Friday, August 20, 2010

How To Kill A Vampire

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 Conservative "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.[Check out Dubya's financial disclosures. The son of a bitch is a big holder of the T-bills that finance the deficit he is helping to expand.] 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.
Now if you stop right here, you will have enough ammunition to hold your own with a cheap-labor conservative, in any public debate. You have your catch phrase, and you have some of the facts and history to give that phrase meaning.
But if you really want to rip the heart out of cheap-labor conservative ideology, you may want to invest just a little bit more effort. It still isn't all that complicated, though it is a bit more detailed than what we have covered so far.
To explore that detail, just click one of the links below.
For more detailed theoretical understanding, check out The Mythology of Wealth, or just browse through some of the articles in the sidebar.
Now go find some cheap labor conservatives, and pin that scarlet moniker on them.

LESS GOVERNMENT AND CHEAP LABOR


“Less Government” is the central defining right-wing slogan. And yes, it’s all about “cheap labor”.
Included within the slogan “less government” is the whole conservative set of assumptions about the nature of the “free market” and government’s role in that market.. In fact, the whole “public sector/private sector” distinction is an invention of the cheap-labor conservatives. They say that the “private sector” exists outside and independently of the “public sector”. The public sector, according to cheap-labor ideology, can only “interfere” with the “private sector”, and that such “interference” is “inefficient” and “unprincipled”
Using this ideology, the cheap-labor ideologue paints himself as a defender of “freedom” against “big government tyranny”. In fact, the whole idea that the “private sector” is independent of the public sector is totally bogus. In fact, “the market” is created by public laws, public institutions and public infrastructure.
But the cheap-labor conservative isn’t really interested in “freedom”. What the he wants is the “privatized tyranny” of industrial serfdom, the main characteristic of which is – you guessed it – “cheap labor”.
For proof, you need only look at exactly what constitutes “big government tyranny” and what doesn’t. It turns out that cheap-labor conservatives are BIG supporters of the most oppressive and heavy handed actions the government takes.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives are consistent supporters of the generous use of capital punishment. They say that “government can’t do anything right” – except apparently, kill people. Indeed, they exhibit classic conservative unconcern for the very possibility that the government might make a mistake and execute the wrong man.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives complain about the “Warren Court” “handcuffing the police” and giving “rights to criminals”. It never occurs to them, that our criminal justice system is set up to protect innocent citizens from abuses or just plain mistakes by government officials – you know, the one’s who can’t do anything right.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support the “get tough” and “lock ‘em up” approach to virtually every social problem in the spectrum. In fact, it’s the only approach they support. As for the 2,000,000 people we have in jail today – a higher percentage of our population than any other nation on earth – they say our justice system is “too lenient”.
  • Cheap-labor conservative – you know, the ones who believe in “freedom” – say our crime problem is because – get this – we’re too “permissive”. How exactly do you set up a “free” society that isn’t “permissive”?
  • Cheap-labor conservatives want all the military force we can stand to pay for and never saw a weapons system they didn’t like.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support every right-wing authoritarian hoodlum in the third world.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support foreign assassinations, covert intervention in foreign countries, and every other “black bag” operation the CIA can dream up, even against constitutional governments, elected by the people of those countries.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support “domestic surveillance” against “subversives” – where “subversive” means “everybody but them”.
  • Cheap-labor believers in “freedom” think it’s the government’s business if you smoke a joint or sleep with somebody of your own gender.
  • Cheap-labor conservatives support our new concentration camp down at Guantanamo Bay. They also support these “secret tribunals” with “secret evidence” and virtually no judicial review of the trials and sentences. Then they say that liberals are “Stalinists”.
  • And let’s not forget this perennial item on the agenda. Cheap-labor conservatives want to “protect our national symbol” from “desecration”. They also support legislation to make the Pledge of Allegiance required by law. Of course, it is they who desecrate the flag every time they wave it to support their cheap-labor agenda. [Ouch! That was one of those “hits” you can hear up in the “nosebleed” seats.]
Sounds to me like the cheap-labor conservatives have a peculiar definition of “freedom”. I mean, just what do these guys consider to be “tyranny”.
That’s easy. Take a look.
  • “Social spending” otherwise known as “redistribution”. While they don’t mind tax dollars being used for killing people, using their taxes to feed people is “stealing”.
  • Minimum wage laws.
  • Every piece of legislation ever proposed to improve working conditions, including the eight hour day, OSHA regulations, and even Child Labor laws.
  • Labor unions, who “extort” employers by collectively bargaining.
  • Environmental regulations and the EPA.
  • Federal support and federal standards for public education.
  • Civil rights legislation. There are still cheap-labor conservatives today, who were staunch defenders of “Jim Crow” – including conspicuously Buckley’s “National Review”. Apparently, federal laws ending segregation were “tyranny”, but segregation itself was not.
  • Public broadcasting – which is virtually the only source for classical music, opera, traditional theatre, traditional American music, oh yes, and Buckley’s “Firing Line”. This from the people constantly braying about the decay of “the culture”. The average cost of Public Television for each American is a whopping one dollar a year. “Its tyranny I tell you. Enough’s enough!”
See the pattern? Cheap-labor conservatives support every coercive and oppressive function of government, but call it “tyranny” if government does something for you – using their money, for Chrissake. Even here, cheap-labor conservatives are complete hypocrites. Consider the following expenditures:
  • 150 billion dollars a year for corporate subsidies.
  • 300 billion dollars a year for interest payments on the national debt – payments that are a direct transfer to wealthy bond holders, and buy us absolutely nothing.
  • Who knows how many billions will be paid to American companies to rebuild Iraq – which didn’t need rebuilding three months ago.
  • That’s all in addition to the Defense budget – large chunks of which go to corporate defense contractors.
Is the pattern becoming clearer? These cheap-labor Republicans have no problem at all opening the public purse for corporate interests. It’s “social spending” on people who actually need assistance that they just “can’t tolerate”.
And now you know why. Destitute people work cheaper, while a harsh police state keeps them suitably terrorized.
For a short primer on the importance of a strong public sector, see:

