it to be a matter of principle that openly gay soldiers get the opportunity to kill Afghanistan villagers beside their straight counterparts.

Anti-immigrant legislation? Like the pivotal economic issue of our time is who picks lettuce in California, cleans windows in Massachusetts or processes chicken for Perdue on the DelMarVa peninsula.

You can expect distractions like these to increase as it becomes clearer there is only one real target in this crisis: the Washington-Wall Street Axis.

Addendum: For those who are interested, this is a short history on the use of wedge issues. They seem to be pretty effective because the Washington-Wall Street Axis take a known interest of some section of the population — abortion, immigration, gay rights — which they know will divide Left and Right into opposing camps and hype this issue into national prominence in a coordinated media campaign.

After asking yourself which side you are on, the best defense against a wedge issue is to ask: “Who does this issue put on the other side and how does it distract me from the real enemy?”

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