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Cross posted from Real Economics and CorrenteWire.

So, Republicans and Tea-baggers today, after giving tens of billions in tax cuts to millionaires and corporations, are demanding steep cuts in state budgets, including for education. They are especially targeting teachers’ pay.

Some people just can’t wrap their minds around how utterly destructive the conservatives’ agenda is. A few days ago, daveinchi tried to get a grip on this with his DailyKos diary, DESTROY EVERYTHING: Nihilism on the "Right".

But what is really hard to comprehend is that the conservative attack on education is actually a quite coherent part of conservative ideology. To understand this, you first have to understand that the conservative ideology is intended to create a society based on strict class lines. As Philip E. Agre wrote in his classic August 2004 essay, What Is Conservatism and What Is Wrong with It?:

Conservatism is the domination of society by an aristocracy.

Today, conservatives hide their true anti-democratic oligarchic agenda behind the rhetoric of balanced budgets and budget cuts. But, back in the period right after the Civil War, conservatives were much more honest and forthright in explaining why they attacked education and teachers.

Though defeated militarily, with large swathes of their states totally devastated by the campaigns of Union generals such as Sherman and Sheridan, the South’s conservatives - led by the South’s oligarchy of planters, slave-holders, and merchants, and many former Confederate officers - absolutely refused to accept the idea of racial, political, and economic equality with others. Unwilling to accept the end of white race domination, state legislatures and local governments throughout the former Confederacy enacted a series of new laws carefully designed to place blacks in positions of inferiority, socially, economically, and politically. The 1865 Mississippi Black Code, for example, actually stipulated terms of involuntary servitude for black children who were either orphans or whose parents, in the opinion of local officials, were unable to provide “properly” for the support of said children. These draconian rules were roughly disguised under the rubric of “apprenticeship”:

2. MISSISSIPPI APPRENTICE LAW
Sec. 1....It shall be the duty of all sheriffs, justices of the peace, and other civil officers of the several counties in this State, to report to the probate courts of their respective counties semi-annually, at the January and July terms of said courts, all freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes, under the age of eighteen, in their respective counties, beats or districts, who are orphans, or whose parent or parents have not the means or who refuse to provide for and support said minors; and thereupon it shall be the duty of said probate court to order the clerk of said court to apprentice said minors to some competent and suitable person, on such terms as the court may direct, having a particular care to the interest of said minor: Provided, that the former owner of said minors shall have the preference when, in the opinion of the court, he or she shall be a suitable person for that purpose.
SNIP

Sec. 4....If any apprentice shall leave the employment of his or her master or mistress, without his or her consent, said master or mistress may pursue and recapture said apprentice, and bring him or her before any justice of the peace of the county, whose duty it shall be to remand said apprentice to the service of his or her master or mistress; and in the event of a refusal on the part of said apprentice so to return, then said justice shall commit said apprentice to the jail of said county. . . .

As Wikiepdia notes:

in response to planters’ demands that the freedpeople be required to work on the plantations, the Black Codes declared that those who failed to sign yearly labor contracts could be arrested and hired out to white landowners. Some states limited the occupations open to African Americans and barred them from acquiring land, and others provided that judges could assign African American children to work for their former owners without the consent of their parents.

One of the most odious measures of these “Black Codes” were the “vagrancy statutes”  under which almost any person walking along the street, or simply resting along a street or road, could be accosted by local officials and declared to be a vagrant. And that is exactly what happened.

So, you would think that finding a bunch of black kids spending their days in school would be a welcome alternative to finding them vagabonding about town. Well, not if you’re recently defeated white racists, vengefully itching to “rise again” and still intent on keeping blacks down. Before the Civil War, every slave state had made it a felony to so much as teach a slave to read or write. But now that the institution of slavery had been swept away in the bloody torrent of Civil War, with Freedmen's Bureaus established and sanctioned by the Union government, and often protected by federal troops, it was, uhm, impolitic to actually write into the new “Black Codes” prohibitions against education. Especially because the weak response of President Andrew Johnson to the South’s Black Codes stirred up a rebellion among radical Republicans in Congress, who over rode a number of Johnson’s vetos to impose “Radical Reconstruction” on the ex-slave states.

So, the Southern oligarchs and racists turned to their traditional means of enforcing their will: terrorism, violence, and outright murder. Throughout the South, schools for black students were attacked and burnt, and teachers threatened, beaten, and even murdered. As Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer note in their 2009 book, The State of Jones: The Small Southern County that Seceded from the Confederacy

For Klanners and white supremacists, black education was a focus of special fury. It was the generous Mississippian who viewed education for blacks as anything but useless, if not trouble. "A monkey with his tail off is a monkey still," the Natchez Courier opined.

In Okolona, an Episcopal minister who tried to teach some young blacks had four shots fired at him. On the night of March 9, 1871, in Aberdeen, a Northern teacher named Alien P. Huggins was called out of his house by a circle of white-robed men. They were "gentlemanly fellows, men of cultivation, well-educated, a much different class of men than I ever supposed I would meet in a K-Klux gang," Huggins said, but their message was not gentle. They told him they did not like his "radical ways" and the fact that he had instituted public schooling and was trying to "educate the Negroes." He had ten days to leave the state or they would kill him.

Huggins replied he would leave when he was ready. In response, one of the men undid a stirrup leather from his horse and began to beat Huggins with it, saying he was "just such a man as they liked to pound." On the seventy-fifth blow, Huggins passed out. He came to with pistols aimed at him and a chorus of voices warning him that if they laid eyes on him after ten days, he was dead. The beating left Huggins hobbled for a week but unbowed; he testified to the event before Congress and returned deputized as a U.S. marshal and began to round up Klanners for arrest.

Let me note here that in the years of Radical Reconstruction, roughly 1867 to 1873, black suffrage and Federal Army repression of Confederates allowed open elections, and a number of blacks were elected to office in the South, including as lieutenant governor in Mississippi. A former Union major general, Adelbert Ames, who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor while a lieutenant of artillery at First Manassas, was twice elected governor of Mississippi. But in no way were the old Southern oligarchs and Confederates resigned to accepting this state of affairs. Interestingly, by the early 1870s, they were beginning to rebuild their political muscle (unfortunately, as the Democratic Party – this is the sad history where Limbarf gets his weird material for attacking Democrats as racists today) using the specious charge that Governor Ames’ spending on black schools, black hospitals, and welfare was bankrupting the state (which sounds eerily familiar to modern conservatives’ claims that social spending today is bankrupting the country). As they grew in political strength, these Southern conservatives became more bold in their aggressiveness and violence. By the time of the November 1875 election, the situation had become so bad that Governor Ames appealed to President Grant for federal troops to help restore order. (Here is an interesting headline from the New York Times of May 6, 1876.)

