I've commented a great deal on this site in the past years on the fact that I am bi-partisan, i.e., I loathe the Dummycrook and Republithug parties equally. As far as I'm concerned, there's not - if I may be permitted to quote George Wallace without any intention of endorsing him - a "dime's worth of difference between them." And I know from comments from many of you, private conversations, and so on, that many people in this country share this view.
And that brings us, once again, to Ron Paul, and to this very interesting article and interview from The Daily Bell:
There was a statement here that caught my attention, and I hope it caught yours:
"The people who support Ron Paul are beyond a political movement now. They are more like a cultural phenomenon."
There, indeed, is the rub. I have a number of differences with the congressman, for example, I am not a "gold bug" as is he. But even by emphasizing that idea, he is at least raising the concept for discussion, and that is what the Dummycrooks and Republithugs and their shill-nominees and controlled corporate media cannot stand: a real discussion. It is, in short, a cultural phenomenon and not a political one. Korner puts it this way:
"We must no longer be distracted by what they traditionally disagree about, i.e., we must have the paradigm shift to understand that "Left and Right" do not cover all political space, and that they are not fundamentally 'oppositional.'"
Indeed, I would offer the opinion that the major trick of our "two" political parties has been to define a cultural space as a political one.
And this brings us to the inherent danger. The elites running this country (aground) do have their fingers on the pulse of cultural change; they excel at measuring and predicting such changes, and their time-tested method of centuries if not millennia has bee to predict such changes, and to get in front of them, and inside them, to channel them for their own purposes.
The same holds true for Ron Paul and the change he represents. And that change, if one reads Koerner's analysis carefully, has already manifest one typical ploy: the politicization of a cultural phenomenon of change, and hence, cultural action is redefined as political action. I would suggest, however, that a more durable form of long term action, though one less likely to produce short term effects, is direct cultural engagement, i.e., to literally penetrate the arts, to create a culture, one not dominated by the corporate-driven media.I am not saying disengage from politics, but to not neglect the all-important area of culture and the symbols that permeate it. The elites know the power of symbols, of lyrics in music, of themes in literature, and use them to great effect to socially engineer the space they want to see emerge.
This to a certain extent is already being done by artists and musicians, utilizing the tools of the internet. But we need to remember that political action is only one piece of the puzzle. The far larger piece is culture, and if the "two" political parties no longer represent the vast numbers of people that are cynical towards them, it is, in my opinion, in the final analysis because they no longer reflect the culture or values of people whose votes they seek.