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Code Words and Cop Outs

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An odd stream of phraseology is revisited again and again throughout our current discourses on political issues. The current populist right has conceived the idea that there has been a great and bombastic revision of American history in favor of the “progressive”. The assonance of sounds resembling paranoid white bleating and a fear of anything outside of a Lilliputian comfort zone are only getting louder. The tea-partiers are belting out anxiety-ridden speeches concerning a dreaded partition from “our” values. These “lost” values somehow are strikingly similar pseudo-libertarian theocracy. But the atavistic nature of deception and obfuscation from the right was not invented or perfected by Glen Beck and his cohorts. This crass and mendacious method of claiming American value as conservative and progressive values as socialist, thus making them negative is no new trope. A direct vein can be traced from the current rhetoric to that of 1920’s anti-communist diatribes. The early nineteen-twenties were a tumultuous time in American politics. There were large numbers of Democratic factionalists within the southern constituencies, direct violence against blacks and other civil rights workers were commonplace occurrences, and a rampant fear of anything un-Christian, un-capitalism or un-“American” was prevalent. Out of this social and economic mire rose what was though as the opposition to socialism; libertarianism. As the twenty-century unfolded a perpetual battle was being fought against socialism and for capitalism libertarian b. The definition of a libertarian does not come close to matching the modern American definition. Ironically libertarianism can be most closely linked with socialism, both calling for the state to become fallow and amalgamate with the people, thus leading to its impotency to govern as a body and ultimately its eradication as an entity.

The first and most foreboding claim of modern anarcho-capitalists is that they are libertarians. This use of the word libertarian is contradictory to the accepted worldwide and historical definition. The real father of the libertarianism, Adam Smith called for free-market but also for total liberty within that market. This does not and cannot exist within corporate institutions. The entire basis of our corporate system is the division of labor. Division of labor is the specialization of cooperative labor in specific, circumscribed tasks and roles. Historically an increasingly complex division of labor is closely associated with the growth of total output and trade, the rise of capitalism, and of the complexity of industrialization processes. Adam Smith was obdurately opposed to this idea for the very reason that it infringes heavily upon the liberty of the worker and thus infringes on the functionality and legitimacy of the worker’s rights within the system. Because Smith based his economic systems on an amalgamation of enlightenment values and pure economic structure, the morality of a system was intrinsic to its right to exist. Many of Smith’s economic ideals were directly derived from David Hume’s treatises and thoughts. Smith’s theory of economic flow was derived from Hume as well as the sympathy being mucilage of markets. Hume thought that people lived in groups and shared a sense of well-being. This idea was essential having a sense of ones self, the idea of self is edified by the family, community, society and natural impulse. But where Smith abrogated from Hume’s philosophy is manifest in a leap. He says that it is “ the principle to persuade which so much prevails in human nature”. His idea on this was that we all create an inner conscious, a daemon to impartially judge our own actions. But he goes farther in saying that this is not enough to make us good or even make us sympathize. Smith sees the market as the most consistent and reliable from of human sympathy. It is where all of the moral sentiments come and meet. Shopping is the shortest path to sympathy and money is the most concrete means of human exchange.



It does not take much serious inquiry to notice that American libertarians do not hold enlightenment values of Smith dear. The quasi-libertarians of today promote the corporation first and claim the fettered right of profits as the right to individual liberty. Within these corporate structures there is absolutely no accountability, let alone liberty. Orders are handed up from above and passed down below. If you are outside this self-governing body then you may have no say or input on its direction or orchestration. So why is there a resurgence of hard line right wing extremism on economic issues? Why is it looking like the late 20’s and early 30’s? Why is Beck castigating Woodrow Wilson as the socialist predecessor to Obama? Because all conspiracy theories are as cyclic as they are banal.
It was Herbert Hoover who was supposedly reliant on the vitality of the markets or the “rugged individual. He did not think that government direct intervention was ad rem for economic re-expansion. But he, like all fraudulent friends of deregulation, he claimed the very injustices that caused the collapse would in fact bring it back to a robust form. He was opposed to direct relief because of its socialist implications. The 1929 market crash was not only due to unctuous and reprobate speculation; it became clear that the capitalist principles of the deregulated market under “Coolidge prosperity” and Harding “ normalcy” were ultimately pernicious. Normalcy was the policy of rapid economic expansion through a laissez-faire approach to commence and industrialization as well as an isolationist foreign policy. There was a pressure to remove American from all international affairs. The laissez-faire ideal of a government involvement was to serve the means of business. It was not recognized that the financial structures of the “gilded age” were fundamentally unsound. One may point to deleterious banking and investing policies, poor foreign trade strategies, and an unbalanced distribution of wealth.

Anyone with the ability to modulate a few previously vacant mental cavities seems to have a national soapbox, and a voice that is prosaic as well as invidious. We see the state of opposition now in similar terms as the state of opposition in the 1920’s. The overarching wishes that the government stay ostensibly neutral so it may meditate the conflicts of the wealthy and suppress the rebellion of the lower classes. The role of the government should not be to adopt policies that are only beneficial to the wealthy but rather promote a policy of fair advancement and opportunity.





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Jon S. said...
Apr. 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm
interstinh i might post this on my blog
 
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