Saturday, April 14, 2007

Moving from Passive Voice to Active Voice

You know how it makes us all crazy when we read something written in bureaucratic language? It's the passive voice sentence construction in which there is no subject who does the things that the sentence describes. "Mistakes were made" is how Alberto Gonzalez (aka Torture Boy) put it a few weeks ago when he was caught having fired US Attorneys because they didn't fit the ideological straight jacket that this White House demands. Who made these mistakes? Nobody. Mistakes made themselves.

The political system suffers from a similar malady. The people in charge depend upon our political passivity and widespread ignorance of what's going on and the prevalence of indifference in order to accomplish their aims. When they need to they will mobilize people and get people aroused and fired up about something, but they do so in general by misleading people and creating false enemies.

The people of this country need to move from passive voice to active voice. The SIO campaign is, of course, in part a political tactic designed to make visible the majority sentiment for impeachment and to change the political atmosphere. But on a more profound level it is a campaign to help make happen in embryonic form how political power needs to be exercised. That is, the people need to become active politically and involve themselves directly in the affairs of state and the affairs that affect their lives on a local, regional, national and international level. When you take this into the streets and you enliven people with the possibility of ridding the world of these criminals in D.C., you are helping to usher the future into being in an embryonic form.

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