Thu Feb 7, 2013, 03:42 PM
Dismalindistress (14 posts)
Ideology? None for me, thanks (but I might have one for you!)
What is right-wing ideology? The American right wing's top predators (such as the Koch brothers) have no ideology, but they do have a firm belief system. They believe that they are entitled, and that the rest of us exist only to serve them. (But, keeping the title of this piece in mind, please bear with me; I will return to the matter of ideology shortly.)
The top predators, the nation's most wealthy and powerful, are, simply, addicts. And what are the wealthy and powerful addicted to? Why, wealth and power, of course! When I say they are addicted, what I mean is that no matter how much wealth and power they have, it can never, ever be enough. They must always have — in the one-word expression of his desire given by Edward G. Robinson's gangster character Rico in the movie "Key Largo" — "More!".
A perfect addiction would, while being practiced, provide its own guarantee of future supply. What would serve as such a guarantee? First, a working class that is so impoverished that it will demand nothing beyond underpaid, insecure and brutal employment conditions; second, a willing and able military, composed of people with no economic choice but to wage war in the top predators' interests whenever called upon to do so; third, voting rights that are either non-existent or limited to loyal supporters so that the top predators' position can never be threatened at the ballot box; third, a society of rich and poor only, because meaningful resistance usually starts in the middle class; and fourth, no public education, so that the serfs and soldiers will have no understanding of the system they work or fight for, no understanding of that system's origins, and above all, no knowledge of past events that might illuminate the present situation and lead to dissatisfaction.
Right-wing ideology is what is created by the top predators' intermediaries — politicians, columnists, talk-show hosts, bloggers, conservative academics, etc. — for the purpose of convincing the rank-and-file voters to support the top predators. The rank-and-file will continue to need convincing only as long as our country remains a republic. What do the intermediaries get out of it? It's a living, as the saying goes.
A fully supportive rank-and-file requires an ideology it will accept without question, a body of beliefs — for that is indeed all that they are — entirely independent of reality. Such a body of beliefs is made up of unsupported theories (such as: de-regulation is good for everybody, globalization is an unstoppable market force rather than the result of policy decisions, President Obama is planning to take away your guns, the quality of traditionally not-for-profit services such as public education will be higher if converted to a for-profit business model, etc.) along with fabricated facts (President Obama is not a citizen, Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11., 97% of the function of Planned Parenthood is the performing of abortions, creationism is actually science, the Affordable Care Act represents the largest tax increase in American history, etc.).
Such a body of beliefs is all that constitutes the right-wing ideology. It has the force of a religion in the lives of the right-wing rank-and-file. Facts have nothing to do with it. No critical thinking evaluates its assertions, ever. It is purely a matter of faith, as much as is their actual religion, though, unlike their actual religion it has no spiritual component whatsoever. It is not believed at all by the top predators. To determine if someone promulgating dangerous political nonsense actually believes what they are saying, one must know how high on the right-wing food chain they live, that is to say, whether they are members of the top-predator class, the intermediary class, the rank-and-file, or a borderline region from which they might be drawn into the light by persuasion or by devastating personal experience.
Were the message from those at the top to those at the bottom to be stated honestly, it would be simple: "Give us your money and die, but not before bearing as many children as you can survive so that they can give us their money and die. If you have no money, just die." But of course nobody would buy that. To be kept in line, the rank-and-file must believe that giving the top predators whatever they want is the price of defending their own culture from an imaginary threat of destruction.
If the training of the rank-and-file by the intermediaries has been conducted properly, it will result in a set of beliefs similar to those described in the following "Seven Tenets of the New American Religion" (or, if you dislike my calling it a religion, call it "the New American Paradigm"):
1) For the government to help anyone who truly needs help is evil.
2) To interfere with profit-making is evil, but only in proportion to the wealth and power of the party subject to the interference. Thus, to interfere with your profit-making or mine is trivial, whereas to interfere with the profit-making of a huge multinational corporation is unforgivable.
3) I promise to believe absolutely anything, no matter how absurd, self-contradictory, or destructive to myself or anyone else, as long as the statement is preceded by "I hate the same people you hate, and those people we both hate are responsible for everything you don't like about your life, school, city, state, country or planet."
4) "Smaller government" and "tyranny" are not incompatible or contradictory concepts.
5) Refusing to give the rich everything they ask for would ruin my chances of becoming one of them.
6) Nobody smarter than I am should be in charge of anything.
7) Politicians who promise to do horrible things would never really do them — I mean, when in history has that ever happened?
The foregoing answers the frequently asked question, "Why is the middle class so willing to vote for its own destruction?" Those at the top hire their intermediaries to create an emotionally appealing, fact-free and self-sustaining belief system for the rank-and-file.
Thus, at the top there is unlimited willingness to lie; at the bottom, unlimited willingness to believe. Between those who won't reason with us and those who can't, who are we supposed to talk to?
8 replies, 1148 views
Ideology? None for me, thanks (but I might have one for you!) (Original post)
|The Magistrate||Feb 2013||#1|
|The Magistrate||Feb 2013||#5|
Response to The Magistrate (Reply #1)
Thu Feb 7, 2013, 09:42 PM
Dismalindistress (14 posts)
3. Thank you! But about "Ma'am" — better now than later...
Despite the wordplay of dismal/damsel, I'm not one. (I'm sure I would have given it away with a gender pronoun someday anyway.)
Response to Dismalindistress (Original post)
Thu Feb 7, 2013, 10:15 PM
Herlong (649 posts)
6. The peddlers
Fox News, Limbaugh, Sean Hannity. They are the the middle men. I'm watching addicts on the ground level shoving fox news into their brains on a daily basis. Middle class, middle aged white guys love that shit.
Response to Dismalindistress (Original post)
Fri Feb 8, 2013, 06:47 AM
lunatica (30,026 posts)
Number 5 is probably the most powerfully compelling point of all. " Refusing to give the rich everything they ask for would ruin my chances of becoming one of them."
It's not just that the bottom have unlimited willingness to believe. It's that they have that greedy fantasy of becoming one of those at the top. Where stupidity comes in is that they actually believe that some day they'll make it to the top.