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TNR: feast of the wingnuts

by nicta Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 05:20:57 AM EST

Feast of the Wingnuts:


American politics has been hijacked by a tiny coterie of right-wing economic extremists, some of them ideological zealots, others merely greedy, a few of them possibly insane. The scope of their triumph is breathtaking. Over the course of the last three decades, they have moved from the right-wing fringe to the commanding heights of the national agenda. Notions that would have been laughed at a generation ago--that cutting taxes for the very rich is the best response to any and every economic circumstance or that it is perfectly appropriate to turn the most rapacious and self-interested elements of the business lobby into essentially an arm of the federal government--are now so pervasive, they barely attract any notice.

Well, not just American politics, sadly.

from the diaries. The whole article is well worth a read.-- Jérôme



The result has been a slow- motion disaster. Income inequality has approached levels normally associated with Third World oligarchies, not healthy Western democracies. The federal government has grown so encrusted with business lobbyists that it can no longer meet the great public challenges of our time. Not even many conservative voters or intellectuals find the result congenial. Government is no smaller--it is simply more debt-ridden and more beholden to wealthy elites.

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And they actually have done a good job at institutionalizing Nazi policies and procedures into just about every avenue of life in "America".
by Lasthorseman on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 07:52:09 AM EST
This story just made my entire day complete!

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070906.wfakemotorcade0906/BNStory/International /home

It has even been shown right here in Boston Mass on the corporate "news" channel.  I have to stand up and salute this creative group of people!

by Lasthorseman on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 04:29:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Cranks

isn't a word that's used nearly often enough to describe these zealots.

Also, interesting to see Gilder getting a mention. Gilder was directly responsible for helping to hype the dotcom bubble. While it would be hard to pin charges of fraud on him, some of his cheerleading seems to have been less than totally disinterested.

The fact that he was also associated with the Laffer crazies shouldn't really be a surprise.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 08:04:55 AM EST
As usual, they have successfully accused their opponents of everything they are. Projection? Smart propaganda?

The fact is that it sticks to the other side, and makes it harder to make it stick to them. It's quite impressive really.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 08:08:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a combination of having the media access, the funding to create a supposed think-tank consensus, and not being afraid to reduce the discourse to the lowest possible level.

I think some cracks are appearing now as people are starting to realise just how badly they've been screwed. But there's grumbling and peanut throwing don't constitute a movement.

It's going to take a combination of weight of numbers behind a banner and sheer repetition to put a stake through the 'established wisdom' nonsense.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 08:21:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Brooks on McMurtry on reversal and transference

McMurtry narrates the ascendance of a "fanatic mind-set" in the west following the demise of the Soviet Union, when "a strange ideological inversion occurred." Marxism's 'economic determinism', "abhorred by liberal theory", was swiftly replaced with the west's own brand of imposed economic determinism. "Inevitable globalization" was framed as a product of unaccountable and unstoppable forces unleashed by a veritable law of nature, the ultimate "wisdom of the market" that benefits all.

McMurtry demonstrates the destruction of value and meaning inherent in the adoption of this absolutist dogma, which claims to encompass all human activity and reflexively rules out of order any other explanation or concern. He also traces the use of this irrationality to justify brutal economic and military predation under the twin deceptions of "free trade" and "democracy". The nakedness of this nonsense is revealed by McMurtry's observation that it glorifies its "no alternative" market theory and bullying imperial trade policies as the ultimate in economic freedom.

Noting the ways in which similar inversions of meaning have been used in totalitarian ideologies, he concludes that inversion is one of the fundamental processes involved in the development of today's "fanatic mind-set":

"Throughout the world re-engineering by the global apparatchiks, there has been a transformative principle of representation across phenomena and crises: to invert social values and general facts into their contrary so that no bearings remain for intelligibility of resistance." [emphasis in original]

so that no bearings remain for intelligibility of resistance

the destruction of meaning and public discourse is imho a form of meme-warfare analogous to the targeting of water and power facilities, hospitals and schools by aerial bombardment in order to obliterate civil life.  it is a bombing campaign directed at the infrastructure of thought and discourse.  severing political discourse entirely from fact or evidence depowers and marginalises any opposition by leaving them with no recourse -- since evidence, testimony, documentation, facts, statistics, and even the lived experience of the people are denied and twisted into their polar opppsite -- but despair or violence.

