They Shoot Democrats, Don’t They?

They Shoot Democrats, Don't They?They shoot Democrats, don’t they?

I wasn’t in a good mood when I was answering comments yesterday. I’m probably in a worse mood today. Everyone is depressed and we all deal with it in a different way. But I’m not saying anything I haven’t been saying over the last seven years I’ve been running this blog. It’s telling that I missed our seventh year anniversary given that it came right after the election and I was, well, preoccupied with the election results.

I’m not a liberal in a technical sense. For example, I think that capitalism is a failed system. It is a government dictated “law of the jungle.” People see it as “natural.” And I suppose that’s true. It’s natural in the same way that gangrene is natural. But there is nothing natural about it in a sociological sense. Humans have survived these tens of thousands of years because we are able to work together. If the world really were bellum omnium [everyone against everyone] then we would have gone extinct long ago.

Does Capitalism Make Sense?

So I ask you: why do we continue to base our society on an economic system that is modeled on what we know to be a myth? I don’t know what your answer is. Mine seems incredibly simple: the “winners” set the rules. It isn’t the people volunteering at the soup kitchen who make the rules. It’s the people with all the money who dictate the soup kitchen exist.

Oh wait! I forgot: the Soviet Union proved that the only viable economic system is capitalism! That was decided in the 1950s here in America and no one has given it a second thought sense then. Because just as America represents the Platonic ideal of capitalism, the USSR represented the Paltonic ideal of socialism. The fact that there are endless forms of capitalism and socialism doesn’t matter. Capitalism is the ultimate system and we can never question that.

There is one little thing I learned in college though: all modern economies are actually a partitioning of capitalism and socialism. Now if you believe that (And why would you given it is only based on facts?), then you might notice that countries that tend more toward socialism do better. They are more democratic. They have more equality. Their economies work better. The United States — perhaps the most capitalist of the mixed economies — resembles a kleptocracy more than anything else. We aren’t moving up. We are moving down. Let’s fact it: we are on our way to being a banana republican, except that we don’t have much in the way of bananas. But maybe we can carve up Yosemite to allow us to get along for a while.

Time to Shoot Democrats — Metaphorically?

Yes, I’m angry. I want a better system of government and a better economic system. But I’m willing to accept marginal progress. I may be a radical, but I’m no revolutionary. But we are now facing a political catastrophe that was unthinkable in 1990. But the Democratic Party’s turn to the right brought us the president-elect today. Because when the liberal party because conservative by the standards of the world, it is no surprise that the conservative party goes full-tilt fascist. So I want to see things move along at a fast clip on the left.

The most American film ever is They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? It has great lines like this one our president-elect might say, “I may not know a winner when I see one, but I sure as hell can spot a loser.” And the ultimate line, which should be on our flag, “These wonderful kids deserve your cheers because each one of them is fighting down pain, exhaustion, weariness — struggling to keep going, battling to win — and isn’t that the American way?!”

They shoot Democrats, don’t they?

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

10 thoughts on “They Shoot Democrats, Don’t They?

  1. “Cattle got it all over us. They don’t know the hammer’s coming.” – Gloria

    This movie shows up on every “Best Movies Ever” list I create. I was nineteen years old when it came out, and like many nineteen-year-olds, I understood the world a lot better (or perhaps I should say “a lot more simply”) than I do now. It was Nixon, not Trump, and it was ‘Nam, not the Middle East, but I was sure the dance was rigged, and “winning” was impossible. Gloria was Truth, and Truth, Gloria; that was all I needed to know. Half a century later (more or less), I find myself more in tune with the haunting sounds of “Easy Come, Easy Go,” and more inclined to walk on down the beach than to stop and enter the dance.

    1969 was definitely a stellar year for movies: not only “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” but also “Midnight Cowboy.” Us against the world, sans romance or hope. Quite a departure from the previous year’s “Romeo and Juliet,” “Funny Girl,” and “Oliver,” eh? Yowza!

    • I loved the film when I figure saw it as a young teen. I watched it the other night. I think it’s aged really well. It’s also kind of amusing that it seems to be “The Hunger Games.” I haven’t seen any of those films, but I think that’s basically what it is about. Except, of course, this is real. It’s like “The Jungle” vs “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

  2. Thanks for recommending the film. Profound. I had not seen the film from beginning to end until now. I classify films like this one as existential. It is why I love films
    by the likes of Kieslowski as well.

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