February 9, 2010

Play Subversive With Me

Anyone want to start a subversive organization with me? I’ll take anyone — you don’t even have to agree with me on anything — but I’m especially interested in recruiting people from South Carolina.

I don’t have a name for the organization yet, but I’m on the lookout for a “good” acronym, i.e. something using words such as STUPID, DUMB, TOOFUNNY, TOTALLYFREAKINGYHILARIOUS, or ROFLMAO.

Once I get a couple of members, I’ll fill out the paperwork and send it in with the $5 fee.

The form asks:

Do you or your organization directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina or any political division thereof? [ ] YES [ ] NO

Now I’m not into revolution or anything (ewwww… the messiness, the noise), but I’ve often thought we’d be better off with a parliamentary form of government that preserves the Bill of Rights. The Constitution itself is really just a procedural document. I think what most people actually (and properly) revere are the ideas in the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. We’ve amended the Constitution over and over. I think we love the idea of it — the political struggle to create it and what that means to human freedom — more than the actual procedures it outlines.

A position such as the one I’ve just taken would fall under “controlling” on the Subversive Agent Form. So we’re good to go!

Again, you don’t have to agree with me. I suspect you don’t 🙂 All I need is a coalition of the willing — two people, at least one from South Carolina.

Editors Note: I did a quick check on Google News to see if this is a joke. My source is the Huffington Post. At the time I hit my “publish” button, I could not find any coverage by actual reporters working for MSM news organizations. I have a College Council meeting in 20 minutes, so it’s more important for me to prepare for that than spend any more time on this exceedingly amusing topic. But know that I go to my meeting with a smile on my face 🙂

3 Responses

  1. http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t23c029.htm

    3rd entry on google using search words “south carolina subversive”

  2. C Fell 

    Since democracy is a process, you’re right, the Constitution establishes the parameters of the process. We “don’t love the idea of [the document], but we love the idea of self-governance. We experiment constantly with creative innovations in every field of endeavor to improve our lives. This creative innovation leads us to the new circumstances when we apply the process to the procedures.

    Our failure to apply the democratic process leads to a seemingly dysfunctional government comprised of various agencies whose actions and authority are limited by procedure. The failures of our democratic society government doesn’t lie in the organization of procedures, but the failure of the democratic society to employ the democratic process.

    I teach writing and argument in San Diego County’s community colleges and I ask my students at the beginning of each course if they are registered to vote and if they vote. On average, in a class of 25 students, less than maybe 10% are registered and fewer vote. Maybe 15% are aware of current events, although not on a daily basis, and can carry a reasonable conversation about the current state of our society. These students come from upper, middle and lower class communities, and they graduates of 12 years of public education.

    Neither the Constitution nor the government are dysfunctional; too large a number of our fellow citizens have failed to recognize their civic responsibility and use the democratic process.

    Our current political stagnation manifests this civic failure. Our democratically elected representatives and their political culture governs because a only half of our citizens vote society governs the majority. It’s not unreasonable to claim that a significant percentage of citizens who vote make uniformed decisions. Our representatives’ decisions, and it’s reasonable to assume that most representatives believe they decide according the principle of enlightened self-interest, may not benefit the majority.

    We’re experimenting and not all experiments succeed. But the failures do not necessarily imply a dysfunctional procedure, but it indicates that we fail to communicate our agreement or disagreement with their innovations. We fail to employ the procedure and changing procedures won’t solve civic apathy.

    Our democracy remains the great experiment, and our success relies on our participation. I base my observations on a limited sampling, but documented, credible voting trends echo similar patterns. My students have received 12 years of public education, but if I raise a political example in the course our topical discussions, I need to supply the context of basic political and civic history, which can take more than 20 or 30 minutes just to cover the basic contextual information in order to explain the purpose of the example.

    Your argument distracts from the real questions about inadequate public education and its resulting public apathy. Your argument confines itself to the abstract and theoretical issues. These fundamental issues need to be addressed and their inherent problems need to be resolved. Our society needs to engage with its civic responsibilities and implement our Constitution before we consider it a failure and consider amendments and then procedural changes.

  3. Jim 

    I’m a little slow, so my blog on this topic just happened tonight. You can see my offishyal Suthun Carlina registration there. We are the good subversives, complying with the law – regardless of how f’d up it is.

    Does SC have enough prison space to enforce this?