Posted by olvlzl.
For The Deacon
Jimmy Carter will surpass John Quincy Adams as the most successful ex-president in our history but only among historians. I’ve mentioned before that there won’t be movies staring Anthony Hopkins made about him. Carter’s work doesn’t have the drama of the anti-slavery struggle that Adams joined, to his everlasting merit. Carter has been plugging away for almost thirty years at the hammer and nails level of things, occasionally making headlines by doing that most shocking of all things, telling the truth. Despite it’s having gained him a vicious enemy in Alan Dershowitz, hardly an arduous or unique accomplishment, Jimmy Carter continues to talk about what’s going on today as well as continuing his work of improving the lives everywhere.
His statements on the BBC last week about Tony Blair’s PR value in selling the biggest military and moral disaster in modern US history were right on. He said that Blair’s support was instrumental in destroying the effectiveness of those who were opposed to the invasion on the basis of knowing what the reality was. The British seal of approval on the Bush lies was widely assumed to carry a royal guarantee of fully tested soundness. Of course that involved dragging Churchill out of the mausoleum for display. As well as the subject of the post below, that Churchill-Chamberlain stuff, good for any demagogic use, should be sent back for re-embalming. No, final burial.
Now it’s left to Gordon Brown to fix the damage to the brand name. A lot of people doubt that someone with his background and inclinations can do it. But updating Winnie’s picture on the box isnt’ the problem. It’s not the logo, it’s the contents. Blair was just a smoother salesman of the post-Thatcher, Anglo-American order. That’s his legacy. The market religion and the mega-corporations are the real government of the English speaking peoples. That’s the effective merger of church and state that endangers all of us. Despite the snark you can expect from anti-religious blog bigots over Carter’s new audio book, Bible based fundamentalists here are just a side show.
Jimmy Carter was probably the last president of the United States proper. He made mistakes, many of them listening to the forerunners of what was to come to power after him. Deregulation was one his biggest in economic policy, listening to Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller’s pleas to let the Shah into the US, definitely was the beginning of his biggest mistake in foreign policy.
I’m glad that he keeps speaking out on many topics but he should concentrate his expertise on elections here. If he wants to fix those he’ll have to consider more than the process of the elections. Our elections are corrupted through processes planned for stealing elections but that’s only half of the story. As with the selling of the invasion of Iraq, the reestablishment of democracy in the United States is essentially a matter of cutting through the PR lies, of exposing the trade marks trusted by millions as the come ons covering up trans-fats and corn sweetner. It might satisfy those habituated to the junk but it will kill you in the end. It could be the most perilous project of his career, it would certainly earn him a mountain of criticism, but Jimmy Carter, and all of us, have to destroy the lie machine of the Empire.
Note: The crowing about the French election probably won’t lead where the pundits predicted. Not a surprise since most of them didn’t know who Sarkozy was until he started sounding like Pat Buchanan translated. Their gassing on about the French having rejected France for the Anglo-American system probably won’t turn out to be entirely accurate. I suspect that Sarkozy will not be enthusiastic about becoming just the spare tire on an Anglia.
His Mediterranean Union could be the beginning of a second market church-corporate state empire. The best hope for people under it might be the subversive* attachment the French and others have for their quality of life in the present time. Maybe it will prove to be more attractive than the pacifying struggle for wealth and social status in an imaginary future have been here. If so, Sarkozy will have to work around that. Who knows? But anywhere neo-feudalism crops up it is over the dead body of democracy.
Bill Clinton might represent the best Americans can hope for under the present regime. His spotty record of producing lasting benefits to the majority of people were a success for us only by comparison to the others. We have to face up to that and try for the best we can do now while we struggle to restore democracy.
* Among our best defenses against modern America’s suicidal social climbing straight to the bottom, are generosity and fairness. Nothing is more subversive than those universally held virtues. Yes, that includes what they try to convince you is decadent France. Genreosity is universal and even a rather cool French intellecutal is able to be fair out of principle. The unselfish virtues are deeply subversive, that is why they are under attack everywhere in our culture.