What if a Personal Initiative is Destructive?

As I was translating that article, I realized how encompassing that idea of modern day feudalism is. If it’s everyone for himself, both politically and economically, what kind of freedom are we talking about?

Modern day GOP is a great example of such an ideology: Fuck everybody! If we don’t get what we want we just bomb everything. Because our idea of disruption matters just as much as the others’ idea of cooperation. Why shouldn’t it be awarded the same weight? We’re a democracy, after all. But what we get is a perpetual animosity.

It is declared that such multitude of voices will be mediated by a personal initiative, by economic progress. Well, Walter White (I’m still stunned after yesterday’s Breaking Bad episode) has a personal initiative when faced with his own mortality. In some sense, in a current predicament we’re all Walter Whites – left to own own devices, advised to fend for ourselves the best we can. Who is to say that a personal initiative will necessarily be constructive? What’s to stop us, when we’re pressed against an economic wall, from becoming our own little GOPs, from becoming metaphorical meth cooks? No matter – says the free market. It will be dealt with by an invisible hand of the market. If you’re bad you will perish. Really? Republicans have been behaving like little children for years and not only they’re expected to hold the House, some even think they will get hold of the Senate next year. If “democracy-free markets” construct rewards the initiative, it doesn’t exactly specify what kind of initiative. Malicious and destructive? Who cares, as long as it’s an initiative, as long as a person or an entity gets to act in its own interest.

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9 thoughts on “What if a Personal Initiative is Destructive?

  1. Any civilized society must place boundaries on personal initiative. The whole reason we have criminal law system is to limit people’s personal initiative – and even GOP is not stupid enough to think that free market can deter theft, rape, or murder.

  2. Yes, it would be too far-fetched to assume they want to rid us of courts and due process. But what protects us from political malpractice? From economic malpractice? Free markets seem to be doing a poor job.

  3. Vladimir says:

    Both parties are full of sleazebags and chock full of examples of disgusting political moves. I am fairly centrist and when somebody proclaims that, let’s say GOP’s ideology is Fuck everybody! it tells me the author is so far from being objective that the article is not worth reading any longer. I don’t even watch FOX not to mention more extreme talking heads. It amazes and saddens me how otherwise very bright people can let ideology screw their common sense so much as to be absolutely certain that the opposite party stands for nothing good but conspiracy and personal gain.

  4. You’re still thinking of GOP as if they are Reagan party or Lincoln party. Only then you can get to conclusion that everyone is equally at fault. Modern day GOP is neither and there are plenty of examples of their intransigent tactics, especially during the last few years. Debt ceiling hostage crisis comes to mind, just to begin. A prime example of “fuck everybody”.

    • Vladimir says:

      Like I said, Katya, very bright people, including yourself, it would appear to me ( but hey, I could be wrong, I accept that possibility entirely) shut down their objective analytical and data processing capabilities entirely and start hearing and seeing only arguments supporting their point of view. Nothing but politics and religion does it to people, curious, really…

  5. Nice conjecture. But it would be nice to hear where exactly I’m wrong. Is there some kernel of reason within the GOP that I’m missing? Please enlighten me, rather than engaging in vague grandmotherly laments.

    • Anonymous says:

      Katya, you continue missing the point, only enforcing my statement. There is no point wasting time enlightening either you or smb on the far right, you are all closed to arguments. At some point even very smart ones begin accumulating facts supporting their point of view and not processing information contrary to their views, getting more and more calcified in their beliefs. You chose your God and everybody else is infidel. I witnessed political arguments many times between very smart people, they are always loaded to their eyeballs with good facts supporting their point of view, it is an absolutely useless discussion.
      What I was saying that being in center for it is quite amusing to watch. I, of course, believe that common sense and practical solutions reside somewhere close to the center and what resides on the fringes is empty ideology, good for nothing but energizing voters at the primary times, but absolutely useless and damaging for crafting policy.

      So, to answer your question, if it is not clear still, you are wrong, as a writer to make broad negative statements, because I, as a reader, tune out, knowing that no objective analysis is gonna follow.

      Sincerely, your loving grandma.

  6. I’m always open to a good point, but you’re not making it. You are fighting straw men instead.

    You know, I think that you prefer to occupy the ‘centrist’ position out of safety during argument. You can then pretend that you’re above all this squabble, that you’re a chin-stroking wise man, Gandalf the wise. It’s a widespread tactic especially among those who’re nominally Republican but are too embarrassed to admit it in public. It’s like being able to argue for and against taking a position on the market, but in the end being too scared to take it. I’ve seen plenty of men like this on Wall Street. Well, sometimes one has to take a position. I have.

    And yet the following questions are unanswered. If you assign equal weight to far right and far left, I wonder when was the last time Democrats brought a country to the brink of default, intentionally; when was the last time Democrats preoccupied themselves with voting to repeal the law of the land 40 times, when there are more pressing issues like unemployment; when did Democrats, without the hint of irony, declared that their number one priority is to defeat the President? And I’m not even getting to the GOP prehistoric stance on social issues, which I’m sure you abhor.

    Just scrolling through today’s headlines I see this: “GOP lawmakers, cowed by the right, drop any pretense of policy sanity” and “House Republican anarchy update”. Not watching Fox News is not enough to consider oneself a centrist. One actually has to know what’s going on.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s stop wasting time. This is what it always leads to: wasted time and that is why I don’t do this kind of discussion, although you may think me coward or whatever else. It comes not from cowardice, but from experience listening to very smart people arguing these points and agreeing on nothing. You and me are not drastically smarter or dumber than all those that came before us, so the outcome won’t be different: I make an argument you come up with another one. I have a dozen, you will have a hundred to counter.

      I made a few good points along the way, like why I occupy the centrist position: because it is where common sense and good policy usually reside. But you passed it by. It is easier to assume me weak, dumb or incompetent than to attempt to analyze your deep-engraved beliefs, but that’s fine. I just didn’t quite expect it from you.

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