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Delaware to planet earth: the grass-roots right is real

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Paul Mason | 12:26 UK time, Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Christine O'Donnell's victory in the Republican primary for the state of Delaware last night has sent the US media into a frenzy today.

O'Donnell is a religious conservative who was backed by the Teaparty movement. She got Sarah Palin to send a personal telephone message to voters, but was was opposed by the Republican Party itself: that is, the party machine actually campaigned against one of its own potential candidates, with O'Donnell's former campaign chief hitting the phones to denounce her as "not really a conservative".

The upshot is: in a state they could have won by fielding a mainstream candidate, Republican voters turned out in large numbers to choose someone the media are branding as "extreme" - giving the Democrats a much better chance of holding the seat. It's being seen as - and is - a microcosm of what's going on inside conservatism in America. It is moving to the right, as the Teaparty movement ousts one traditional conservative after another, and - say analysts - making an Obama second term a lot more likely.

The Teaparty movement was born out of the rightwing populist-led protests against the original plan to bail out Wall Street, the TARP, in October 2008. As the bailout morphed into a $787bn fiscal stimulus, the demands of the movement coalesced around an agenda of tax cuts, lower public spending and a balanced budget (America's national debt is $13.5 trillion). Then it moved on again to migration, abortion, gun-control and challenges to US Federal law.

The US media's original response, as with all plebeian movements beyond Washington, was to ignore the Teaparty. Liberal commentators and comedian Jon Stewart relentlessly made fun of the overwhelmingly white, over 45s who attended the rallies, with some suggesting the whole movement was "Astroturf" - ie fake grass roots.

However, one outlet relentlessly covered (the liberals allege promoted) the movement: Rupert Murdoch's Fox News. Fox's commentator Glenn Beck openly identified himself with the movement and unleashed weekly tirades against its main enemy: President Obama.

After last night, and after a string of victories against more traditionalist conservatives in the Republican primaries, the liberal wing of America is no longer laughing at the Teaparty - and the "Brooks Brothers" wing of Republicanism also looks a little straight faced this morning. No one is anymore talking about Astroturf, because these were votes, not rallies.

What we can take away from these events, so far, is as follows: Sarah Palin has become the undisputed power-broker of Republicanism. While the centre-right old guard will now launch a serious rearguard action, the momentum is with the fiscal and religious right. On the more traditional right wing of the Republican Party a lot of people now face a choice: do they go in with the Teaparty, feed off its momentum, or not. Carly Fiorina, former boss of Hewlett Packard, was by no means politically in the same ball park as Palin, yet she won by managing to tick enough boxes with Palin. Palin withstood criticism from her own supporters over backing Fiorina - which is what powerbrokers do.

For Democrats and the left, who accuse the whole Teaparty agenda as being a front for racism, the O'Donnell victory is a signal moment.

On the one hand certain party strategists will be, as Neil Kinnock once put it, "licking their chops" at the prospect of fighting an out-and-out rightist GOP in 2012. On the other, there is perplexion and discomfort that it is the right that has harnessed populist outrage at the rigours of the recession, not the left.

As I have said before, there are clear signs that the outcome of the economic crisis that began in 2007 will be shaped by the political cycle, which is moving in the opposite direction to the way it moved in 1929-32. And nowhere more so than in America.

If the Republicans, as expected, take control of the House of Representatives in January, that blocks any further fiscal stimulus; it leaves economic policy in the hands of the Federal Reserve, whose boss says there is not much more he can effectively do. Meanwhile there is no let-up to the mass expressions of anger I have written about here before. America, under the impact of relentless downturn, real-estate collapse and budget deficits is in danger of losing its way in the world.

As I'm travelling here, in the Midwest, I am constantly seeing roadworks paid for by the stimulus, and visiting projects boosted by it. But it is sticking plaster without a return to sustainable economic growth - and as the days turn into years - (it's two years to the day since Lehman collapsed) - patience is running thin. It's the closed storefronts, mothballed businesses and repossessed homes that are driving political radicalisation.

