Please visit the new home of Majikthise at

« Teabagger wit: Triggers are for guns, not healthcare | Main | Remembering the godfather of Green Revolution »

September 14, 2009

Teabagger sign: Go junta, go!

9-12 Tea Party - 116, originally uploaded by derAmialtebloede.

The snake is a nice touch.


Were they worried about Bush's ex-trotskyite neo-liberal pentagon warriers? I think they mean liberals are Marxists. One uses taboo labels to paint someone outside of 'good' society. Hence if a large part of the population sees themselves as 'good' society and are being called 'bad' society, the jargon gets confusing and opens the door to legitimating taboos.

The Washington Post editorial page editor is pushing the same garbage as that protester against "czars."

Yesterday's Washington Post has a bogus op-ed by Kay Bailey Hutchison, which says:
Nearly 250 years later, these critical lines of separation are being obscured by a new class of federal officials. A few of them have formal titles, but most are simply known as "czars."

There are no officials in the Obama Administration with word "czar" in their official titles.

Who started the whole czar thing anyways? The "Drug Czar" was the first I remember hearing about, but was it a Republican, Democrat, or media invention?

Pennant -

According to wikipedia, "The 'czar' title was first used to refer to an appointed government official in a Time Magazine article in December 1973, referring to William E. Simon's appointment as the head of the Federal Energy Administration."

The first American I saw the term applied to was William J. Bennett as "drug czar" for George H. W. Bush (official title "Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.")

Doyle, neocon ≠ neolib.

I am not sure if these idiots realizes that the US law of sedition and rebellion is very loose and primitive. (yes, none of those free speech/human right crap. The 1918 law predates that.)

Any one of them can be detained for sedition.

Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

So apparently taking health care policy ideas from Sweden or Canada is somehow traitorous, but taking governance ideas from Honduras is A-OK.

I've thought for a long time that the Republicans wanted to turn the US into a banana republic, but I never thought I'd see them admit it.

LOL! Marxists and their czars? The Bolsheviks *killed* the czar, for crying out loud. Could this morons be any stupider?

The smart money invests in "camo-wear" a fashion statement that just never seems to go out of style.

Thanks Alon for the comment. I tend to use neo-lib to represent the over-all period from Reagan on. The group I was referring to that came out of cold warriers in the democratic party drifting toward an imperialist stance for republican big thinkers (ideologues of American power) represent one flavor of neo-libs. These reformed leftists may or may not accept a neo-con label but they arose because of neo-liberal forces in the U.S. and anglo speaking world.

Joel I don't think it stupid to use vehement emotions. The strategy can be quite successful politically. Any political movement is riddled with contradictory questions that from various perspectives look 'stupid' to other people. What is a danger for the right is that a position is so soundly trashed, it can't be used again. I don't see that the tea baggers are being marginalized as one expects of a campaign to defeat a movement. They are being treated gently. The left position is not vehement right now. It could be if the economic conditions become harsh. Rather what I think is more important to understand is the relative strength of vehement positions. One could call them hard core, but that implies a too inflexible nature of vehemence. As vehemence increases the public can be very fluid. It's a sign of instability as the large scale public political consensus oscillates between positions. Once the oscillation subside the new position usually is fairly stable. So the vehemence is a sign of things to come.

Doyle, the pro-war liberals aren't necessary neo-libs in the sense that they support the Washington Consensus, the IMF, the World Bank, and so on. Thomas Friedman is, but he's not that important. The liberal magazines that pushed for war the hardest, like TNR, are generally sympathetic to anti-neo-liberal ideas like trade barriers and industrial policy. The Cold War liberals were certainly not neo-libs - they were often friendly to the import substitution programs that neo-liberalism rebelled against; they cared less about development and more about keeping the communists at bay, so they supported both import-substituting Marcos and free-marketer Pinochet.

What you say about vehemence can go both ways. When your side is unambiguously nicer than the other, you can use it successfully as propaganda; conversely, when your side is too shrill, you can turn off potential supporters. If you don't believe me, read the reactions to Krugman by any moderate or conservative economics pundit. Sometimes vehemence and emotion have their value, but it depends on factors like political circumstances and which position you're arguing for.

Of course we can safely assume our camo-clad friends have read Marx and all the most important commentary on the subject and thus know precisely what they're talking about.

Along writes two interesting ripostes to my comments. Paraphrasing Alon, ' neo-liberals aren't necessary neo-libs...'

