March 12, 2011

Right Sights Rites Sigh

To the Editor:

Dick Tracy has provided an amusing political lesson with his March 10 "Right Sights" (Vermont Standard). The entire piece can stand just as well (or rather, as weakly) if all instances of "conservative" and "progressive" are simply switched. Every criticism he makes of progressives applies equally, and often more aptly, to conservatives. This may be because he limits his definitions to big government versus big business, which are effectively one and the same.

Another problem is that no thinking person actually lives according to Tracy's broad abstractions and crude absolutes. Each of us is an ever-evolving stew of democrat and reactionary, liberal and puritan, anarchist and authoritarian - even, I venture to suggest, Dick Tracy, if he dare admit it.

Until then, the ritual recital of caricatures and fantasy scenarios, not only of others but even more revealing of himself, that characterize Tracy's column remains meaningless, "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

[Related to this, see "Dooleysprudence" by James Joyce (1916).]

[Also: "Is it time for Obama to nationalize and peopleize America's industrial production and its profits?" ('In the early twentieth century, Theodore Roosevelt agreed with progressives and reformers that the greatest threat to the nation's economy and its security was excessive corporate centralization of power and the consolidation of wealth in the hands of the very rich and powerful. ... Roosevelt recognized the growing possibilities of a Workers Revolution and proclaimed: "We should enter upon a course of supervision, control, and regulation of those great corporations — a regulation which we should not fear, if necessary, to bring to the point of control of monopoly practices and prices." One of the lines he drew in the sand against massive corporate power and its abuses was to be the 1902 Anthracite Coal Strike and the right for workers to strike and collectively bargain.')]