In my last post on More Motives on Untrue Things I promised to come back to the issue of power. I had said to a walking friend, who has been deep into the lairs of religious liberals lately, that I didn't think Power per se was the issue for many of the nice liberals that I knew, but more a sort of anxiety. This was heightened with Donald Trump, but I recall it being the case as far back a Nixon. You could just sense, both live and in writing, that they were just nervous about conservatives being in power, that "things" were going to happen. Sometimes they could identify actual issues or problems to to worry about, and I often agreed with them about half the time. Politics is always trade-offs and balances. Yet even beyond that, there was just a sense that the Wrong People were going to be in power, and there would be plagues o'er the earth.
My thinking about Tribes, which I wrote on so often from 2005-2015, stems from working in an all-liberal environment and being involved religiously with people whose politics varied widely. I had a lot of direct comparison, and was reading enough CS Lewis and others to see the historical perspective of where these ideas had come from. It was just nameless anxiety, which descends from the tribal perspective that if "our people" are not running things, there won't be enough food or status or other resources for us. While that is not 100% of the motive, it is absolutely there as a substrate, unacknowledged.
"So," said my friend "isn't that the same thing as wanting power?" Upon reflection, he is right. It might be framed and expressed gently, without the rhetoric of violence and extermination, because they are nice people who don't want to believe they are really thinking that way. There was great wringing of hands, clutching of pearls, and gnashing of teeth when George Bush first narrowly won and the other two branches were evenly divided because the Republicans "controlled" all three branches of government. A few years later, when the Senate was 60-40 Dem and Obama was in the White House there was still HW/PC/TGnashing about all the invisible power and dark money and evil Koch brothers that the Right had. That is getting into narcissistic, or maybe paranoid levels of how much power you feel you need in order to have your anxiety reduce.
It is fear rather than cruelty or our usual picture of need for domination that drives the need for power, but it is the same thing. I suppose fear drove previous tyrants, or at least their supporters, as well.
I worry about shortages of things that are important to me, but not because "my crowd" (and by extension myself) won't have power. I just think that if the wrong people are in power, they'll wreck production and distribution systems. I don't think they're doing it in order to hurt me and mine, I just think they have absurd and destructive views of how to maintain production and distribution systems. I mean, there may be a few who are wielding the wrecking ball strategically, but mostly it's idiocy.
"I just think that if the wrong people are in power, they'll wreck production and distribution systems. I don't think they're doing it in order to hurt me and mine, I just think they have absurd and destructive views of how to maintain production and distribution systems. I mean, there may be a few who are wielding the wrecking ball strategically, but mostly it's idiocy"
Ignorance and bad thinking in many cases, but there are a nontrivial number who do intend harm (because they think it's deserved) and/or are willing to inflict harm in the service of their own power and financial gain.
For example, during one of the NYC power blackouts, there were comments from Progs along the lines of 'Serves Americans right, need to learn to do with less.' There were a couple Progs on TV last year talking about how terrible it was that people without college degrees could actually afford a boat. See 'Living in the Hate of the Common People"
A German friend said that politicians in that country are sending the message that: 'Don't expect electricity to be available whenever you want it; it will be available at the convenience of the grid (ie, the wind and the sun) I'm sure there will be a priority system, and the people/businesses who get priority will be determined by the politicians...which acts to increase the power and ultimately the incomes of those politicians.
For example, during one of the NYC power blackouts, there were comments from Progs along the lines of 'Serves Americans right, need to learn to do with less.'
The Prog line on blackouts depends on whose ox is being gored. In response to the recent Texas blackout, a NYC Prog relative informed me that the blackout was the fault of the eevul Rethuglicans/Trumplicans who, by virtue of no regulation, wanted to show that wind power was a failure. Whereas farther North, wind power didn't fail, didn't freeze up.
The fact that the Texas electricity grid was five minutes away from a long shutdown is definitely an indication that something was not done right. Nonetheless, there are some holes in my relative's argument. It is ironic that someone from a state that gets 4% of its electrical power from wind is criticizing a state that got 23% of its electrical power from wind in 2020. ( He saw himself as a defender of wind power).
Second, while wind turbines north of Texas may have been freeze-protected, the wind energy production graphs for the month of February show similar curves for Texas, Central (Kansas, Oklahoma) and Midwest regions. Which tells me that low wind speed during the cold spell was the dominant reason for the fall in wind production during that time.
A third point is that those same eevul Rethuglicans passed the legislation enabling wind production in Texas.
Weather record, also.
The argument with the relative began when he disputed my statement that wind energy falls during cold spells.
Whether evil Rethuglican or Demofascist, support of wind power shows lawyer-politicians don’t understand physics or engineering well enough to be competent to govern.
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