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It is in the prosecution of some single object, and in striving to reach its accomplishment by the combined application of his moral and physical energies, that the true happiness of man, in his full vigour and development, consists. Possession, it is true, crowns exertion with repose; but it is only in the illusions of fancy that it has power to charm our eyes. If we consider the position of man in the universe,—if we remember the constant tendency of his energies towards some definite activity, and recognize the influence of surrounding nature, which is ever provoking him to exertion, we shall be ready to acknowledge that repose and possession do not indeed exist but in imagination. - Wilhelm von Humboldt, The Sphere and Duties of Government (The Limits of State Action) (1854 ed.)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

ZNet on Obama

Here are a number of articles on Obama -- to help push to you to NOT vote for him:


Carl Davidson said...

Tom Hayden is very much pushing for people to vote for Obama, and organizing themselves to press his White House on stopping the war as well.

So am I, and I have plenty of posts on ZNet, too.

But I agree with you on Street. He claims he'd vote for Obama in an unsafe state. He won't lift a finger, however, and most of his stuff presents Obama as a cross between Dracula and Darth Vader.

czrpb said...

It just seems after even reading Hayden's piece or Baker's piece that while they advocate voting they do *only* because McCain would be worse. It is yet again the "lesser-of-two-evils" argument.

When does this end?

So, I have decided to not endorse *any* evil -- large or small -- this time.

Carl Davidson said...

When confronted with inescapable two evils, 'choosing the lesser' is a valid moral principle, put forward clearly by St Thomas, but with much deeper roots.

I'm well aware of all the clever assertions and rhetorical twists against it, but I'm still waiting for a strong ARGUMENT refuting it.

It's probably deeply ingrained because it's helped us to survive all these 100,000 years or so.

In any case, vote Green if you like, just don't vote alone. Bring scads of new young antiwar voters to the polls with you, whether they agree with you vs St Thomas or not. That way even your Green vote will help to defeat the main danger.

czrpb said...

Awesome! Thx for the comments!

I agree that voting for the lesser of two evils is a "better" thing.

But that just slows the slide towards the same evil destination right? So, it seems to me that I can do perhaps these three things:

1. Work to change things, not work to get Obama elected and not vote for Obama.
2. Work to change things, not work to get Obama elected and vote for Obama.
3. Work less to change things, work more to get Obama elected and vote for Obama.

The difference between 1 and 2 are helping the lesser evil while being more or less culpable in his crimes. I am choosing 1 this round (I voted for Kerry last time under basically this same calculus). 3 seems to me to truly legitimate the system. Definitely not going to do that.

I hope I am at least being reasonable here...

czrpb said...

Sorry, did not mean "legitimate the system" but "legitimate the candidates".

I like democracy -- though I do want to change it to a much more participatory/direct democracy one.