An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Richard Eskow follows:
Meet The Radicals
They’re probably just a small subset of high-earning Americans. But these resentment-fueled party people are a new force in politics, made even more powerful by growing wealth inequity and Citizens United. They are the Radical Rich.
How radical are they?
Romney and his party are already pursuing their radical policies: A dismantling of most government programs, including a self-funded program like Social Security and vitally needed ones like Medicaid, Federal disaster relief, education … even law enforcement and storm warning systems to reduce deaths and property damage.
The country they seek is radically different from the one we all grew up in, or even the troubled one we live in today. It’s a nation without a social safety net, with hungry and ill people in the streets, without free and fair elections, without basic legal protections for consumers or the environment – a United States unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetime.
How angry are they?
Their resentment is as great as their wealth. It seemed like an unfortunate slip from an unpleasant individual when another hedge funder, Steve Schwarzman, compared the loss of his tax breaks to Hitler’s invasion of Poland. But we now know that this sense of outrage is shared by many, if not most, of his peers: Hedge funder Daniel S. Loeb. The unnamed CEOs of Fareed Zakaria’s acquaintance. Scandal-ridden bank CEO Jamie Dimon.
You’d think they’d be kissing the ground Barack Obama walks on, given their embarrassment – or what should be an “embarrassment” – of riches.
But they’re enraged. Why?
My online response to the above linked-to article follows:
I might rather not want to know that Richard Eksow is a Buddhist.
Other than that, I found his comments interesting. When someone is accusing you of being the kind of person he or she is, you certainly should be called on it. The Right is macho, if nothing else. But, as we saw not long ago with Paul Ryan and his hypocritical attack on the working class and the collective bargaining that workers use to deal with uncaring, exploitative bosses (while he endorses the union that his family’s paving company works with), it uses the imagery of union thugs to make weak minds think the worse of unions and their members while giving workers whose work underpins the wealth of the 1% the finger.
As for freedom, Capitalists just want more of it. Liberalize everything in sight so that they can do what they want, even if they don’t deserve that freedom. And let them have free access to national treasuries, the money belonging more to the taxpayers than the tax evaders, while you preach to the abused, disrespected, exploited majority about the evils of socialism. They get bailed out by captured governments that take our money, in the form of taxes and user fees, and give it to themselves, namely the 1% of criminal minded tax evaders, having our captured, ‘law & order’ governments make or fail to make laws dealing with that criminality!
What is a tax? For one thing it’s a law, or rule. Has the Right ever seen a rule that it doesn’t want to break while it’s ‘law & order’ governments gear up to go to war against the victims of perverted neoliberal policies that it’s governments design and make law? Hello Trans Pacific Partnership!
Squeeze the workers until they squawk and then when they do, be ready for it with punitive legislation that makes it crime. It must be nice when you have so much freedom – because you’ve captured governments from which laws of the land issue or don’t issue – that you can ensure that laws make even the squawking of your victims illegal. What a thrill! But, There’s no need for it, as Richard keenly notes. It’s just perversity. It’s greed. It’s ego. It’s darkness, which eventually produces insanity. Which you can see when powerful figures on the Right, like Romney, start spouting the most ludicrous nonsense. Darkness is it’s own reward. Maybe that’s largely because the powerful in this world are the darkest people. They can talk nonsense at us with impunity. What are we going to do about it? But at some point, those clever, macho people will actually be dumb as posts, because that’s the end result of endlessly denying reality.
The Right has always blathered about radical nationalism, as Chomsky notes. Anyone – farmers, factory workers, union members, students, teachers, priests, scientists, professionals – who simply disagreed with the program of inequality embodied in neoliberal capitalism was, and is still, simply branded as a ‘communist’ or ‘socialist’ or ‘radical nationalist’, all technical terms only meaning that they disagreed with the powerful. But look at the rightwing judiciary and it’s radicalism! Citizens United was an example of extreme judicial activism. The hypocrisy is stunning! If that activism was at least intended to right a wrong, a social injustice or inequality, then it would be possibly forgiveable. And rational. And here’s Romney in his perverted ode to inequality now made greater thanks to judicial activism, radicalism, such as that seen in Citizens United.
But if you look at this from the standpoint that the 1% ‘do’ own the world, and their bosses own their workers (which politicians help make reality with perverted legislation such as that establishing right to work states), then all that the Romneys who make up the 1% say (and would say if they weren’t busy playing ‘good’ cop, like Obama) about the unequal society they want but feel isn’t unequal enough, makes sense. Sure there’s lies in their presentations, but that’s because they indeed are powerful and don’t have to tell the truth. And they’re enjoying themselves. They want us to see their dominance, and the lawless ways they achieve it. When we see that, that is their glory. Glory unseen isn’t glory. And so there’s always that tension – and pointing it out doesn’t really do anything for us – between the abusive things the powerful do and say to get our attention, and to get their glory, on the one hand, and their desire to not have to deal with us, which their own actions make difficult since they lead to unjust situations where they, the powerful deciders, will be looked to to fix. The more you squeeze, the louder the squawking.
What will you give up, though, when you’re of the macho 1%? Will you give up the attack on the people, producing more and [more] victims and deeper inequality, terror and deprivation and glory for yourself? Or will you instead give up the refusal to admit that you’re morally bankrupt, that surviving by taking the means of survival from others, just because you get a thrill from it, is wrong and something you will no longer do? And, alongside that refusal to be perverse further, Will you state how you will take steps to right the wrongs perpetrated on the people and the planet by you and your fellow corporatocracy worshippers, working with the rest of us, including your victims – who you so far have enjoyed punishing for being victims – to make a system that works for everyone? We see the answer to that question.
When you do things that you know are wrong but lack the wisdom and humility to admit that you’ve erred, then you ‘will’ rationalize, or make appear good, your bad deeds. That’s how we work. We all have to live with ourselves. Eventually, rationalized bad behavior becomes normal behavior and the one who exhibits it sees, conveniently, those who don’t imitate it, and agree with it, as being wrong.
And those whose behavior is similarly bad morally support each other, because we all have to live with ourselves and the choices we make and miserable evildoers like company. The transgressor who rationalizes his bad deeds and words and finds himself on a path of darkness will justify, or agree with, his own course. And when his classmates morally support him – because that’s natural; Reassuring the transgressor that’s he right is a way for other transgressors to reassure themselves – then he’s engaging in self/world justification. He agrees with his own dark course and his neighbors, who help him make his getaway from social responsibility and from morally defensible behavior (what the Christian Bible refers to as the ‘narrow’ path, which means one in which we find rational, civilizing rules that can make society harmonious) by patting him on the back also agree with, or justify, his chosen dark path precisely because they are not about to abandon it either.
Then all of us must deal with the negative consequences of their choices and actions. For now.
* on radical judicial activism – “The Corporate Takeover Of US Democracy,” by Noam Chomsky
* on Paul Ryan and ‘his’ union – “Mike Elk on Thom Hartmann Talks Paul Ryan’s Anti-Worker Record”
* on entitlement – “The Real Entitlement Crisis,” by William Connolly + “The Real Welfare Problem: Government Giveaways to the Corporate 1%,” by John Atcheson