Unfortunately, a group of Ohio Republican leaders had already told Grant that any further extension of the Federal Army into the ex-slave states would result in the Republicans losing control of Ohio. Grant decided that holding Ohio was more important than saving Mississippi, and refused Ames’ request. Grant’s decision spelled the end of Radical Reconstruction, the return to power of the old southern oligarchs, and the abandonment of the freedmen to the cruel mercies of the South’s conservatives. History.com notes:

When Democrats waged a campaign of violence to take control of Mississippi in 1875, Grant refused to send federal troops, marking the end of federal support for Reconstruction-era state governments in the South. By 1876, only Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina were still in Republican hands. In the contested presidential election that year, Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes reached a compromise with Democrats in Congress: In exchange for certification of his election, he acknowledged Democratic control of the entire South. The Compromise of 1876 marked the end of Reconstruction as a distinct period, but the struggle to deal with the revolution ushered in by slavery's eradication would continue in the South and elsewhere long after that date.

By the way, when the Confederate/Democrats seized power in Mississippi through voter intimidation in 1875, they proceeded to force Governor Ames to resign by beginning impeachment proceedings against him. They were really using old tricks back in 1994.

The outrages and violence committed by the South’s conservatives in their drive to return to power were so numerous and so terrible, that they became the subject of special hearings by a joint committee of the U.S. Senate and House. (Adelbert Ames played no small role in forcing these hearings into being held.)  Bowdoin College has a good summary of the hearings, which became known as the “Klan hearings.”

However, the hearings, formally entitled,  Report of the Joint Select Committee to Inquire into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, were about the only action any branch of the federal government took to stop the growing reign of terror in the South. The Compromise of 1876 which settled the presidential election meant that there would be no action by the national government to “intervene in the affairs” of the ex-slave states, which now subjected their black populations to new regimes of laws that in all but name kept blacks in bondage for nearly another century.

The website www.jimcrowhistory.org, originally created in support of PBS’s 2002 series The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, includes a teaching syllabus that provides excerpts from the Klan hearings, reporting violent and murderous attacks on schools and teachers in the South:

One of these teachers (Miss Allen of Illinois), whose school was at Cotton Gin Port in Monroe County, was visited ... between one and two o'clock in the morning on March 1871, by about fifty men mounted and disguised. Each man wore a long white robe and his face was covered by a loose mask with scarlet stripes. She was ordered to get up and dress which she did at once and then admitted to her room the captain and lieutenant who in addition to the usual disguise had long horns on their heads and a sort of device in front. The lieutenant had a pistol in his hand and he and the captain sat down while eight or ten men stood inside the door and the porch was full. They treated her "gentlemanly and quietly" but complained of the heavy school-tax, said she must stop teaching and go away and warned her that they never gave a second notice. She heeded the warning and left the county.

SNIP

They [the Klansmen] said that I had committed a great wrong; I had kept a Sunday-school which I was forbidden to do. They told me that this thing of teaching ... was something they did not allow; that the church they belonged to never sanctioned [allowed] any such thing; that it was not sanctioned by the neighborhood or the country and it must not be done, and finally they told me it should not be done and when I proceeded on with the Sunday-school, they said to me, "We gave you orders to stop and you have continued against our orders; now you have got to stop." --SAMUEL ALLEN, a church Sunday-schoolteacher, in testimony before the U.S. Senate Select
Committee, 1871

There were many who understood exactly the new conditions of servitude that conservatives were imposing upon the South. In his memoirs, former Union general Oliver O. Howard, who lost his arm at the Battle of Fair Oaks in 1862, but remained as an army corps commander for the remainder of the war, and who after the war headed the Freedmens Bureau, and later founded Howard University in Washington DC to educate African-Americans being denied a college education, wrote this in describing the Klu Klux Klan and other white supremacist organizations:

The oath of ... every chief to obey without hesitation the orders of some `inner circle,' constituted societies which in some parts of the South came to rival the Nihilistic assassins of Russia.... [Its] main object from first to last was somehow to regain and maintain over the negro that ascendancy which slavery gave, and which was being lost by emancipation, education, and suffrage. (Emphasis mine.)

Howard is also quoted as saying:

The opposition to Negro education made itself felt everywhere in a combination not to allow the freedmen any room or building in which a school might be taught. In 1865, 1866, and 1877 mobs of the baser classes at intervals and in all parts of the South occasionally burned school buildings and churches used as schools, flogged teachers or drove them away, and in a number of instances murdered them.

Howard also described some of the Klan's terrorist actions taken against the freedmen's schools. In Charleston, West Virginia, after the KKK threatened a bureau teacher, no one could be found to board the teacher. In Louisiana, "Miss Jordan's school at Gretna was entered by ruffians; the walls of her room were covered with obscene pictures and language''; in Ouachita, Texas, a teacher named Frank Sinclair was murdered, and "other helpers there were so put in jeopardy of their lives that they could only teach secretly in the cabins.'' In Rock Spring, Kentucky the schoolhouse was burned to the ground and the black teacher told to leave the country.

In his 1924 book, The Southern Oligarchy: An Appeal in Behalf of the Silent Masses of Our Country Against the Despotic Rule of the Few, William H. Skaggs, a progressive Alabama political leader who was eventually forced to flee to the North, writes:

The traditions of the Southern people were opposed to free schools. The institution of slavery that dominated in all economic, social and civic affairs of the South was opposed to education except for the privileged class of the social and political aristocracy. In theory and "actual practice it was held that parents should provide for the education of their children the same as for food and clothes. Attempts were sometimes made to provide schools for poor children by the gifts of generous friends, but in such cases the suggestion of poverty placed the schools almost on a level with the almshouse. In the few cases where "free schools" were provided they were seldom patronized by those who needed them most.

Referring to the history of the common schools in the Southern States, the late Dr. J. L. M. Curry, manager of the Peabody Fund, and one of the most active and useful workers in the cause of education in the South, said: It must be borne in mind that under the ancient regime no public school system providing universal education existed in the South. There was no system adequate even to the education at public expense of the white youth. Our peculiar social system forbade the education of the Negroes. That obviously would have been impossible and dangerous. . . .

Here is a table of education statistics comparing northern with southern states, that Skaggs included in his book a few pages later:
Photobucket

A glance at education statistics today shows that not much has changed in terms of the difference between North and South. Why is that?

In his 2007 book, American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century, Kevin Phillips has two chapters that trace today's conservative ideology directly back to the Confederacy. Chapter 5, "Defeat and resurrection: the Southernization of America" and Chapter 6, "The United States in a Dixie cup : the new religious and political battlegrounds."

While Phillips provides the general historical background for much of the American conservative movement, in 2008, Euan Hague, Heidi Beirich, and Edward H. Sebesta looked at the rise of explicit neo-Confederate and "white heritage" groups in Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction. A small excerpt from the book's website:


Four months later, on 5 May 1996, National Public Radio's Weekend Edition broadcast an interview with Southern League president and manifesto co-author Michael Hill. In response to Diane Roberts's questions about democracy, Hill said: You know, the South has never bought into the Jacobin notion of equality. The South has always preferred a natural hierarchy. You're always going to have some violations of people's rights, for whatever reason, but we just believe that a natural social order left to evolve organically on its own would be better for everyone.

