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We Are All Tea Partiers Now

By Guy R. McPherson

11 October, 2010

Members of the Tea Party take a lot of heat, and justifiably so, for blatant hypocrisy. They want the government out of their lives, and they want to retain all the benefits of Empire.

Just like the rest of us.

Who doesn’t want the government out of his life? And yet, who wants to give up the safety nets of Empire? Who wants to terminate the oppression-abroad approach we employ, merely to generate self-reliant, resilient communities? Who wants to trade life in a cubicle for a life of hard work?

Do you know anybody who wants Big Brother looking over his shoulder? Do you know anybody who wants the Internal Revenue Service knocking on his door? Do you know anybody who wants to pay more taxes than he already does? Do you know anybody happily paying into Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid with full understanding these Ponzi schemes have nearly run their course? Do you know anybody who looks forward to life as a government serf?

With the exception of me, on the other hand, do you know anybody who will be happy when the fuel fails to show up at the filling station? Do you know anybody who will happily forgo water coming out the municipal taps? Do you know anybody who happily contributes to the federal government’s Ponzi schemes monetary policy, knowing he’ll never get his money back?

Consider one example from among hundreds. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are horrific by all accounts. We are the “reluctant” occupiers, forced to play cop in a world run amok. Or maybe we’re the ones running the world amok with our perpetual wars. Maybe if we cease playing Conquistador the world will be a more peaceful place. If so, we should cease occupying these and other countries. Most self-proclaimed liberals agree that we should withdraw our troops (instead of the current approach, which means claiming to withdraw them).

But if we withdraw, we won’t have access to enough oil and other “resources” to run the U.S. industrial economy. In fact, without an industrial economy based on war, unemployment would skyrocket. I’m betting most self-proclaimed liberals wouldn’t like that outcome any better than the ongoing occupation of foreign lands. We are all Tea Partiers now.

A line from Frederick Douglass comes to mind: “Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.”

Guy R. McPherson is Profesor Emeritus at the University of Arizona. Educated in the ecology and management of natural resources, his early scholarly efforts produced many publications of little lasting importance. In mid-career, he began to focus on development and creative application of ecological theory, primarily with an eye toward conservation of biological diversity. Currently, his scholarly efforts focus on social criticism, with results that appear most frequently on newspaper op-ed pages. In addition, he facilitates research by students and he prepares synthetic documents focused on articulation of the links between (1) environmental protection, social justice, and the human economy and (2) science and its application. These efforts have produced more than 100 scholarly papers and nine books.

In 2009 at the height of a productive career, McPherson left the university to prepare for collapse. He now lives in an off-grid, straw-bale house where he puts into practice his lifelong interest in sustainable living via organic gardening, raising small animals for eggs and milk, and working with members of his rural community.

contact information:

Guy R. McPherson, Professor Emeritus
University of Arizona
School of Natural Resources & the Environment and
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Biological Sciences East 325
Tucson, Arizona 85721

email: grm@ag.arizona.edu