I'll be reporting in depth about the economics of this when I get back (I'm preparing a series of reports for Newsnight from the mid-West) - but for now one more point about O'Donnell.

The Teaparty movement is mobilising the Republican mass base as never before. That means she could win. If she does, in the face of active opposition from her own party, it will take away the last comfort blanket for Democrat politicians. Many, including their supporters in the media, have tended to assume that a Palin-led GOP ticket could not beat Barack Obama in 2012; that Republicanism would fragment in the process. They have tended to dismiss the Teaparty, together with Obama's poor poll results, as a part of the political cycle. They have looked at the long-term demographics of America - which are becoming younger, more multi-ethnic, more educated - and believed the tide was flowing their way.

Of O'Donnell were to win in Delaware all those calcualtions go out of the window.

As an outsider, I think a lot of people in the USA, including the media, are missing is that the economics of the situation are new. The American Dream of self-advancement through property ownership, long hours, small business is taking a lot of punishment in this recession - as are the so-called "middle class", who in British terms are the "respectable working class". Here such people are seeing their healthcare plans eroded, their lifestyles eaten away by debt-repayments and job insecurity.

To global business types who know places like China, India, Scandinavia or Singapore first hand, the USA has long since ceased to feel like the most dynamic economy on earth. But now, and this is crucial, it's ceasing to feel like that for Americans. That's what's at the root of the seismic politics of the Teaparty movement.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    The Today programme this morning referred to the "Conservative Tea Party" so many times this morning that I googled it to find out whether there really was something called the "Conservative Tea Party" or whether they were engaging in their usual black propaganda. Sadly for the reputation of the BBC, it was the latter. I see you're trying to keep the insinuation going.

  • Comment number 2.

    An excellent post.

    I'be blogged on the problems of the US economy and the breaking of it's economic model too recently.

    http://duncanseconomicblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/11/the-us-economy-a-crisis-of-capitalism/

  • Comment number 3.

    interesting analysis - congratulations.

  • Comment number 4.

    Barry Goldwater - extreme rightist even with the official Republican badge who spectacularly failed to usher in a new pernicious right wing era for USA. Sarah Palin will engender so many hostages to fortune that Obama may not need to spend all his campaign funds to enjoy a second election worry free term.

  • Comment number 5.

    Just all too depressing.

    I can't remember if it was one of your blogs from a while back Paul, where you were talking about projections for civil war in the States in the next few decades. Was that right?

    Future historians will be certainly be looking to these developments as stirrings if that ever turns out to be the case.

  • Comment number 6.

    Found it - http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2010/03/angry_america_why_an_oilmans_s.html

    ....
    All this has made me consider in a new light something said by an oil-man who consults for one of the biggest companies in the world. Last summer he told me:

    "We run a mainframe computer simulation of the global political and economic situation, modelling various outcomes of the resource crunch that begins in the back half of the 2010s. And no matter which way we tweak it, it always comes out with the same result: civil war in America in 25 years's time."

  • Comment number 7.

    There was an interesting article a week or two back in the New York Times making an observation that a political and financial 'elite' has been running the US for the past 50 or so years and that this elite was actually un-America - be they Republicans or Democrats - in terms of US democracy.

    The US has got into the habit of choosing, first for candidancy then for President, dynasties - Kennedys, the Bush family and the Clintons. If Obama had not stepped onto the US political stage we would now have another Clinton in the White House and a younger Clinton already appears to be being groomed for Presidential aspirations.

    The author of the New York Times article commented that this was un-America, that this elite had hijacked American democracy and that it was important, from time to time, for the people to have revolutions in the US to remind this elite that America is America and not the UK ruled by a monarch.

    The Teaparty is such a revolution in progress.

    It is fascinating to observe it and, whether you agree or disagree with their political agenda, it is refreshing to watch a seed change in a political system that is long overdue change. Ironically, the 'Hope' and 'Change' of Obama is bringing in a hope and change of a different kind politically across the US.