I think you draw too fine a distinction of the splits in the conservative movement. Conservatism is fractious spectrum going back a long ways. The doctrines are a hodge podge of stances to the world. Trying to parse neo-cons from the prevailing imperialist neo-liberal consensus is unworkable. It's difficult to get why Obama follows the neo-liberal position in Afghanistan if one takes his political statements seriously. Pitching himself into political bed with so-called neo-cons and republican support. He has an identity of actions with neo-cons. Neo-cons would fall with neo-liberalism but neo-liberalism would go on fine without neo-cons. Hence the stable backbone of the political position is neo-liberalism.

I get why you argue for defining these groupings as you do. The definitions are I think conventional wisdom. These definitions are also too closely attached to the world view of the neo-liberal period. They give no room to step aside from the way they define things.

paraphrasing Alon, .vehemence can go both ways...'

The historical picture of emotions in a rationalist perspective points to the many faults of following passion politically. I'm quite sure this position is in decline. The neuroscience opens a different view of emotions as an 'embedded' cognition. There is no rationality without an emotion structure. Over and over again a rationalist or enlightenment position fails to account for why emotions rule political action.

Polarized positions often emerge between competing groups. What is the scientific dynamic? Why do really vehement (passionate) people take rigid stances? One might say that's the dialectic of conflicting views which I think over simplifies emotion structure. One might also say that emotion structure functions a certain way and rationalism fails to incorporate a realistic understanding of the human brain. In which case rationalism is threatened by neuroscience.

In particular mathematicians are liable to buy into ultra rationalist positions unable as they are to see that mathematics is 'embedded' cognition.

Doyle, it's not strains within conservatism. Neo-liberalism is a theory in development economics that says government should not subsidize industries or protect them with tariffs, and instead increase spending on health and education and reduce taxes. Nowadays people like to latch onto import substitution as a left-wing ideology because Pinochet was neo-liberal, but in reality there were fascist dictators on both sides - in fact most fascist dictators in Latin America engaged in import substitution, until neo-liberalism took hold in the 1980s.

I don't think it's useful to define everything you disagree with as a single conservative movement.

Also, my position isn't rationalist; it's empiricist. And it's neutral about neuroscience and Continental philosophy (did you just mention "dialectic" in the same paragraph as "the human brain"?). It comes from political science and history: the central question is, which forms of political rhetoric succeed? Another important question is, which political rhetoric is associated with which set of positions?

Alon writes;
Neo-liberalism is a theory in development economics that says government should not subsidize industries or protect them with tariffs, and instead increase spending on health and education and reduce taxes.

Most of the world identifies U.S. orthodoxy in the whole as neo-liberalism. The economics of which are a muddle. I'd generally agree that reducing to one form of meaning for conservatism is not helpful. So let's not clutter up the blog with a back and forth about the fine grain details.

empiricism is a resort to the science of phenomenal knowledge as a means of founding how to understand consciousness of the world. It evolved out of rationalism in the nineteenth century. The position avoids clarity about the brain. As you say 'it's neutral toward neuroscience'.

empiricism is not though an orthodox position on political sciences or history because the areas are too tainted by 'human consciousness' to be empirically tested. I can see you saying you are an empiricist and this typically causes friction because two people take different meanings from how they understand words and terms. So for me the best way to respect you here is to find other ways to resolve differences than to write disputation of what you say.

Most of the world identifies U.S. orthodoxy in the whole as neo-liberalism.

Who's "most of the world"? Certainly not the leaders of the majority of the democratic world, by population: India, Brazil, Chile, and to some extent Argentina and Thailand are all neo-liberal without caring much for American neo-conservatism.

empiricism is not though an orthodox position on political sciences

The (admittedly, lower-division) political science classes I took seemed to take empiricism for granted. All the textbooks about research methods pointed to empirical research with theoretical ramifications to be the pinnacle of political research. Political theory is less empirical, but it's interested in questions of ethics, not political campaigning.

Alon writes;
Who's "most of the world"?...

Your point to me sustains my point. Neo-liberalism does have a direct shaping of various economies, though I think Argentina would not be welcoming to the concept anymore. And...they don't consider neo-cons worth the consideration you give the grouplets in U.S. influence. They see neo-liberalism as a piece. For example the Japanese election threw out the liberal democrats because they were 'neo-liberal'.

Alon writes;
The (admittedly, lower-division) political science classes I took seemed to take empiricism for granted.

The method of material research I take seriously, but I don't think the philosophy is a lived philosophy. The conceit of empiricism of an objective knowledge is the problem. We digress from neo-liberalism though.

The comments to this entry are closed.