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.