Skip to main content

View Diary: Conservatism, a movement of grifters (169 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  Kos, do they ever specify the conservative ideals (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, K S LaVida, dorkenergy

    or 'conservative principles' they refer to multiple times in the snippets you quote?

    just curious, thanks...

    I've been doing a lot of delving into this concept. Usually either or both of those phrases are dog whistles to a set of "myths" or "beliefs" held to be true gospel among the target audience. But the phrases can mean different things to different audiences.

    most common is the welfare/moochers oriented myth, i.e. the one we saw raise its specter in the 47% speech and after the election among those stunned by the loss. this isn't so much a myth defining conservative principles but a myth regarding the opposition ("socialist-liberalism", leftists etc.) and what "their principles" enable: "they take our hard earned money and give it to the lazy n****ers."

    this in turn is tied into the myth of the Vast Liberal Power Stucture/Conspiracy and the myth that its about to create Totalitarian End of All Freedom any second now.

    the actual 'Conservative Principle' that would supposedly avoid this impending doom is (usually) never actually stated. its just taken for granted that voting Republican (or sending in your desperately needed $$$ NOW will somehow prevent it). occassionally it is stated as another dog whistle "we must cut out-of control government spending" which again is just heard as a variation on the "they take our hard earned money and give it to the lazy poor ..." meme.

    so very curious as to the full text of the fund raising email.

    thx.

    no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

    by srfRantz on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:25:18 AM PST

    •  Their principle is simply... (0+ / 0-)

      Minorities are bad.

      'Goodwill' between the GOP and the President is as abundant as unicorn farts - Me'

      by RichM on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:54:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep, the appeal was about WELFARE! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      srfRantz

      That's the code word.  Welfare queens, whatever.  Always envisioned as "lazy negroes" who live off the "government dole" and want "redistribution" of money.  It's part of Lee Atwater's famous confession about how racism uses different code words.

      Actual "welfare" type benefits other than Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid represent a tiny share of the federal budget.  The real welfare goes to General Goddamics, Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, GE, and other military profiteers.

    •  If you're not familiar with the MMT (0+ / 0-)

      (Modern Monetary Theory) literature, several (all?) of these myths are addressed in various places there. See, e.g., New Economic Perspectives.

      United We Understand

      by dorkenergy on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 12:28:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  link doesn't work (0+ / 0-)

        but I found the site
        lots of articles there...
        can you suggest an article there germaine to the use of dog whistles masquerading as "conservative principles"  (and vice versa) please?

        no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

        by srfRantz on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 02:50:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  oops ... here's the link (0+ / 0-)

          New Economic Perspectives

          I'll try to pick out some particular pieces. I don't recall a complete list, but the issues underlay many of the presentations.

          In the meantime, to get a sort of quick lesson on some of MMT's basic principles -- here's this from Rodger Mitchell:

          Mitchell’s laws:
          ●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.
          ●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor, which leads to civil disorder.
          ●Cutting the deficit is the government’s method for taking dollars from the middle class and giving them to the rich.
          ●Until the 99% understand the need for federal deficits, the upper 1% will rule.
          ●To survive long term, a monetarily non-sovereign government must have a positive balance of payments.
          ●Those, who do not understand the differences between Monetary Sovereignty and monetary non-sovereignty, do not understand economics.
          ●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.
          See the rest of that page for explanation.

          United We Understand

          by dorkenergy on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 03:02:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  cool thanks (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dorkenergy

            I realized after I wrote my last reply that what you were referring to re. 'myths' was not the propagand usage by the right to trigger resentment and capture votes which I was talking about but the myths around deficit spending and the debt, etc. and how monetary policy is a smoke and mirrors act. basically.

            I did find a good general article on MMT but I got a bit different take away than the bullet list of Rodger Mitchell.

            I got basically: you can't go broke if you can make your own money.

            so Cheney was right that Reagan was right that deficits don't matter. sort of. but that Conservatives and Liberals are both wrong and huge deficits mean a booming economy. so the Deficit should be BIGGER!!! but you can't make up too much fake free money and hand it out indiscriminately or you have inflation. which is Bad, not Good. and if you (ie. the Fed, which is NOT the government) give the money to the rich it stays with the rich, (the Conservative approach...trickle down=LIE) but if you give the money to the poors (the Liberal approach...supposedly--that's the myth I was talking about, they don't actually so much, but it plays well to the conservative base to say they do) it goes to the rich pretty quick anyhow, because Free Market, and Capitalism, Yay!, but the poor get to handle it briefly and maybe eat, so they don't complain so much, and we have an 'economy' in the meantime. so Yay for that approach, which is basically the Liberal or Keynesian approach. as far as the role of government in the middle as the "Big Spender' at least... except the rich still keep ending up with all the money. and power. or does MMT address that and I just missed it...

