Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community  

Go Back   Tilted Forum Project Discussion Community > The Academy > Tilted Politics


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 01-31-2006, 12:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
Non-Rookie
 
NoSoup's Avatar
 
Location: Green Bay, WI
War on non-proper nouns...

I've been giving this a bit of thought lately, and it just seems to me that it is utterly ridiculous to declare war on non proper nouns. These "wars" always seem to be incredibily ineffective and typically cause a lot of problems for those involved - especially when the government sticks to new laws set in place during these "wars." Additionally, they don't seem to encompass even the most obvious of problems.

For instance -

"The War on Drugs"

Alright, I think we can all agree. Drugs are pretty bad. Lots of people die because of them every year. However, without turning this into another "pot should be legal!" thread - why is it that alchohol and tobacco, even with the enormous amount of documentation that they kill you and have very negative long term effects, not to mention are addictive, remain the only legal drugs that an American citizen has the right to use?

Another huge problem with "The war on Drugs" is the mandatory minimum sentancing. Granted, drug dealing is a pretty horrible crime, but I don't really believe that someone should go to jail for life because they were caught with drugs three times.

"The War on Terrorism"

Terrorism is also bad. However, I don't think that giving up our rights as citizens is a decision the majority would have made to keep us "safe" I don't think that putting a law into place that allows people to be held indefinately without being charged with a crime is what the "War on Terrorism" initially set out to accomplish. However, both of these things have happened, with nominal, if any, positive results from this "war."

What do you folks think? Have either of these "Wars" accomplished what they have set out to do? Even if they do/did, was it worth all the other effects of these "wars?"
__________________
I have an aura of reliability and good judgement.

Just in case you were wondering...
NoSoup is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 12:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
I think that you forgot the most unsuccessful "War" of all - Johnson's "War on Poverty". IMO, it's one of those fantastic ideas that never should have made it off the drawing board since it was doomed from the start. A few of the programs that came out of it were resounding successes (Head Start is the most obvious), but pretty much every other one failed and failed miserably. The War on Poverty did nothing to help the inner cities that it targeted, and it left the rural poor to find their own ways out. And that's not to mention that, depending on which school of economic thought you belong to, the War on Poverty directly attributed to the inflation and recession of the late 70's.

To address the actual point of your post, I don't think that either of the two "Wars" that you mention have accomplished much, if anything at all, other than to make Americans more paranoid.
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 01:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
You had me at hello
 
Poppinjay's Avatar
 
Location: DC/Coastal VA
The_Jazz, Iím not sure I agree with you on the war on poverty.

Letís just look at where I live Ė Washington DC. 3.9% unemployment, people moving here in droves, and this was supposed to be ground zero of all that was wrong with the war on poverty.

Urban areas across the country have been flourishing in the past twenty years, while rural America hasnít really found its way out.

I do agree that there are certainly problems with subsidized living arrangements, and it could be said that capital and capitalism is what is driving the renaissance of urban America, but the infra-structure to allow that was built largely on Johnsonís inner-city initiatives.
__________________
I think the Apocalypse is happening all around us. We go on eating desserts and watching TV. I know I do. I wish we were more capable of sustained passion and sustained resistance. We should be screaming and what we do is gossip. -Lydia Millet
Poppinjay is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 01:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
Charlatan's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: Lion City
In this case the term "war" is marketing. It sounds better to say we are at war with something rather than just making an effort to stop something (if that makes sense).

WARs are supposed to have definative feel to them. You wage war in order to win. Wars, historicaly, have a time span -- they don't go on forever.

The problem is using this terminology runs contrary to these "nouns".

You can't win a war on drugs. Sure you can slow the spread. You can stop individuals but you will never eradicate it. All you do is criminalize a large portion of your population. I don't see dealing drugs as a "pretty horrible crime" at all. It's capitalism at work. As you point out there are liquor dealers out there that perform, pretty much, the same service. The only difference is upon which side of the law these actions sit.

You can't win a war on terrorism. You can break up cells. You can kill individuals. You can make it harder, but you can't eradicate it. Who are you fighting? What state? Kill one and another rises up, for vengeance is not halted with more vengeance.

You can't win a war on poverty. Who are you fighting? What are your weapons? Even Jesus admitted that there will always be poor, pathetically struggling. Even with more Socialist reform there will always be a strata of income with someone on top and someone on bottom. Sure you can make the number of empoverished smaller but you can't legislate it out of existence.


In the end, each of these WARS should be fought but treating them like and calling them WARS does a disservice to the real solutions -- real solutions don't work like Blitzkreig, they are slow methodical and boring things like policy and bureaucracy.

