Friday, April 20, 2007

The Culture of Control

I've been thinking about the rabidity and internal contradictions I see in this modern-day radicalism/nationalism from the Religious/Republican right, and the common thread that sticks out is the apparent urge to control other people. The dominionists who seem to be running things these days are concerned with domination--and they'll go to ungodly lengths to get control over the rest of us.

Think about it. Women must be kept under control--we have no rights, we are not human beings, we are sexual objects. We are our uterus, our mammaries. We cannot be trusted to make our own decisions about our own bodies, as the New York Times aptly summarizes:
Justice Kennedy actually reasoned that banning the procedure was good for women in that it would protect them from a procedure they might not fully understand in advance and would probably come to regret. This way of thinking, that women are flighty creatures who must be protected by men, reflects notions of a woman’s place in the family and under the Constitution that have long been discredited, said a powerful dissenting opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined by Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter and Stephen Breyer.
Sexuality in general seems to be very theatening to these people, as evidenced by the intense fear and disgust toward homosexuality and transgenderism.

As Fred Dyson (R-Eagle River) puts it, "I think government has the right to decide which relationships are forbidden and which are approved." Fred, old boy, you've got it so massively wrong here it's amazing. First of all, government doesn't have the right to do anything. People have rights. Governments are tools. What you've really said here is that some people have the right to use the tool of government to tell other people who they can hang out with, who they can love, who they should be with. This is a very, very dangerous belief. (I'm still sort of flummoxed that the state's libertarians don't seem to have noticed this. They're griping about smoking bans instead. Woo-hoo.)

But Fred's belief fits right in with the high regard in which corporate institutions are held by these rightwing types. Time Warner gets to write our postal rate plans and regulations. The oil companies get to write our foreign policy and war plans. Institutions such as government and churches and corporate entities are apparently better at directing our lives than we are.

Didn't know that, did you?

There was a country, a democracy, that changed, and used fear to herd the public, used religion to control them, used business to consolidate economic power, used war to keep in control. It became a textbook example of how nationalism develops into facism, of how a country can self-destruct. That country saw women as brood mares for a better future, placed heavy emphasis on the nuclear family, detested gays and intellectuals and peaceniks and people who didn't like to be controlled (like gypsies) or people of minority religions, either. Versteh?

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