20 comments:

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Hello Microdot,
What a well done and well thought out piece of journalism that really needs to be read by every citizen in the U.S. This is the type of information that really needs to be propagated and get into the public domain as you have presented the facts so well.

“Good Job” once again my friend.

mud_rake said...

The 'cheap labor conservative' mantra is especially effective if foisted upon an already ignorant set of people- especially those in the southern Bible Belt. They already have their knees bent in prostration before the Lord, so why not before the labor lords as well?

That's why this concept works so well in the Red States where unions are thought of as communistic organizations.

Dumbed-down is dumbed-down and sadly they don't know what they don't know.

Anonymous said...

What planet are you on? This is the biggest bunch of horseshit I've seen in my lifetime.

I appreciate the fact you took time to research this, but obviously only from left-wing sources.

When, oh when, will our media finally once again be neutral and let us decide for ourselves?

Too much BBC and Public television for you, all populated by left-wingers who live on the mirror planet of Earth.

microdot said...

I will take that as a 5 star hands down rave review. Thank you "anonymous" your vague blathering scattershot outraged "critique" couldn't have been more sarisfying.
How many more outraged cliches can you spout before you fall off your stool?

Laci the Chinese Crested said...

The comment about NPR and the BBC is very telling and actually quite apropos for this post.

US Public Broadcasting (It's more than just NPR, since there is also PBS, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Public Radio International (PRI), American Public Television (APT), and American Public Media) is a big bugaboo for the right since it is technically public. Public funding is supposed to remove it from being beholden to special interests (read big business). On the other hand, the US right has done everything it can to keep NPR broke.

