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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 06:45 PM
Original message
How to beat the right - in three minutes!
I found this on the new board transplanted from the old John Kerry board. http://commongroundcommonsense.org /

DEFEAT THE RIGHT IN THREE MINUTES
by Joseph Lyles

Have you got three minutes. Because that's all you need to learn how to defeat the Republican Right. Just read through this handy guide and you'll have everything you need to successfully debunk right-wing propaganda.

It's really that simple. First, you have to beat their ideology, which really isn't that difficult. At bottom, conservatives believe in a social hierarchy of "haves" and "have nots" that I call "corporate feudalism". They have taken this corrosive social vision and dressed it up with a "respectable" sounding ideology. That ideology is pure hogwash, and you can prove it.

But you have to do more than defeat the ideology. You have to defeat the "drum beat". You have to defeat the "propaganda machine", that brainwashes people with their slogans and catch-phrases. You've heard those slogans."Less government", "personal responsibility" and lots of flag waving. They are "shorthand" for an entire worldview, and the right has been pounding their slogans out into the public domain for getting on forty years.

So you need a really good slogan a "counter-slogan" really, to "deprogram" the brainwashed. You need a "magic bullet" that quickly and efficiently destroys the effectiveness of their "drum beat". You need your own "drum beat" that sums up the right's position. Only your "drum beat" exposes the ugly reality of right-wing philosophy the reality their slogans are meant to hide. Our slogan contains the governing concept that explains the entire right-wing agenda. That's why it works. You can see it in every policy, and virtually all of Republican rhetoric. And it's so easy to remember, and captures the essence of the Republican Right so well, we can pin it on them like a "scarlet letter".

Is there really a catch phrase a "magic bullet" that sums up the Republican Right in such a nice easy-to-grasp package. You better believe it, and it's downright elegant in its simplicity.

You want to know what that "magic bullet" is, don't you. Read on. You've still got two minutes.

Right-Wing Ideology in a Nutshell

When you cut right through it, right-wing ideology is just "dime-store economics" intended to dress their ideology up and make it look respectable. You don't really need to know much about economics to understand it. They certainly don't. It all gets down to two simple words.

"Cheap labor". That's their whole philosophy in a nutshell which gives you a short and pithy "catch phrase" that describes them perfectly. You've heard of "big-government liberals". Well they're "cheap-labor conservatives".

"Cheap-labor conservative" is a moniker they will never shake, and never live down. Because it's exactly what they are. You see, cheap-labor conservatives are defenders of corporate America whose fortunes depend on labor. The larger the labor supply, the cheaper it is. The more desperately you need a job, the cheaper you'll work, and the more power those "corporate lords" have over you. If you are a wealthy elite or a "wannabe" like most dittoheads your wealth, power and privilege is enhanced by a labor pool, forced to work cheap.

Don't believe me. Well, let's apply this principle, and see how many right-wing positions become instantly understandable.

* Cheap-labor conservatives don't like social spending or our "safety net". Why. Because when you're unemployed and desperate, corporations can pay you whatever they feel like which is inevitably next to nothing. You see, they want you "over a barrel" and in a position to "work cheap or starve".

* Cheap-labor conservatives don't like the minimum wage, or other improvements in wages and working conditions. Why. These reforms undo all of their efforts to keep you "over a barrel".

* Cheap-labor conservatives like "free trade", NAFTA, GATT, etc. Why. Because there is a huge supply of desperately poor people in the third world, who are "over a barrel", and will work cheap.

* Cheap-labor conservatives oppose a woman's right to choose. Why. Unwanted children are an economic burden that put poor women "over a barrel", forcing them to work cheap.

* Cheap-labor conservatives don't like unions. Why. Because when labor "sticks together", wages go up. That's why workers unionize. Seems workers don't like being "over a barrel".

* Cheap-labor conservatives constantly bray about "morality", "virtue", "respect for authority", "hard work" and other "values". Why. So they can blame your being "over a barrel" on your own "immorality", lack of "values" and "poor choices".

* Cheap-labor conservatives encourage racism, misogyny, homophobia and other forms of bigotry. Why? Bigotry among wage earners distracts them, and keeps them from recognizing their common interests as wage earners.

The Cheap-Labor Conservatives' "Dirty Secret": They Don't Really Like Prosperity

Maybe you don't believe that cheap-labor conservatives like unemployment, poverty and "cheap labor". Consider these facts.

Unemployment was 23 percent when FDR took office in 1933. It dropped to 2.5 percent by time the next Republican was in the White House in 1953. It climbed back to 6.5 percent by the end of the Eisenhower administration. It dropped to 3.5 percent by the time LBJ left office. It climbed over 5 percent shortly after Nixon took office, and stayed there for 27 years, until Clinton brought it down to 4.5 percent early in his second term.

That same period especially from the late forties into the early seventies was the "golden age" of the United States. We sent men to the moon. We built our Interstate Highway system. We ended segregation in the South and established Medicare. In those days, a single wage earner could support an entire family on his wages. I grew up then, and I will tell you that life was good at least for the many Americans insulated from the tragedy in Vietnam, as I was.