They aren't sexy in the slightest.
__________________
"My hands are on fire. Hands are on fire. Ain't got no more time for all you charlatans and liars."
- Old Man Luedecke
Charlatan is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 01:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
Kiss of Death
 
Location: Perpetual wind and sorrow
Just because you can't "win", does that mean said wars shouldn't be fought?
__________________
To win a war you must serve no master but your ambition.
Mojo_PeiPei is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 02:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
Non-Rookie
 
NoSoup's Avatar
 
Location: Green Bay, WI
What strikes me as the most humorous aspect of our current "War on Terror" is the fact that we invade/bomb countries and basically tell the people that live there

"Don't take it personally, we aren't bombing YOU - just the terrorists who live here."

Ironically, many of the casualties suffered by the U.S. in this war that are classified as "Terrorist kills" are just citizens of whatever country we happen to invade defending their homeland.

It's the equivalent of China placing an army in any major U.S city and when U.S. citizens attack the Chinese being labeled as terrorists. Unbelievable...
__________________
I have an aura of reliability and good judgement.

Just in case you were wondering...
NoSoup is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
Charlatan's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: Lion City
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Just because you can't "win", does that mean said wars shouldn't be fought?
The whole point of calling it a war is because it implies it can either be won or lost. Couching these issues under that term does nothing but set up false expectations.


If you read what I wrote you would see that I say, these issues should be addressed, I just feel that treating them like a "war" is counterproductive.
__________________
"My hands are on fire. Hands are on fire. Ain't got no more time for all you charlatans and liars."
- Old Man Luedecke
Charlatan is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 02:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
 
Willravel's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Just because you can't "win", does that mean said wars shouldn't be fought?
Myabe one should rethink the strategy in a war that is considered unwinable. If you can't win the war on terror, try to win the war against extreemists who have weapons and want to kill people. Of course, that war would not excuse wire taps on Americans, espically the ones on Americans who don't have anything to do with terrorists.
Willravel is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 03:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
Asshole
 
The_Jazz's Avatar
 
Administrator
Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppinjay
Urban areas across the country have been flourishing in the past twenty years, while rural America hasnít really found its way out.

I do agree that there are certainly problems with subsidized living arrangements, and it could be said that capital and capitalism is what is driving the renaissance of urban America, but the infra-structure to allow that was built largely on Johnsonís inner-city initiatives.
Let's remember that the War on Poverty started 40 years ago, not 20, and that the recent regentrification of some of the major cities is more like a product of the suburbs overflowing back into the cities than a hangover effect from the WOP. The people who are gentrifying cities like Chicago, DC, Boston, etc. are rarely native to city that they live. They are products of the surrounding suburbs or areas farther out. I can tell you that of my friends in Chicago, 80% are either suburbanites or from outside the area altogether.

I don't think that you can necessarily blame Johnson's plan for the subsidized living arrangements, espeically here in Chicago. Most of the housing projects here were on the books in the 40's and 50's and were funded by WOP money in many cases.

Getting back to the current "wars", I completely agree that both of them are unwinnable at best and quagmires at worst. Both of them are important causes, but labeling them specifically as "wars" isn't necessarily the most productive way of addressing them. However, we live in a soundbite era and to expect anything else is probably unrealistic.
The_Jazz is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 06:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
Darth Papa
 
ratbastid's Avatar
 
Location: Yonder
The problem is, they're not wars, they're PR campaigns. The only reason the term "war" is used is to put us on The Side of Right. It's a patently transparent piece of political manipulation that, tragically, a majority of people fail to see through.

How can you have a "war on terror"? Terror is an emotion! May as well have a war on contentment! Or envy!
ratbastid is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 07:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
Getting it.
 
Charlatan's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: Lion City
Ratbastid... The War on Contentment is scheduled after we win the War on Christmas.
__________________
"My hands are on fire. Hands are on fire. Ain't got no more time for all you charlatans and liars."
- Old Man Luedecke
Charlatan is offline  
Old 01-31-2006, 07:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
Kiss of Death
 
Location: Perpetual wind and sorrow
Aha! So it is true.
__________________
To win a war you must serve no master but your ambition.
Mojo_PeiPei is offline  
Old 02-01-2006, 01:53 AM   #13 (permalink)
Sky Piercer
 
CSflim's Avatar
 
Location: Ireland
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlatan
The whole point of calling it a war is because it implies it can either be won or lost. Couching these issues under that term does nothing but set up false expectations.


If you read what I wrote you would see that I say, these issues should be addressed, I just feel that treating them like a "war" is counterproductive.
This is a good pont. I was about to reply to say something along the lines of " 'war' isn't supposed to be meant literally in this context, so what's the big deal?".

But yes, you are right, presenting the issues using a war metaphor is probably the wrong way to go about things.
__________________
CSflim is offline  
Old 02-01-2006, 07:32 AM   #14 (permalink)
You had me at hello
 
Poppinjay's Avatar
 
Location: DC/Coastal VA
I still have scars from War on Ennui.

