Apologies for last week’s absence; RL … *sigh*
I’m still plowing through G.R.R. Martin’s potboiler Thrones series. Partly because, though potboiler it is, it is a good one. Partly because, in my naiveté I cannot imagine writing all those words without A Point so I’m on the hunt for it. Admittedly, I’m reading for distraction of late, so it may have sailed o’er my head like a raven on the wing.
Lemme toss out a couple of titles for your consideration.
The Forgotten Man — Amity Shales
Campaign 2008 is in its way a campaign of despair, at least when it comes to domestic policy. Democrat or Republican, candidates must address the same problem: on the one hand, voters have enormous faith in the private sector; on the other, they expect government to provide them with ever more generous entitlements. In The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes takes us back to show us how the roots of our disillusionment can be found in a single election year, 1936. In that year, Franklin Roosevelt systematically established the modern political constituency, from unions to artists, to senior citizens. Roosevelt’s solution was to spend for these groups, so extensively that federal spending that year outpaced state and local spending, for the first time ever in peacetime. The consequence was the Roosevelt landslide of 1936 –but also the modern entitlement trap. …
The Forgotten Man being that poor sucker who has to pay for it all. The book also has a lot to say about how the US continued in The Great Depression years longer than the rest of the world.
Oddly, that idea seems to have led directly to this one:
There’s also a little book [literally - 130p] called The coming Insurrection. Written by “The Invisible Committee in 2007 it concerns the …unrest in France and the rest of EUrope. Remember AdBusters? — quite supportive of the #Occupy thang* worldwide, they publish articles like What can Occupy learn from Greece? and Could Occupy catalyze a wildcat consumer revolt in May?  Here’s what AdBusters had to say about it.
So, what do these fires really illuminate?
We might first try to imagine the perpetrators, the arsonists, as they retreat into the night. Individuals have been arrested but the campaign has continued unabated, demonstrating that the arsonists are legion … they are many. Emerging from the city’s prominent autonomist movement, they form what we might call an invisible community: a network of loosely affiliated individuals who have refused both communication and accountability with the state. To comprehend their actions, we might think back to the lesson of The Coming Insurrection: We are right to be angry, we are even right to act upon that anger, but the important thing is to organize our anger. As the Invisible Committee put it, “People can burn cars because they are pissed off, but to keep the riots going for a month, while keeping the police in check – to do that you have to know how to organize, you have to establish complicities, you have to know the terrain perfectly and share a common language and a common enemy.” In the arson campaign’s dogged persistence, in its wildcat spread and in its unapologetic assault on liberal values, we can recognize a well-formulated and well-organized transformation of spontaneous rejection into tactical resistance. We see, in short, the work of a community.
It’s a bit of a slog, being translated from the French, and being a cross-cultural work. But it’s short and it’s to the point. And it’s being sold at WalMart fercrapsake. Hiding in plain sight. Kinda like the global carbon tax…
So there’s a couple of issues to toss about.