Saturday, October 17, 2009

Godwin's Law and The Roaming Noam

The Gnomester displays a subtle grasp of irony..*

*Irony (from the Ancient Greek εἰρωνεία eirōneía, meaning hypocrisy, deception, or feigned ignorance)

..and did long ago descended into unintentional self parody.

News flash: Right wing radio hosts have latched on to some legitimate grievances of the plebeians in flyover country. What are these legitimate beefs?

Well, among other things, 'stagnating wages' (when are wages ever NOT stagnating for chicken-little, we wonder) and increasing levels of taxation for, among other purposes wealth redistribution to non-citizens.
Now, if only the plebeians saw that redistribution is a morally praiseworthy thing to do, things would obviously be better. They wouldn't be complaining, mind you, if they didn't see this redistribution as a part of their overall quite high tax burden. But, because they do see that burden as high, they target these vulnerable scapegoats for their justifiable vitriol. They also aim that vitriol toward homosexuals (presumably he is referencing the gay marriage debate here). Why does this happen? The Roaming Gnome has the answer. In a word, orchestrated distraction:

The flyovers do not see that the increasing level of taxation has other purposes, as does the 'eternal return' of stagnation. What are these other purposes, and why, you might ask, do the plebeians not know about them? The answer is quite simple. The flyover plebs are not intended to see these things.

Corporate interests really control the country, (it is not controlled, as you may naively believe, by the government, and certainly not by 'the people'). We have all been the victims of a subtle web of manipulation and "manufactured consent" by which the nefarious forces are able to, without actually dictating content, or punishing enlightened expression of Truth (r), suppress the awful truth. We live in an improved version of the Matrix, Logan's Run, 1984, or some such dystopian society.

The corporate/military/educational/governmental complex is in control of the information we have, and it can actually manipulate us into thinking what it wants us to think by careful social engineering, a part of which is carried out ( whether wittingly and unwittingly) by the media. In fact, they have been able to arrange things so that people like the much maligned Rush Limbaugh and the bizarre Michael Savage (who I do think is a bit of a loon) have grown up organically, and become popular. Additionally and obviously, these guys are paid by corporations.

In line with the great plan, these radio hosts are unwittingly manipulated into (or perhaps wittingly cooperating in) pointing the fickle finger of blame and grievance at folks other than the true powers. Taxation and related governmental policy is created primarily to feed the big corporate/governmental/educational/industrial monster. Peppered here and there in the legislation that the government creates, liberals, (who are for the most part, on the teat just as much as conservatives) try to look out after illegal immigrants or other out groups, from a sincere humanitarian motive (or, in the more conspiratorial moment, these 'bones' are tossed in order to stave off unrest, or distract attention, by providing scapegoats.)

[For extra credit, if you were to emulate the Gnomester, you might throw in here that you believe that Jimmy Carter is as much of a war criminal as Dubya, because both went to war or engaged in some other belligerent activities for corporate America.]

The Roaming Gnome assures us no serious scholars are so naive as to believe otherwise than has just been detailed, but many are afraid to say so, for fiduciary reasons. He, though, Brave Sir Robin, is trumpeting the Truth. (Brave Sir Robin, who worked for the "most vile institution on earth" (his quote) the Pentagon, and has quite the cottage industry going, and is very well off for doing so. How's that investment portfolio Doc?

With much reticence, professorial qualification, and some of his patented hand waving to demonstrate embarrassment in having to raise the analogy, the Roamster says that he has noted there are certain similarities between what we have just sketched and the era of German history leading up to and including the Nazi era. Germans of that era also had legitimate beefs. German legitimate beefs: The overly-harsh terms of the Versailles treaty, stagnating wages and lack of universal health care, or welfare.

Now 'all competent scholars agree that' the German press of the day either did not see the true cause of the troubles, or assiduously avoided pointing the finger of blame where it should. The "real bad guys' for WWI and Wiemar era Germany: German and international corporate entities and their allied (or puppet) nations (amongst which certainly a Prescott Bush must have been involved!) aka; the dreaded 'war profiteers'. (These can be blamed for the war itself, Versailles, and the economic conditions in pre-Nazi Germany.)

Now, because of the amazing success of the propaganda aspects of the conspiracy (which has been going on for quite some time, at least as long as modern capitalism) there was, as there is now, an explanatory gap that needed filling, and because no one from the media or educational institutions filled the gap (due to their complicity in the corporate conspiracy or their having been duped by said conspiracy and its cooperating media), and because the plebeians had been so thoroughly propagandized as to literally not be able to see the truth, the Nazis provided an incorrect explanation, blaming the Jews and Bolsheviks, claiming that they were the conspirators.

Now, we can understand Chomsky's claim that today's right wing radio hosts and today's plebeian inhabitants of what amounts to a political version of Plato's cave, find themselves playing out the same drama. Consequently, he claims there is danger of something happening in the U.S. that would parallel what happened during the Nazi era, with 'liberals' being the victims of a new repression.

Now, to get to the ironic bit; Much of Chomsky's story here is standard issue socialist or communist thinking. It was also the stock and trade of the new left, and Chomsky rose to prominence as a public intellectual during the Viet Nam war making such claims. In short, this is very much the heart of the world view of liberal and progressive circles. You hear it, or watered down versions of it, from many people of influence in the Democratic party.
According to that line of thought conservatives and Republicans are either morally monstrous corporate puppet-masters, or dupes of those corporate moral monsters. Together with the corporate class, conservatives, Republicans, and fly-over plebeians constitute the bulk of folks that are standing in the way of the progressive/liberal/democrat goals of providing living wages, universal health care, and a more humane society. What is more, if the duped are told the truth by Brave Sir Robin, and persist in their behavior, then they too are moral monsters, knowingly going along with evil. What must be done with moral monsters?

Ok. Let's Review, comparing this world view with the Nazi case:
Both dehumanize a group by impugning to them monstrous motives...check.

Both attribute to that group an amazing conspiratorial power to dupe the masses....check.

Both attribute to said group amazing levels of power, over against "our" relative helplessness in the face of that power...check.

Both claim that if something isn't done about this soon, terrible things might happen..check.

Both leave to the reader or listener the inference that we may have to wrest control from said group and do some tough things to save the Republic..check.

The parallel here to the Nazi's dehumanization of Jews is obvious. But, overall, Brave Sir Robin's world view bears closer resemblance to Stalinist thought, even down to the capitalists playing the role of the morally monstrous bad guys. One must point out the anti-Semitism of Stalin's Russia as well.

In the process of trying to smear 'right wingers' with the Nazi label, Noam Chomsky actually does instantiate irony in the hypocritical sense of that word.


Like I said at first; Self Parody. Unintentional..but..parody nevertheless.

Navy SMU 2008

Should be a better game this time around. June Jones will get that program back on track. He's already well on the way, with a 3-2 start, best in quite a while. Rumors are President Bush will present the Ganz trophy, named after a beloved and respected former Navy, SMU, and NFL coach. I like the idea of this series. Mom's alma-mater, and a home town school (grew up in and around Big D). Site of Dubya's presidential library. Hard to root against them..but GO NAVY.

Bill the goat head-butts small horses just for fun.