George Carlin (of whom I am not the biggest fan, but now and then he's spot on) said once "There's a reason education sucks and it'll never get any better, because the owners of this country don't want it better."

is an ignorant mob easier to rule than an informed and thoughtful electorate?  someone seems to think so.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:06:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Every time I try the link it automatically routes me to Amazon.com

I've noticed that quite a few sites do this, also to on-line surveys and other crap.

It is SO annoying: I will never EVER buy from Amazon while it uses shitty mechanisms like this....

<bangs head on desk>

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:29:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
???

the link in my comment text takes me to Counterpunch where the review by Brooks was posted.

are you saying when you click on the link in my post, it takes you to Amazon?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:53:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same here, and looking at the underlying code it definitely dont point at amazon when it arrives on my machine.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 06:57:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so how do you get to Amazon?  I'm still confused.  if you click on the inset image of the book front cover in the article on Counterpunch, that would take you to amazon.  any possibility that your mouse button is bouncing, i.e. you thought you clicked once but you got 2 Button-1 events?

sorry if I seem obtuse, I'm still not sure I understand what it is you are seeing w/your browser.  could your browser be infected with some spyware?

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 07:06:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's not me that has the problem, I'm saying that I see exactly the same as you. I don't see how it could happen except for with a broken mouse either.

If you are having that problem, try reversing your left and right mouse controlls and try looking at the page again using your mouse controlls reversed and see if you get the same problem.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 07:13:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry, distracted and not reading carefully enough.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 09:25:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. I don't think it's spyware or anything like that.

And the mouse seems to be working fine.

It just happened again. I get Counterpunch for an instant and then IMMEDIATELY it jumps to a page with just a button on it telling me another page is loading, and then I get Amazon.

I can't go back from there to Counterpunch either, since I just get the linking page that is something like www.shoppingeagle.com /  xxxx/ xxxx/ amazon

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 07:32:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
you've not got some amazon shopping plugin in your browser? that is automatically forwarding you on to buy things? your AV software is fully up to date? you have run more than one anti spyware software recently?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 07:39:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've had a quick scan of AV sites and spyware lists and don't see anything quickly that looks like this.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 08:07:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Just tried it on Solveig's laptop and I have no problem. If it happens again on mine, I'll have to get rid of all the cookies I guess...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 04:28:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thats a pain

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Sep 8th, 2007 at 04:53:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This has been discussed on several economics blogs.
The sane view:
http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/09/how-the-supply-.html

The libertarian view:
http://www.marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2007/09/the-demand-side.html

The only thing unusual about Chait's article is that it appeared in TNR, people have assumed that since the magazine has gone so far to the right on foreign affairs it must have also gone right on economics as well. Actually the new owners seem to have a libertarian bent.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 09:26:46 AM EST
Irony of ironies.

How are we supposed to receive the unveiling of the Neocons when it comes from, well, a publication overseen by Neoliberal-turned-neocons?

What a weird article.

by Upstate NY on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 10:00:18 AM EST
it seems the TNR is harcore neocon on foreign policy.... but not that much in economic policy.. basically because this kind of economic policy leads to a third-world  type of status int he world....

If the US keeps that path it will not be able to retain any level of relevance int he future.... Maybe an explanation.. or it just might be that the TNR wanted to add some spicy stuff to their neocon agenda...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 11:59:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lack of government is certianly bad for any future Empire wishes...

And Bernake can not dela with everything alone...

The speed at which the US is losing global hegemony is really flabbergastiung.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 12:00:31 PM EST
Which only goes to show that you can be certifiably frothing at the mouth batshit crazy, but if what you say allows the rich a justification for ever more greed then you will find your path strewn with rose petals.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Fri Sep 7th, 2007 at 01:20:19 PM EST


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