Why Politics Is So Empty

And this is from Carlo Bordoni who co-authored State of Crisis with Bauman:

The tragedy of the modern state lies in its inability to implement at a global level the decisions taken locally.

Everything of importance happens at a global level where the decisions made at the state level simply don’t reach. As a result,  democratically elected politicians look impotent and irrelevant. Voters get disillusioned and see no point in participating in the political process. Electoral promises become more and more trivial (“we promise not to be as bad as our opponents,” “We promise to be against big government since government decides so little anyway.”)

Electoral campaigns concentrate on silly meaningless issues of whether a candidate treated his dog right or ate tuna conserves as a student. The public treats elections as entertainment because it knows they have little value beyond that.

Imagined Totality

Bauman says we have to prepare for


e crushingly toilsome leap from the ‘imagined totalities’ of nation-states to the ‘imagined totality’ of humankind.

The EU, he says, is valuable because it is at least an attempt at going in that direction.

All of the problems we are facing today, Bauman says, are globally produced and it is a waste of time to look for their solutions locally.

Let’s hope that the transition from many imagined communities to just one will not cost us as much as the nation-state did.

Pouty Grievance

From Zygmunt Bauman’s recent book:

Our problems are globally produced,  whereas the instruments of political action bequeathed by builders of nation – states were reduced to the scale of services territorial nation – states required; they prove therefore singularly unfit when it comes to handle global,  extraterritorial challenges.

When earlier today I criticized the Democrats for not offering us much, I didn’t take into account that it is simply not in their power to offer anything along the lines of what we are used to governments offering.

The nation-state might have receded into the past, yet it is hard to unlearn the patterns of its functioning. Here I was, spending the morning in a state of pouty grievance over not being provided with something that it is no longer possible for a political party or government to provide.


The Underside of “Affirmative Consent” http://www.the-american-interest.com/articles/2014/10/19/the-underside-of-affirmative-consent/

Yet another sick creep fantasizing about the sex lives of others instead of having one of her own.

The linked piece reeks of sexual dysfunction. It matters not in the least if authors of such pieces support or denounce Affirmative Consent. As Comrade Stalin used to say,  “They are both worse!”

A Defense of Helicoptering

And this is how people justify helicoptering:

I’m a helicopter parent not because I’m controlling, but because there’s just not a lot of room for my kids to fail. If this were the 1960s, when kids could goof off and get bad grades without grave economic consequences, then sure. They could be self-motivated and self-actualized; they could find themselves in Tibet for a year, and we’d be smiling our benevolent smiles from our fixer-upper Victorian front porches as they ambled home from their adventures. But now, if they don’t get into a good college—or worse, start college and don’t finish—they’ve just got a ton of debt they can’t discharge and no job prospects.

Obviously, this is all a heap of total and complete idiocy. The author isn’t even trying to sound credible. 

There is not an instance of abuse and exploitation that doesn’t justify itself as being perpetrated solely for the benefit of the abused. This tells us that abusers are very well aware of the damage they are causing. They are setting a trap for their victims when any attempt at liberation turns the victims into ungrateful, thankless creatures. There are few weapons in the abusers’ hands that are stronger than their insistence on receiving gratitude for the abuse they inflicted.

 Physical and emotional abuse don’t differ all that much in this sense. I know a woman who used to be beaten into a bloody pulp by her mother on regular occasions. Every time after a beating, she would have to apologize to Mommy for forcing her to beat the daughter for her own good and tiring out her hand while delivering the beatings. 

Instead of turning into happy, fulfilled, self-assured over-achievers, however, children of helicoptering, controlling parents end up paying for the damage caused to them by the parental rage (and the need to control other people is just that, rage) by depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction. This is the happy, joyous future towards which controlling parents guide their miserable, scared children.

Black Vote

The confidential memo from a former pollster for President Obama contained a blunt warning for Democrats. Written this month with an eye toward Election Day, it predicted “crushing Democratic losses across the country” if the party did not do more to get black voters to the polls.

“African-American surge voters came out in force in 2008 and 2012, but they are not well positioned to do so again in 2014,” Cornell Belcher, the pollster, wrote in the memo, dated Oct. 1. “In fact, over half aren’t even sure when the midterm elections are taking place.”

Of course, African-Americans will decide for themselves whether they want to come out to the polls and vote but in case they don’t, I wouldn’t be able to blame them. The Democrats are not offering anything to African-Americans, haven’t brought anything of value to the African-American community whose members turned out for the Dems so well in the last two presidential elections.

The only reason why anybody still comes out to vote for the Democrats is the promise that they will be vaguely different from Republicans. As of now, this supposed difference hasn’t materialized a whole lot. At first we used to hear, “Yes, but Democrats will defend food stamps, abortion rights, gay marriage, and a withdrawal of troops from the Middle East.” Now we are hearing, “Yes, but Democrats will defend gay marriage.” I’m getting a feeling that even this last bastion of Democratic activities on behalf of voters might fall. How will the Dems pretend that they are doing something for their base then?

P.S. Please don’t tell me that the alternative is even worse. I’m as tired of hearing it as you are of saying it. Besides, I have said it as many times as you have. It’s just hard to muster enthusiasm on behalf of somebody whose only claim to my attention is being marginally less horrible than somebody else.