I appreciate Jonathan's engagement with my blog & the problems raised. In the process he illuminates the gaping chasm between general principles & present realities. That gap leaves me, too, feeling powerless & even foolish.
But why is it that politically-correct musings on the beauties of anarchist principles is looked upon as a noble thing, a sign of earnest idealism and moral enlightenment - while on the other hand, musing on the moral underpinnings of our own democracy is considered hopelessly a) deluded or b) immoral (complicit)?
There is conflict or contradiction nestled in the heart of every "partial good" : its very goodness can become a form of idolatry. Thus patriotic devotion leads to immoral actions on behalf of my nation. (Not to mention hypocritical allegiance to a supposed principled cause, motivated by purely selfish interest.) So people are understandably suspicious of the uncritical vaunting of our own political system and our own culture. However, I believe that, just as often, habits of criticism and suspicion obscure the real values at work, and distort history. Anyone who praises our own system of government is likely to be branded as someone who has "made peace with the regime", or been co-opted, or is invested in the establishment, etc. etc. But I think it should be pointed out that there are ideologies at work in the culturally-cool gestures of the self-righteous rebel.
God, it's been a long Friday.