The Cult of Conservatism: An Anthropological Field Study
Part Two: Where the Cult Gets Information Overload and Sputters “Socialism”, And Is Confronted With Their Greatest Unanswerable Question. Also the Cult Defends Glenn Beck’s Racist Accusation of Obama.
The following discussion is ignited by a stupid comment by Glenn Beck about a stupid comment from the new Massachusetts senator Scott Brown about his daughters. Of course most of this dialogue is quickly removed from the original topic. But I wanted to go for the full ride, and, besides, how could I resist taking the cultists to the logical extension of their belief system?
Glenn Beck Post: January 20th
It speaks volumes that so many American people pay attention to a nitwit who said Obama is a racist who hates white people. I suppose that would include his hatred for his grandparents who raised him after his white mother died of cancer.
I’m no defender of Obama, but the Reich Wingers’ delusional Obama Derangement Syndrome is comical. Health care is fascism, and war based on lies, torture, and warrantless spying on Americans is what, again?
Oh yeah, I remember. Freedom. Yes, that’s it; they hate us for our freedom.
Idiocracy is here.
No, Dave Dubya, Health care isn’t fascism, but the health care legislation being proposed by the current regime is Socialsim.
And, no again, they don’t hate us for our freedom, they hate us because we are not Muslim, therefore we are infidels, and it is the duty of Muslim (extremists) to kill infidels.
It’s easy to bash someone (Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, conservatives in general, etc.) when you lie about what they have said, or when you lie about what you pretend to know that they believe. An end to the hypocrisy and lies will come about only after each party learns to respect the beliefs of the other party. Constructive discussions between the opposing sides will help both sides achieve mutually agreeable compromises. And quite honestly, I don’t see that coming from the left any time soon. Are left-wingers so insecure, so unsure of their own beliefs that they are unable to see the merit in any points of view other than their own?
Hi, F&B. Did you miss me?
Rush said the health care debacle is just what the Nazis did. It is recorded on both video and audio, you know. Just like the Becker-head’s “Obama is a racist” crack. I wouldn’t lie to you. Remember when the Shrub and his Big Dick were whipping up war frenzy over non-reality based WMDs and Sadddam’s fictional ties to al-Qaeda? I have all this on tape. And it is a fact that your man Bush told us they hated us for our freedom. (Hint: They hate us for the military occupation of Muslim land, US coddling of Arab dictators, and unconditional support of the Israeli hard right.)
I’m happy to respect the beliefs of others when they are fact based.
I’d like to help you understand the difference between socialism and corporatism. Corporatism is the government taking our money and channeling it into the pockets of big business. You know, like the idiotic proposed mandate for purchasing health insurance. Here’s another example. Remember when Bush’s Texas Rangers wanted a new stadium? They raised taxes on the public for the direct benefit of corporate interests.
Socialism is the government returning our tax dollars in the form of public services. Yes, that would include the military, law enforcement, fire departments, infrastructure maintenance, and Medicare.
So we can clearly see the Senate version of health care “reform” is actually more about corporate wealth care than public health care. This is corporatism. Look it up.
Of course we missed you Dubya. No, really.
Of course it is no surprise that you are still blinded by your irrational fear of corporations.
You need to research your definition of Socialism a little more, btw.
Socialism is centralized control of the economy by the government, or more precisely, government control of the means of production and government allocation of resources (including people).
This is exactly what Obama-Pelosi-Reid is trying to do to the U.S. health care system.
Government’s provision of services to society, e.g. military (which is mandated by the constitution), fire department, etc. is not socialism. Government control of the means of production and the allocation of resources is Socialism.
I truly hope you can see the difference, although I know most liberals are brain-washed beyond the ability to understand this.
F&B, I see you are befuddled again, my boy. You have confused socialism with communism. And that’s just what your right wing propagandists want.
It would appear your definition of socialism is directly from the mouths of propagandists like Limbaugh or Beck. It is entirely wrong of course. Your confusing socialism with communism is exactly the intent of your right wing propaganda indoctrination. I’d be interested if you could even cite one instance where you disagree with Limbaugh. Either this man is blessed with the perfect wisdom of being always correct,(Self-described as 99.9 percent) or his listeners are a gullible cult incapable of independent thought.
Fascism is the nexus of military/industrial complex and authoritarian government that employs a foreign policy benefiting business to the detriment of civil liberties and citizen participation in governing. A philosophy or system of government that advocates or exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with an ideology of belligerent nationalism.
Socialism establishes government regulation of business and provides services primarily for public benefit. It also allows more civil liberties than Fascism or Communism. It is a social system in which the producers (All the people, not just the corporate boardroom) possess both political power and the means of producing and distributing goods.