    One must also not underestimate the lingering affects of 911 on the US psyche as a nation and politically on the growth of the Teaparty. It would be wrong to merely dismiss them as racists as many Americans, as you so correctly point out Paul, now feel a genuine and real threat to themselves and their way of life - not just from enemies without but also from perceived enemies within.

    With millions of Americans without jobs, with millions having lost their homes and businesses... or about to... and with tens of millions of Americans on benefits... the same political faces in Washington must look increasingly alien to the majority of Americans who are facing real hardships - increasingly unlike them.

    These are the early days of the new Cold War.

    For economic and military reasons I can see a post-Obama US pulling closed their own iron curtain not just against fundamentalist Islam but also against China. The beginning of, as my BBC friend keeps telling me, a 'Handmaiden's Tale' for civil liberties and human rights inside the US for those not of the Right politically and spiritually.

    I wonder what our choices will be in a post-Obama US view of the World?


  • Comment number 8.

    Think Koch brothers
    Still
    It doesn't matter what happens in the US now the $ is going to go down and gold/silver/rare earth up .

  • Comment number 9.

    This is something that we here need to be aware of.

    It is always inevitable in bad times that it is the social fabric of society that suffers.

    When those withour turn on those trying to protect what they've got

    Loonie left versus loonie right with the majority of those in the centre being drawn in kicking and screaming.

    That's why this coalition government is our only hope for looking around there is no credible alternative.

  • Comment number 10.

    ". At 1:14pm on 15 Sep 2010, MaggieL wrote:
    The Today programme this morning referred to the "Conservative Tea Party" so many times this morning that I googled it to find out whether there really was something called the "Conservative Tea Party" or whether they were engaging in their usual black propaganda. Sadly for the reputation of the BBC, it was the latter. I see you're trying to keep the insinuation going."

    MaggieL. I strongly suggest you go and Google "Astro-turfing".

    Does any of this look very socialist to you? It's from the Tea Party Mission Statement and Core Values (see Patriots in the link):

    http://teapartypatriots.ning.com/

    "Mission Statement

    The impetuses for the Tea Party movement are excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.

    Core Values

    • Fiscal Responsibility

    • Constitutionally Limited Government

    • Free Markets

    Fiscal Responsibility: Fiscal Responsibility by government honors and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of his or her own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject it's citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty our Constitution was designed to protect. The runaway deficit spending as we now see in Washington D.C.
    compels us to take action because we know that a heavy burden of national debt is a grave threat to our national sovereignty and the personal and economic liberty of future generations.

    Constitutionally Limited Government: We, the members of The Tea Party Patriots, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land. We believe that it is possible to know the original intent of the government our founders set forth, and stand in support of that intent.
    Like the founders, we support states' rights for those powers not expressly stated in the Constitution. As the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, in all other matters we support the personal liberty of the individual, within the rule of law.

    Free Markets: A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we. Our current government's interference distorts the free market and inhibits the pursuit of individual and economic liberty. Therefore, we support a return to the free market principles on which this nation was founded and oppose government intervention into the operations of private business."


    Anarchists and their useful idiots doing Wall Street's bidding.
    They are a clever, but devious, bunch in that neck of the woods.

    6. At 2:46pm on 15 Sep 2010, GiuseppeH wrote:

    "And no matter which way we tweak it, it always comes out with the same
    result: civil war in America in 25 years's time.""

    Are you aware of how the demography is changing in the USA, i.e what is projected for 2050? No matter how many people have explained how this works in terms of meritocracy leading to separatism, most people don't get it. It's all been spelled out here in this blog by others, but the BBC never looks into it, even when the USA's own major education people (and the OECD here) spell it out. Why is it ignored? Might it because it would require such a radical change to our Libertarian way of life that no politician can afford to discuss it?

  • Comment number 11.

    "8. At 3:44pm on 15 Sep 2010, flicks2 wrote:
    Think Koch brothers
    Still It doesn't matter what happens in the US now the $ is going to go down and gold/silver/rare earth up "

    Isn't that what gold going up means, i.e that the dollar is devalued?

    Why is it good to buy into a bubble (like dot.com or property) flicks2?
    Have you learned nothing?

