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A few years ago I would have agreed with many of your points. That was before I began living outside the academic and social box that is the United States.

I think one can point to many ideological coups, including the bolshevic coup. Lots of people do believe in things, and lots of them will put their ass on the line for these beliefs. Latin America is the area of the world in which Ideology is remaking the political landscape, and has been pushing hard to do so for a long time. A howl of anger at a century or two of plunder. Most recently, Chavez has shown a powerful dedication to an ideology that may well finally break the endless cycle of needless poverty that has gripped Venezuela for so long. If he lives.
Zenophobia is an American trait, sadly. That's why gated communities have gates.
The racist current that flows in American culture was there long before the civil rights movement and Selma rubbed the collective bigot's noses in it- the civil rights movement would have been unnecessary otherwise.

Yes, the question of privacy rights is central. But, many strict constructionists and conservative constitutional scholars would argue with you on the idea that the constitution protects privacy at all. Judge Bork came within an ace of joining the court, and he did not believe that there exists any inherent constitutional right to privacy whatsoever. He is still a great hero to the conservative right, and today he would join the court in a easy, triumphal march, I bet. Every action of the Dick and Don cabal show that they have only contempt for the idea of such rights. And so far, they have won every round in their efforts to circumvent them.

Yes, the Neoconsevative policy framework has crashed and burned at every turn--but since when has reality conflict ever stopped a theology? I think it was Joachim Wach who devised the best model of the functioning of religious subcults, and in his model reality conflict brings outside persecution ---which is a powerful force unifying the faithful. So, in a perverse way, failure perpetuates failed theologies. It is and will be the same with the religious right, the economic neoliberals, the Perpetual Growth fanatics--. They will (and have) cast opposition as herisy. They may battle that herisy in a nasty way.

Why? Why is it so hard for them to see the failure? Some of the Neocons do see it. But the key here, I think,  is that the Neocons who are driving the bus and the religious right reason deductively- from incontrovertible truths- to generalizations about the world, and thence to policy. Since there are not too many incontrovertible truths to be had, their shit fails as policy. Interesting reveries are possible here about the theologically guided policies of the Muslim world and the conditions of life in the Muslim world, but that would blow up in my face, so I walk on that issue. The enlightenment brought the inquisition--that passionate conflict between Holy Writ and the new breed of thinkers who collected data about the world and tried to assemble the pieces into a coherent picture with predictive utility. It's called induction, and it leads inexorably to heresy. DaVinci could talk about that, if he were here. But heresy also sometimes leads to progress, and to good policy.

The last phase of the four inquisitions was finally decared over in 1834--but the official function of the Jesuits in that task did not end till sometime in the 1960's, I sorta remember.
My question related to how far the Neocons would go in the battle against heresy. And how long will it take till Americans relearn to reason inductively?

The fundamental skill needed to manage an effective coup is the ability to sense the currents of history, the prejudices and fears of the people, and swim downstream with them. These guys do it well.
We are the ones who must swim upstream.
Got your waterwings?

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu May 18th, 2006 at 06:51:18 AM EST
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