Communism is a one party authoritarian government with ownership and control of the means of production and distribution with extreme social control.
As to your false judgment of my “irrational fear”, I remember explaining corporatism to you. I’m sure you have either ignored it or quickly forgotten it because it does not fit the radical right’s ideology. It is amazing, or maybe not so surprising, the very word corporatism is invisible to both the radical right and corporate media. Orwell nailed it. Ignorance is strength.
Here is my position as simply as I can put it. Corporatism is antithetical to democracy. We need more citizen involvement in government and less influence by the big power brokers.
My concern for the expansion of corporatism in our government, media, and culture was first kindled by the words of our last Republican president who was not primarily a corporatist. Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and the Bushes were all company men who could never say no to any demand or request from Big Business. I would also include Carter, Clinton and Obama as corporatists, albeit to somewhat lesser extents. Nobody gets into the White House in these times without being a company player.
None of today’s corporate media like to acknowledge this message in Eisenhower’s Farewell Address on January 17, 1961.
“This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.“
Of course the corporate acquisition of influence in government is not limited to military related industries. We can clearly see the workings of the telecommunications, finance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, insurance, and large agribusiness sectors as well.
Due to the nature of our system of campaign finance, Big Business has a veritable open channel of legalized bribery. Since the Supreme Court has confused free speech with handing money to politicians, the influence is now institutionalized. Public financed elections would help immensely in solving this situation, but guess who is against that kind of change. Big Money has a lock on our politicians that overcomes any interests or needs of the public.
This is only the foundation of corporatism. The edifice of corporatism has been built by the exponential growth of the lobby industry over the past decades. It is now out of control. Congress itself has become a virtual lobbyist academy. Outgoing congressmen have been moving in droves over to K Street.
Finally the very powerful machinery of corporatism has taken hold to the point where business interests are involved in the actual writing of our laws. You ask how we are to determine too much influence by business. The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 was largely written by credit card companies. Eighteen corporatist Democratic senators voted with the lock-step Republicans. Now credit card interest rates are exceeding the levels charged by organized crime syndicates.
Here is what you ignored, once again.
Don’t get me wrong. I give my hard earned money to corporations. All I want in exchange is what I pay for. Isn’t that fair? I do not want them buying off my representation in government with money they get from me or anyone else. That is what happens when corporate money fills the campaign coffers of politicians. And to see them get away with not paying their taxes is an insult to me.
Government policy bought by corporate money and influence is Corporatism. That is antithetical to the principles of democracy.
I am not against capitalism, I am against corporatism.
I am not against corporations, I am against corporatocracy.
All that money greasing the skids for Big Business and special interests takes all the democracy out of our government.
So you see, I am an old-fashioned American, just like you, who values my freedom, self determination, and representation along with taxation through a free democratic republic.
You seem to have more time to write than I have to read Dubya. I won’t bother refuting all your points one-by-one, mainly because I know the limitations of the liberal mind and you would be unable to accept the truth.
Since the liberals have begun their latest attempt to destroy our Republic and its economic foundation, I have been spending more time than usual trying to create jobs by expanding business for my company. Unlike liberals who are destroying jobs, but somehow counting them as “jobs created or saved.”
Dubya: “cite one instance where you disagree with Limbaugh.” — As hard as it seems to be for you to believe that not all conservatives listen to Rush Limbaugh constantly, I am not that familiar with what he says. So if you would be so kind as to provide a list of things that he says that you disagree with, I would be more than happy to look that list over and respond to your request. Otherwise, like I said, I’m not that familiar with what Limbaugh says. At most I may hear him for an hour or two a month when I happen to be in my car around lunch time. In general, I get the impression that he is a little more radical than I am.
Socialism is as I described it. What you refer to as “communism” is the highest stage of Socialism. That is from Karl Marx, who would not generally be considered a right wing propagandist by any rational person. Can you spell U-S-S-R, as in the now defunct “Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics”? Socialism’s end goal is state control of the means of production and state control of the allocation of resources, which includes not just money and raw materials, but also people. The political concept that you describe as “Socialism” is in fact more correctly termed “Socialist” or “Social” “Democracy”.
F&B, Your inability or refusal to refute my points with the excuse of “limitations of the liberal mind” displays the limitations of your radical right indoctrination, pal. It is a psychological defense mechanism called projection. Look it up. Oh, sorry, you don’t have time to read. No wonder you dislike facts that are inconvenient to your belief system.