            I do not understand economics. so I am ignorant. I'm pretty sure I am not a slave, so I think Rodger might be wrong on that one a bit, but I could be wrong.

            p.s. not being snarky at you dorkenergy, just tired and grumpy. really thanks for the link, very interesting stuff and I intend to read more.

            no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

            by srfRantz on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 04:47:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Now snark taken (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BeninSC

              This has gotta be one of the best extended sentences I've ever read:

              so Cheney was right that Reagan was right that deficits don't matter. sort of. but that Conservatives and Liberals are both wrong and huge deficits mean a booming economy. so the Deficit should be BIGGER!!! but you can't make up too much fake free money and hand it out indiscriminately or you have inflation. which is Bad, not Good. and if you (ie. the Fed, which is NOT the government) give the money to the rich it stays with the rich, (the Conservative approach...trickle down=LIE) but if you give the money to the poors (the Liberal approach...supposedly--that's the myth I was talking about, they don't actually so much, but it plays well to the conservative base to say they do) it goes to the rich pretty quick anyhow, because Free Market, and Capitalism, Yay!, but the poor get to handle it briefly and maybe eat, so they don't complain so much, and we have an 'economy' in the meantime.
              Beautiful.

              Actually, I'm top-commenting it.

              And yes, there are some subtle differences (at least in expression) in the various MMT write-ups -- I'm still trying to fit all the literature between my ears.

              re:

              so Yay for that approach, which is basically the Liberal or Keynesian approach
              here's an article on The difference between MMT and Keynes where you'll see reference to a key name: Abba Lerner.

              Your point:

              Conservatives and Liberals are both wrong
              is something I've been repeating in on dKos to no avail. Your voice is welcome.

              re:

              I do not understand economics.
              You (and me) are already a few orders of magnitude better informed than the one's I feel sorriest for -- the non-rich Republicans and most Progressives, what with their efforts so led astray.

              re:

              the rich still keep ending up with all the money. and power. or does MMT address that and I just missed it...
              IIUC, that's not part of MMT per se. But clearing the obfuscation off the deck would allow truer focus on "public purpose". (You'll see that term used a bunch, e.g., in Joe Firestone's writings.)

              And that truer purpose would, I'm confident, address inequalities. In my view, though, it's more important to address the influence of the wealthy on governance (or lack thereof) than it is to address their wealth. Address the former and it will reduce abuse; the latter will be mitigated and, in any case, won't be as troublesome.

              re:

              I'm pretty sure I am not a slave
              Some might say that's all assured in the fine print of the official "Slave Owner's Manual™". In any case, you as "serf"  is the not-so-subtly-implicit objective of Pete Peterson (to eliminate Social Security in favor of market investment), the Kochs (to dismantle regulation), the Waltons ("would you like some chains with your groceries"), and the other oligarchs.

              And re your focus:

              I realized after I wrote my last reply that what you were referring to re. 'myths' was not the propagand usage by the right to trigger resentment and capture votes which I was talking about but the myths around deficit spending and the debt, etc. and how monetary policy is a smoke and mirrors act.
              As the two are substantially intertwined (as captured, e.g., by the liberal-poor myth in your "beautiful sentence"), I've been wondering about how best to systematically compile the myths and re-frame.

              It seems we need an "(economic?) myth makeover" group that reframes, …, in ways tailored to each target audience -- [my list:] non-rich Republicans, Democrats, Obama (wherever you put him), AND (most) Progressives.

              How can that best be done here at dKos?

              United We Understand

              by dorkenergy on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 05:36:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  typo: "No snark taken" n/t (0+ / 0-)

                United We Understand

                by dorkenergy on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 06:01:03 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  morning brother friend (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dorkenergy

                wow, this is awesome. and I do feel a kind of intellectual brotherhood developing here, the best kind where we learn from each other (I'm certainly learning much from you) and not just justify each other's biases...

