Tuesday, May 27, 2014

How Does Civil Society Influence the State

Right. So, bourgeois democracy is a crock of shit. It's a fool's errand that only the dull and the deluded participate in. What's more important than the state is civil society. The collective will of the people. The power of groups outside of the state apparatus.

What is this power that we speak of? On its side, the state has the police, the surveillance, the courts, the prisons. The money supply. On our side, we don't have the law. Many profound thinkers have schooled me to the fact that the rule of law is a complete sham in this country. We have no rights. If our rights become inconvenient to those in power those rights will be swept aside regardless of the damage to the law's credibility. We should put zero trust and, more importantly, zero effort, in trying to get elites to respect the rule of law.

What do we have? THE POWER OF PROTEST! But bear in mind that we have zero human, civil, and legal rights. So, if twenty disgruntled environmentalist/anarchists go out and block a street for an hour, they'll be physically crushed. They'll be placed in police vans with their wrists tightly plastic-cuffed behind them, which will cause excrutiating pain after a couple of hours, during which they will probably soil themselves. So, don't block that street I guess. Best to stay on the sidewalk. There, you'll probably only be truncheoned and tear-gassed.

But THEY CAN'T JAIL US ALL!!! Of course, they won't have to. Most people don't protest. They know the score.

Now, the wealthy can influence the state. "Civil Society" in the form of corporate front groups and corporate lobbyists and, simply, wealth and power, which exist outside the realm of the state, can do such things as withhold funding for political parties, withhold investment in the economy, or even engage in capital flight should the state enact policies against their interests. Of course, if such shenanigans harm the interests of the state enough it's always possible that a Putin sort of character could be barfed up to use the police and courts to bring some of  the more outrageous types to heel.

But that's not what progressives tend to mean about civil society anyway. We're talking about environmentalists, no matter if they're national or local campaigns. We're talking families where a child has a special need and the families want the state to provide some assistance. We're talking about peace activists marching in the streets and writing letters to the editor and, in so doing, having zero to 1% effectiveness in ending over a decade of war in Afghanistan. We're talking about any number of initiatives, both effective and ineffective in effecting this or that policy.

When you think about it, the power struggle between civil society and the state seems woefully lopsided.

What about elections? At least we can throw out a pack of bums who have grown too corrupt and too complacent. That's something, isn't it? I suppose it is. I think politicians genuinely like power and the existence of an organized group of power-hungry amoral hacks willing to replace them should the vast majority of the electorate grow disgusted with blatant corruption and incompetence does put something of a brake on their depredations. Of course, the more far-seeing and "radical" amongst progressives reject even this. According to them, we must either go live in a shack in the woods, (to get really extreme, swear-off eating meat - the murdered flesh of other sentient beings - whilst living in your shack in the woods), or, if we like the amenities of urban living, stay there and write pamphlets and organize tiny rallies of like-minded, radical, isolated, unpopular comrades. (Or, just pontificate on the internet. Whatev's.)

But even if we participate in the electoral process, 30% of the public is so ignorant or deluded or debased as to vote for revolting parties of racists, hard-core class warriors, anti-environmentalists, misogynist, homophobic, religious bigots. Another 30-35% vote for corporate liberals who are, as we see with Chretien, Martin, Clinton and Obama, as vilely imperialist, anti-social justice, and anti-human rights as their more cromagnon counterparts. And then we have the "social democrats" who can't decide whether to emulate their liberal counterparts (or in the case of Andrea Horwath's ONDP, aspects of their right-wing counterparts) or whether to pull left. And, then we have the Greens who veer from free-market greens to radical vegan-granola types.

We, as progressives, have failed miserably at making our influence felt at the political level. And civil society is SUPPOSED to influence politics or else its just pointless narcissism. And we have failed because we cannot get our arguments out to the vast majority of the population. What arguments do reach them are either so distorted as to be objectionable to people who would embrace them, or they bounce off the walls of entrenched bigotry and brain-washing of the hegemonic cultural norms.

We have to change this. But I see very little effort on this matter from the organized left and its institutions. I see a lot of repeating of the same useless activity in the absence of any indications about what else to do.

How do you, gentle readers, propose that we change this?


Anonymous said...


Buy gun.

Buy ammo.

Loaded gun.

Place against head.

Pull trigger.

Repeat as required.

The solution to all "progressive" problems! Lol

thwap said...


Look out folks!

The cowardly anonymous troll rides again!

(For the record: I've asked this gutless piece-of-shit to contact me so that we can meet face-to-face, and, no surprise, received some mewling set of excuses why that wouldn't be possible.

I'm posting your effort of today for comedic purposes only. There won't be much of that as you're pretty fucking stupid and boring.)

Anonymous said...

Haha, why bother? Your drug and booze use will dump you in an early grave anyway!

Enjoy your life, what little amount you have left of it anyway!

Anonymous said...

Besides with your substance abuse what makes you so different from Rob Ford? Oh, right he's a somebody ad you aren't'.

Funny world isn't?

thwap said...


"Your laughing at my cowardice has stung me and I am therefore farting out two more attempts at hurting you."

Guess what friend? Bosom buddy?

They only make you more comical in my eyes! You hiding behind your computer, trying to act "tuff."


I think you suffer from "thwap derangement syndrome."

Dana said...

Post the IP associated with those posts and let's out the ignorant prick. Like the old days.

thwap said...


I'd prefer to let the asshole develop the courage to out itself.

I've had years and years of this deranged idiot's comments. It also has an open invitation to actually debate me on some point and make me look like an idiot.

Obviously it's too stupid to accomplish such a feat and it knows it.

About the smartest thing it's ever done is refrain from telling me how to contact it. It's a good strategy as far as self-preservation goes.