Sunday, November 24, 2013

Soup, And 'Not Necessarily Full Of Shit'

I write this because I know that if I just talk about it I will feel as if I have soiled another moment, given sublime meaning to one more meaningless story, but if I write it out, get it down, you may have the rather blissful, I hope, opportunity to enjoy this again, and with deeper context.

     I remember when I first began to realize that parents were not necessarily full of shit. I was at the "warm" group home in the foothills, as opposed to what Steven called the "Cold" place in Auburn where my respite had started shortly after my birthday. Steven was the kid my age (14) who was the real child inhabiting the foster home his parents ran out of their residence. 
     I was sent there while Patrick and Gillian (respite home/foster parents) went to DisneyLand with their foster kids. I never went back. Of course, after re-modeling their freakin front yard, I did think I had earned that meself, at least a trip to DisneyLand, but ah, well. Maybe I blew it the night a few weeks before the trip when Gillian sat me down outside on the front porch to tell me that my parents had died in a car accident on their way to surprise me with a visit. I could tell she was bullshitting, they would never do such a thing, (die?)(have the decency to?) maybe she couldn't tell that I could tell, but since I didn't really care it was easy enough to just shrug my shoulders, upon which she immediately laid the burden of telling me it wasn't true! OOOOOH Buuuuuuurn!!!! Didn't see that coming!! 
     Extra chores until I was moved to the house where Steven lived. So, one home made you do every chore while they lay around smoking cigarettes, and Steven's mom let me shoot a bb gun.Now, you may understand slightly better why I think that parents can be just so full of shit.
    I went to Steven's house shortly before school was to begin. I thought I was enrolled at the middle school in auburn, and since I had discussed coming home to MY parents house at the end of summer with everyone if my behavior improved, I really didn't think that would ever be a reality. I was a ------ Trojan through and through, and wanted to follow my sister to -----------. Again, I re-modeled their entire front yard. Still, I found myself at the local middle school, but I get ahead of myself. That was the school were steven went, so I didn't exactly go alone, and kids there knew that steven's parents did this stuff, so the teasing was gone. all gone. gone.
     About two weeks before the end of summer, his mom told him to start now with changing his schedule, that he had had the liberty of staying up pretty much as late as he had wanted to all summer, and the easiest way to wake up ready on day one of school was to set that pattern now. In not so many words, but still, he didn't listen. Should've-- he got in mad trouble when he tried to sleep in the first day and in more trouble for falling asleep later. So.

     I can see now the bullshit of we love "you" as much as our own kid. I don't care about anyone EXCEPT my own kid, so why fucking stuff that down my face? and the world would like to go on to tell me that all of the ideals you hold true aren't going to come to pass. How fucking nice of you.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Soup Analyzes An Old Article, For Some Reason READ

First of all, how do you categorize the Chinese nationalism? Is it civic or traditionalistic? Secondly, what have you learned from this article, things that strike you most? Lastly, what does democracy mean to the Chinese youth and how do they perceive the role played by the United States?

Some contrasts between civic & ethnic nationalism

Civic Nationalists                      Ethnic Nationalists

emphasize                         emphasize                         Examples

Law                                                                Common roots ("blood")              Citizenship
Choice                                                          Inheritance                                         "born into"
Rational attachment                               Emotional attachment   supreme court, flag
Unity by consent                                      Unity by ascription                          town hall, tribe
Democratic pluralism                              Ethnic majority rules                       CA, Singapore
Liberty                                                          Fraternity                                            ALCU, homeland
Individual creates nation                      Nation creates individual              founding myths

D. Civic nationalism is the more "realistic” source of belonging
Than ethnic nationalism, Ignatieff believes

1. Common ethnicity helps people unite against ethnic others but

--it doesn't help overcome other divisions
--such as class, gender, and scarce resources-----