These facts provide a nice background to evaluate cheap-labor conservative claims like "liberals are destroying America."In fact, cheap-labor conservatives have howled with outrage and indignation against New Deal liberalism from its inception in the 1930's all the way to the present. You can go to "Free Republic" or Hannity's forum right now, and find a cheap-labor conservative comparing New Deal Liberalism to "Stalinism".

* Cheap-labor conservatives opposed virtually all of the New Deal, including every improvement in wages and working conditions.

* Cheap-labor conservatives have a long and sorry history of opposing virtually every advancement in this country's development going right back to the American revolution.

* Cheap-labor conservatives have hated Social Security and Medicare since their inception.

* Many cheap-labor conservatives are hostile to public education. They think it should be privatized. But why are we surprised. Cheap-labor conservatives opposed universal public education in its early days. School vouchers are just a backdoor method to "resegregate" the public schools.

* Cheap-labor conservatives hate the progressive income tax like the devil hates holy water.

* Cheap-labor conservatives like budget deficits and a huge national debt for two reasons. A bankrupt government has a harder time doing any "social spending" which cheap-labor conservatives oppose, and . . .

* Wealthy cheap-labor conservatives like say, George W. Bush, buy the bonds and then earn tax free interest on the money they lend the government. The deficit created by cheap-labor conservatives while they posture as being "fiscally conservative" may count as the biggest con job in American history.

* "Free Trade", globalization, NAFTA and especially GATT are intended to create a world-wide "corporate playground" where national governments serve the interests of corporations which means "cheap labor".

The ugly truth is that cheap-labor conservatives just don't like working people. They don't like "bottom up" prosperity, and the reason for it is very simple. lords have a harder time kicking them around. Once you understand this about the cheap-labor conservatives, the real motivation for their policies makes perfect sense. Remember, cheap-labor conservatives believe in social hierarchy and privilege, so the only prosperity they want is limited to them. They want to see absolutely nothing that benefits the guy or more often the woman who works for an hourly wage.

So there you have it, in one easy-to-remember phrase. See how easy it is to understand these cheap-labor conservatives. The more ignorant and destitute people there are desperate for any job they can get the cheaper the cheap-labor conservatives can get them to work.

Try it. Every time you respond to a cheap-labor conservative in letters to the editor, or an online discussion forum, look for the "cheap labor" angle. Trust me, you'll find it. I can even show you the "cheap labor" angle in things like the "war on drugs", and the absurd conservative opposition to alternative energy.

Next, make that moniker cheap-labor conservatives your "standard reference" to the other side. One of the last revisions I made to this article was to find every reference to "conservatives", "Republicans", "right-wingers", and "righties", and replace it with "cheap-labor conservatives". In fact, if you're a cheap-labor conservative reading this, you should be getting sick of that phrase right about now. Exxxxcellent.

If enough people will "get with the program", it won't be long before you can't look at an editorial page, listen to the radio, turn on the TV, or log onto your favorite message board without seeing the phrase "cheap labor conservatives" and have plenty of examples to reinforce the message. By election day of 2004, every politically sentient American should understand exactly what a "cheap labor conservative" is, and what he stands for.

-----------------------------------------------------

Joseph Lyles: my new hero!

~ http://www.conceptualguerilla.com/beattherightinthree.h...

see also: Corporate Feudalism and the Culture War, by Joseph Lyles

~ http://www.newtopiamagazine.net/content/issue13/feature...
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SudieJD Donating Member (676 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hit The Nail On The Head!
Great post! I've copied it and pasted it to my word proc. program. This is a keeper.

Thanks!

Sudie in MN
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Komrade _azul Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
2. Awesome!
This is more than a political battle, it is a class battle pitting the people against the ruling elites and their hysterical allies in the media.Your essay says it all, the structure of social hierarchy is based on the holdover of medieval values, medieval religions, medieval mores. Only a true change to the system will empower the citizens to achieve a true and lasting democracy, not just this ebb and flow of corrupt fools we have now.
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BearClaws Donating Member (223 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Walmart Nation
Great Post!
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Polly_Sorbate_60 Donating Member (85 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I have a friend that IS a cheap labor conservative...
Something tells me that we won't be friends for much longer...
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fshrink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
5. Let me reframe this for you:
"cheap labor" is the essence of the American Dream. You start at the bottom, you work hard, you hold to your values, and you'll get there, in the land of free opportunities that the liberals want to turn into the land of the assisted and of the lazy.

And so on and so forth.
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Komrade _azul Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. The American dream should not be a nightmare for some
The essence that individuals should be locked in place, doomed to a lifetime of servitude for minimum wage while others live off the product of their labor, is not a dream I have ever had. We do not toil that others might feast.
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laheina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
15. The American Dream is that hard work can get you somewhere
not that you can sit on your ass and get somewhere, and not that you can work your ass off and get nowhere. It is the latter that we worry about.

