Left or Right - What Really Matters?

Found an interesting and intelligent post by Charlotte Laws at her blog spot titled "Omniocracy"

"And who are these "far right" and "far left" "idiots" to whom Eastwood
refers when he makes his own arguably "extreme" comment?

Perhaps he perceives those on the edge as moralistically shrill,
as manifesting a tone level of fear and anger. Perhaps this is how the
"right" and "left" overlap or come full circle in his mind.

But this is a gross generalization, since the "extremes" are subjective and the political continuum fallacious.

The left-right distinction began in France to indicate nothing more than where the political parties sat during Parliament; soldiers were positioned in
the center to prevent disagreements from resulting in bloodshed. It has morphed into a Democratic-Republican or liberal-conservative scale.

There is no objective definition for "Democratic," "Republican," "liberal"
or "conservative." Real Democrats and Republicans, for example, do not
necessarily reside on one particular side of the divide; they move in divergent
directions on assorted issues.

In addition, political spectrums vary. One could say, for example, that all
governments—democracy, fascism, communism—inhabit the "left" while anarchy or a lack of control rests on the "right."

One could argue instead for an up-down continuum with free-market
capitalism at the top and communism at the bottom.

Suppose we accept the flawed, but commonly accepted paradigm of a left to
right political continuum, as Eastwood offers. If we define the "left" as the group that protects the voiceless, the powerless, and the forgotten, then the
natural progression would be to protect the truly voiceless – animals and nature.

Nonhumans are excluded from our political system, without representation.
They have no standing in court; yet corporations do. In fact, nonhumans are virtually omitted from the conversation in our anthropocentric and
speciesist society.

A move "left" arguably means to move away from Democracy – which
is really just a rule by the elite (humans) – to an Omniocracy (which I describe as a government of, by and for all living beings).

The European Union has added nonhumans to their Constitution, as
have Switzerland and Germany.

New Zealand, India and Reggio Emilio, Italy have outlawed using animals in ways we normally think acceptable in the U.S. (boiling lobsters alive, keeping fish in small bowls, vivisection, etc.).

We are trailing behind other nations, but it might be difficult to amend
our Constitution in our What's the Matter With Kansas? country at this time. It might be easier to start with certain states.

You may be wondering what would stuffing a few extra words in a state
Constitution really do. Well, words are a powerful tool and an important
start.

Lastly, does this move to the left spit us out on right? Probably. One
could argue that traditional "right" politics/economics prompts a gap between
the rich and poor, thus culminates in the rule by a few, such as corporations.

To implement policies that foster the idea that nonhuman species have value
"in and of themselves," a "top down" government or rule by a few (although not
corporations) again seems required.

People are self-interested (as are all species) thus cannot be expected to vote against their desires.

Legislators, however, are different (or should be) because they attain self-worth from helping others, being fair and inclusive, and consulting the "big picture."

Plato got this part of his Republic right in my estimate. Omniocracy
requires abolishing the left-right continuum and forming a new paradigm to
balance pragmatic concerns with the needs of all.

It would be similar in structure to the representative government upon which we now rely.

There will naturally be conflicts of interest between species and individuals; but
government's job will be to mediate and arbitrate these "disputes."

We are taught democracy is the most inclusive, just and beneficent political system in the world. It is time to re-evaluate, without letting "extremist" labels scare us.

Successful ideas advance through three stages: first ridicule, then
discussion, finally adoption.

I say we start the discussion to which Eastwood's words have
provided a starting point.

The Clint Eastwood quote is posted on Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown's blog and is taken from Feb 28, 2005 issue of Time Magazine."



1 Comments:

Blogger greenconsciousness said...

Although most of her analysis impresses me very much the below quote from her article is insane and can only be believed by those who are very comfortable.

"Legislators, however, are different (or should be) because they attain self-worth from helping others, being fair and inclusive, and consulting the "big picture."

11:43 AM  

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