Political schizophrenia

By Matthew Rukgaber

It is ironic that Justin Doran (DI 9/10) would ultimately give an argument for anarchism and communalism in his attempt to lambast leftist thought. He suggests that all socio-political problems should be solved in local groups of interested individuals rather than the government. Why is it then that he spouts the rhetoric of the Right, whose actual economic and political program is the consolidation of power and capital in transnational conglomerates and the raising of standards of living through trickle-down economics rather than the empowerment of such localized collectives?

Doran presumably styles himself a Libertarian who supports Thoreau’s idea that “that government is best that governs not at all.” Yet to think that American conservatism embodies these values and works in any way to realize them shows how disconnected and oblivious the “ground troops” are from the actual policies, practices, theories of the political party and think tanks that represent them. Doran perfectly characterizes the paradox of the American Right: he advocates a Marxist withering away of the state while ridiculing Marx.

He equates liberalism with a disease of the mind, but does not this fragmented and self-contradictory belief system bespeak of a disease, namely, schizophrenia. I suggest that he at least Wikipedia “anarchism” to find out that his dream of decentralization is not represented by either Republicans or Democrats; instead, it occupies a place where the political spectrum meets.

Yet Doran’s diatribe has an important message for leftists: be informed about leftism and do not embody Doran’s caricature.

I suggest a healthy dose of modern leftist political philosophy: try Sartre’s “Critique of Dialectical Reason,” Deleuze and Guattari’s “Anti-Oedipus,” Alain Badiou’s “The Century” and “Ethics,” and the works of Michel Foucault and Slavoj Zizek.

If you understand these, no one will take you for a bleeding heart liberal ever again.