Soup McGee
Professor, Seriously?
Political Ideologies 322 Online
The article ‘Angry Youth’ displays by the aforementioned youth a modernized traditionalistic civic nationalism. Expressed commonly by the subjects of this in-depth work by Evan Osnos is a shared ‘frustration’ with the Westernization of China. This is a feeling that does not revolve around either Mao and his theme of government by Communist Revolution or the theme of National Humiliation following the loss of the Opium Wars that Mao replaced. Instead, this frustration revealed among the Chinese students of today patriotism that quite frankly scares the hell out of many in the West, and concerned Chinese government officials enough that action was taken to tamp down the sentiment.
Nationalism is, especially when compared to the very ancient history of China, a modern European concept that many believe developed around the time Napoleon found his ability to marshal the French people into a unified state. Noteworthy here is the use of two phrases by Tang, the director of the six minute video that excited a new, yet conservative, mood of patriotism among the youth it reached; first, a mantra of former Chairman Mao, the use of which is intended to remind students of a more recent time when China was isolated from the rest of the world and at apparent odds with itself, “Imperialism will never abandon its intention to destroy us.” In this way, Tang reaches out to a traditionalistic nationalism; however, the last phrase (“We will stand up and hold together always as one family in harmony!”) serves to call to mind the former but as well a call to action: Such is the way of civic nationalism, in that it is focused on ‘all who subscribe to the political creed of a nation,’ not on ethnicity.
These are a people who feel ‘strategically contained’ by the ever-burgeoning west, led by America and her capitalistic allies. They make up and belong to, both on the internet and off, a community of equal rights bearing citizens united in patriotic attachment to a shared set of political practices and values, which is how our text defines nationalism. Tang made a video that, in the end, was civic in its pursuit not of ‘liberal democracy but in defense of sovereignty and prosperity.’
Nationalism is, according to Moreno (also captured in our text), the most powerful of all political ideologies, and there is a mention of how the ‘initial rhetoric’ of the Chinese ‘national outcry’ reminded the many and the already skeptical of ‘the rise of the skinheads in Europe.’ But Tang was clear in saying that there truly was no desire for violence, only for someone to hear their anger and their reasons. Many people foreign to China think that people in the age range of the director and his wife, Wu-Tang, are ‘unwise to the distortions of censorship,’ but when you live ‘in a so-called free system you never think about whether you are being brainwashed.’
Tang and his like are rightfully angry at bigots like former CNN commentator Jack Cafferty,  rightfully distrusting of outlets like CNN and MSNBC and FOX, etc., and anxious to gather as much information about a subject as they can, be there a ‘firewall’ or no. Decades of suspicion towards China from the West, and no doubt vice versa, has left a bad taste in the mouths of many investors, including those from IBM and 3Com. This separation goes both ways, maybe, but for students like Tang, there is a feeling of victimization that has not calcified into resentment; instead, they believe that they know well enough the history of western government…they know the love they feel for China is a love shared by their neighbor, not a feeling that developed ‘spontaneously.’ That much of the hullaballoo addressed by the video was in response to the way China treated Tibet made even less sense to the Chinese than if Mexico were to abandon the next American Olympics because of the Alamo.
As ‘landmarks of national progress…[like] highways, supermarkets, and internet cafes’ began to spread throughout China, so did a feeling of ‘cultural strangulation.’ Here, the author makes sure to use the word humiliating; this was the clue I needed. Turns out, after the Opium Wars, which China lost to Japan (thus, humiliation), China (in the eyes of many Chinese, at least) signed a series of more than one hundred ‘unfair treaties.’ This set the stage for the Maoist revolution, and may have something to do with why the Chinese government ‘treated the online patriots warily,’ ‘calling for ‘rational patriotism.’ If the Chinese government was in fear that this generation of students would rebel a la Tiananmen Square, they need not have worried- this is a generation that believes the Chinese government was right in putting down, in any way possible, the Student Uprising of 1989.
While Tang feels that his age group in China is acceptant of democracy and recognizes the value in human rights, he speaks for a nation that understands democracy does not mean bread on the table or coffee in your cup. There is a ‘metastasizing’ feeling of ‘strategic containment’, a coming ‘New Cold War, waged by the West, that angers the Chinese nation as a whole; this is a people who understand the promises of democracy but realize that their nation was not, and likely is not, fully ready for a transition away from the communism practiced and preached. Another voice in the article, Liu, expressed what must be a common sentiment, that ‘democracy can really give you the good life, that’s good. But, without democracy, if we can still have the good life, why should we choose democracy?’ Why indeed. This is how democracy is viewed, with suspicion and distrust—why change what clearly works?   
To conclude, there is a rising conservatism in China, a conservatism that requires a cleaving to the ancient while adjusting to current capitalistic reality. This is a movement that, like the conservative re-awakening in America after the success of the civil rights movement, that is not satisfied with the status quo; this is the demand for action part of civic nationalism that convinced me. They know that they are Westernized, and this ‘classical revival’ among the youth to re-visit ‘ancient China’ shows, yes, a modernized traditionalistic civic nationalism. The role of the United States is that of foil, in that America and China contrast, each highlighting particular qualities the other lacks. Democracy is not seen as the all-powerful, omnipotent force that many in the United States believe it to be, but instead a whittling down to nothing of Chinese culture.
What struck me the most was the idea that if my family wanted to have a second child—while news from yesterday is that China is officially abandoning their one child policy- my family could merely pay a fine of rice or other commodities. No one comes and kills the ‘extra’ kid, there is no national shame on the family for the addition…this was news to me. What I have learned is about the period of National Humiliation, how that time came and went, leaving us with an economic partner in China that views western interests as inevitably set to conquer them. I cannot speak to the sense of victimhood both countries feel, and I am no expert in the finer arguments between communism and capitalism, but as both nations move forward, I expect this Chinese nationalism (modernized traditionalistic civic) to continue presenting economic and other (human rights, still, is a major issue) problems to American interests. The question I am left with is: It would seem that capitalism has taken root in China; will it too become ancient?

