Monday, December 06, 2004

Hot damn, some debate

Well, yes, let's have some debate. Me and the boys on the bus have parted company, as you might have discerned from the new comments, but goddamn, let's have a go in cyberspace instead! Here's what we need to talk about. (1) Mutiny in the military will undermine Bush's dreams of empire--not journalistic principle (will Seymour Hersh or Mark Danner have anywhere near the effect of the officer corps?), not wringing of hands among us academics. From the git-go, it's been the War College types who have said, "This is insane, and not do-able." They will prevail. We need to pay close attention as they make their case. To the suits v. re-ups among the reserves, the guard, etc. The end of the war in Vietnam, and the remarkable transformation of the American military, came as a result of mutiny over there, notwithstanding those who want to believe that opposition to the war was a college-student vocation. (2) Universal health care has become the norm, the expectation of both parties, in the last 12 years, mainly because the right of health care has beome a question of political economy: the moral question has become something larger, or maybe smaller, and now it can be dealt with as a mere policy problem (something like the slavery issue, ca. 1838-1860). Everyone, left to right, private to public sector, agrees that universal health care is the goal--the debate is about the means, not the end. [See, e.g., the Business section of NYT for 12/6/04] (3) Actually existing socialism: let's talk. My first post on this will be my bizarre exchange with young centurion O'Keefe, wherein I tried to define socialism and postmodernism for him, and got a clinically hysterical response. My old friend Keith Haynes and I have been compiling a list of socialisms in our lives--following the lead of the Chinese foreign minister, who insists the US is more socialist than his country. Help me out here.
Now we're talking.