Perhaps the most galling aspect of the current liberal political zeitgeist is the pretense by those in power and their supporters that they have no power. Liberal intellectuals and political activists maintain the smug conceit that they are “the little guy” fighting for “progress” against a mighty enemy of reaction. Who exactly this enemy is varies depending on the particular agenda, but in all cases it is an illusion. The reactionary Goliath to the liberal David is an invention, a ghost, a spook, a mere echo of a previous era that maintains only the moribund rump of an existence in the postmodern world. That is assuming it exists at all.
Examples of this trend abound in the endless streams of mindless garbage, snarky humor and pseudo-intellectual fluff that get jammed into the internet tubes on a daily basis and pass for political commentary and analysis in our intellectually sub prime culture. From the supposedly sober and moderate opinion offered by the establishment at the NY Times down to the quasi-pornographic filth peddled by Gawker Media, every liberal intellectual and activist has their own fantasy demon to slay.
For Democratic Party propagandist Paul Krugman the reactionary spook is the ever present specter of “anti-government Republicans.” LOL. The GOP, we are told in column after column from this narcissistic man-child, are forever sabotaging attempts by the noble Democrats to save society by implementing various economic reforms or financial regulations. They are GASP blocking the passage of the latest budget bill or preventing the raising of debt ceiling. God forbid, some random GOP politician in a recent speech somewhere even dared to pay lip-service the notion of cutting taxes. THE HORRORS! In Krugman’s narrative this is tantamount to ripping food directly out of the mouths of poor children and kicking little old ladies out into the street.
Meanwhile in the real world — whatever particular issue may be motivating Krugman’s latest petulant and emotional outburst — the GOP will inevitably drop their ritualistic pretense of opposition within a few days and pass the budget, agree to sell more I.O.U’s to the Federal Reserve, or do whatever it is the Democrats are demanding. The fact that such policies never actually lead to the social outcomes Krugman predicts and desires can forever be blamed on whatever rotting stump of conservatism still exists in the government, thus providing fodder for his next bitter and juvenile rant. The idea of the Republican Party as a countervailing force to the overwhelming inertia of liberalism is absurd. The GOP does not even provide a good token opposition. At best they occasionally produce some farcical political theater.
Environmentalism, particularly the non-issue of “Anthropogenic Global Warming” (AGW) or “Climate Change” as it is known in the media now, is another front on which the left rules with virtually no opposition. When it comes to media coverage of “Global Warming” no deviation whatsoever from the approved narrative can be tolerated. Yet here again liberals construct the facade of a powerful enemy for themselves. A recent article in the UK Independent, Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science, highlights this paranoid political style. We are told that:
A secretive funding organisation in the United States that guarantees anonymity for its billionaire donors has emerged as a major operator in the climate “counter movement” to undermine the science of global warming…
How terrible. No doubt we shall all perish from extreme weather events. You see, this organization is secretive and it involves funding. Even worse:
We really have anonymous giving and unaccountable power being exercised here in the creation of the climate countermovement. There is no attribution, no responsibility for the actions of these foundations to the public.
By becoming anonymous, they remove a political target. They can plausibly claim that they are not giving to these organisations, and there is no way to prove otherwise.
In fact this fund is so secret and unaccountable that we know that it was set up by the “Kochtopus,” that two-headed demon of conservatism, or even worse libertarianism, that thwarts the liberal agenda at every turn. We know that the Koch brothers are evil incarnate because:
They are right-wing libertarians who believe in minimal regulation of industry, smaller government, lower corporate taxes and less generous social services. They are also closet “sceptics” when it comes to climate science.
The very fact that the Koch brothers receive so much attention as the source of yet another “vast right wing conspiracy” underscores how little opposition the AGW narrative really faces in the mainstream media. The vitriol with which the Kochs are attacked and demonized demonstrates the expectation of the anointed class that they shall not be questioned or countered on this issue. Yet we are still expected to believe that the environmental movement, indeed “science” itself, is fighting an uphill battle against a mighty cabal of “anonymous billionaires” who are more than happy to see the entire planet destroyed in their reckless lust for power and money. The mainstream “Climate Change” narrative is little more than a Captain Planet episode for grown-ups. No doubt this is why it has so much selling power given the current intellectual level of political discourse.
It does not stop there. The right wing conspiracy is everywhere. Even here at TRS we are involved. That’s right. You were probably not aware that the “safe social space” for right wingers and reactionaries that we have been building here is in reality just another limb of the gun lobby’s nigh-omnipotent media Hydra. We were found out and exposed in a recent article in The Progressive magazine: Piercing the Myths about Women and Guns. Apparently we have been tasked by our politcal masters with pushing the hard stuff.
…the “hard” gun propaganda that appeals to their [the gun lobby’s] core market, especially for assault weapons, by pandering to macho values…
The hard-gun approach also appeals to misogyny, labeling those who support gun control as man-hating “feminazis.” This gun talk appeals to tea-party, Glenn Beck-type white rage. One piece says it bluntly: “gun control as castration.” Gun control “comes down to the psychological… desperate need of such women to control, manage and limit male agency… An attempt to perform a symbolic castration of all man in society… The men who favor gun control… are pro homosexual…” Another piece accuses gun-control liberals of cowardice: “These sniveling brats are mostly women and emasculated beta males with children.” (Becoming a father is just another form of castration?) The appeal is also bluntly racist: gun-control supporters are “cowardly liberals who think the only thing scarier than a gun is a white man with a gun.” With rhetoric like this, no wonder the NRA’s men in Congress urged it a few days ago to “tone down” the propaganda.
Yes. After we got the word from the NRA’s puppets in Congress we toned down our rhetoric in order to better serve the overall conservative agenda of exposing children to mass murder, destroying the planet and kicking little old ladies out into the street. Because after all, the only reason one could ever have for opposing the political program of the left is opposition to their noble and enlightened intentions.
The affectation of being of, and fighting for “the little guy” has always been a false conceit of the left. Leftist political movements have always been bourgeois and elitist in character, while the right has been traditionalist and populist. (Has anyone ever actually met a working class Marxist? Does such a creature exist?) Radical youth movements like Occupy Wall Street — where privileged college students put on an artifice of fighting “big banks” and “the 1%” — are the political training ground for the next generation of liberal intellectuals and Democratic Party politicians. It should come as no surprise that a recent survey of OWS activists found:
According to a new study from sociologists at the City University of New York, more than a third of activists in the Occupy movement in New York City had household incomes above $100,000, placing them at the cusp of the top quintile of income distribution in America. Researchers surveyed 729 people who participated in a May 1 rally last year and were involved in the “occupation” of Zuccotti Park in the fall of 2011, and found that they were more affluent, whiter, younger, much more highly educated, and more likely to be male than the average New Yorker.
The charade of non-power by the left is absurd, but not surprising given the narratives they have constructed. In today’s world being oppressed is fashionable and being a victim means power. The last thing liberals would ever want to do is admit that they are running the show.