Monday, November 12, 2007
The Organization Man
As the cliche goes, he who pays the piper calls the tune. Sometimes the world is governed by what's best, and sometimes by what's the most popular. That's just a fact of life that we all accept, even if we don't like it some of the time. As it pertains to politics or cultural affairs, that means whoever gets the most votes wins the election. Whoever sells the most records gets played on the radio, et cetera, et cetera.
But public effectiveness also requires more than mere popularity. It requires energy for promotion and the ability to harness that energy toward concrete ends. In short, organization.
I was thinking about this in the context of (what else?) Ron Paul's campaign. It's worth mentioning that heretofore, nothing associated with the paleolibertarians has ever been worth a tinker's dam when it comes to organization. The paleocons are essentially professional pains in the ass. They would much rather argue with the mainstream Right (or themselves) to organize anything useful. The libertarians on the other hand, disdain organization. Organization is about putting common purpose ahead of individual autonomy and that reminds them of the government, which they hate. There is always a decent amount of libertarian sentiment wafting around America, but the Libertarian Party has always been a joke.
I don't criticize Ron Paul's campaign on this account. Again, it is by far the best anything associated with the paleolibertarians have ever done. It's just that their enthusiasm is of a piece with an eight-year-old boy who finds a cool new toy under the tree on Christmas. "Wait, you mean we can get together around stuff we all agree on, get more done _and_ have more fun than if we were all by our lonesome? Wow, I didn't know you could do that." The Sierra Club and the NRA (and the major parties and the unions and umpteen other groups) have been playing this game for a long time now. RP's campaign has a lot of catching up to do. A lot of RP's supporters would like to think that he polls at 2% because The Man is Keeping Him Down. I think the real answer is a lot more prosaic than that.