My C99 Investment
Intelligence is necessarily social, and we are swimming upstream every time we conjure up ghosts of The Individual. Liberalism and Social Action
I consider my small financial contributions to C99 an important investment in preserving what is being rapidly eroded from our public life: democracy.
I do not mean a Democratic Republic, Parliamentary system or a Direct Democracy or any other "form of government" democracy. What I am investing in here is small d "way of life" democracy, the respectful give and take of points of view. I actively give and I actively receive world-views here and elsewhere. This interaction enriches me daily, as it should. It is my only source of political power in this world. I throw my tiny pebble into the pond and see what happens.
The key-note of democracy as a way of life may be expressed, it seems to me, as the necessity for the participation of every mature human being in formation of the values that regulate the living of men together: which is necessary from the standpoint of both the general social welfare and the full development of human beings as individuals. On Democracy
We are seeing the rapid erosion of small d democracy in our daily lives aided and abetted by an authoritarian mass media hell bent on paralyzing our ability to recognize a collective reality and thereby dooming us to a confused isolation.
We here recognize this turn of events as purposeful. The goal as far as I can see is isolation of the individual from community and ultimately the prevention of a public from forming that is engaged, confident and educated by the free interchange of ideas.
All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I it" relationship for an "I thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and sinful. Paul Tillich has said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness? MLK, Letter from Birmingham Jail
It is separation, and as MLK said in quoting Tillich, separation is sin. As racial segregation, overtly in the South and covertly in the North, was (is?) "an existential expression of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness", so is our collective social and political segregation now so skillfully induced by mass propaganda and manufactured dissonance.
We are losing places like this on purpose. The "free market" is seeking out and destroying outlets for free speech and free association as we know it. Daily Kos is but just one sad example. This is what makes JtC's efforts in creating and operating C99 truly remarkable. He seems to understand that the "free market" cannot and will not subsidize what it worries would be the means of its eventual destruction by aiding the formation of a democratically informed public, even if profitable. Therefore, we witness this "free market" (monopolistic) assault on free association of ideas that is the life-blood of small d democracy.
They have moved on from manufactured consent to what I call manufactured dissonance. It is a purposeful muddling of the public consciousnesses. They are using paid trolls to disrupt real discourse and then blaming others for using paid trolls to disrupt contrived discourse. Every imaginable propaganda technique is being inflicted on us. What we're seeing now in this regard are just the early scattered snowflakes of the blizzard to come. It will be total whiteout.
No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty; none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which if surrendered will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them till all of liberty shall be lost. Abraham Lincoln
This is why I invest my scarce cash resources here. I give as much as I can and then wish I could give more. I am grateful for JtC's efforts in creating this unique space for dialogue and engagement. I am thankful for his patience and graciousness.
JtC seems unwilling to bow to the masters or take rent from the lords. Because of this, I am willing to invest in this wonderful bastion of small d democracy. I hope you are too.