Fifty Shades of Paranoia And Utopia• Re: Fifty Shades of Grey: My Version• A column dissection of an article by Lisa Solod• Huffington Post
I bet if you asked fifty liberals to describe the goals ofcontemporary American liberalism, you’d get fifty shadesof this column, filled with phantoms of paranoia andutopian wet dreams. Like all liberals, Ms. Solod thinksthat giving up her and everyone else’s freedoms to acontrolling nanny government is liberty. She thinks statecontrol equals freedom. She is not unique, however.Those other fifty liberals would all be nodding theirheads in unison.Lisa Solod: I have fantasies. Oh, do I have fantasies.They wake me up in the middle of the night; they keep mefrom work; they interfere with my relationships. Mylonging is unending. It consumes me. Sometimes I stand,immobilized by my desires: So strong and overwhelmingare they that I am unable even to make a step forward.
This sounds an awful lot like paranoid delusion in searchof utopia.Lisa Solod: My fantasies are those of domination andsubmission but not in the bedroom: in the boardroom,where those in power turn over control to those who havenone.Ah – the benevolent dictator syndrome. That’s when ahero like Joseph Stalin or Adolf Hitler takes control andorders everyone’s lives – all for their benefit of course(cough).Lisa Solod: My fantasies involve our fearless leaderstanding in front of Congress and announcing loudly thatthey need to shit or get off the pot. The time for doingnothing is over, long over, and if legislation is not made
to help the unemployed, students and the elderly, thenthey will all lose their jobs and their benefitsimmediately, perhaps retroactively.Wait a minute – is she talking about America, with FoodStamps, 90 weeks of unemployment insurance, mandatedstudent loans, Medicare and Social Security? Because ifthose are all “doing nothing” she is either talking aboutZimbabwe, or someone should throw her up a rope andpull her down out of the clouds.Lisa Solod: That taxes will be raised on the very rich,that the social security limit for taxation will beincreased, that the citizens they purport to represent willhave, at the least, the kind of benefits that they have. Thatcontrol will be held by the people who elected them.
Uh, Ms. Solod, giving up more control to someomnipotent dictator and his governmental thugs is hardlythe same as “control will be held by the people whoelected them.”Lisa Solod: I imagine a scenario where the SupremeCourt finally gets a clue and realizes Citizens United wasa disaster of a ruling; where they revisit it and end theflow of huge and ugly money to our elections.In fact very little money is spent on elections compared toadvertising campaigns for cars, soda, fashion, etc. Thefact that the population as a whole knows a lot moreabout Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber than it doesabout Barack Obama and their member of congress tells
me that whole lot more money needs to be spentinforming voters in elections.Lisa Solod: I fantasize about a world where we decidethat our defense budget is large enough, too large, infact, and that it will be drastically cut and those moniesdeflected elsewhere: towards education, single payerhealth care, the environment.Uh-huh. That’ll make sense only when we can get all ofthe leaders in the world to hold hands together at the UNand sing Kumbiah.Lisa Solod: A world in which we move to stop thedestruction of our world, in which we no longer subsidizethe oil companies, the larger agricultural companies, thepharmaceutical industry.
Oil companies are not subsidized. Some small playersreceive tax credits, meaning they get to keep more oftheir own money instead of having it taxed away andgiven as real subsidies to favored green energycompanies that go out of business a year later. And whyonly stop subsidies for “large agricultural companies”?Why not the smaller ones too?Lisa Solod: My longing is palpable for a world in whichpeople actually think of the good of the whole before theirown personal happiness. Where people do not selfishlyimagine that they, too, will one day be rich and thereforecan be selfish, but conjure instead a life with meaninginstead of money.
Ah – collectivist utopia! Or is it heaven? I’m not quitesure which.Lisa Solod: I desire a world where no one goes hungry atthe same time someone else buys another mansion,another car, another handbag. Where no one is beaten orbeaten down.I’m beginning to think that this delusion is beyond thecapability of any utopia.Lisa Solod: My fantasies are those of world peace, aplace where countries can co-exist and not endlessly tryand destroy each other, where stupid and misguidedracism no longer overrides common sense; where there isa complete halt to ugly rhetoric, and lies are both caughtand challenged by the media.
