Friday, December 12, 2008

Blagojevich Blog-o-bitch

Many have commented that Blagojevich's $4500 bail is something of an outrage, amidst so much financial corruption. However, this misses what I think is really going on here. Society pays lip service to certain moral codes, but often rewards something more akin to barbarism. The fact that we need a government at all is ample proof of that- if any of you are familiar with Hobbes' Leviathan, you know where I'm going with that.

The "oversight" provided by government creates an infinite regress when corruption sets in, as it always does. That is, you have people overseeing that something is done properly, but then you need people to oversee them, and people to oversee those people. You have different groups within the same government listening in on each other, and an inordinate amount of money and energy wasted on these different agencies - all rife with varying amounts of corruption - trying to get a leg up on the other.

From time to time, however, a whipping boy is necessary in the name of those morals that we pay lip service to. This is nothing new- in fact many Pagan societies ritualize this "whipping boy" in various literal ways, or translate it directly into the bloody sacrifice. (Though in most of those cases the sacrifice has to be pure / virginal, not an exemplar of the corruption that embodies business-as-usual within the society.) At the moment, it happens to be that guy whose name I find really painful to pronounce, or even type out. Blog-o-whatever. But if, after eight years under Bush, you think the buck stops there.

Think again.

And if you are thinking to yourself, well that's interesting James, but this has little-or-nothing to do with independent media... well, you're right.
Fuck it.


  1. As an alternate to the "virginal" form of sacrifice, compare ritual like 18th/19th century Zulu witch-smellings, where they picked out someone they didn't like and blamed them for all the ills in society and then drove them out or killed them. It was much the same with European witch trials too. (See Alan Macfarlane's book on Tudor & Stuart witchcraft.)

  2. Yes. There's also a lot of worth on this topic in the book Violence & The Sacred. I was just kind of glossing it over.



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