But I got a purple apathy.
__________________
I think the Apocalypse is happening all around us. We go on eating desserts and watching TV. I know I do. I wish we were more capable of sustained passion and sustained resistance. We should be screaming and what we do is gossip. -Lydia Millet
Poppinjay is offline  
Old 02-01-2006, 08:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
roachboy's Avatar
 
Super Moderator
Location: essex ma
war on x....yes well it mobilizes the christian solders, doesnt it?
war is a central trope in xtian literature, particularly in that complex novel calld the bible...good vs. evil, black hat vs. white....and, like charlatan said, the word is a good marketing tool.

obviously the bush "war on terror" differs in kind from the other examples--war on poverty, war on drugs---in that it has functioned as a factor in the curious discourse conflict that shapes political life in the states. political life in the states in 2006 is basically different from previous periods--the rise of the right ideological machine is a marker of that distance.

the right in particular understands that if you can control the terms, the frame of reference, you can shape how people who use that frame to model their experience and the world within which that experience unfolds---you can shape the logic folk use to link phenomena together and so to fashion explanations and projects for themselves. the "war on terror" in its earliest phase marks the greatest extent of conservative discourse---as it turned out, the worst thing that could have happened for this formation has been the second bushterm, which has seen a significant crumbling of its explanatory power. such as it ever was.

while it is hard to make general statements about the states that mean anything--as it is about anywhere else---it seems that folk are encouraged in general to treat politics as a very limited sphere of social life, a type of consumer choice the power implied by which is exercized one day every 4 years (that one day americans are free, but not directly)---politics is a type of consumer choice, an extension of one's image of oneself---that image does not have to be grounded in who you are--the right has become quite good at using the illusions folk entertain about who they would prefer to be as the basis for political mobilization (the emphasis on the individual entrepreneur engaged in the Important Task of Getting More Cash) and channelling anxiety about economic and social position in the process---politics is not generally understood as involving any philosophical component, so reflexivity is not a feature in this discursive space--immediate belief and reflexivity are mutually exclusive--contemporary conservative discourse is about immediate belief and so it follows. this explains surreal results--the identification of petit bourgeois types and their conception of economic activity as a reflection of one's inward state of grace (one's calling) with the interests of transnational corporations is but one example.

the war on terror, whatever that is, functions to drive folk further into this type of relation, to retreat fuirther into that which is given, to become even more unable to think recursively about the effects of the frame of reference that they choose to adopt. the toll is fear, the shutting down of thought its result. it is pretty simple, actually. vote democrat and you will die is a simple message, aimed at simple, terrified people.

all this because, unlike the other "wars" noted in the op, the "war on terror" involves actual state of emergency, has entailed actual abuses of power, has been exploited with mind-boggling cynicism, to promote the political interests of the american extreme right.

the "war on poverty" was in the main a nice catchphrase that enabled johnson to address the superficial effects of the american mode of distributing wealth without actually changing anything about the causes of social and economic stratification of american society. to address poverty really would have taken more radical steps to force a different type of distribution. johnson was far far far from such a radical, conservative delirium about him not withstanding. conservative critiques of this program are wholly worthless, expressing more their contempt for the poor and their efforts to draw a clear line that divides the extreme right from saner politics for the benefit of the christian solders on the ground.

the "war on drugs" is simply idiotic. as was everything else about the reagan administration---for me, that period is best summed up by the image of lovely contra types throwing liberation theologians to their deaths from helicopters (let freedom ring)....but i digress....
__________________
a gramophone its corrugated trumpet silver handle
spinning dog. such faithfulness it hear

it make you sick.

-kamau brathwaite
roachboy is offline  
Old 02-01-2006, 10:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
Cunning Runt
 
Marvelous Marv's Avatar
 
Location: Taking a mulligan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poppinjay
I still have scars from War on Ennui.

But I got a purple apathy.
Sounds like a post that should be in Tilted Sexuality.

__________________
"The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
Margaret Thatcher
Marvelous Marv is offline  
 

Tags
nonproper, nouns, war

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:36 AM.

Tilted Forum Project

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
© 2002-2012 Tilted Forum Project

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 140 141 142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170 171 172 173 174 175 176 177 178 179 180 181 182 183 184 185 186 187 188 189 190 191 192 193 194 195 196 197 198 199 200 201 202 203 204 205 206 207 208 209 210 211 212 213 214 215 216 217 218 219 220 221 222 223 224 225 226 227 228 229 230 231 232 233 234 235 236 237 238 239 240 241 242 243 244 245 246 247 248 249 250 251 252 253 254 255 256 257 258 259 260 261 262 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 288 289 290 291 292 293 294 295 296 297 298 299 300 301 302 303 304 305 306 307 308 309 310 311 312 313 314 315 316 317 318 319 320 321 322 323 324 325 326 327 328 329 330 331 332 333 334 335 336 337 338 339 340 341 342 343 344 345 346 347 348 349 350 351 352 353 354 355 356 357 358 359 360