Modern conservatives will howl about how I use the word “conservative” here to link them to the racists and terrorists that subverted the peace after the Civil War and re-imposed servitude on African-Americans.  Let them disavow Texas governor Rick Perry’s talk about state rights and secession, and I’ll take their arguments seriously. Let them disavow Southern League president Michael Hill’s frank admission that “The South has always preferred a natural hierarchy,” and I’ll take their arguments seriously. Let them disavow Michelle Bachman’s threat of insurrection that "I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back," and I’ll take their arguments seriously. Let them disavow the anti-Obama hotheads who brandished assault weapons at presidential town hall meetings on health care in the summer of 2010, and I’ll take their arguments seriously. Let them disavow Sarah Palin’s message urging anti-Obama protestors to “reload,” and I’ll take their arguments seriously. Let them disavow the Republican governors of Virginia and Mississippi, Robert McDonnell and Haley Barbour, who issued state proclamations celebrating “Confederate History Month,” and I’ll take their arguments seriously. Let them disavow Tea Party leaders and conservatives in the Oklahoma Legislature who want to create a new volunteer militia to “help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty,” and I’ll take their arguments seriously.

Until then, they can just stfu, and deal with the facts of their real heritage.

Conservatives claim to uphold the original intent of the founding fathers. So, I’ll close by throwing a quote from John Adams in their face. Adams, who helped Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and served as our second President, was most proud of his work in writing the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Adams was particularly proud of Section 11, Chapter 6 of the Massachusetts Constitution, a section he wrote entirely himself:

"Wisdom and knowledge, as well as virtue, diffused generally among the body of the people being necessary for the preservation of their rights and liberties; and as these depend on spreading the opportunities and advantages of education in various parts of the country, and among the different orders of the people, it shall be the duty of legislators and magistrates in all future periods of this commonwealth to cherish the interests of literature and the sciences, and all seminaries of them, especially the university at Cambridge, public schools, and grammar schools in the towns; to encourage private societies and public institutions, rewards and immunities, for the promotion of agriculture, arts, sciences, commerce, trades, manufactures, and a natural history of the country; to countenance and inculcate the principles of humanity and general benevolence, public and private charity, industry and frugality, honesty and punctuality in their dealings, sincerity, good humor, and all social affections, and generous sentiments among the people. "
— John Adams (Constitutional Documents of the United States of America)

Originally posted to NBBooks on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 07:24 AM PST.

Also republished by J Town, Southern Liberal Living DK Version, Baja Arizona Kossacks, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  wow. just wow. What a wonderful diary (30+ / 0-)

    t&r, of course, and thank you for writing this.

    It makes explicit what I have been trying to discern under the rhetoric.  I have been uncomfortable with the descriptions of the supposed "daddy family" values on the far right  because I felt it missed a deeper point somehow, and this, of course is it.

    Not just racism, perse.  Legalized, often armed, robbery. Power.  Predation. A ruling class. The desire to be on top of  a food chain, to crack a whip and have everyone fearfully obey, to institute a system to benefit from the labor and savings of someone else.

    I was struck this week by the Texas legislation that makes it illegal to be in the country without papers unless you are someone's servant.

    Let's break our dependence on foreign goods and our multinational masters. Shop American. May Peace Prevail

    by revgerry on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 07:50:01 AM PST

    •  Addendum: (20+ / 0-)
      The desire to be on top of a food chain, to crack a whip and have everyone fearfully obey

      It think it's more accurate to say that it's a desire to maintain status quo in the food chain, to ensure that no one else can change position. As long as you're not on the bottom, you can "feel" as though you're on top.

    •  It sums up the oligarchy view of things = (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      revgerry, elwior, MartyM

      Laws are to control the 'little people', but we can do anything we want

      I've never seen anything such a blatant display of the double standard  as this law.  Apparently no one in the TX legislature can see the contradiction in the law.

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 02:26:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why would they want to? (6+ / 0-)

        They benefit greatly from being a part of the protected elite.

        What's so interesting is that post-Depression and WWII we saw the emergence of a number of pretty amazing Texas politicians like LBJ, Carl Eliot and others from Southern states who were actually very committed to education and giving the little guy the tools to get ahead.

        People like Georg Wallace helped destroy them at home though; and in some cases there were politicians who could not figure out how to bridge the divide between their genuinely populist views and the deeply engrained racism within their constituents' communities.

    •  Yes but, I'd argue that the genesis (0+ / 0-)

      lies in a deep sense of frustration, arising from a basic incompetence to provide for oneself.  For whatever reason, conservatives need to remain attached to the teat because they are practically incapable of sustaining themselves independently and don't want to admit it.  So, they tout independence as an unachievable goal.  
      Why can't they even come near it?  I suspect it's because there's an awareness deficit disorder that's largely undiagnosed. Given strict orders they function fairly well.  Which is why they crave an ordered society.  Having an authority on which all failure can be blamed is an absolute necessity.  Because, if there are no orders, nothing will get done.

      This is where Barack Obama is seriously mistaken.  He's forcing people to make choices when that's the last thing on earth they want to do.  Secure individuals have difficulty comprehending what it means to be endemically insecure.  Conservatives are constricted by their fears.

      http://www.youtube.com/cyprespond

      by hannah on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 04:42:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  conservatives need stupid people (25+ / 0-)

    if a school dares to teach critical thinking, intellectual curiosity, and provide a quality education in all subjects plus the arts, the modern day conservative movement would collapse. By attacking education, they dumb down the schools, and, in turn, the students, who are then easily fooled and easily led.

    I watched a movie "Idiocracy", and, while it is a satire, it shows where this country is headed. One scene, the courtroom trial, where the judge asks the prosecution "what are the charges?" and the reply comes "He fucked up my shit", pretty much says it all. This country has derided intellectual and artistic pursuits for years until now, it's just bread and circuses and stupid people. Will we recover?

    "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government" T. Jefferson

    by azureblue on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 07:57:40 AM PST

  •  The pattern is persistent (21+ / 0-)

    200 years ago, it was illegal in some states to teach slaves to read.  And of course women were kept from getting more than a minimal education.  In some places (Afghanistan comes to mind) that's still true.

    An uneducated population is easier to control.  Today's conservatives can't take the same drastic measures to strip education from those they deem inferior, so they resort to more devious means.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:00:12 AM PST

  •  Dumb people -> stable state. n/t (11+ / 0-)

    Iuris praecepta sunt haec: Honeste vivere, alterum non laedere, suum cuique tribuere. - Ulpian, Digestae 1, 3

    by Dauphin on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:08:18 AM PST

  •  Wow. What a piece of writing. (21+ / 0-)

    An excellent study of "vagrancy laws" in the South following the civil war into the 20th Century is Blackmon's "Slavery by Another Name" in which he explores how black men were routinely rounded up, imprisoned, and then hired out to private business--mostly mines--to do basically slave labor. This book is important, because the rise of private prisons in this country essentially creates the need for "clients", ie prisoners and invites exploitation by private business of the prisoners.

