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Posts tagged Cult of Personality

Rank and file

The week before the election, I complained about an ad that DNC political hacks sent out, which (wrongly, and dangerously) suggested that political change amounted to nothing more than, and ended with the success of, an effot to get some millionaire professional politician installed in office. It turns out that MoveOn agrees with me, and they’re working on organizing Fired up and ready to go gatherings in every community the can, to keep their grassroots organizing moving forward. I know because they sent me an e-mail about it. <Well, bully for them. However, having read some of the comments that MoveOn specifically selected to represent the sentiments they were hearing from their members, when they asked about what to do after the election, I can’t say I’m terribly heartened by their idea of what kind of organizing you do after an electoral victory:

From: Nita Chaudhary, MoveOn.org Political Action
Date: 3:01 PM
To: Rad Geek
Subject: Fired up and ready to go

. . .

We need to continue the same level of involvement and commitment to whatever this Presidency needs of us to accomplish all that we believe can be done. Yes we can, Yes we did, and Yes we will!—Judith C., Salem, MA

. . .

We have to be prepared to go through with whatever we need to—even if that means some sacrifice. Obama will lead the way!—Sarah A., Greer. SC

. . .

Let Barack know that we stand ready to go to work. Take advantage of our energy and enthusiasm for the common good, put us to work.—Jeff R., Boulder, CO

. . .

Be willing to work with him and make personal sacrifice for the good of our country and our children’s future.—Stephanie L., Laguna Niguel, CA

I don’t know whether these sentiments are actually representative of the MoveOn membership, or whether MoveOn selected a few unusual comments that seemed most useful to their purposes. But in either case, this sort of sentiment — that grassroots, street-level organizations should stand ready, not as a countervailing social force to direct recently-elected politicians and to keep them on track for the grassroots’ own agenda, but rather as shock troops for some messianic leader to issue marching orders to and put … to work, even at great personal sacrifice, for whatever the leader may require — is the sort of thing that ought to disgust anyone who genuinely believes in people-powered community organizing, and ought to terrify anyone who believes in the principles of a free and open society.

I’ve seen that movie before, and I know how it ends.

I guess it really is time to Move On.

See also:

The words of St. Paul

Here’s a recent dispatch from United Liberty (2008-08-30): Operation St. Paul. Boldface added.

The Western Standard is reporting that Dr. Paul’s followers have been hard at work, preparing the twin cities for the influx of RNC delegates. Determined to get the Texas Congressman’s message out there, Operation St. Paul was set in motion. Part of the push is in the form of billboards, such as this, showcased in the Minneapolis area.

Dr. Paul’s message of freedom is a powerful one, and The Revolution: A Manifesto has become to the Freedom Fighter what a gospel tract is to an evangelical Christian.

Oh, come on. Y’all are making this too easy. It’s so obvious that it’s hardly even fun anymore.

Here's a Cultural Revolution-era propaganda poster of workers thrusting copies of the Little Red Book into the air, with Ron Paul's head photoshopped onto the cover.

Hold high the great red banner of Ron Paul Thought—thoroughly smash the rotting counterrevolutionary revisionist line in Constitutional law!

See also:

Our Dear Leader

Hey, remember back when MoveOn used to be an anti-war group?

I mean, sure, they’ve always been more than a little too entangled with Democratic Party politicking. And, yeah, they never articulated any particular vision for ways to address the issue except by fundraising, electioneering, voter registration, and periodic useless petitions. But remember back when they used to focus on bringing hardball political tactics to bear on sitting incumbents, to try to prevent the war, or later, to try to end the occupation? When they really identified with, and worked together with, a lot of activists and organizers in the anti-war movement? When they at least put out the occasional real zinger in an anti-war ad or online video?

Now, while the anti-war movement finds itself facing down pepper spray, tear gas, concussion grenades, and rubber bullets in the streets of St. Paul; while antiwar activists are imprisoned without charge or threatened with over 7 years in prison on completely bogus terrorist conspiracy charges; while MoveOn itself can’t be bothered to say a damned thing about it, not even to condemn the heavy-handed attacks on activists and the obvious disregard for basic civil liberties on the part of the Ramsey County sheriff’s department–well. We shouldn’t be too hard on them. They’re busy right now and they have their own great way to make a difference. I know because they sent me an e-mail about it. Their great way to make a difference is getting 50,000 or more people to wear this t-shirt:

The shirt has a giant head of Barack Obama staring off to the horizon, with OBAMA printed in big block letters underneath.

¡Hasta la Obamarquía siempre!

From: Peter Koechley, MoveOn.org Political Action
To: Charles Johnson
Date: September 2, 2008
Subject: Your Obama shirt

Can you donate at least $12 today to help get this program going right away? If you do, we’ll send you a free Obama T-shirt: . . . These high-quality, union-printed American Apparel shirts feel great, they look great, and they’re a great way to make a difference. . . .

From: Peter Koechley, MoveOn.org Political Action
To: Charles Johnson
Date: September 3, 2008
Subject: 50,000 Obama shirts?

. . . Can you help us put our organizers on the ground and reach our goal of 50,000 T-shirts? Click here to chip in $12 so we can send you a free Obama T-shirt:

. . .

Thanks for all you do. [sic–R.G.]

–Peter

When your starry-eyed messianic enthusiasm, hitched up to your self-satisfied professional-class Progressivism, along with a crew of robotic partisan hacks and apparatchiks, has ended up in a creepy theo-electoral cult of personality that really defies satire — because all that needs to be done is to point at you, just as you are, too obvious to even bother parodying — well, then, I guess it really is time to MoveOn.

Here’s to The Greatest American ever!

(Via Austro-Athenian Empire 2008-01-29.)

Come on, guys. You’re making this too easy. Seriously.

Here’s an amateur Ron Paul ad recently released on YouTube.

Here’s to The Greatest American ever!

Long live our great leader Chairman Ron!

Libertarian Gosplan

Here’s Keith Halderman, supposedly replying to an argument by Roderick Long, to the effect that short-term success for the Ron Paul campaign might come at the cost of damage to the longer-term prospects for a fully free society:

Your argument that the Paul candidacy works against a libertarian society is ridiculous. Fourteen hundred meet-up groups with over 80,000 members being exposed to libertarian ideas, many for the first time, say so.

Yep. Let’s all measure the inputs to the allocation process, rather than the outputs. Judging from the inputs, we are on track to exceed liberty production quotas by 75%. Long live Chairman Ron’s Great Libertarian Electoral Revolution!

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