So what gives you the impression Rush is more radical right than you are? That’s all I ask. I happen to pay a lot of attention to the propaganda machine of the right. They ALL say ridiculous things like, “Obama hates America and is destroying America.” “Obama apologizes for America.” “Obama gives aid and comfort to the enemy.” The FOX propagandists are all on the same page, basically. This is the koolade you are drinking. Rush backs EVERYTHING Cheney says. Where do you disagree with the most radical right wing war criminal ever to wield US power?
Hell, over half the crap Obama does regarding war and foreign policy is right wing. The Bush/Cheney Cartel built the foundation of a police state and Obama has done nothing to dismantle it. Domestically, he is a corporatist company man. Ask the telecoms and pharma and Wall Street. And still the propagandists call Obama a racist, socialist, fascist, communist, along with other scary unfounded accusations with the sole purpose of duping voters into fear and anger towards Obama and anyone else not drinking their Cult’s Kool-ade. Fear and anger are at the heart of right wing “conservative” propaganda. The radical right seems to be entirely oblivious to the corrupting influence of money. To them free speech is money, and freedom is power over the weak.
They pretend to be Christian, but by all appearances worship wealth. That would be “mammon” to a real Christian.
As I explained to Joe:
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ““No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can not serve both God and Mammon.”—Matthew 6:19-21,24
How do you expect anyone to actually believe you embrace the teachings of Jesus, when you ALWAYS (apart from a fetus) take the side of the rich and powerful? And you call me a hypocrite for calling Cheney a war criminal.
The Republican Party works completely in lock step for the top one percent economic elite of the country. Me-too corporatist Dems like Lieberman, Baucus, etc. march along with them. Bottom line: Corporate power and their corporatist politicians are all servants of mammon.
“Socialism’s end goal is state control of the means of production and state control of the allocation of resources.” Who told you this? Don’t you have a dictionary? You invalidate reasoned debate by failing to define terms. The Cult leaders freely interchange the term socialism with communism to the point where the Cultists think they are the same thing. They are not. Remember, communism, like fascism, is a system of single party rule. You know, like we had under Bush.
Speaking of definitions, the Cult has redefined the Estate Tax on inherited wealth as a “Death Tax”. Most Americans would rightly not be overly concerned with how much poor little rich kids scoop up when the wealthy Old Man who was never home finally croaks. Notice how falsely calling it a Death Tax not only gets attention, it throws in a little fear mongering as well. Death scares everybody, right? Now the Death Tax myth frightens those poor people who would otherwise never have heard of an Estate Tax.
This worked so well, the Cult decided to call health care counseling a “death panel’. See the pattern here?
I also seem to have more time to read and think than you do as well. I will not lie to you. As they say, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no one is entitled to their own facts. You could learn something from what I write, but I think you are unable to process the information I provide and resort to your pre-conceived belief system. Radical right wing “conservatism” has a long history of ignoring facts in order to embrace their rigid ideology.
Nonetheless and ever the optimist, I offer you the following facts:
Fact One: Since corporatism’s near complete seizure of the US government we have gone from being the leading creditor nation and become a debtor nation. Check for yourself. Pre-Reagan up to the present.
Fact Two: You have not recognized the word corporatism. Therefore you are again unable to enter reasoned debate on the subject. Sub-Fact: The corporate media also NEVER use the word corporatism. Coincidence?
Fact Three: We NEVER hear a word of acknowledgment of Eisenhower’s warning about the military industrial complex from the radical right. This is why I use the phrase radical right “conservatism”. It is not traditional Eisenhower conservatism.
Facts Four and Five; Of course Bush/Cheney are to blame. They entered office inheriting a balanced budget with a surplus. They left with a 1.3 TRILLION dollar debt and two UNFINFISHED wars of choice.
Fact Six: Contrary to the Right Wing media circus, liberals have not been in charge in decades. And they still are not in charge.
Fact Seven: Obama is not a socialist. This one is a little complicated so you may want to skip it and call me irrational instead.
We have a grossly unbalanced information network dominated by indoctrination from radical right interests. Money talks and Big Money talks the most. A significant part of the population doubts the American birth of the president. A significant part of the population believes Obama and the Democrats are socialists, communists, and even fascists. A significant part of the population believes in death panels. A significant part of the population believes universal health care is a Nazi-inspired conspiracy. Yes, as extreme and delusional as this seems, the abuse of free speech has successfully sown the seeds of anger, ignorance, and hatred. We hear them tell us Obama and the Democrats are socialists.
We hear from the same voices that Hitler and his henchmen were socialists. Never mind that every extremist in the last century, whether communist or fascist, claimed to be socialist. This is because democratic socialism was the middle ground between fascism and communism. This was what people wanted. The Great Depression taught them the lessons of unregulated capitalism. There had to be a better way. FDR”s New Deal was attacked as socialism but it gave many people jobs, and helped turn our country back from the abyss.
