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Wed Jan 9, 2019, 12:35 PM

Why "Neoliberal" Is The Epithet Of The Right Wing -- A History of Who They Come From

Last edited Wed Jan 9, 2019, 02:32 PM - Edit history (1)

Duke historian, Nancy MacLean, has written one of our most hidden histories. (Democracy In Chains (2017).

I hold its writing and original document research as the best our current body politic has. What she tells is too important for Americans to ignore. So I’m here to boil it down; first, in the hope that it helps our deeper understanding of our place in history; second, to motivate discussion or debate we must endure with our right wing opponents in the next two years. Or longer.

We can draw a straight line from John C. Calhoun to today’s Right Wing and Alt-Right. Even Centrists and Independents.

1.
John C. Calhoun was the prime mover
to establish the “property rights of slavers” into the Constitution by holding property rights the prime rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Calhoun insisted in debate that if something must be sacrificed to square the circle between economic liberty and political liberty, it was political liberty. Property rights should trump all else. How he “disciplined his labor force to keep his enterprise profitable was no one else’s business." Calhoun was the loud establisher of “states rights,” with “interposition” of states against Supreme Court rulings for racial equality under the 14th Amendment. That idea never disappeared.

Calhounists like James M. Buchanan, in the 1950’s Eisenhower years, held that because the economy should be the realm of total liberty for the owning class, government was the realm of potential abuse such that men of property must ever guard against the certainty of “oppression” if that government came under the control of the majority. As his class’s interests diverged from those of other citizens’, Calhoun had identified the federal government as a menace to liberty.

Scared of what democracy portended for slavery, Calhoun became almost hysterical in his denial that such a “community ever existed as the people of the United states. All “sovereignty was vested ‘in the people of the several states” that consented to the federal Union — “not a particle resides…in the American people collectively.”

2.
Modern day libertarians have exhumed, networked and institutionalized Calhoun’s analysis.


Denying the legitimacy of government power to act for the common good, while using government power to suppress others, has been the guiding dogma of right wing economists and politicians ever since.

James M. Buchanan, in his sidestep of overt racist class war, developed his “economic theory” of “public choice economics.” Buchanan’s evil genius lay in his intuitive grasp of the importance of trust in political life. If only one could break down the trust that now existed between the governed and governing, even those who supported liberal objectives would lose confidence in government solutions.

Buchanan’s theory stated how the rules of government might be altered so officials could not act on the will of the majority -- he called it “constitutional economics”. The enemy became “the collective order. ” Buchanan, A.F. Hayek, Ludwig von Mises (NYU), the University of Chicago Dept. of Economics became part of the Mont Pelerin Society. It used the code phrase “the collective order” for organized social/political groups that looked to government.

Note: (U.of C's Economics Dept was headed by Frank Knight; he was later eclipsed by Milton Friedman, whose populist version of Austrian economics evolved as PR parlance like “bootstrapping,” “tough love,” “compassionate conservatism” in recent years).

These architects of “liberty” in libertarianism never have seen their “theory” as a tool of domination; to them, unrestrained “free market” capitalism IS freedom. But what their cause really sought is a return to oligarchy — to shift the tide of history away from what they called “statism” (or what we would call the strong role of government) with economic and effective political power concentrated in the hands of a few. Today’s right wing American lodestar is John C Calhoun, who offered “property rights” — today’s corporate rights — and his “state’s rights,” both of which are the political basis for today’s right wing and racist control systems.

3.
Harry F. Byrd, archnemesis of Roosevelt and his New Deal, executed, as governor, this “rule” making over Virginia,
just as James M. Buchanan arrived to help exhume Calhoun’s theories for their joint battle against Brown v. Board of Ed, just as Virginia became a defendant in one of the five cases that folded into Brown.

For forty years, Byrd had turned VA into a Calhounist rule by minority state. Byrd’s Organization, as he called it,
— imposed a poll tax,
— established rule by gerrymandering,
— outlawed the closed shop, and invented “right to work” laws to weaken labor unions,
— closed schools rather than integrate, and set up segregation academies;

While Byrd outlawed the embarrassing KKK and lynching, he also suppressed, by laws, all black citizens collective access to democracy. The Byrd Organization’s aim was also to insulate government from citizen pressure for public spending or other reform — How? by punishing dissent — the Organization “put the word out” on anyone who spoke out, and had their business or career shut down. (Such minority ‘rules’ of societal order are still practiced against dissent by Southern elites and Northern allies.)

By 1956, Byrd’s Virginia
— led eleven Southern states to adopt a national Southern Manifesto that rebuked the Earl Warren court,
— upheld “interposition"
— eliminated local control of schools and school spending
— provided tax-funded tuition grants to enable white parents to send their kids to segregation academies
— passed seven laws to debilitate the NAACP.

4.
Once Buchanan set up his Thomas Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy and Social Philosophy at the University of Virginia,
(paid for by The William Volker Fund); and once Calhounist Harry F. Byrd got to Congress, Byrd's mantra was “Pay As You Go.” It’s relevant that his favorite book was F.A. Hayek’s The Road To Serfdom, with its case against collectivism. PayGo — still around.

Wikipedia details the coming together of the Mont Pelerin Society. Post their 1956 global meeting, Buchanan and Mont Pelerin participants considered how to present themselves and their ideas. They first acknowledged that they were radical, and that they had to hide their radical minority rule agenda behind other economic labels. Their outrage over Brown made them no longer happy calling themselves “libertarian,” which they decided could never become a household word. They feared “radical” would turn off wealthy donors to their cause.

5.
So these self-styled economic and social engineers opted for “conservative” as interchangeable with “libertarian.
Though those two words might attract powerful allies, the Mont Pelerin membership went further. They chose to refer to themselves as “neoliberals.” “ Neoliberal" confused Americans, because FDR Democrats now had a hammerlock on the word “liberal.” So, some called themselves “classical liberals” of the 18th/19th Century mold. But, then they realized they had split with the real classical liberals, Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill.

What they all did agree on, was that they were “the right,” or the “right wing, “ and against “the left” and anything “left wing.”


6.
Charles G Koch met Buchanan in 1974.
Koch funded/ founded the Cato Institute, George Mason University’s Center For Humane Studies; add to that the help of the Scaife Family Charitable Trusts; the establishment of Buchanan’s and The Chicago School’s theory "invested" in across 500 universities by the Koch network; add to that the political work of all the other name-dropped, right wing billionaire neoliberals for the last twenty years (Mercers, DeVoses, Adelsons).

Today's Rich Right, with all their watered down epithets of "effete snobs," "limosine liberals," "weak socialists," "radical socialists," "feminazis," etc. have been coming for us -- America -- since Eisenhower. The Right we face today hasn’t legitimized itself for just 62 years. No. It has existed since Calhoun in one century, Byrd in another, and the GOP (with Russian friends) in this one.

7. The Rich Right — Koch brothers, et. al. — are moving, ultimately, to pay and manipulate states to apply for a constitutional convention to cement this longstanding desire for government of the few. We're six state applications away from that future. They’re getting neoliberal help.

Of all the many problems we discuss -- reason v fear; change v stasis; old ways v modernity... This is our historical governance problem. It is the core fight of Democracy, my friends.

Created by Americans and globalists before most of us were born.

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Wed Jan 9, 2019, 01:17 PM

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