  • Comment number 12.

    Back doing what you do best Paul, good solid analysis I see. Probably no surprise to most regulars on here.

    #6 Nicely remembered, ties in well with Pauls Post and is rather telling.

    The logical response to the crisis is a lurch to the left, the states lurching to the right, if sustained, represents a dangerous imbalance.

    Popular culture often holds clues to political undercurrents, especially in the states.

    I watched the big budget movie 'SALT' recently, the plot was a soviet conspiracy to take over Americas nuclear weapons and turn them on the middle east (mecca was even mentioned). Of course the double agent (angelina Jolie) revealed her true stars and stripes affiliation in the nick of time to save the world from the soviets cunning plan to de-stabilise the existing power base by promoting a religious war between the USA and Islam, leaving them to plug the gap.

    Why did I leave the cinema with a distinct uncomfortable feeling about the sub-text to that scenario...taken in the context of the new emerging world order where you could place the USA in a similar position to the USSR circa 1990.


  • Comment number 13.

    #11 tb

    Gold can be used as a hedge against a depreciating fiat paper currency. Given that there is probably something like 100 paper claims on gold than the physical stuff then I'd say that at the moment it is actually an "anti-bubble". The price is being deliberately suppressed to maintian the illusion of a functioning fiat currency, i.e. disguise the devaluation of paper money.

    Whilst the herd still trusts paper money, and hasn't even considered holding Gold (probably because they naively think that the BoE has a massive hoard of the stuff!) then it can't really be a bubble.

    Let's call that when the shoe-shine boy is handing out the tip.

  • Comment number 14.

    if people are wondering why they are now poor and china is booming then one needs to look no further than chinese currency manipulation. Given raw material costs are the same for everyone around the world why is it still cheaper to ship goods half way around the world than it is to build them here?

    its cheaper not just because of currency manipulation, chinese currency should be the strongest in the world not weaker than GBP, but becuase the chinese are not burdened with environmental costs, human rights costs and a hundred other costs and laws such as paying people for copyright and respecting patents that make goods made here too expensive.

    I can under stand why a trot outsider like Paul may wish to big up the collapse of the west/end of capitalism narrative but what we are seeing are the effects of the economic warfare of china upon the rest of the world that prevents any meaningful recovery. Taking advantage of those who 'play by the rules' is the economic model of the somali pirate and gangster chief.

    if china played by the same rules we did there would be a different world economic situation.

    I agree with Paul that the crisis has just leapfrogged from the Banks to States now to Politics. If things continue then the logical outcome is an extreme politics that ends up declaring war on china that is incapable of reform.

    The crisis is based on Hayek Thatchertism not Adam Smith who believed in strict rules.

    ...Thatcher "reached into her briefcase and took out a book. It was Friedrich von Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty. Interrupting our pragmatist, she held the book up for all of us to see. 'This', she said sternly, 'is what we believe', and banged Hayek down on the table"...

    ..Ronald Reagan at his time listed Hayek as among the 2 or 3 people who most influenced his philosophy...

    given

    ..Hayek argued that the price mechanism serves to share and synchronize local and personal knowledge, allowing society's members to achieve diverse, complicated ends through a principle of spontaneous self-organization. He used the term catallaxy to describe a "self-organizing system of voluntary co-operation."..

    then we might see where Cameron gets his Big ideas from?

    and people say philosophy is irrelevant. Philosophy sets the 'climate' in which polices can emerge. So to change the current policies in the West you have to dismantle the Hayek belief system of his supporters. Which is easy to do given the assumptions are all based on the false belief that there exists efficient free markets that have the best 'knowledge' and so determine the correct outcomes. If after the credit crunch anyone believes that then they really are extremist market fundamentalists who would have more in common with a cult that also believed in imaginary things.

  • Comment number 15.

    hello moderators anyone awake out there?

  • Comment number 16.

    "LOOKING AROUND THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE" (#9)

    Very true - while we live within the Westminster/media/money LIE.

