Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Food for thought

Found this gem quoted at American Samizdat and thought I'd pass it along:

People who seek and hold power over others aren’t influenced for the good by public discourse. They mine it for leverage, seek ways to direct it towards things supportive of their programs and mine it for trendy, effective rationales. Public discourse is a vehicle for their psychological warfare. The first step is always getting people to consider something patently ridiculous as worthy of serious attention. Social Security, for example, is now under attack by Charles Rangel [D-NY] and Robert Rubin, the Clinton administration Secretary of the Treasury. They know their arguments are bogus. They want them to be taken seriously, and discussed seriously, so that elements of them appear in the received wisdom columns in the newspapers. Eventually, enough people will accept that there must be something wrong. Why would people be talking about it so much if there weren’t?

One might well ask how anyone could know that such things are psychological warfare, beyond a shadow of a doubt. It’s because the designers of the campaign explicitly say so. They’re proud of it, they think it’s good and a good thing to be doing. When someone says he’s going to do something and then verifiably takes steps to do it, you’re not going to get much better proof. People like that aren’t going to be swayed by debunking. At best, they’ll be forced to change their perception management tactics. They’ll be swayed when 20 or 30 percent of the labor force refuses to show up for work. They’ll be swayed when they lose privileged access to crony networks. The “lesser evilism” votes harvested by cretins like Rangel aren’t persuasive. Every counter-argument, no matter how well explicated, becomes a waste of effort if the last step of it is affirming the shreds of legitimacy he’s gained through formalized, circumscribed democracy.

The programs offered by Spartacus and Lohmann offer much more scope for achieving something positive. They’re fairly modest, goodness knows.

Let's just say that I've been advocating an independent stance among lefties for a while, rather than simply affiliating with the Democrats for lack of a better option. Simply voting will not persuade the Congresscritters, as their main concern is raking in the all-mighty dollars ponied up by lobbyists of varying stripes. The psy-ops waged during the 2006 midterms were impressive. To listen to the Dem politicians and their various allies on the Sunday morning talkshow circuit, they were running against the war that Bu$hCo started (and that, gasp, many Dems meekly enabled). But after the elections were a done deal, and the fates of the myriad candidates were sealed, leaders of the Democrats got to sowing their oats as a majority party by (you guessed it) cutting and running from the anti-war rhetoric. Hence, we'll likely see next year continued funding for the Bu$hCo debacles in Iraq & Afghanistan, and approval for a "surge" of troops for the Iraq debacle (we'll be told by Sen. Reid no doubt that this will be "temporary"). Similarly, all the anti-Bu$hCo rhetoric was pretty damned impressive to the extent that it provided hope to those expecting investigations leading to impeachment. Not so fast, sez in-coming Speaker Pelosi. The 2008 elections are just around the corner, see, and there are "other priorities." Besides, what's the worst damage old Junior Caligula could do anyways? Of course if one must ask that question, one hasn't paid much attention. Don't even get me started on Social Security - we'd already been through the whole "crisis" lunacy before. Not too surprisingly, a bit of fresh donations from the right lobbyists will convince the likes of Rangel that there is a "crisis", if only one affecting profit margins and CEO salaries. Can't have that, now can we.

In the meantime, expect plenty of fiddling while the 'hood burns to the ground.

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