There is a loophole in that Public Broadcasting can also get funding through "underwriting" which are the commercials that you see on Public Broadcasting. I find that there is a lot of corporate and special interest (e.g., Cato Institute) input in US public broadcasting. So, it is hardly unbiased.

The BBC is totally funded by the Public, there is a television tax. This means that there is no business funding; however, there are links with US Public Media and the Discovery Channel (BBC America is a Discovery Channel subsidiary). That would be a total anathema to the US interests.

The alternative? Commercial broadcasting where 1/3 of the material presented is advertising.

So, who is brainwashed?

microdot said...

My take on PBS in America is that it hardly a bastion "progressive" thought.
I would grant that it is more "fair and balanced" than FOX NEWS or what ever their senile catch phrase is these days.
I am not looking for a Television network to tell me what to think. If they purport to be a news reporting network, then I expect real reporting and if they present analysis, then, pros and cons on an issue.
If that were the honest criteria, the bar to be matched, then I think Al Jazeera English is the best news network today.
As far as professionalism, honesty, real time real world coverage of the news from all sources, open discussion and analysis...they leave every one in the dust.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Laci, Microdot, and Muddy,
Gentleman, our hit and run “Anonymous” is the type of self proclaiming mental regressive that who speak out in favor of having a toxic waste dump 1/4 mile down the road from his house because it will bring in “Good Paying Jobs.” I have seen his type all too often proclaiming himself at Republican gatherings I have attended. Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, would have thrown his dumb ass out of the Party back in their day. It is the Rush Limbaugh’s army of non-thinkers; spoon feed what to think, even if it will throw them to the bottom of society’s stratification.

But as we all know “Anonymous,” Truth has always had a left-wing bias…..Right?!?

microdot said...

Did anyone catch NJ Republican Gobernatorial Candidate, Dick Paladino on TV yesterday.
He actually tried to state a case for "welfare camps"
.
Use State Prisons to house the poor and contain them.
More medieval thinking and imposing corporate Feudalism on America. Back to the days of the poor house...because you have to keep the poor poor and helpless.

Anonymous said...

Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, would have thrown his dumb ass out of the Party back in their day

That's because they were all Democrats in Republican clothing. Nelson Rockefeller couldn't even get higher than gov of NY in the party and you think he could kick anyone out of it? That's what Dems do. They silence people who are pro-life and boot out the ones they don't like.

And no I wouldn't want a toxic waste dump near my house or anyone else's.

As far as I can tell you are all a group of old farts with old farts ideas. You want to live in the days of Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt. Well on your mirror planet I guess you can live in whatever time warp you want.

You really think you're smart don't you? You think you have IQs that outshine everyone else.

Well Microdot admits to being a druggie so how well does he rationalize? And you do listen to BBC and public television plus all the goof-balls on CNBC, so that tells me where you get your info.

Probably Huffpost too. Now there's a real smart cookie. NOT!

Anonymous said...

Microdot The NJ gubernatorial race was last year or have you already forgotten? And the republican Christie beat the shit out of Bambi's buddy what's his name. He's already so far out of the public eye the only ones that remember his name are you bleeding heart lefties.

So if you watched a republican gubernatorial debate yesterday you must have gone back in time on your mirror planet to see it. Stupid asshole!

microdot said...

Sepp, you just keep getting better...Like an old cheese, the scent improves...I did not watch the NJ gubernatorial debate on television yesterday.
I saw a video of an interview of Dick Paladino, the Teabag republican hopeful who is a wannabee for the next NJ guberantorial race. He was on ABC yesterday. He made the statements about welfare camps utilizing Federal prisons.

You have nothing to say, Sepp, except for obnoxious, pseudo arrogant pathetically attempts at intimadating blather.

