Tuesday, July 17, 2012

On Those Lazy Parasitic Cockroaches Who Want Free Stuff from the Job Creators...

It was a bunch of people who invented the assembly line to make them efficiently and quickly. Government had nothing to do with it! The second point about this is, you know what this really is? This is a bunch of people that don't count. 
This is a bunch of people with miserable, meaningless lives who are lying to themselves; trying to tell themselves that they matter. So you had Mr. Big Factory Owner who is Mr. Big Business Guy and Mr. Wealthy in their view. 
"Well, he didn't do it on his own! He couldn'ta done it without all of us. We built the roads and we built the regulations. We built the stoplights, and we built the trains!" Yeah? Well, if you did all that, how come you're sitting there with nothing? If you made it all happen, how come you've got nothing? "Well, the rich business guy stole it from me! We're the ones that actually made it all happen." 
This is such a crock. 
This is a bunch of meaningless people (who know that their lives don't account for anything) trying to matter, and coming up with this ridiculous philosophy that says, "Successful people have not done it on their own. Successful people only exist because of the nameless, faceless, real, true hard workers." You know, before Marx there was no such thing as class-driven economics. If that guy had been aborted, we'd have a whole different world today. 
--Rush Limbaugh, July 16, 2012 show
Language is violence. Language can incite physical violence and murder. Language can inflict pyschic violence as well. Language can also be used to demean whole groups of people such that their citizenship is called into question as their human value is marginalized.

Of course, we have seen this dynamic at work in genocides around the world. We also saw this same mobilization of language in order to legitimate America's policy of "Manifest Destiny," enslavement of blacks, exploitation of other people of color (both domestically and internationally) in the service of empire, and abuse of the working classes and the poor.

In an earlier post on the sociopathy of Mitt Romney and the Ayn Randian logic of the Tea Party GOP, I alluded to how I never would have imagined that I would live in an era where eliminationist rhetoric has become so apologetically central in our political discourse. It is now common place for Conservatives to talk about "surplus" human beings, and the poor and working classes (and in some cases the middle class), as "parasites." 

For example, Rush Limbaugh, White-wing hate bloviator doubled down on his eliminationist rhetoric yesterday when he suggested that people who are not rich industrialists or financiers are in fact "losers" who never contributed anything to American society. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, in discussing Barack Obama's granting the states more latitude regarding how they dispense federal welfare funds, characterized those millions of Americans in need of public assistance during the Great Depression 2.0 as cockroaches. 

[Random observation, I thought conservatives were all for States' Rights? Riddle me that one...]

Language does political work. It helps to create a type of common sense which naturalizes certain policies. Language shapes public opinion by introducing ideas and concepts which citizens internalize and respond to. Public opinion is a barometer of the public mood; political elites (which includes the media) have a great deal of power over how it is shaped. The manipulation of language through the repetition of certain concepts is integral to all of these dynamics, as it establishes a narrative frame which shapes the nation's political agenda.

The Right's eliminationist language is being used by its agents towards an end goal. It is not floating out there in the social ether, harmless, neutral, and benign. Branding people as cockroaches, non-productive, parasites, who should in turn submit to the "job creators," has been extensively refined, workshopped, and focused grouped. It is not a coincidence that more and more of this rhetoric is being offered up by the Right as the 2012 Presidential campaign moves forward. 

It is a given that the Right wants to eviscerate the social safety net and radically alter the social compact between citizens and their government. However, they can accomplish this goal without using the language of genocide. Why then has the Right and its pundit classes made such a choice? 

These questions are a serious matter.

I am going to start a running feature where I list all of the instances of eliminationist and genocidal language used by the Republican Party and its operatives going forward. I am afraid of what we will discover, but I am compelled nonetheless. 

Moreover, there is a power to metrics here, of presenting a running count with examples and context for these eliminationist appeals. The patterns will tell us a great deal about the themes Right-wing opinion leaders are using to shape their public's mood. When this language starts to bear fruit either in a shifting in public attitudes, or violence (which the hate talkers will deny they have any connection to), we will have a document that points out how this all came to fruition.

As you come across Right-wing eliminationist hate speech by Tea Party GOP candidates, officials, and their media elites, please send me an email so I can keep our list up to date.