Those concentration camps were filled with Jews, liberals, educators, socialists, communists, and anyone else who wasn’t a war profiteering Nazi capitalist or enabler. Hitler often called his enemies terrorists. He knew that was a perfect tool for building a fascist police state. Now the radical right is crowing about Hitler the socialist. The radical right wingers still believe what Hitler said. Not much has changed. The old Nazi fascist still dupes ‘em.
(Crickets... It would seem F&B didn’t have time to read this far.)
Dave, I also Beck make a case for Obama qualifying for the term “racist”. I didn’t take it as a joke, I thought Beck made a decent case that Obama could qualify for that term. I don’t think having a caucasion grandmother that cared for you or raised you guarentees you aren’t racist. Obviously what qualifies or disqualifies someone from the term “racist” can be debated, but these days it is slung around so quickly and easily it might be worth analysing what one thinks those standards are. I’m pretty sure we would all be better off if people were slower to use that term, but since it seems everyone accuses everyone of such perhaps we should define what qualifies as racist.
Mike, What is racist? Well it could be suggested that Bush and his crew’s heckuva job casually responding to the Hurricane Katrina disaster was tainted by racism. Or maybe those Democratic voting people down there were just crybabies, complaining about their National Guard dying for Bush’s war in Iraq, instead of being home to help. Although I personally think Bush is more of an arrogant, bigoted aristocrat than a racist. But I certainly cannot rule it out.
But you say Beck has a decent case for Obama’s racism? How about you educate me about that decent case? “Everyone accuses everyone” doesn’t quite define it. Since you are decent enough to say, “We would all be better off if people were slower to use that term”, then we would be better off if either Beck shuts up, or Obama is, in fact, a racist.
“What qualifies or disqualifies someone from the term “racist” can be debated”. Yes, since you and Beck have “qualified” Obama as a racist, let’s see your rationale and evidence. Somehow I feel confident to bet your white ass any half black /half white person has a lot better idea of what racism is than you, myself, and Glenn Beckerhead combined could ever comprehend.
Of course you are free to prove me wrong…
Dave Dubya, I’m going to be as candid as I can be here. I’d like to dodge your question because to answer it puts me in a place of setting a standard of which I believe there are no standards. Put the standard up high enough and violent KKK members can be seen as just misunderstood individuals with gaps in their education. Set it low enough and only Gandhi would get a partial pass. I think the term “black” or “white” as a race is as ambiguous as the term “rich”. We may all agree Oprah is rich but where is the cut off? I don’t recall all what Beck said, it was a number of months ago, of course there was the “guilt by association” argument for The President of the United States Obama (oops, I didn’t use his proper title last post) being such a fan of Rev. Wright until it became politically expedient to dump him. There was the President’s statement about his Grandma being..I forget the exact quote but..being a “typical white person afraid of blacks”. Even if it were true of his grandma, does that make it typical? Then there is the case of The President’s reaction to the Harvard professor vs. cop. Without knowing the facts at all, I immediately identified with the cop, having experienced a time being falsely accused of bias, my wife immediately identified with Professor Gates, and “knew” the cop was in the wrong, from experiences she has had. Perhaps my wife and I both qualify as being racist too. For 9 months I worked as an unpaid volunteer in what was then called Zaire, Africa. That may win me some charity points but I’ll concede that doesn’t make me an expert on what racism is, so I’d have to say I would lose that bet, I really have no idea what is or isn’t racist. Perhaps Beck and the President of the United States Obama would beat me. What is that old cliche? Takes one to know one.
DD:Mike, Citing a grandmother’s anxiety over minorities and attending a black church does not provide clear evidence of racism. (And saying a white cop over-reacted by arresting a black college professor in his own home is racism? That was also my impression, so I guess that would make me a racist too in your judgment. Although I’m not sure how the perspective of a white guy like myself can be racist toward a white cop.) However, an accusation of racism, especially by a conservative white man towards a black person, “excuses” and encourages racially based hatred for that individual. This is the consequence either intended or unintended by Beck’s accusation.
I am somewhat heartened by Mike’s insight into his and his wife’s reactions to the Gates Gate incident. He seems to be a nice guy and I don’t believe he is racist. Although I do think he does indicate a slight bias when he “immediately identified with the cop”. On the whole I see Mike as somewhat less of an authoritarian than most of the cult, and more open to a reasoned discussion.
This will not be the case in our final chapter of our Anthropological Field Study. We shall soon again be off the deep end into the Cult of Conservatism.