Greatness Requires Discipline
I'm an opponent to conspiracy theories, see them as disempowering distractions which create endless rationalizations for complacency. At the same time, I am an unabashed fan of conspiring. It's my own little paradox of proactivity: don't waste your time trying to unravel a hidden coterie behind why the world is what it is, just get busy making your own.
Spent last night talking Redneck Socialism over pizza and beer with Face and The Girth. We're bandying the ideas of rolling up on California's Canada and implementing a takeover. Prosperous though our lives have become here, the golden state feels like barren ground for the revolution, and we've sometimes a great notion there's an opportunity to do something more than live what passes for the bourgeois American Dream (home ownership, retirement savings, etc) in this 21st Century. At the risk of some material comforts, we can be heroes. After all, risk is our business.
As Eric Schlosser points out, it's been liberals attempting to "look tough" who are largely responsible for the prison industrial complex. This kind of hollowness, this essentially immasculine fear of appearing weak, the willingness to do truly terrible things to literally millions of people... this is the quintessential malaise which infects the contemporary Democratic party, and prevents real reform.
Redneck Socialism is our answer. Simply put, we see politics not as a deliberative exercise, where senatorial comity and "bipartisanship" are the ideals, but rather as the pragmatic and utilitarian pursuit of the Public Good, which is a very real thing, and which has very real enemies. We're blowing fat lines of Huey Long style populism here. It's impossible to contemplate the requirements of the post-modern Public without confronting the realities of inequality, and the abusive nature of much contemporary corporate/other power. We have to stop poisoning ourselves, our planet, and developing a massive underclass for profit, and find more and better ways of making money. It ain't really that hard to do.
This can also be seen as the boots-on-the-ground extension of The New Freedom Movement, which has a broader cultural agenda to help wake up the zombies and usher in a golden era for the species. By taking on a large but not impossibly huge chunk of territory — bigger than a compound, smaller than the world — we're looking to enact our ideas for change by directly engaging and altering the course of the existing system. In other words, DC looks like a lost cause but it seams reasonable we might crack Salem or at least Multnomah County.
In sooth, "Socialism" is a pretty meaningless phrase. Almost as amorphous as "Capitalism" in light of how our twin dynamos of Wall Street — "I drink your milkshake!" — and the sad ghost that politicians blithly catchphrase as "Main Street" have collapsed. Finance has devolved into scheming con games and outright gambling, and I don't know where these fucks live (Disneyland?) that they think bloviating about "main street" can be anything but a reminder of how Wal*Mart used and abused most of regular America, but there you have it.
So we're looking to move beyond. Our belief is that by outing elephants in the room, having the courage to address unspoken issues and bring up sacred cows, while at the same time remaining totally pragmatic and ready to play bare-knuckled politics with all comers, we can advance something much more meaningful than "bipartisanship" or "centrism." Splitting the difference isn't leadership.