7 jun. 2011


That in an economic crisis provoked by unchecked, unregulated capitalism and neoliberalism, the right wing gets rewarded in elections. Voters discontented with "politics" or "government" vote for the right.

6 comentarios:

Andrew Shields dijo...

The Republicans have a reputation for fiscal responsibility that is utterly belied by the history of the last 31 years in the US.

The Democrats have been unable or unwilling to counter this reputation.

Jordan dijo...

Andrew, general narratives aside, Benjamin Friedman remarks on this specific instance of misdirected blame in the NYRB this week:

"[With $5.3 billion in bonuses for 2008] What Citi's management was giving away was, in significant part, the taxpayers' money. Yet the Obama administration voiced no objection, at least not publicly. As a political matter, this was when President Obama took responsibility for the bankers' excesses.

"The immediate consequence, of course, was that the bonuses were paid. Of greater significance is the current US political dynamic, otherwise difficult to comprehend, in which populist resentment at the banksters' excesses is today directed at Obama and not at the Republicans who are resisting measures to restrict banks' risk-taking and are also seeking to strip the power of the new Consumer Finance Protection Bureau created by Dodd-Frank."

Jonathan dijo...

Yes. That's a great example of what I mean. Rich people should love Obama because he siphons off the populist anger that should be directed elsewhere. (Of course, I'm deeply disappointed by BO too....)

Professor Zero dijo...

Why do people so often vote and opine against what appear to be their own best interests and values? It can't just be false consciousness or anything that simple... ??? Is cultural hegemony the only analysis of this or is there some other explanation... ??? Or are people really that poorly informed / simply fooled?

Jordan dijo...

> Why do people

I hate misapplications of quantum mechanics or Saussurean linguistics as much as the next bullshit eradicator, but:

Maybe the way to think about these apparently self-harming choices is to consider a vote not as a belief system carried through time but as a more or less synchronic or quantum jump that has at least as much to do with immediate environmental pressure as with a general idea of good governance.

Or, I'll show you replaces what are we going to do. I'll show you is almost invariably a terrible organizing principle, but what do you want, we're human.

Andrew Shields dijo...

It took me a while to get to this, but here it is: a pre-Civil War quotation from Lincoln, in which he is addressing the abolitionist proposal to free the slaves and make them completely equal with whites:

".... my own feelings will not admit of this; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and sound judgment, is not the sole question…. A universal feeling, whether well or ill-founded, can not be safely disregarded."

Even if a common feeling that peeple have is ill-founded, you (we) can't just say "it's illogical" and hope that it will go away. That feeling has to be addressed, and even respected.

The Lincoln bit was quoted in "The Transformation of AL," by James M. McPherson, in the Nov. 25, 2010, issue of the NYRB.