    Another excellent book, called "Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America" (I forget the author, it's not at hand but easy to google--I'm on dialup, so it would take me fifteen minutes to go find the link and post it here) adresses certain attitudes towards everything from class to sex to food brought by English settlers to the various parts of America they emigrated to. The book points out that the folks who settled Virginia and other parts of the south held an attitude of "liberty" which translated to "a man is only free if he has someone else who is inferior to him and enjoys less liberty". Essentially, a feudal view of the landed aristocracy in Britain was transferred to the American South.

    Both of these books should be required reading for everyone who wants to understand the roots of modern conservatism. Oh, and I'll add your diary to that reading list!

    Don't f*ck with my civil rights. Regards, a gay guy.

    by commonmass on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:09:06 AM PST

    •  Not only vagrants - prisoners were hired out (5+ / 0-)

      to road building projects.

      The process was pretty simple - the owner of the construction company knows or is related to county sheriffs and judges.  Any black charged with drunkeness, vagrancy, etc.  is sent to prison to work on the back-breaking construction jobs.

      (Poor) whites convicted of the same offense get let off with a slap on the hand.

      The power elite don't even have to go to court.

      The useful things about prisons is that the black population can be completely be controlled - forced labor.  The only expenses are clothes and food; just like the only thing slaves got on the plantation.

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 02:34:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liz dexic, NBBooks, revgerry, elwior

      One of the greatest American novels and amazing insight into how the black population was controlled.  

  •  Independent thinkers are not blind followers (16+ / 0-)

    and education produces independent thinkers.

    In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't.

    by crystal eyes on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:09:35 AM PST

    •  Public education has trended (17+ / 0-)

      for a long time now to minimize critical and independent thinking on the part of both students and teachers. Texas gov. Rick Perry said it pretty bluntly a few weeks ago when he referred to the goal of education to produce a "workforce" that can be "trained". I think creating a class of drones is exactly what the conservative goal is for public education. I don't know why more people don't see that.

      Don't f*ck with my civil rights. Regards, a gay guy.

      by commonmass on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:14:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I taught behavior disorder children (12+ / 0-)

        and found that helping children to develop their thinking skills had a much more  significant impact on improving classroom behavior than emphasis on behavior modification compliance training with rewards and consequences.

        The way forward for American education is to realize that children are intrinsically motivated to become avid independent learners when they are empowered to participate in what and how they learn and to master competencies of their own choosing.

        If cats could blog, they wouldn't.

        by crystal eyes on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:22:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Surely you're not suggesting (14+ / 0-)

        that kids need to know anything except what's on the standardized test?

        (Paging Dolores Umbridge...)

        I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

        by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:42:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The docile "trained workforce" (10+ / 0-)

        they want will actually be pretty small; even lower wages and higher skills can be obtained abroad. So most people will be condemned to an underemployed/unemployed but heavily policed underclass.

        Notice that the preferred terminology now is "workforce" rather than labor. I suppose this is because "labor" connotes a social group with isome interests and rights of its own.

        We will also be hearing more often the old Bircher slogan, "This is a Republic, not a democracy," because a republic can be essentially oligarchic.

        I would call their project oligarchy or timarchy, not aristocracy. They are "aristoi" in no sense of the word.

        •  Something has always bugged me (11+ / 0-)

          About the need for "retraining", and an "educated and mobile workforce" (see CNN today). I mean, no-one values education more than me, but I don't think that only college grads should have jobs, either.

          I am very frustrated by the focus on being "college-ready", will all the advanced math and science. The object of education is equipping people to work and live in the world around them. Education means knowing how banks work, how businesses work, how government works, and what your rights and responsibilities are. It's knowing how and why we all got to America.  What an oboe sounds like, and whats going on at the end of the 1812 overture. Where Jazz comes from. How color works. I want kids to come out of high school knowing how to enjoy and participate in their world. That doesn't require solving differential equations or memorizing reaction mechanisms.

          Maybe I'm naive.

          Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

          by J Orygun on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 01:08:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope, you're not naive. (6+ / 0-)

            You're right on the money, so to speak. I grew up with the kind of education you describe, plus field trips to museums, Revolutionary War sites and such. Even in middle school, art and music and/or speech and drama (I did them all!) were compulsary along with PE and academic subjects. I was lucky to go to pretty small but well-funded public schools all my elementary and secondary career (except for one year at a Jesuit prep school while I was waiting to get into the Performing Arts HS in Houston). Later, when I became a teacher, I thought to myself: EVERY school in the country, in every district, should have what my brother and I had. Broad exposure, not just to academics or baseball, but also to the arts, and to student clubs, to critical thinking, the ability to express onesself as one wishes as long as it is not disruptive, and a safe, fun, happy learning environment. If it cannot be achieved here, it cannot be achieved anywhere.

            Don't f*ck with my civil rights. Regards, a gay guy.

            by commonmass on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 01:42:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, a lot of mathematical (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jlb1972

            ability can be found in music.

            But I'm not sure what they are re-training us all for.  I don't really think they intend to groom us for management positions.  I think we are talking downward training.  Training people to be happy with getting minimum wage for a job that might have paid five to ten times that in a vibrant American economy.  Soon they'll move on to re-training us to believe that minimum wage, weekends and reasonable work hours are far too much to ask for a lowly worker.

        •  Utah (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jlb1972

          Rep. Stephen Sandstrom’s (R – Orem)has proposed a bill that would require teachers in Utah to teach that the United States is a ‘constitutional compound republic’. Teachers would be allowed to give a definition of the word "Democracy" but not use it as a description of any part of our government.
          Labeling and rote repetition is extremely important to Republicans.
          Republic (Republican)=good, Democracy(Democrat)=irrelevant.

          •  Notice that's a purely structural definition: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NBBooks, jlb1972

            it ignores the question of whether that "constitutional compound republic" represents broadly democratic or narrowly oligarchic interests.

            The 16th-17th century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was a compound republic, but only the szlachta (about 9% of the peopulation were enfranchised and represented in the Diet and provinicial dietines. Most of the remaining 90% were serfs.

            The Roman Republic remained an oligarchy dominated by the patricianate (a few dozen families of the hereditary Senatorial order) and sometimes further degenerated into military dictatorships of consuls (Sulla, Pompey, Caesar) wielding the imperium. Through all that its elites still insisted it was a Republic.

            Notice also that the Teabagger Right is coming around to the idea that direct election of Senators is a "bad idea," and others are suggesting there should be a property qualification for the right to vote since only property-holders could have a "stake" in the political order.

