Saturday, April 23, 2005

ECHIDNE is tired of hearing lefties talk about the day when Democrats "will be back in control." She doesn't feel "in control"; and doesn't think she ever will.

I will never be in control. I have never been in control and expect never to gain control over anything much. This I know for a fact. Why, then, can someone else so trustingly expect to have control over the political situation? What is it that makes me feel as if I have really very little say on this planet? There are many billions of people who probably have less say in reality. Or is it just that I don't believe in the generalized concept of control by one political party or another? Most of us don't have power over political effects, after all. So was whoever made the initial statement someone with access to real power? Or just someone who feels much more empowered?

This is all totally trivial. Or is it? Why do I feel as if my voice is inaudible in this world? Because it is? Because all our voices are inaudible in a world where only money and guns and gods can speak? Or is this a woman-thing? Something to do with the new pope, perhaps, with the celebration and glorification of a man who would not listen to women? Who would not listen to anyone with values like mine?

Maybe that is the answer. I no longer see, hear or read my values expressed positively in the media that stands for our common living-room. Can you think of a single person with liberal or progressive values who has easy access to mainstream media networks and who is actually allowed to speak uninterrupted for a few minutes? I can't think of a single living person like this. Some dead ones, sure, like Martin Luther King. But the dead are inaudible, too.

Via Archy, who adds some thoughts of his own on feeling in control that are very well taken. For one thing, he is not so sure he wants anyone to be "in control." That kind of hierarchical thinking is anathema to him -- and to me.

Personally, I don't like the idea of anybody being "in control." I want competent and liberal people in positions of responsibility and authority. But, I want them to [be] answerable to me, not in control of me. "Control" is a word like "leadership" that immediately puts me on the defensive. As long as I have been aware of elections, I've cringed at the biennial demand for leaders. I don't want to be led, thank you very much; I'm a grown up and I can make my own decisions (even if I take a long time to do it).

Both words imply the sort of top-down, hierarchical thinking that I despise. I'm a bottom-up, collegial sort of guy. I don't view the current struggle as our dictatorship versus their dictatorship. I view it as dictatorship versus democracy. If we have a dictator--even if it's our dictator--I'm going to do everything I can to undermine him (or her, but probably him).

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