Conor said...

Radio Rwanda is an apt comparison. In a world ruled by logic and sanity, Rush would just be a neighbourhood blowhard, annoying those who live on either side of him or who were unfortunate enough to be seated next to him at the bar.

In the Bizzaro World of conservative America, however, those rules need not apply. On his fourth marriage, with no progeny, he is lauded as a man of Christian virtue by the same people who vilify same sex marriages, for amongst other things, being childless.

His other contradictions seem to merely energize his dittohead base, rather than making them wonder to whom they are slavishly listening. Draft dodging, drug abuse, etc, etc. He can be forgiven for all that, and more, because he is reliably racist, or as he coyly puts it, not "politically correct".

When Obama wins in November, as it is beginning to appear even more likely as Romney thrashes about, Limbaugh et al. will be even worse. I could even foresee him inciting armed insurrection.

chaunceydevega said...

@Conor. They are already calling secession and States' rights. Some folks may say this is all hyperbole. It is far from it.

fred c said...

They are for states' rights in any matter that reduces the power of the Federal government; there is no interest in actually empowering the states. The intended beneficiaries are corporate interests.

You know, back in the Seventies I was a young father doing my first real thinking about the future. I figured, hopefully, that the powers that be would always need us, the workers and the barely middle-class, so we would probably always be okay.

Then came a couple of decades of inflation, and political changes that were not favorable to the working classes, and I thought, oh shit, now we've got something worth stealing, and the new bosses seem more disposed to steal it. (Home equity, among other things.) I was worried with good cause, evidently.

Now that economism has completely won out, we are mere surplusage, or even cockroaches. Secession? Hell. I've seceded already.

annum natalem said...

Climate change will make America a desert. Everything's gonna get more expensive, and summers, and temperatures will run hot. Crops will die, forcing food prices up, people won't be able to get foodstamps due to our conservative representatives taking away funding from that sort of thing. People will lean on churches and other places for food. The ground in the ghetto is sometimes too poisonous to grow crops, anyway. The airwaves will increasingly be given "fair and balanced" coverage of the situation. World War 3 will be a dogpile on the mad, suffering, dying beast that is the United States.

Or, people will snap out of it. I hope. Or be too exhausted to fight each other, and be able to realize who has everything and who has nothing. I don't know. Anytime I think of these sorts of things, I realize just how small I am and how little I really know.

Anne O'Nimmus said...

Instead of the Ayn Randian psychoathy espoused by Rush and his ilk, people should be discovering "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist" by Robert Tressel. This explains how ordinary workers generously give up their time, energy, health and lives to enrich their masters with almost no personal gain.
Otherwise, where we're headed is for democracies and societies (I'm in UK) that look like the Phillipines on a good day.
I think the "elites" have read the writing on the wall wrt global warming etc, and the withdrawal of rights and services from the many is their potential contribution to carbon reduction - they all say the poor produce less! And not to forget that the withdrawal of services in the former soviet countries caused a double percentage figure population drop in many of the former soviet satellite countries.
The "eliminationist language" helps to normalize the expectation of service withdrawal and higher death rates among America's (in their view) undeserving poor. The elites will be safe behind their gates, with their usable remnant of the middle class outside but turned against each other.

nomad said...

"When this language starts to bear fruit either in a shifting in public attitudes, or violence (which the hate talkers will deny they have any connection to), we will have a document that points out how this all came to fruition."

I dunno. It could be just the other way around. The language may be evidence of attitudes that have already shifted. I'm a pragmatist in this sense: I have never thought of the GOP as anything but the party of racists. They are just being a little more honest about it in the Age of Barama. Our problem is not that such people are trying to eliminate those of us who are not rich (mostly black people). That is an enmity that will be in effect from the GOP in any case, whether they are open or clandestine about it. Our problem is we have no defense against this assault. We have no opposition party. The Dems, and especially Barama, have betrayed us. The GOP wants to cut the social safety net. Haven't you been paying attention? So does Barama. And he has been more effective in moving US toward that goal. Our problem is not the bluster of our racist enemies. Our problem is the betrayal of Obama and the Democratic party. As I often say: The Democratic Party must die!