            •  As someone who grew up in (0+ / 0-)

              proto-Tea Party circles (Religious Right/Oil & MIC, Deep South, Civil Rights/Vietnam era) and heard it all behind closed doors, I can tell you that re-limiting the franchise has been the goal all along. They are only "coming around to it" in that they think this is finally the time to strike. Consider Walker Percy's 1971 novel Love In The Ruins, where in a dystopian future America the right-wing American Catholic Church (whose "Rome" is Cicero, Illinois!) celebrates "Property Rights Sunday."

              Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

              by jlb1972 on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 04:32:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Wow, spot on commonmass, the 3 monkeys come (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        revgerry, commonmass

        to mind.

        No insult intended for those who are blind, yet see more than I, those who are deaf that follow their inner voice, and the so-called dumb whose wisdom exceeds that of the mensas of the world.

      •  My Mom Taught Critical Thinking in Grade School (8+ / 0-)

        But this was the 1970s and 1980s.  She even taught her young students to evaluate TV commercials, to break down what they were really saying - she taught this to grade school kids!  They responded with a deep love for her.  I found this out after I became her caregiver.  I received  letters and phone calls from her former students inquiring after her.

        Get them to think critically at an early age, you free them forever.

        "It was like that when I got here." - Homer Simpson

        by rbird on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 12:50:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I went to elementary school in the '70's (6+ / 0-)

          in a small town in New England about 28 miles west of Boston. It was a very modern school: open classrooms, inventive curriculum, great teachers. We were taught to pull things apart, too, to kind of deconstruct them and even to see bias in a text. Here's an example: our fourth grade teacher (she taught our combined advanced fourth and fifth grade class, which was also innovative--not done out of overcrowding) had us reading "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" of C.S.Lewis. Without an agenda on her part, she got us to figure out for ourselves that it was a Christian allegory. Then, we talked about it. Fourth and fifth graders. We really learned how to think, and also how to express an opinion without invalidating others. That was real teaching. Guidance, really. Your mom must have been really loved by her students.

          Don't f*ck with my civil rights. Regards, a gay guy.

          by commonmass on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 01:49:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for this wonderful diary. (7+ / 0-)

    I've bookmarked it so I can reference it for furture discussions.  Tpped and recced

    Excellent work.

  •  Now THIS... (6+ / 0-)

    is good.

    Meaningful.

     T&Red

    ... just floating by ...

    by cumulo on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:31:31 AM PST

  •  hey haley barbour (5+ / 0-)

    mississippi was dead last in 1920 and is dead last today...good work, a-hole, you and all of your confederate cousins

    i think i'll paint my ass purple and run with the baboons

    by memofromturner on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 09:33:33 AM PST

  •  Why is NEWSMAX allowed to advertise??? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    revgerry, Matt Z, HylasBrook

        "Do you hate Barack Obama"
        "Do you support Scott Walker"
         so on and so on.

    What KOS could do is get this cancerous, middle class killing advertising OFF it's webpage. That would be a step in the right direction!!!

  •  Outstanding diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    revgerry, Eric Nelson

    Tipped, Rec'd, Hotlisted and Tweeted.

    "May the fierce be with you." - RuPaul

    by Kimberley on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 11:17:58 AM PST

  •  I used to call them Kansas Khristian Konservatives (7+ / 0-)

    when I lived there, because there was nothing more appropriate, in my beliefs, to describe exactly what type of culture, behavior, policies and organization of the so-called Christian conservatives which ran the state legislature, state school board, and every thing else, except for Wyandotte and Douglas counties.

    I see the Khristian Konservatives are thriving all over.

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect -- Mark Twain.

    by dcrolg on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 11:42:18 AM PST

  •  Thank you for pointing out (5+ / 0-)

    that the oligarchs are racists and that that racism is used by the oligarchy to maintain their hold on power.

    A mythology has grown up that the elites were and are above all this and that racism was and is a by-product of poverty. It's the To Kill A Mockingbird myth, if you will. Somehow racism existed despite the best efforts of Atticus, Miss Maudie, Sheriif Tate, and the "better elements" of society. Why if it wasn't for the hoi polloi such as Bob Ewell and the bunch out in Old Sarum,  racism would have disappeared.

    A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

    by slatsg on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 11:43:47 AM PST

    •  I am sorry, but that's not a myth. (5+ / 0-)

      I would not be here, I would not be the person I am today were it not for my Alabama born and raised father, Granddaddy and that family who taught me everything about judging people solely based on their character.  Had I relied on my Minnesota/North Dakota born and bred maternal Grandparents for my cues on how to treat people, I'd be a total racist.

      When I was a kid and visited my Grandmother every summer in Alabama, I never understood why there were never any Confederate flags flying or displayed by the locals.  I learned later from a book by a Congressman who was my Granddaddy's best friend and ultimately destroyed by George Wallace about why it was that our part of Alabama was not really all that engaged in the question of blacks v. whites during the Civil War.  Why it was that my father's family lore was that they went to the caves rather than fighting for the Confederacy.  It was because they were poor and not in the least bit invested in the Plantation South's slave economy.

      I could go on, but I won't.  But you clearly need to understand a bit more about the economics and societal structure of the South before you will see that if it were not for the clever and fairly evil wealthy elite in the South, the poor folks both black and white would have fared far better than they have over the past 200 years.  The KKK was invented as a way to break up the cooperatives that poor white and black farmers set up that greatly threatened the status quo in the late 19th and early 20th Century.  Pitting poor people against other poor people for whatever reason - race, religion, whatever - is a time honored strategy employed by powerful and wealthy elite.  Keeping them all ignorant, uneducated and scared is tantamount to success in that effort.

      •  Perhaps you didn't understand my comment (0+ / 0-)

        It was somewhat snarky. Some would have us believe that if the elites had their way, there would have been racial harmony and that it was the working classes who were responsible for racism. that, of course, is total bunkum.

        And it isn't jst the south and it hasn't gone away. Some of the most virulent racism I have encountered since President Obama was elected has come from members of the "better classes". I am not dismissing the racism of working class whites, but you can see the elites pitting working folks against each other based on color, religion and ethnicity.

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 06:28:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Can you please provide the title (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, jlb1972, Eric Nelson

        and author of the book you refer to? I'm working on a big diary about how the Confederacy was torn apart internally. Besides the 200,000 slaves who joined the Union army, 300,000 white Southerners left their homes to also join the Union army and fight against the Confederacy. That means fully a quarter of all Union troops actually came from the South. There were entire counties and areas of the South that were in open revolt against Confederate authorities by the end of 1862. In October 1862, the Confederate Congress passed the Twenty Negro Law, exempting “One white man on every plantation with twenty or more slaves” from military service. The law caused great discontent among the soldiers, and fixed the idea that it was “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight." Then, the Confederacy passed a "tax in kind law" under which authorities could seize almost any property at will. Reports began to reach Confederate soldiers that their wives and children had been left destitute and were literally starving. By late 1864, nearly half of the Confederate army was absent without leave.

