Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stealing Us Blind

I commend to your reading this piece by Thomas Frank in the latest issue of The Nation. It's entitled "Why Misgovernment was No Accident in Bush's Washington," and it's taken from his latest book The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule. It won't take you long, and it will really piss you off. Here's the gist of piece if you're not in the mood to go into full-throated rage at Bush and his greedy cronies today.

Fantastic misgovernment of the kind we have seen is not an accident, nor is it the work of a few bad individuals. It is the consequence of triumph by a particular philosophy of government, by a movement that understands the liberal state as a perversion and considers the market the ideal nexus of human society. This movement is friendly to industry not just by force of campaign contributions but by conviction; it believes in entrepreneurship not merely in commerce but in politics; and the inevitable results of its ascendance are, first, the capture of the state by business and, second, all that follows: incompetence, graft, and all the other wretched flotsam that we've come to expect from Washington.

I happened to hear Frank in a radio interview on PBS a few days ago. He seemed pretty calm as he related example after example of how the conservatives are just stealing us plumb silly. (I was certainly much more agitated listening to him.) These people gorge themselves at the public trough, while at the same time creating such a mountain of public debt that the likelihood of having the federal government permanently crippled is quite real. For these people hate the government, and if it were crippled, it would not bother them in the least. It would simply allow the market to take care of everything.

This is the sort of nonsense that the dimwit nonpareil Ronald Reagan--who famously observed that "government is the problem"--foisted upon us. It still amazes me that intelligent people could actually buy this crap. I just assumed that everybody knows what will happen if capitalism (the hallowed market) is allowed to operate without the restraint of government oversight and regulation. What you get in addition to all the punishments of hell on both the working class and the environment is (mis)rule by a bloated, blood-sucking plutocracy. Which is exactly what we've got. I thought everybody knew this.

Which just goes to show what an out-of-touch, naive idiot I am.
Post a Comment