hi abe! didn't mean to sound "dismissive" of single-issue stuff -- i just sensed that i was rambling and wanted to get to my point. i am in favor of all-fronts, all-cylinders, all-times. of course things are gonna eventually come down to energy for any individual trying to decide where to focus, but that's why we need coalitions.
anyway, as i recall there were some pretty lively debates up in wisconsin -- there definitely were among the TAA -- about whether or not what was going on was, in fact, a "single issue."
lastly, i have done boring house-to-house canvassing work in illinois, for candidates i didn't give a crap about, just so democrats would beat republicans and national proportions in our houses of representation would be better. i will probably do that type of work again. but i think that a) probably most people wouldn't want some of those folks showing up at their house (womp womp); b) we need to think about what determines the number of people who show up to contribute to GOTV at any given time. is it just that a particular candidate runs a slick campaign? or don't larger social factors play a role? including, maybe, giant protest parties? i don't think it's so either-or.
anyway, i'll stop patrolling the comments section now. thanks to logan for the fun conversation!
@riotnrrd: i am nobody's existential doctor or anything. but just a little while after you posted i happened to run across this passage at the very end of max weber's classic essay "politics as a vocation," which i was reading all day for reasons nearly entirely unrelated to this:
"politics means slow, strong drilling through hard boards, with a combination of passion and a sense of judgment. it is of course entirely correct, and a fact confirmed by all historical experience, that what is possible would never have been achieved if, in this world, people had not repeatedly reached for the impossible. but the person who can do this must be a leader; not only that, he must, in a very simple sense of the word, be a hero. and even those who are neither of these things must, even now, put on the armor of that steadfastness of heart which can withstand even the defeat of all hopes, for otherwise they will not even be capable of achieving what is possible today. only someone who is certain that he will not be broken when the world, seen from his point of view, is too stupid or too base for what he wants to offer it, and who is certain that he will be able to say 'nevertheless' in spite of everything - only someone like this has a 'vocation' for politics."
@la cieca: i am nobody to tell you how to participate in things. however, if you live in a town or city that has an occupy movement, you might try stopping by after work and asking THEM what a regular working stiff/stay-at-home parent/institutionalized person can do to help out! just bringing food by might be the ticket. i was introduced to macaroni-and-cheese pizza in madison and i was super grateful to whoever took time out of their day to have that sent over, and so were the rest of the folks i talked to. also, talking to your friends, family, and neighbors is important democratic activity too, even if it doesn't feel like it sometimes.
oh, and neither did i want to seem like i am disrespecting THAT category of person! only trying to contrast the type of crazy that tries to make change "within the system", and earnestly believes that's possible, with the type of crazy who wants to go occupy the park. and of course there are the types of crazy who do both.
@jetztinberlin: sorry! sam here. i meant to contrast anarchists with the specific category of person known as "smart-well-educated-liberal-who-goes-into-non-profit-organizing", not to imply that anarchists can't be well-educated. of course they (we) can! that's the thing about the whole phone-conversation format, i guess...
"last week, before interviewing the professional wrestling magnate and sometime senatorial candidate linda mcmahon, i found myself skimming the 'logic,' georg wilhelm friedrich hegel's 386-page prolegomena to the 'encyclopedia of the philosophical sciences.'"
really great article. thanks for writing it. i watched tons of professional wrestling as a kid and the reactionary stuff just kinda rolled off, i guess. but i can totally imagine the tough environment this guy must have faced every day.
i have decided to:
1) take this absolutely seriously
2) agree with it