There has been a lot of fuss about the recent election here in The United States. The Democrats, of course, are smug. The Republicans, well, some (not all, but some) are in a positive frenzy of angst, predicting the end of freedom and the coming Socialist Apocalypse.
I pretty much don’t give a damn. I’m more concerned about getting done some necessary home repairs and wondering what kind of drapes the wife is going to pick out for downstairs.
I am, you see, a real independent, not a “can’t make up my mind” independent. My beliefs do not fit neatly into the obligatory party line of either party, but I will throw my weight, such as it is, behind whichever party seems to best suit the needs of the moment. Typically, that means that I am opposed to whichever party is in power at the moment. This time I supported Obama, because of the gross incompetence of the current regime. Next time around I might support someone else. I’ll see how things look then.
The one unwavering plank in my party platform is a firm belief in personal freedom. In being left the hell alone. Neither party is even vaguely committed to that. It’s not even a talking point. As far as that goes, the only difference between them is that the overlap of which freedoms they want to restrict is not 100%. (The rule of thumb, not entirely accurate, particularly in the current changing economic climate, is that Democrats want to regulate the economy and Republicans want to regulate morality. It works as at least a vague guideline.) As the man sang, everybody knows that the war is over, everybody knows the good guys lost.
Beyond that position, I don’t much care. The form of government doesn’t matter much to me. Democracy, Republic, Kleptocracy, Monarchy, whatever; if they’ll leave me alone, I’m fine with it. Hell, I’m not even irrevocably wedded to capitalism. Capitalism is great at finding the most efficient way to do certain things, at least on quarter-by-quarter bottom-line basis, but efficiency is not necessarily the highest goal in human society. (Maintaining nursing homes and orphanages isn’t efficient. It would be much more efficient to kill the old people and enslave the orphans. There have been societies that did exactly that, but we do not admire them for it.) A far-right society ruled by the unrestrained greed of huge corporations would be as much a nightmare to live in as a far-left society ruled by the all-powerful State.
Besides, capitalism is a system of shortages, limited resources. “Supply and demand.” As technology evolves, and we move out into space, where the resources and the energy to exploit them are practically infinite, how will capitalism work? We could be facing that situation as soon as a century or two from now, maybe sooner. That’s not all that far in the future; my grandchildren, if any, may live to see it.
So forgive me if I can’t get too worked up over which set of thieves gets to rob us for the next four years. I think we’d be better just picking people at random; then we at least might get someone honest and competent.