                I'm enjoying our little side thread still alive tho buried way down in the comments of a pretty much off the screen diary. its giving me a much needed boost of psychic energy...the outrage fatigue and hopelessness sets in quickly these days...not to mention giving me lots more to think about and some direction to the thinking/musing/obsessing in my head.

                long run on sentences are my forte! LOL.

                I tend to type stream of consciousness, then go back, sometimes, and try to make some linear sense out of it for the reader, but end up making parenthetical comments within parenthetical comments and adding numerous subclauses making it more comprehensive, in my mind, but probably incomprehensible to the casual reader, which is why my comments don't usually get many recs or replies, except for from the deeply brilliant (or similarly deranged) intellects such as yourself.

                and yes we are on the same page with this:

                It seems we need an "(economic?) myth makeover" group that reframes, …, in ways tailored to each target audience -- [my list:] non-rich Republicans, Democrats, Obama (wherever you put him), AND (most) Progressives.
                for the core messaging/reframing, target anyone who can still be persuaded by facts and information who has been captured by the overwhelming propaganda machine of the Right, but can still be brought back into the light. middle class (white) Republicans and Reagan Democrat types are key IMHO. rebuild the traditional Democratic Party Base. I just don't see this happening from the "Left" and I try to get this across constantly here, but its all schadenfreude over "we won, you lost" and "the angry old white guys are dying off so we win on demographics" (which is horribly misguided, and well, WRONG!) instead of "how can we keep winning and win more." Progressives need to be targeted instead with embracing the importance of making this messaging the goal and purpose around which to unify.

                no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

                by srfRantz on Sat Jan 12, 2013 at 06:47:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  ... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dorkenergy

              It's just my opinion, but the whole trick to making any sense of macroeconomics is to look at money and the actors in the economic system as a network.

              The basic points are that there is money (created by the government) and that it's ultimately valuable only because people want it and you can pay taxes with it.

              It's only useful when it's moving. Any actors in an economy that 'soak up' money from an economy at will are huge problems. Conversely, saving up goods is not a problem.

              After that, the important bits are how government makes sure that everybody has enough to get by. Good government makes sure that the economy works near its full potential, and everyone has enough money to survive.

              Keynesianism, loosely, is the idea that when the private actors in an economy don't keep enough money flowing to keep everything going, the government steps in to keep money going, either by creating jobs directly, or by buying goods and services to keep the economy running at full capacity.

              There are lots of other details, and some are important. A small inflation is good -- if money is worth more tomorrow than today, it is rational to keep money in the mattress, where it can't do any good. Conversely, if it gets put in banks (due, say, to a desire for interest), it can be loaned out again and be reborn as investment.

              The whole trick is to ensure there's enough money, that it always keeps moving, and that "enough" gets to all the actors in the economy.

              •  Have you checked out MMT (0+ / 0-)

                Modern Monetary Theory? (Actually, it's not a theory but a description of the reality of modern money.)

                IIUC, it's pre- and post-Keynesian -- essentially expanding on it. There has been a lot of work recently at UMKC (and by a few others).

                Here are some links:

                1)  Monetary Sovereignty

                2)  New Economic Perspectives -- many things there; not sure which to recommend for starters; I haven't yet gotten far into their "Modern Money Primer", but presumably that's comprehensive. They've been searching for ways to most suitably summarize the whole she-bang for public consumption.

                 

                United We Understand

                by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 10:51:29 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, and am unimpressed. (0+ / 0-)

                  It does not, so far as I am aware, deal with demand-side issues very well. At least, the people promulgating it have been making poor predictions for the last several years.

                  The first link contains a lot of nonsense. At least, its first claim comports very poorly with the economic history of this country and the world for the last 90 years.

                  The second one seems to be more of a mixed bag; some of the stuff is good, and there are articles by William Black there (usually sane, but mostly limited to banking and discussions of control fraud).

                  •  not sure which predictions you are talking about (0+ / 0-)

                    A Google Images search for

                    recession deficit "modern monetary theory"
                    The first graph that shows a long time scale and had event markers was this one from the St. Louis Fed showing Federal Surplus or Deficit vs time with shaded areas for recessions:

                    Mitchell provides close-ups and discussion of the detail at http://mythfighter.com/...

                    United We Understand

                    by dorkenergy on Sun Jan 13, 2013 at 04:58:07 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site