December 8: We have two major additions
in this upload.
After a hiatus of several months, during which time The Gadfly has
been totally involved in political activity, we are now reactivating The
The presidential election of 2004 was not an ending, it was a beginning of
what must be a determined and prolonged struggle to restore our republic to
intellectual sanity, political and economic responsibility, and yes, to
moral probity. In that struggle, The Gadfly will apply his best
talents -- not as an organizer, an activist or a salesman, but as a scholar
and an essayist. Scholarly work belongs on this site, The Online
Gadfly. More polemical work, directed to a general audience,
will be presented by our companion site,
The Crisis Papers.
Both sites will be closely interlinked
The triumph of The Right is due, primarily, to tenacity, and an abundance of
marketing skills and financial investment unconstrained by moral scruple or
adherence to the founding principles of our republic. One of the most
insufferable conceits of the Right is that they have "won" because their
(so-called) "conservatism" has "the better ideas," and that "liberalism,"
unlike The Right, lacks a firm ideological foundation.
While this slander is flatly false, it is nonetheless widely believed by a
public immersed in right-wing dogma, served up by the corporate media.
While it is one thing to recognize the falsehood and immorality of the Right
Wing message, it is yet another matter to convince the public of the
shortcomings of The Right. The Online Gadfly will be enlisted
in that task.
As for the charges that "liberalism" is without foundation and bereft of
relevant ideas, we will address these charges directly by presenting and
defending progressive ideas well-suited to address the emergencies before
us. And we will articulate and defend the allegedly non-existent
foundation of liberalism.
To this end, The Gadfly is at work on an original book with the
working title, A Progressive Manifesto. That work, as it
may be found at The Online
Gadfly. Two other books by The Gadfly are in the works.
Nature for Better or
Worse is a continuation of project funded by the National Science
Foundation. This too is a search for foundations, in this case of the
science of ecology. In view of the setbacks to the environment and
environmentalists brought about by the ascent of The Right, this work also
serves a political purpose. Finally, The Gadfly hopes to finish
a book long in preparation: To Ourselves and Our Posterity.
The book will draw upon and integrate several scholarly papers written by The Gadfly over the past thirty years -- many of which are included in
The Right Wing establishment is in a commanding strategic position,
supported by limitless financial resources, dominating mass the media, and
now in control of all branches of the federal government. They
right-wing operatives have proven themselves to be tactically brilliant.
Even so, they are vulnerable. They inhabit a fantasy world and, as
devoted dogmatists, they are disinclined to consider contrary opinions or to
revise policies in the face of ongoing events. There is surely a limit
to the endurance and the credulity of the vast majority of citizens that The
Right is impoverishing, and whose civil liberties it is violating. And
the increasing estrangement of the Bush Administration from world opinion
and commerce is bound to have devastating consequences.
In a recent New York Times article,
describes an encounter with a "senior advisor to [George] Bush:
The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the
reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that
solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I
nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and
empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works
anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create
our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as
you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can
study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . .
. and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
This is insane! -- "insane" in the clinical sense of "detached from
reality." Despite all their financial resources, all the subservience
of the mass media, all the sophistical skills of the Heritage Foundation
"intellectuals," all the power of the military, like King Canute
the Bush regime and it's allies on the right cannot command the tides. They
cannot abolish atmospheric physics and with it the threat of global warming.
They can not decree that evolution is a myth, and that the Earth was created
ten thousand years ago. Their budgets cannot outlaw simple arithmetic.
In the end, The Right will discover that Reality is fearsome adversary, as
The Left comes to appreciate that Reality is a formidable ally.
And that is why, eventually, The Right must fail.
But not, perchance, before humanity, both within and beyond our borders,
suffers unspeakably due to the folly of The Right.
It is the task of the progressives to minimize the damage.