...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



widespread illusions:

The Obama campaign is not the vehicle of a leftward movement in the United States — as proclaimed by liberal groups such as and publications like The Nation. It is a preemptive attack by the ruling class against such a movement. Its function is to delude the American people and divert their growing opposition to war, economic crisis and attacks on democratic rights back into the dead-end of the Democratic Party.
Martin/WSWS 04.Feb.08
via cryptogon
comment at 3QD:
One reason for "...two communities — joint conscience-keepers — so set in competition..." is they're both carrying near-majorities of shallow self-interested membership. The warning bells were ringing back in the early 70's when one group after another took its turn at the podium, each with its own description of what was wrong. I kept seeing blacks and women in the boardrooms of General Everything, back when they weren't there yet, because that was the concrete dream, to be there, of the largest and most audibly front-line troops. When those corporate abstractions themselves were more of a problem and danger than economic misogyny and flat-out racism, awful as that gets.
For more than two decades you could hear sensible intelligent people stumbling through the space in the English language where a gender-neutral pronoun should be. While the corporate mass kept right on eating the world, and growing in size and power.
We got, eventually, Condi Rice in the Bush White House. I like Condi Rice as a person, but where she is is not anywhere near what I wanted to see as progress this far down the line.
A light-skinned black woman, will wonders never cease, as Secretary of State in the bloodiest and least noble administration in the history of the US.
Obama is a player first, before he's anything like a statesman, a Chicago player. Clinton in her own way is as well.
It's redolent of the sterile smell around the set-up as the Abu Ghraib image scandal broke. Lynndie England, hillbilly, spawn out of the last identifiable American minority it's still okay to ridicule publicly. She was held up to the public right after the horrifying pictures were held up to the world, and she became the face of it. As cause, as perp, as villain. As responsible.
On the other side, amongst the turbo-confident rich white men Bush rode in with, prominent and playing visibly active roles were Rice, and Colin Powell, and later Alberto Gonzales. An achievement with a politically-correct dynamic that can seem from some angles to have been cast to align with old-guard Hollywood's idea of American tolerance in action.
There they were, two women in the highest profile, neither one in a role assigned by the old patriarchy.
Condi v. Lynndie.
Us v. them.
Obama's face and body in the front runner's spotlight are a refutation of the almost-extinct old social order, just as Hillary Clinton's face and body are. This can sidetrack, because it seems to say so much while saying nothing tangible about their souls. Electing either of them simply because of what they represent at their most essential and least volitional would be a mistake. The same mistake a lot of us have been making all along.

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