I make no bones about my life and who I am. I am a very happy 60 year old mutant who bikes 30 kilometers a day, does 80 push ups, over 100 crunches and keeps trying to get better. When I was a kid and musician in NYC, I smoked pot, so fuck you! I saw your hero Ted Nugent freak out on LSD! I fucked his little brain so bad he turned into the raving asshole he has become today....All Nugent is today is the results of few very bad acid trips in Detroit. He was the guitarist of the northwest Detroit band, The Lourds which mutated into the Amboy Dukes....Nugents acid use in Detroit at that time is legendary....
I never said I was smarter than you, it's you who have in extremely very ineloquent fashion, have made the point for me.
The next time you post here, try sucking your miniscule, nasty little brain back into your dank and cramped skull from the bottom of the discarded vodka bottle in the garbage.

microdot said...

Yes, Dick Paladino is running in the NY State Race, I didn't realize I had made a typo....It was a typo because I am a NY State registered democrat Voter and I will be voting in this race.

Engineer of Knowledge said...

Well Sepp,
Thank you for your comments on this posting as you have shown again how much you really don’t know with your statement, “Nelson Rockefeller couldn't even get higher than Governor of NY in the party and you think he could kick anyone out of it?” Really!?!? You really want to go there? So I guess that that term as Vice President of the United States does not count?!?!?

Here is a Republican History lesson for you.

Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979) was the 41st Vice President of the United States under Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York, as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower and Nixon administrations in a variety of positions. Nelson Rockefeller was a well respected, with much influence, and an honored Republican within the Party.

Yes Sepp, I remember well the Republican Party under Eisenhower, Nixon, Ford, and the influence of Rockefeller. Members of the Republican Party back then all would have rolled their eyes at your statements and viewpoints spoon feed by the Nutty Right that has too much influence today within my Republican Party. The Republican Party needs to return BACK TO ITS ROOTS and get away from this extremism; the loose and ignorant cannons that have taken it here in JUST THE RECENT HISTORY. IT HAS NOT BEEN AN IMPROVEMENT.

I am very sad and disappointed that you tried to hide behind the “Anonymous” to post your comments. Don’t you know that the computer IPS codes can be traced? You fooled no one but yourself.

I thought much better than that of you.

Anonymous said...

The point is Rockefeller was appointed to the positions you speak about and Ford picked Dole for his re-election bid after he was appointed President.

You don't know it all and who the hell is Sepp?

Anonymous said...

And Eisenhower had no political ideology. He was wanted by the Dems but for some reason went with the Reps. He was a caretaker president you know, the old grandfather.

He started the interstate system because while a soldier traveling around he decided there had to be a better and faster way to get from point a to point b. That's his legacy.

Teddy Roosevelt was a tree hugger like the rest of you and would never fit in todays rep party. He was too left just like the rest of them.

How do you think Nelson Rockefeller became governor of NY? It wasn't because he was a conservative but because he was a liberal. When the chips were down his own party rejected him for president. That's why his nephew is a dem. At least he has the guts to proclaim what he really is.

microdot said...

Tree Hugger...???You have nothing but saggy assed tired trite cliches to offer?
Listen, you're just another in the ong line of nasty little Anonymouses.

This is my blog and if you want to play your anonymous games with me, then I falt out state. I do not want to play with you.
You seem to know some of my personal background, so I suppose we have met on another blog.

Remember, your outraged claim to your "freedom of speech" has absolutely no bearing on my right aa the author of this bog to exercise my power of deletion or if I feel it infringes on my freedom of expression.
I'm absolutely sure that you have your own little blog to have a hissy fit on, but I don't have to be a witness to that unpleasantness now, do I?
Have a donut, have two donuts...why don't you eat an entire box of Krispy Kremes...it'll make you feel better. Talk to shrink...

microdot said...

You're not Lucy? Oh myy gahhhddd!
Well then, the song of the day is dedicated to you! Get Up And Dance, You Gotta Shake that saggy booty bitch!
Did you see the Engineers nude photos of Dr. Laura? Skank-a-delic!

Jeanette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
microdot said...

Lucy, you're still a skank from hell and I do not believe a word of your self deleted post...
BITE ME!

Jeanette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.