You know, Jane Mayer looks sweet and all, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to believe that hokey story she’s concocted about how the reason why civil liberties have taken a pummeling under the Bush regime is because Cheney et al were “calm, commanding” yet understandably paranoid after 9/11 and Daschle’s anthrax scare.
Why won’t I believe this seemingly innocuous proposition?
I have known Young Republicans and I have studied Republicans and the history of the conservative movement in the US. It’s not just that that Republicans indulge in secretive doomsday leadership play-acting, and that’s why they’re so “calm” and “commanding” when “staring into the abyss.” (Wow, what a shitload of flattering bullshit.)
It’s that they’re always up to some secretive, antidemocratic machinations because they’re capitalist elitists and they know who their enemy is and it is us. If you can manufacture a story that somehow reflects this reality, then I might bite. As it is, I think Mayer is a propagandist and her premise for explaining antidemocratic actions is a distraction. It is not improbable that it is a calculated distraction. It smells cooked up.
(And what moron would trust the NPR blather any more than Fox, after the Republicans took it over and filled it up with shrill, defensive, preening Colombia School of Journalism “communications professionals”? )
Let’s establish reality again. The neoclasssical economists, the neoliberals and the neocons are by ideology anti-democrats. Capitalist elitists. They’re not interested in enlightenment projects; they find them inconvenient. We the demos are fodder to them–we’re nothing more than expendable, indentured servants who owe our soul to the company store, and soldiers. This position is not something they stumbled upon in a fit of paranoia that hit in 2001. It’s an ideological position–conservatism– with massive historical roots and plenty of material incentive. (For crissake, as a response to the New Deal, the American Legion, the duPonts and other capitalists tried to get US military leaders to overthrow FDR and establish a fascist dictatorship in the US. How many times and ways do we have to learn that capital only wants our blood, sweat, tears, environment and cash, not the development of our humanity?) There’s your parsimonious theory about why the Bush regime frenetically continues to dismantle the hard-won civil and human rights that the late 20th century US Executives began to dismantle.
(Setting aside for a moment the usual suspects, look at the other lead ups to this. Look at Clinton’s record in this regard. It wasn’t pretty, propaganda budgets and killing social citizenship rights, and soforth. Carter funding whatever secret state terrorism Brzezinski recommended. These people ran the country like those genial, folksy Colonel Sanders leaders have been running the Southern states since Jim Crow only ruled the South. Oh, they know how to talk to the undereducated common folk, the Grange, and the Chambers of Commerce types, all right. They put on a heartwarming show.)
It’s all coming down to an elite blueprint for how you save the important part of the uneven Anglo-American model so that capitalists can comfortably move on just as they did when the British empire collapsed. What does the Anglo-American model come down to? Say it out loud and proud:
First, last and always, Privatize accumulation / Socialize risk and costs.
Let the French memorialize Jeffersonian democracy at their leisure.
(This explanatory theory I’m using is so incisive in fact that it can also handily explain why everybody who once claimed to be against “state intervention”, when that meant sponsoring social citizenship rights and regulating business, is now embracing state intervention, when it comes to pork-barrel war spending and bailing out capitalists as the economy crumbles. I mention this because I listened to NPR earlier today and understand that this distinction is blowing the collective hive mind of communications professionals, who apparently take some authoritative discourses at face value, surprisingly, given their profession.)
Mayer’s is a fun old story, full of Agamemnon and Achilles. But there are no heroes in this. There’s no White Hope. My friends, we’re talking about democracy here, and democracy aint coming back on the wings of a butterfly with a JD from Georgetown. You know there has to be blood on the streets, and Pinkerton Detectives, cops, dogs, judges, National Guards, the FBI and the CIA at our throats. It’s the only way up to the high road, and it’s very, very painful.