CNu said...

The sustainable U.S. population level at the current level of oil and natural gas agricultural input utilization is less than 100 million.

Getting from here to there is an inevitability within my childrens' lifetime.

U.S. food production capacity is considered a long-term strategic advantage and a weapon in the global great game.

Long-term global minimal regret human population levels at current levels of resource consumption is less than 100 million total.


The global cull/die-off will be exponentially staggering compared with what's in store in the U.S. this century.

chaunceydevega said...

@Fred C. The funny thing is that conservatives are screaming about how millionaires and billionaires are leaving the USA. Yet, these same folks can benefit from protections under the tax code and the rip off scheme they put into place. Also, the elite class, the true global power elite have been onto what is coming for decades...and they have helped massage the situation into being.

@Fictional. I often wonder when the historians of the future write about the end of the cold war forward and especially beginning with 9-11 that the US has not been involved in World War Three for a decade or so already. The American people have just been blind to it--thus when blow back comes they cry.

@Anne. You are very insightful and also right to pick up on how "neutral" language such as "carbon reduction" will be used to legitimate a "natural" outcome.
I wonder if the bloviator set is that smart though, or if they are getting the talking points from the think tanks and the real elites without the context or meaning.

@Nomad. Causality or reflection or both. I am sure there are folks who have been documenting these trends for years. When I get a chance I am going to do some research to see what the standing consensus is.

@Cnu. What happens when China's bubble pops? Have you seen those pictures of the empty Chinese cities in the rural parts of the country? Totally built, equipped, and done. Some say they are simply banks of a sort because the Chinese financiers have so much excess liquidity. I don't buy that one.

nomad said...

"Causality or reflection or both."
It doesn't matter. It's always been here. Probably always will, hidden or not. The new problem has been slowly development since 1980. Less and less opposition to destructive right wing policies until now there is virtually none at all. Your team can't win if the majority are playing for the other side. What we have is a good cop (Dem) bad cop (GOP) herding US into dystopia. The police state being engineered right before our eyes is a bipartisan project.

CNu said...

What happens when China's bubble pops?

The house that Mao built will have one helluva governance problem on its hands..., because once the dopamine monkey has climbed onto a people's back, he's an incredibly hard addiction to shake.

Pretty much the only thing left to the rulers at that juncture will be a massive effort to redirect internal discontent outward toward external "enemies"

Razor said...

Great points all. I like the good cop bad cop analogy in the political theater of US politics. However, when the good cop is Black Democrat Barack Obama apocalyptic references like extermination-elimination-racial/class genocide of surplus cockroach population is not out of order. Particularly when you consider the openly giant steps being taken by the Obama administration towards a surveillance/police state coupled with the granting of immunity to "open air" grand theft of literally trillions of dollars by the banking elite, military industrial complex, Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Energy, and other global corporate monsters, from the public tills. They know that free-market capitalism and democracy cannot co-exist much longer, because our capatalism must exploit people and resources. That's why we are in perpetual war now.

But the elite realize that sooner rather than later even some of these stupid/rascist white folk are going to wake up to the fact that many of them will have to return to their serf status they had in old europe. That's where the Sean Hannitys and Rush Limbaughs come in. Marginal White people( the great majority of them) who have enjoyed white privilege and racial superiority are starting to read the tea leaves. They are very insecure financially and job-wise. They too are victims of the mass outsourcing of jobs and lower wages. They fantasize with Sean and Rush of millions of brown and black folk just disappearing. As you have seen and they have seen with the Occupy movement, they too are expendable if they stand in the way of this train. It's easier to just hate the colored folk and when you feel emasculated as a lot of white men feel right now. For them rational thought is hardly possible. America soon will be a powderkeg.

Comrade Physioprof said...

It is a given that the Right wants to eviscerate the social safety net and radically alter the social compact between citizens and their government. However, they can accomplish this goal without using the language of genocide.

This is incorrect. Because of the inevitable demographic shifts that are occurring in this country, now more than ever they need every single one of their sicke fucke racist motherfucker base to show up and vote. Racial arousal is the only way they have to get them up off their couches.