        One book that has a lot of material is Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War, by David Williams, The New Press, New York, NY, 2008.

        A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

        by NBBooks on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 07:58:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Carl Elliott (0+ / 0-)

          http://en.wikipedia.org/...

          "The Cost of Courage" was his book.  Elliott spent much of his time in Congress working on Education. He was an historian and the book is well worth the read.  Jackie Onassis got it published and he was the first recipient of the Kennedy Courage award.  It is a great book.  He was a great man - to me anyway.

          Also worth reading are the following:

          Rick Bragg's "Ava's Man" just to understand the northern "hill people" as different from the Plantation south.

          And another one that is on my shelf but not yet read by me...

          "The State of Jones" by Sally Jenkins and John Stauffer

          That's about Mississippi, but in AL one of the counties just North of us also seceded from the Confederacy.

    •  And I want to add that racism (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      liz dexic, NBBooks, jlb1972

      hasn't disappeared because too few people understand it as the powerful and destructive tool that it is for those who wield it like it was a machete slashing through communities and society.

      Too few people understand that a poor white family that is struggling to advance or simply to survive in an environment of racism cultivated by powerful and wealthy elites are going to choose their own survival and societal acceptance over being ostracized and further impoverished nine times out of ten before they will stick up for the other guys who are just a rung lower than they are.  I have no clue - none - what it was about my family that moved them to buck the system in which they lived and upon which they depended - aside from personality defects such as being wildly contrarian and independent people - but they did.  Most people that I meet in this world do not have that drive, inner core or, frankly, insane will to literally risk their lives for anyone - even themselves.

      At my Grandmother's funeral I saw this woman who worked for my Grandparents and whose husband was said to have been my Granddaddy's best friend in the town.  They are black.  She told me that some 35 years prior during the 60's my Granddaddy got her the loan for their house and gave them the downpayment.  They are black.  You didn't let black people own anything in that era in the South.  You didn't because it upset the "world order" and you didn't because you would be ostracized.  Lucky for all of us that he had become the richest guy in town.  He was too successful to be challenged.  His wife had too much power and influence as the descendent of the founding family. But you tried that kind of "shit" when you were poor and you'd be on a quick path to having the KKK come burn down your hovel and starving your kids.

      The moment when you understand racism as a tool for destruction and division and that you stop taking it personally is the moment when you will be able to effectively battle it.

      Take a cue from my Dad.  LOL  A woman in that small Alabama town approached him around the primaries in 2008 and asked him if she as a Democrat should vote for John McCain or Hillary Clinton.  She said that she could not vote for Obama because she was black.  He replied, "Lady, that's the dumbest fucking question I've ever heard.  If you think that your choice is between John McCain and Hillary Clinton because Barack Obama is black, then you are a fucking idiot."  Okay, maybe you could be a bit more tactful than he was, but what he did was call out the tool of racism for what it is.  It is a tool of ignorance, stupidity and false choices.  My father was an Obama supporter.

      •  Thanks for these posts - (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart

        we'll never get anywhere in this country if we keep pretending that all our evils are the doing of 11 states.

        Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

        by jlb1972 on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 04:56:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We will never get anywhere if we (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jlb1972

          don't understand the threats against us and exactly how they are used against us.  Too often we get lost in emotion and il-conceived relativism that undermine our ability to mount the kinds of counter-attacks that would nullify insidious tactics like racism that impede progress.  Go directly to helping as many people as is possible through policy and all of a sudden nobody cares what color, gender or religion you represent.  All of a sudden the forces that seek to make them hate you for those things become impotent.  JFK, a Catholic, won over the Scots-Irish of the Appalachian region this way.  I don't think people in this era fully understand how incredible that feat was.

          Want to talk about how those of us who were raised in Scots Irish Protestant families were raised to view Catholics?  Not pretty.

          •  Or, as I had forgotten, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            inclusiveheart

            how Wisconsin voted for Nixon over Kennedy because of hostility to Catholics. The real problem is the oligarchs, without whom none of this would be so powerful or persistent, and they are nationwide.

            Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

            by jlb1972 on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 03:47:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Upon occasion I have been that direct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart

        Usually I try reason, but often racists are devoid of reason. I have lived in a small town for years and by now nearly everyone knows that I don't tolerate racist comments.

        Thanks for your comments. I think we agree completely regarding the use of race by the oligarchy.

        A proud member of the Professional Left since 1967.

        by slatsg on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 06:33:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. That was a good read. (5+ / 0-)

    Nice companion piece: Yo, Pundits! Here's What's Up With the Republicans via the inimitable Geenius at Wrok.

    Anyone who doesn't believe the South really is another country should take a look at this:

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

    by adios on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 11:55:15 AM PST

  •  Excellent diary! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jlb1972, happymisanthropy, Deejay Lyn

    However, today we're facing a situation in which many folks who aren't conservatives are also attacking teachers.

    Michelle Rhee is not a conservative.  Neither is Davis Guggenheim, who directed the execrable Waiting for "Superman" (he also directed An Inconvenient Truth).

    The sad thing is that teachers are now under attack by many people on the so-called left as well.

    Defeating conservatives is necessary to protect American teachers and American education.  But it's not enough.  We're also losing the battle over educational reform within the Democratic Party.

  •  critical thinking is detrimental (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, Matt Z

    to the conservative agenda.  therefore, education is discouraged.

    ignorance is a virtue.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 12:21:17 PM PST

  •  This goes back even further, to the founding (7+ / 0-)

    When southern slaveowning aristocrats, wishing to have their cake and eat it too, on the one hand preached "liberty" when it meant freeing themselves from imagined British oppression in the form of very modest taxes needed to pay for the recently concluded French and Indian war that was started by and mostly benefitted people like them (and from restrictions on exploiting the land just won from the French in this war and the native peoples living in it), yet on the other hand making the preservation of slavery a non-negotiable condition of independance, and then a dozen or so years later furiously trying to prevent the ratification of a constitution that would have centralized federal power and threatened their southern aristocratic prerogatives (sorry, people, it was NOT about "State's Rights" and "freedom" and all that nauseatingly propagandistic bullshit that infects our republic to this day).

    These people have always believed themselves to be special and priviledged and not subject to the laws and rules and morals that govern everyone else's behavior in a civilized society, and they continue to defend such self-imagined prerogatives and privileges under the false guise of "freedom" and "fiscal responsibility" (even as they try to take away everyone else's freedom and keep rewarding themselves with fat subsidies and pork and tax looholes and convince millions of low-information fools to support them). They are 18th century oligarchs trying to preserve their special status into the 21st century. And they'll reduce us to virtual serdom if we let them.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 12:47:45 PM PST

    •  Great comment. Privilege I think is the thing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sardonyx, liz dexic, kovie

      they want above all else - more even than money, or only rich people would vote for them.