Progressives want to protect the fact that America has no aristocracy, and not create a financial aristocracy, like the cheap-labor conservatives. HEY! This is fun!
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. Posted at DU first
Just for the record.
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DireStrike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Can you find where it is? I did a search but didn't find it.
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neohippie Donating Member (410 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. great idea!
Now go run the DNC, you got my vote.
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Buddyblazon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
8. I feel like I've been saying it for years..."cheap labor conservatives".
Have I said today how much I hate cheap labor conservatives.
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laheina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
17. Yay!
;) Cheap-Labor Conservatives suck!
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c-macdonald Donating Member (61 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. How Progressives Can Win the Culture War
We are Americans.

We are teachers, lawyers, bankers, and doctors.
We work in factories, warehouses, farmhouses and office buildings.
We attend sporting events, company picnics, church functions, and reunions.
...and we believe we are a united country.

We stand up and sing along when we hear the National Anthem and speak loudly when we recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
We know love and life-long commitment are the foundations of a family.
We honor those who dedicate their lives to serving and protecting our children, our families, and our freedom.
We honor those who gave their lives for freedom by respecting the freedom of our neighbors to live the lives they lead.
We know that God gives us the strength to succeed and the wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong.
We ask our teachers and parents to work together in order to help our children succeed.
We demand a maximum return for our tax investments and believe they should be used for the greater good.

We believe in the American birth-right of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
We believe in empowering and giving voices to all Americans.
We believe in is both a right and responsibility to speak out where we feel there is injustice.
We believe in the sanctity of nature and that the beauty of America must be preserved.
We believe in cultivating a culture of service where we develop stronger communities built on empathy.
We believe in working hard and embracing progress in order to ensure better opportunities for our children.
We believe in our cultural inheritance set forth by our founding fathers to never be satisfied with the status quo.
We believe in being a beacon of hope and integrity for the rest of the world.

We are hard-workers, free-thinkers and freedom-lovers.
We are Americans.

-TCNJ 11/12/04
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Komrade _azul Donating Member (108 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. So good.
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Dissent Is Patriotic Donating Member (793 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
13. Snappy Phrase I can use....
been looking for one. Much better than the tired ones the right keeps trotting out.
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UncleSepp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
14. Love the ideas, but...
This writer, and this piece, deserves an editor. It probably doesn't deserve me as an editor, but I'll give it a whack.

The repetition of the phrase "over a barrel" needs to go, unless it's intended that one has a vivid mental image of people over barrels with their butts in the air. One could go with that image, but would it be wise? ;-) Also, the use of quotes to separate out idiomatic phrases is a bit heavy, and calls to mind an image of someone who makes too many finger quotes in the air. It also implies that the writer is using the phrases in a sarcastic, ironic, or otherwise unconventional way. For example, setting off "golden age" in quotes makes the sentence scan as if the writer doesn't really believe it was a golden age. It lessens the force of the piece overall by holding some of the more evocative wording at a distance.

Also, these bullet points:

* Many cheap-labor conservatives are hostile to public education. They think it should be privatized. But why are we surprised. Cheap-labor conservatives opposed universal public education in its early days. School vouchers are just a backdoor method to "resegregate" the public schools.

* Cheap-labor conservatives hate the progressive income tax like the devil hates holy water.

* "Free Trade", globalization, NAFTA...

are not as strongly supported as the other points. Why are cheap-labor conservatives hostile to public education? Why does the cheap-labor conservative hate the progressive income tax? How does a cheap-labor conservative benefit from NAFTA? All should be easily answerable in the context of this piece, and should be answered clearly in the piece.

This part - "The deficit created by cheap-labor conservatives while they posture as being "fiscally conservative" may count as the biggest con job in American history" - also seems off topic, as if it belongs to another piece about how the cheap-labor conservatives are also cons. It detracts from the crisp clarity of the piece.

Overall, I think the piece is correct. Mr. Lyles has one idea, reduced to a simple phrase ('cheap-labor conservatives' being the phrase, that is, not 'over a barrel'), and seems to intend to plant it over and over until it takes root. That's a time-tested tactic, old school but good.

Now, what about the delivery system? One can't expect an essay to just spread across the Internet and through the minds of the people on its own. Mr. Lyles has ideas here which need to be heard, not just read, but heard. So do many others, here on this board and on other progressive sites. How do we get wonderful, clear ideas like this from pages read by people who already agree into the eyes and ears and minds of those who do not?
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laheina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. It's a meme, silly.
"How do we get wonderful, clear ideas like this from pages read by people who already agree into the eyes and ears and minds of those who do not?"

It's catchy, and it will fit on a bumper sticker. If you keep saying it, it will stick in people's minds and be repeated.

That's what the right-wingers do. :)
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UncleSepp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. If I keep saying it...
... all I'll accomplish is annoying the people around me :-) How about spreading it further through letters to the editor and calls in to radio and television programs? Of course, bumper stickers and tee shirts are good too, but the word has to have an idea attached to it or else it's only a word.
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AlienGirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-12-04 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Awesome analysis!
You have a point about the editing--and about the "over a barrel" part--but I'd like to see your ideas on how to get the message out there. Other than using the catch-phrase in daily speech, what would you suggest?

Old-school tactics sometimes work as well as newfangled ones.

Tucker
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