Maybe you could start with yourself, Ms. Solod. Becausethis column of yours is filled with ugly rhetoricalinnuendo.Lisa Solod: I imagine a world, in fact, where black andwhite no longer exist but are overshadowed by nuance.Where there is not one Gods truth, but all mankindsdecency toward each other.Now I’m not even sure if a heaven would suffice.Lisa Solod: I think about a world in which a billiondollars is not spent electing a president, but one in whichthat billion dollars is put to good and kind use.
Yes – elections are such a messy bother. Why not just letMs. Solod be empress, and she will benevolently directeveryone’s lives. (Won’t she?)Lisa Solod: In my fantasy world, bankers do not win thegame by breaking all the rules while those of us who havebeen honest and played fair suffer deep and abidinglosses.Ah – populism. The primary strategy of us-versus-themthat every budding dictator embraces.Lisa Solod: It is a world where those in powerunderstand the responsibility that goes with it. A world inwhich we really do live by the late Rodney Kings words,in which Martin Luther King is not a relic, in which the
programs of the New Deal and The Great Society are notrelegated to history books and deemed uncool.Just about everything wrong with American governmentcan be traced to the New Deal and the Great Society. But,of course, to any budding, wannabe dictator theyrepresent increased control over people’s lives – just whatthey desire.Lisa Solod: In the darkest hours of the night, I create aworld where people march in the streets instead ofplaying computer games, going to the drive-through,watching reality television shows, sitting on their handsconvinced that nothing they do matters.OK, now I am confused. I thought utopia meant that therewould be no need for marching in the streets.
Lisa Solod: Because I wonder: When will the world wakeup and realize that we are all on a television realityshow? That while we believe we are acting without ascript, the truth is that it is only our minor moves anddecisions (what to have for breakfast, what to wear)which are really ours; that the larger issues that consumeus are being manipulated by the few and the powerfulwho fashion our direction, even as we delude ourselvesinto thinking we are in control.Now I am really getting dizzy. I thought Ms. Solodwanted somebody to take control and direct everybody’slives. Utopia is so confusing…Lisa Solod: This is not the benign world of The TrumanShow and it is worse even than the Matrix meme that we
are all part of someones game. Rather, we are allPinocchio, held up by Geppettos strings and we liveunder the illusion that we finagle the tenuous threads thathold us up and keep us moving.Ms. Solod seems to think she is controlled from theoutside, but doesn’t realize that she is in fact programmedon the inside – programmed through the societalconditioning of liberalism. She isn’t a puppet – she is arobot.Lisa Solod: But I have hallucinations, wet dreams, flightsof fancy that we can change course and save ourselvesfrom the inevitable, if slow and painful, decline thatcomes with our disease.
Again, Ms. Solod thinks it is the world outside of her thatdrastically needs to change, when it is she and liberalslike her who are locked in a prison of conditionedliberalism that won’t allow them to change and live inreality. Instead she desperately seeks a utopia where all ofher imagined evil monsters will be slain and everyonewill live happily ever after.Lisa Solod: My fantasy life does not jettison debate,difference, opinion or belief. It does not involve a worldof sheep grazing the same grass. In fact, it wishes for justthe opposite: a world in which people think before theytalk, read outside their beliefs and operate with theoverriding concern that everything they do has an impacton the planet and each other.
Back to the confusion again. Ms. Solod has just lecturedus on length about giving up self-interest for collectivegroupthink, and now she does a 180 and touts the virtuesof self-interest. (Somebody stop the world from spinning– I want to get off.)Lisa Solod: It is a world in which we are all separatednot by six, but by one degree of separation. Or perhapsjust a world in which we wake up and the past 30 yearshave been a very bad dream and we get a do-over. Andthis time we get it right.So, the 1970s was utopia? Who’d a thunk it?!?I have good news for you, Ms. Solod. The NuclearCounterarguments 22-Essay Series was writtenspecifically for you – and you are so ready for it. I can’t
give you a utopian “do-over”, but I can release you fromyour liberal prison of paranoia…