News Love is more constant than light
Charles, I must disagree about your Watada post. You stated that, “those who have led young soldiers to their deaths in Iraq are not virtuous but vicious; and those who are dying in Iraq are not courageous but foolish.” In Orwell’s Why I Write, he states
The left-wing intelligentsia wanted to go on and on, sniggering at the Blimps, sapping away at middle-class morale, but still keeping their favoured position as hangers-on of the dividend-drawers… Obviously the snobbishness and political ignorance of people like airmen and naval officers will be a very great difficulty. But without those airmen, destroyer commanders, etc. etc. we could not survive for a week. The only approach to them is through their patriotism.
Rather, as a whole, we must move forward. To quote Negri and Hardt’s Multitude,
In order to speak of a new Left today one has to speak, on one hand, in terms of a postsocialist and postliberal program, based on a material and conceptual rupture, an ontological break with the ideological traditions of the industrial workers movements… One also has to deal with the new anthropological reality, with new agents of production and subjects of exploitation that remain singular. One must consider the activity of the singular agents as the matrix of the freedom and multiplicity of everyone. Here democracy becomes a direct object. Democracy can no longer be evaluated in the liberal manner as a limit of equality or in the socialist way as a limit of freedom but rather must be the radicalization without reserve of both freedom and equality. Perhaps some day soon we will have arrived at the point when we can look back with irony at the barbaric old times when in order to be free we had to keep our own brothers and sisters slaves or to be equal we were constrained to inhuman sacrifices of freedom. In our view, freedom and equality can be the motors of a revolutionary reinvention of democracy.
In short, the people must come together as we all fall prey to closed-circuit global hegemony. The Multitude of people will include the material and immaterial worker, the civilian and combatant, the poor and the (somewhat) rich.
Eli makes an excellent point that this is truly a new manifestation of dialectic reasoning in the collective consciousness of the United States. While President Bush has steeped his legacy in the outcome of Iraq in a most Utilitarian of fashions, Lieutenant Watada has opened up the discourse of the Categorical Imperative. Watada’s persistence has demonstrated the need for Americans to address the moral (and legal) qualms of the war in its primacy, rather than Bush’s intent for the end to justify the means.