Saturday, December 18, 2010

The GOP Rhetorical Shocks

We have all just lived through another round of political rhetoric that says "free markets = free people" and tax cuts will hamper the governments ability to interfere with our lives.

I recommend all those interested in this issue read Naomi Wolf's fine work "The Shock Doctrine" and give context to the philosophical desire of post-Reagan republicans to erase the Keynesian policies of FDR and institute a pure free market based on the economic theories of Milton Friedman.

There is a specific aim within this philosophy which is to have financial power gravitate to a specific class so as to mitigate the social variability that occurs when free people elect leaders who advocate for political systems that sometimes oppose capital markets (e.g. see Pinochet and the Chilean Coup).

This is not some high school rift where the GOP are simply playground bullies looking to beat up the poorer classes nor is it a virtuous strategy to "trickle down" wealth.

It is a considered policy position with a philosophy that says capital markets will be more stable and advantageous to a small investing class of people IF government is made impotent.

It is true of economics and a case can be made for this with economic theory but our political philosophy is not consonant with it.

We are a country that grew out of the virtues set forth by the enlightenment. Enlightenment principles protect the individual against unquestioned, superstitious authority (then, it was Divine Command religion, today it is the presumed benevolent hand of Free Markets) and the only goal and aim of Republicans wanting an "American Dream" is plutocracy, not democracy.

Democracy is messy and does not help pro-forma estimates.

Who are you going to trust to make your decisions for you, a mindless institution known as the corporation (which has already been given civil rights protection by The Supreme Court) or the self-determination of your vote? That's what it comes down to.

If one sides with the GOP then you side with the superstition that there is an external agency which will grant you all the freedom your comfort desires (e.g. "We get another $1000, yipee") but if you oppose their corporatist agenda then you live the promise our self-determined constitution offers, a free mind to think of what you wish to be.

I'm so sick and tired of the GOP rhetoric that asserts prosperity will be distributed to all if we seek de-regulation for corporations and increased barriers to working people's ownership of their labor. It hasn't worked. We've become less stable, less equitable and less intelligent over the last 30 years.

The middle class was a creation of FDR's progressive policies. The only consequence of Free Market principles is a ruling class and an oppressed class.

And before you slip into ad hominem and consider my perspective that of some Marxist hippie, I am an MBA who is a Vice President of a corporation.

I will be quite comfortable and provided for within a plutocracy but the idea of democratic freedom will become obsolete.

That is what we are living in and I'm sick of the rhetoric.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Chuck,
Democracy is obsolete. America no longer has a need for a middle class and things will slowly devolve back to the default position of rich and poor. We have been fortunate to live in a freakish time.
Embrace the absurdity of sentience in matter Chuck. It never was and never will be any more than that.

[my suggestion]... in anything and everything you do, be an artist. Laugh, love and dance.

All the best
Mrs. N