As in the song "Lawyers In Love" we have a land, a nation with too many in high places willing to do anything for money neglecting people, honor and principle but a change is coming. No more falling for the lie of living only individualistic and independent lives leaving us divided and conquerable by powerful special interests but a people, a nation collaborating for the greater common good in various groups all across the nation. A land of people working together to help one another with a vision moreover as Jesus would have us be. Love, Mercy, Forgiveness, Kindness....something about another Land. The change is coming

Friday, August 03, 2012

The Consolation Of Tea Party Rightwing Dogmatism

Intransigient idealism thrives in the dark corners of American life, and during our own experience with economic decline it has flourished as never before. One place where thinking of this sort crops up constantly is in professional economics where the housing bubble itself could probably not have happened without the resolute determination of economists to blot out reality in favor of comforting myths of an all-seeing, superefficient market.

The list of heavy economic thinkers who denied that there was a bubble in the real-estate market, for example, is long and shiny with glittering names, every prestigious one of them convinced that prices were being driven upward by fundamentals, as theory says such prices almost always are. More disastrous by far, though, was the economists' push to roll back regulations against fraud in financial markets, on the smug belief that financiers were so keenly rational and so zealous to protect shareholder value that they simply would not allow fraud to happen. That fraud, in fact, happened in all sorts of catastrophic ways and at many different levels made no difference; theory canceled it all out.

We notice this intransigent idealism everywhere on the resurgent Right once we start looking for it. Senator Jim DeMint, for example, make s a point closely related to Glenn Beck's in his 2009 bestseller, Saving freedom: We Can Stop America's Slide into Socialism. The nations of western Europe, he tells us, capitulated to a "the siren song of socialism" after World War ll and soon thereafter "declined into economic stagnation." As it happens, this is incorrect, and in a really monumental way. As a brief check with the annals of reality reminds us, it was during those very postwar years that France, Italy, Belgium, and Sweden--all of them called out by DeMint for choosing socialism after the war--embarked on their greatest boom periods in modern times. But according to Senator DeMint's theoretical guidelines, this is impossible: socialism always brings stagnation, and therefore socialim brought stagnation.

Throughout his bestselling book, in fact, the senator seems to advance on his quarry not by proofs and demonstrations in the conventional sense, but by a process of abstract moral reckoning. In an important passage describing the 2008 presidential debates,DeMint criticizes the then senator Barack Obama for referring to "markets running wild after deregulation." DeMint does not counter this statement by demonstrating the markets did not run wild after deregulation; he simply points out that the future president made these arguments and is therefore a man of "'socialist principles." DeMint's object here is not to refute; it is to unmask, to close down an unacceptable mental operation. There is only one way that believers in freedom can interpret the meltdown of 2008, and they must stick to it whether it fits the facts or not.

What's going on here is not merely a withdrawal into simplicity. If simplicity is what you're looking for, the answers are almost too easy these days; Our leaders have been chasing the free-market dream for thirty-some years now, and for every step closer the've brought us, the more inequality has grown, the more financial bubbles have blossomed and burst, the more political corruption has metastasized, the harsher the business cycle has become. One caused the other; that's the "simple" answer.

But the latest Right doesn't so much simplify reality as idealize it. They're in a place where beliefs don't really have consequences, where premises are not to be checked, only repeated in a louder voice. It is as though the frightening news of recent years has driven them into a defensiveness so extreme that they feel they must either deify the system that failed or lose it altogether.


Thomas Frank from "Pity The Billionaire"
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