      Is there any history of who settled the South vs who settled the North that would explain this, or start to?

      In AZ, for instance, Southern AZ had been part of Spain, then part of Mexico, but northern AZ was settled by Mormon missionaries, was never part of Mexico.  very different cultures, still playing out.

      Let's break our dependence on foreign goods and our multinational masters. Shop American. May Peace Prevail

      by revgerry on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 03:46:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm no expert on the colonial era (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sardonyx, revgerry

        But my understanding is that the south was initially settled more by the lesser British aristocracy, and the north more by commoners and bourgeoise, each bringing with them and passing on their respective classes' outlook on rights and privileges and the natural order of society. Which, to the extent accurate, would explain much about how things turned out after the Revolution.

        We no longer have a landed aristocracy in the US, as all property-based power derives from either industry, commerce or finance. But the southern landed aristocrat mentality has persevered to the present day, in modified form.

        Perhaps, as a retort to whenever Repubs refer to the "Democrat Party", we should throw it right back at them and call theirs the "Aristocrat Party". Which is what it is (although, really, our party doesn't lack for would-be aristocrats).

        "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

        by kovie on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 04:53:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks, I just got home, and hoped my guess (0+ / 0-)

          was somewhere in the ballpark.

          What is sad is that they have so successfully been able to divide the people and dilute our collective  power.

          Let's break our dependence on foreign goods and our multinational masters. Shop American. May Peace Prevail

          by revgerry on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 11:30:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Also, I can't help but think (6+ / 0-)

    that these efforts to destoy teacher's unions and rights and lower their salaries and benefits are actively discouraging highly qualified people who might have otherwise considered getting into teaching from doing so--and convincing a lot of current excellent teachers to leave their profession.

    If they succeed in this, we WILL be a third world country in a generation. We're already halfway there, in terms of average Americans' level of intellectual and cultural sophistication not to mention standard of living.

    "Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" --Alexander Hamilton

    by kovie on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 12:51:02 PM PST

  •  Great diary! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    revgerry

    The roots of the conservative anti-education policies is quite enlightening and centainly shows they have regressed to a reconstruction era mind set.  

    They have forgotton that it was a conservative Republican canidate that spoke about free public education, especially for girls.  During the 1920 campaign for President, Republican canidate Warren G. Harding spoke many times concerning education.  What he did to make it a reality after becoming President, I don't know, just studied the election and not his time in the White House....

    Got Books? www.membranachristianbooks.com Need Cables? www.yourcablestore.com

    by sweettp2063 on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 12:58:20 PM PST

  •  So why... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, Matt Z

    ...do so many ordinary people embrace this kind of thinking?  It was more than the GWB 20%ers and unreformed plantation owners that voted today's House into office. There is some sort of broad appeal to oligarchy that I just don't get.

    Frankly, I blame everything on Nixon.

    by J Orygun on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 01:15:56 PM PST

    •  This diary is impressive but (0+ / 0-)

      simply doesn't account for much of the reality of our history. The people really pushing us to fascism are not Southerners, though too many of them go along ...

      Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

      by jlb1972 on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 04:58:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, yes and no (0+ / 0-)

        No, it's not just the ex-slave states that are a problem. But we do need to come to grips with the fact that modern American conservative ideology is largely (not entirely, but largely) a resurrection of ideas behind the Confederacy. My intent with this diary is to provide a means for people to counter conservative ideas by showing their actual origins as hostile to the United States.

        A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

        by NBBooks on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:04:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Phil Agre (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psnyder, revgerry

    Thanks for reminding us of his closely reasoned work.  I hope he's doing better and getting ready to take part in the public debate soon.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 01:37:36 PM PST

  •  Loved your diary NBBooks... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NBBooks, revgerry

    here's a wikipedia link about the southern redeemers...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    To do everything I can to make sure our economy is growing, creating jobs, and strengthening our middle class. That's my resolution for the coming year.

    by BarackStarObama on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 02:16:48 PM PST

  •  I can understand the rich who want to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, Leo in NJ

    become richer.  What I can't understand are the masses of working people who call themselves Republicans who have, for most of their adult lives, consistently voted Republican and against their own best interests.  My family is full of such people, and they are and I suspect always will remain a mystery to me.  (And yes, some of them are educated and intelligent.)

    If you've got an explanation, please share it.

  •  Guilt by Association (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic

    "Modern conservatives will howl about how I use the word “conservative” here to link them to the racists and terrorists that subverted the peace after the Civil War and re-imposed servitude on African-Americans.  Let them disavow Texas governor Rick Perry’s talk about state rights and secession, and I’ll take their arguments seriously. "

    It was on nearly perfectly parallel grounds that the late Sen McCarthy linked liberals and radical communists supposedly bent on destroying America—and then called on those liberals to "disavow" the link. Guilt by association sucks as a strategy. This is probably one of the nastiest, most odious bits of writing I've ever seen here. Have you now or ever been ...?

  •  Ignorant people are easier to fool (0+ / 0-)

    into voting Republican.

  •  Spot on (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liz dexic, revgerry

    It is a shame that the Confederates have captured Lincoln's old Party,

    ConfederateGOP Logo

    but they have.

    Cheers

    Time to clean up DeLay's petri dish! Help CNMI guest workers find justice! Learn more at Unheard No More.

    by dengre on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 03:12:37 PM PST

    •  Great graphic, dengre. Is the great work on (0+ / 0-)

      Unheard no More yours?

      And, are you still involved with any research concerning Arizona?

      Let's break our dependence on foreign goods and our multinational masters. Shop American. May Peace Prevail

      by revgerry on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 03:39:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  15 States with lowest per pupil spending (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BarackStarObama, history first

    Listed with the lowest spending per pupil State first , in ascending order.

    Nevada
    South Dakota
    Missouri
    Illinois
    Nebraska
    Tennessee
    North Dakota
    Colorado
    Florida
    Utah
    Texas Oklahoma
    Virginia
    Mississippi
    Arizona
    New Hampshire

    I see Illinois is the only real Blue State on this list.

    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." — Mahatma Gandhi CARTOON: America’s winners and losers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 03:13:06 PM PST

    •  In isolation (0+ / 0-)

      this means nothing. It would only be meaningful if correlated directly with student achievement. NH (on the list), for instance, supposedly had fairly respectable education numbers last I looked. OTOH, CA and NY pour great wads of cash into the educational system—with fairly poor results.

  •  Calling Slimeballs Slimeballs is THE FIRST (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NBBooks, QuietLight

    step in fixing the problem.

    Being bipartisan with some of these fuckers is beyond ridiculous.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 03:25:37 PM PST

  •  Christ would have a word for conservative ideology (0+ / 0-)

    For all those phony religious christian conservatives out there, your savior would have a word for you - EVIL

    To refer to the ideas of conservatives as an ideology is to dignify them, which they don't deserve.  All primates have a dark side and in our culture that dark side is expressed as conservatism.

