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Space for Rent: No Such Thing as a Golden Age


 

No “Tweet of the Day” for today.

Why?

Because this is a political post, pure and simple.

Feel free to do one of the following: roll your eyes, close the window, unsubscribe or throw something at the screen.  I recommend the former to the latter on account that what  you are about to read, if you chose to read it, is not fault of the equipment.

Still here? Let us proceed.

Conservatism. At its core it is simply an impulse to defend the status quo, to conserve, to slow down or resist the impulse for change. But in American politics this impulse turns reactionary. It is not just the idea that things are fine the way they are, but that the only solution is to return to some mythical yesteryear, some past glory, a Golden Age if you will.

Neocons dream of America’s halcyon days from Autumn 1989-Spring of 1992. The old Red foe defeated, the U.S. triumphant and none could challenge American Empire.

Cultural Conservative pray to a return of the days of white picket fences, children playing in suburban front yards and mothers happily doing the cooking and cleaning while their husbands wore fedoras and smoked cigarettes in the office, conducting the serious business of the nation with “good” morals, regular Sunday services and clean television for all.

Economic  Conservatives wish for the Gilded Age when captain’s of industry rule the land and sea, with no pesky government regulations or unions to get in the way of their Manifest Destiny.

Libertarians want a return to the Founding Fathers, those demigods of Freedom who decried both Taxation and the Tyranny of Government.

Yet, the history does not match up. Neocon dreams of naked Empire inspire the same hatreds and reaction that they so claim to fear and endanger the very nation they claim to love.  The suburbs are the greatest social experiment in recent human history with all the attendant problems that come with such massive socioeconomic engineering. An utopia for the chosen few while the rest watch as their Main Streets wither from the Super Store ™ competition and the life blood of cities drains away to feed this netherworld in between.  And that Gilded Age? Came with the usual golden bars, serial depression (at a personal and national level), wars and more rumors of wars. And don’t get me started on the Founding Fathers. Roads? More like muddy rivers of stone. The age when the value of the person depends on the tone of their skin and can be counted in dollars and cents.  And property rights? Yeah, those, born from royal charters from across the Atlantic on lands unseen and already occupied.

The relentless pursuit of the none existent can not be good for a nation, not at the expense of the Other. Yet that is what modern American Conservatisms (an oxymoron I know, but still) strives for. As for everyone else, here is boat and the river is five miles that way. A paddle? Good luck with that!

 

 

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