Friday, November 8, 2013

Soup's Fascist Ideology Homework

For the generation that lived through World War II, the words fascism, National Socialism, and Nazism raise indescribably horrible pictures of brutality and inhumanity. Today the words fascist and Nazi are too often used loosely to refer to any authoritarian countries and individuals, but such loose usage obscures both the history and the fact that fascist and national socialist movements based on, and similar to, the earlier movements exist today in many countries, including the United States. In what sense, do you think that fascist and Nazi doctrines are irrational? Do you equate today’s ultranationalists (Chapter 2) with fascist and Nazi’s glorification of the state? 

For the generation that lived through World War II, the words fascism, National Socialism, and Nazism raise indescribably horrible pictures of brutality and inhumanity. Today the words fascist and Nazi are too often used loosely to refer to any authoritarian countries and individuals, but such loose usage obscures both the history and the fact that fascist and national socialist movements based on, and similar to, the earlier movements exist today in many countries, including the United States. In what sense, do you think that fascist and Nazi doctrines are irrational? Do you equate today’s ultranationalists (Chapter 2) with fascist and Nazi’s glorification of the state? 

In what sense do I think that fascist and Nazi doctrines are irrational? WONderful question. Fascists are those whose very irrationality, esp. when confronted about issues of science, race, or economic ‘freedom’, defines them as fascists. When I speak with some on the religious right, I face much of this same irrationality (women SHOULD be subjugated, the Earth is 6000 years old, prayer should be led by teachers in the classroom even in public schools, esp. in public schools) and racism (black people are marked by their skin as sinners of an even worse variety than this writer, welfare is taking from makers and Democrats use welfare to buy votes from black people). 

The overtly nationalistic tendency of the GOP, too, such as the statement by the chairman of the national party, Reince Preibus, that America is a strictly Christian nation and the GOP is the only party of GOD, ought to serve as a reminder of how closely religion and state, when intertwined but not overtly theocratic, LOOKS like fascism in its consequences.

To address the irrationality of the Nazi party—let me say that there is no one superior race and leave it at that.

There is most certainly an equation, and yes, some may say that Democrats ‘glorify’ the state, but those are people who see worse news every day even if ferrets start weeping stock dividends and those same ferrets were growing on trees outside every fire house. In other words, they see their allegiance to a America that may have once existed, if only in the nightmares of little children. Back to the days when joining the KKK was the same as attending Rotary Club meeting—acceptable—that is where fascist Americans (David Barton, pseudo-historian Christian Nationalist Recontructionist Dominionist Texas pol come to mind) would lead us were we to ignore their stated goals and blindly follow them. 

Yes, IT could happen here. Read up on the Dominionists, classmates, and the Sovereign Citizens too…the Patriot movement in America is the real fascist deal, yo.

Also, PLEASE stop calling the President a fascist, PLEASE? You wnt authoritarian dictatorship, look at Argentina's dirty war and the DISAPPEARED.

We have studied in Chapter 6 about the extreme right in the United States. Some groups in the United States are clearly fascistic, and others explicitly align themselves with National Socialism. The focus of the neo-fascist Right in the United States was, until recently, race, with anti-Semitism still particularly important. What do you think of the social milieu that gives rise to the neo-fascist revival? Some claim that this is the nature of the United States that all ideas are protected by the Constitution as outlined in the Bill of Rights. Do you agree? Or are those extreme ideas deep-rooted, requiring an historical explanation?

I have researched the Seven Mountains movement (I have mentioned them here on the discussion board a few time) for a few years now as a hobby, and found that Frederick Clarkson is a notable expert. He says “Dominionists celebrate Christian nationalism, in that they believe the United States once was, and should again be, a Christian nation. In this way, they deny the Enlightenment roots of American democracy, they promote religious supremacy, insofar as they generally do not respect the equality of other religions, or even other versions of Christianity and they endorse theocratic visions, believing that the Ten Commandments, or "biblical law," should be the foundation of American law, and that the U.S. Constitution should be seen as a vehicle for implementing Biblical principles.” So, nationalism, irrationality, glorification of the state (even if a mythical one, esp. a mythical one) social Darwinism (think the Ryan Budget plan), the leadership principle (the New Apostolic Reformation, a wing or offshoot of dominionism, relies heavily on Apostles for leadership as a central authority for determining the true will of gawd), Racism (Barack HUSSEIN Obama), and, finally, anti-communism. Think, Grover Norquist, the Americans for Tax Reform guy I’ve mentioned before, and his effort t name every darn bathroom along the interstate after Ronald Reagan. Why? He DEFEATED Communism, all by his lonesome. Point being, this IS a dangerous group, and the fact that they are built out of such a wide coalition of ideologies, melting into a very Fascist, neo-corporatist one, well….all I’m saying is, vote for the party that says voting is a good thing, not the party that says they are the party of GAWD.