  •  Those school attendance #s are particularly (0+ / 0-)

    damning for Southern conservatives whose anti-intellectualism is legendary.

    Stop clapping. Stop screaming. Open your mind. Listen.

    by Benintn on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 04:21:06 PM PST

  •  I call it "crypto-racism" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NBBooks, jlb1972

    Open racism stopped being fashionable thirty years ago, so it's gone underground, just like the KKK.

    The CR's hate big government because government integrated their neighborhood and schools. They hate taxes because they think that "their" money is taken to help people who don't look like them.

    Fundamentalist religion is a political force in this country because it's the one institution where government cannot interfere with segregation.

    RepubliCorp has always exploited America's undercurrent of racism to keep workers and consumers divided.

    We invited a huge conservative backlash by electing a non-white President. It's time to stop acting surprised and accept that we have to fight two battles at once now.

    To defeat RepubliCorp, we must defeat Crypto-racism.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 04:27:08 PM PST

    •  The real trigger to the white backlash (0+ / 0-)

      was the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (Ted Kennedy's first big legislation, to be bookended by NCLB, and the two bridged by his aid to getting Reagan elected, but I digress ...). Fair housing strikes at the heart of what is too-loosely called White Privilege (it's only real privilege if you're not poor). It's not even so much the dramatic popular image of the AA family moving up and into a white neighborhood to endure hatred and terror, it's the multiple redlining that effectively takes much of the housing stock off the market and thereby boosts the value of non-redlined housing.  And in America, housing value is keyed to school quality which is keyed to property taxes which is keyed to housing value ... America as we've known it needs or at least wants a structural under-class, and in this country we define that largely by race. Other nations make do with ethnicity or religion, but we largely "progressed" past that.

      Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

      by jlb1972 on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 04:46:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice diary, and I usually love your stuff, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hmi

    but what I want to know is how does this exclusive and enthusiastic focus on "The South" and particularly The Confederacy account for the following:

    Scott Walker

    Joe McCarthy

    Rush Limbaugh

    Glenn Beck

    Tim Russert

    Sean Hannity

    Dinesh D'Souza

    Anne Coullter

    William F. Buckley

    George Meany

    Richard Nixon

    Ronald Reagan

    Joe Lieberman

    Adolph Coors

    Richard Mellon Scaife

    Phillip Anschuss

    Charles & David Koch

    Rudy Giuliani

    Michelle Bachmann

    Sarah Palin

    Arnold Schwarzenegger

    George H.W., George W., and Jeb Bush (and no, they're not Southerners or Texans or even really New Englanders)

    Erik Prince

    The families DeVos and Qualyle

    Neoconservatives!

    Reagan Democrats!

    New Hampshire right-wingism

    Orange County right-wingism

    The John Birch Society (founded in California and for many years headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts under the support of the Welch family of grape juice fame)

    The Midwest militia and KKK heritage

    Kansas

    Boston race riots, Milwaukee, etc. etc.

    Skull&Bones

    The CIA

    Wall Street

    The MIC

    The China Lobby

    The Miami Cubans

    The oil industry (founded in Pennsylvania and Ohio and only indirectly linked now to the ttaditional South)

    The Insurance industry

    Big Pharma

    The handgun industry

    ...............................................

    OK, I actually could go on and on and cite the work of Walter Karp and many others, but you get the idea. Anyone who says that American conservativism only exists because of the South - and its apparently profound influence on every part of this country - is a part of the problem.

    Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

    by jlb1972 on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 04:43:23 PM PST

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlb1972
    •  I don't mean it to focus on the South, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlb1972, Eric Nelson

      but to show the origin of much conservative thinking today, and thus discredit it as being a resurrection of the ideas behind the Confederacy. My intent with this diary is to provide a means for people to counter conservative ideas by showing their actual origins as hostile to the United States as a democratic republican form of self-government. The fundamental issue is oligarchy, or plutocracy, or whatever you want to call it, which is, by nature, hostile to the very idea of democratic republican self-government. That's why I love the quote from John Adams so much, especially as a contrast to what conservatives say and do.

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Sat Mar 05, 2011 at 08:11:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you very much. (0+ / 0-)
        The fundamental issue is oligarchy, or plutocracy, or whatever you want to call it, which is, by nature, hostile to the very idea of democratic republican self-government.

        Education will will end the power of the aristocracy...
        ...has always preferred a natural hierarchy. You're always going to have some violations of people's rights, for whatever reason, but we just believe that a natural social order left to evolve organically on its own would be better for everyone.

        ..."organically", and yes it will be better for everyone.

        Thx for the education NBBooks t'd &r'd - hotlisted for future reference

        •  Thanks for the thoughtful response (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NBBooks, Eric Nelson

          (not that I expected any less from you), and I agree entirely with:

          The fundamental issue is oligarchy, or plutocracy, or whatever you want to call it, which is, by nature, hostile to the very idea of democratic republican self-government.

          And I would submit respectfully that American oligarchy/authoritarianism has many power centers rooted in many cultural traditions and political economies, and that democratic republican self-government has many enemies, some in surprising places. Your diary is greatly valuable in that it bares the economic roots of American reaction, which are all too often covered up via distractions like The Culture Wars or, my personal favorite, "why on earth do Red Staters vote against their own economic interests?" (A:They Don't).

          As for education being the key, yes in an expanding economy with growing needs, but it's not enough in a contracting economy where far too much of the wealth has been hoarded away, to the satisfaction of the upper 5% or so. We need free good education, but we also need genuine rule of law, freedom of information, and industrial planning.

          Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

          by jlb1972 on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 03:42:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is much better said. I tried to wrap my (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jlb1972

            statement: Education will end the power of the aristocracy and the structured hierarchy "organically", and yes it will be better for everyone. - around the offensive statement:

            ...has always preferred a natural hierarchy. You're always going to have some violations of people's rights, for whatever reason, but we just believe that a natural social order left to evolve organically on its own would be better for everyone.
            - and failed.  It ended up looking like i endosred it when my purpose was to oppose the belief that a  hierarchy/structured oligarchy is desired or necessarily natural.  

            Also i agree completely, education isn't enough:

            We need free good education, but we also need genuine rule of law, freedom of information, and industrial planning.
            thx
        •  Just to be clear, I am refuting this statement (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jlb1972

          not endorsing it in any way:

          ...has always preferred a natural hierarchy. You're always going to have some violations of people's rights, for whatever reason, but we just believe that a natural social order left to evolve organically on its own would be better for everyone.

          Education will end the power of the aristocracy and the structured hiearchy "organically", and yes it will be better for everyone. - this was intended as a whole sentence wrapped around the offensive (imo) statement.
          I wasn't clear i now see, after reading my bungled words.

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