Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pile of Crap at HuffPo

Liberals, at this point in time, hate the electoral college because they believe Gore should have won the 2000 presidency. It's amazing how one event can flip the world on it's head, but with this issue it has. Bush Derangement Syndrome began in 2000 and it continues today with nuttiness such as the push to eliminate the electoral college. One man, one vote.

Now, on to the pile of crap:

Our founding fathers hated cities. Many of them were slave-owners and felt that only people who had held this kind of responsibility should be allowed to vote. So they created -- through the Electoral College system and the Senate -- a semi-democracy that proportionally disenfranchises people who live in highly populated areas.

Oversimplification. Generalizations. Moving on.

Cities are places where many different kinds of people encounter each other -- where people are exposed to different ways of thinking, to new ideas. Our Founding Fathers didn't like that. To them, an agrarian society, where nothing ever changed, was the ideal society.

Cities contain the enlightened populous, while those stupid rednecks stew at their farms.

So what are the characteristics of agrarian societies, historically, and around the world? First of all, they oppress women. There is a very high correlation between agrarianism and the low status -- often slave status -- of women. It is only when urbanization and industrialization occur that the position of women improves. We in America are justly horrified by conditions in the sweatshops of Asia where so many of our clothes and shoes are manufactured, yet women in the Third World often view these atrocious working conditions as liberation, compared with slaving for nothing on a farm, bearing a child every year, and being beaten. They earn their own money, and are therefore more independent, have more power, more status, and bear fewer children.

Because there is NO oppression of women in cities, right? No women burdened with children and abandoned. No prostitution. Oh, right, that's ok because a woman is using her body for commerce.

The second characteristic of agrarian societies is that they are highly authoritarian. Husbands dominate wives, landowners dominate peasants, big landowners dominate smaller ones, and political leaders dominate everyone. All relationships tend to be hierarchical.

But, in cities, similar patterns NEVER appear? Landlords? Shop owners? Politicians? City Council Members?

The third characteristic of agrarian societies is that they are warlike. War as we know it, with standing armies, pitched battles, the taking of land by force, etc. was an invention of the agrarian era. Hunter-gatherers had occasional skirmishes, but land ownership was a meaningless concept to them, and without herds and crops there was no need for armies. As Robert O'Connell observes in his definitive book on war, we were free of war for most of our existence on this planet, and "its onset and continuation were dependent on levels of ecological adaptation that were inherently transitory". Today, when corporations are global, the economy is global, environmental issues are global, and all major problems faced by humans are global, when the nation-state is rapidly becoming obsolete, warfare between armies is increasingly meaningless. Terrorists are not national. They are not armies. They are utterly decentralized international networks of murderers. Europeans, who have lived with terrorism a long time, actually capture and arrest terrorists, through efficient intelligence and police work, while our clueless president -- still living in the past -- makes war on Iraq, creating a bloody catastrophe in the Middle East while destroying democracy at home.

Oh for craps sakes, now this is just getting ridiculous. How many riots have occurred out in the country? How many cities are plauged by gang-warfare? Cities are not inherently more peaceful than "agrarian" societies. Besides, people who live outside of the cities of the U.S. are not part of an "agrarian" society, so all this comparisons are silly at best. Those who live in the suburbs and further are still part of the fabric of the entire country. If they do not actually LIVE in a big city, they do have ties, whether through business or family. They may have lived a part of their life in the city, and then chose to leave. Others grow up in the country and decide they want to try life in a city. Anyway, moving on. Because this is where the stupid really starts.

The United States is the only non-agrarian nation -- the only nation outside of the Third World -- that regularly makes war on other nations. Except for Russia it could also lay claim today to being the most undemocratic industrialized democracy in the world.

We can certainly blame the Bush administration and the neo-cons for this blind retreat into the past, but a portion of the blame must be assigned to the lack of foresight of our Founding Fathers, who partially disenfranchised the most cosmopolitan and aware voters while giving undue weight to those whose knowledge and experience of the world is most limited. A large number of our elected representatives don't even have passports. They boast about never having left the country, as they make decisions about foreign policy.

People who live in the cities know more than the rest of you idiots. Of course, living in Detroit, I beg to differ because there is a whole lot of stupid here. You don't want me to start parsing SAT scores, and drop-out rates of city residents, do you? Of course, the author is fine with those uninformed voters, because they largely vote for democrats.