    The 'job' is almost complete. Those of us who can still envision a time when items were repaired, when men felt proud to provide and women to nurture, and food was seasonal (add your own) are succumbing to old age. Another generation or two, and wisdom, integrity, honour, trust, humility, dignity etc WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE OED AS REDUNDANT.

    Oh - it's all going terribly well.

  • Comment number 17.

    more tea drinkers?

    Shariah: The Threat to America

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/14/needed-a-second-opinion-on-shariah/

    the 'with neocon sesame bun' language and obsessive detail about islam in the pdf report reminds me of the hasbara the idf reservists used to pump out on the old C4 boards. All wrapped up with juicy quotes of world domination from Iran and Hamas.


  • Comment number 18.

    WALTER KASPER ATTACKS THE 'CHURCH OF DAWKINS'

    "Above all, an aggressive new atheism has spread through Britain."

    You have to admit - he has a point. (:o)

  • Comment number 19.

    16. At 9:57pm on 15 Sep 2010, barriesingleton wrote:

    "The 'job' is almost complete. Those of us who can still envision a time when items were repaired, when men felt proud to provide and women to nurture, and food was seasonal (add your own) are succumbing to old age.
    Another generation or two, and wisdom, integrity, honour, trust, humility, dignity etc WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE OED AS REDUNDANT."

    Perhaps. But the reason for this is probably because there are, as has been shown many times now in this blog, some fatal, and radical, flaws in our human psychology, and by that I mean the theory of common-sense psychology which most people (including yourself) take for granted when making judgments. Over in the web team blog (and above) I've tried to illustrate this by taking a few posts which I'm sure the posters probably sincerely thought were reasonable, and then showing them (hopefully surprising them) as to why they were mistaken. How does this happen one should ask.

    Do you understand this, or do you think that you understand more about this than I?

  • Comment number 20.

    Jauntycyclist from your link:

    "Translated as "the path," Shariah is a comprehensive framework designed to govern all aspects of life. Though it certainly has spiritual elements, it would be a mistake to think of it as a "religious" code in the Western sense because it seeks to regulate all manner of behavior in the secular sphere - economic, social, military, legal and political. That regulation is oppressive, discriminatory, utterly inimical to our core constitutional liberties and destructive of equal protection under the law, especially for women."

    One could be reading about the Talmud and Orthodox Judaism, it too has Mitvah.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitzvah

    Lest we forget, there are peace negotiations at present, and in a sense, we are all invited to participate, albeit, to which side of the table?

    Shalom.

  • Comment number 21.

    health visitor calls at an insane asylum to inspect inmates and gets in conversation with a seemingly rational bloke who was an aircraft pilot....and what type of planes did you fly? asks the visitor....'we used to fly DC 10's and 747's and later we went onto 757's in fact I might be going onto a training programme that will enable me to fly the new AC 300' the health visitor is knocked out by all this and says 'well, that is fantastic and I wish you all the very best' the inmate looks pleased and then says.....'of, course I might give it all up and become a teapot!

  • Comment number 22.

    THE NIGELLA AWARD FOR KITTENISH PRESENTING

    Is it me? I have noticed Emily being more animated lately, and this evening it dawned on me that Kirsty is at it too. Is this an edgy Newsnight directive or are job-cuts looming?

  • Comment number 23.

    WHY IS THE VIDEO-WALL POPE SPORTING A SCARLET FOREHEAD?

    For two nights running, the Wonderwall image of the Pope has had a bright red forehead and a bright red hand (cupping the crucifix). Is this the latest forward leap in edgy visuals, or has the digital colour palette lost the plot?

  • Comment number 24.

    THE GOD CONFUSION

    Religious belief is as much a consequence of man's default to immaturity (failure to grow up) as surely as the latter underlies all the other destructive modes of living he exhibits.

    The overarching error is to focus on Islamic extremism, Catholic deviance, incongruous state-Anglicanism, or what have you.

    Were we to nurture our children for wisdom and competence (not school for Mammon and nihilism) their need for ANY belief would recede. Of course, the bizarre* decision to import blocks of alien culture, with a mindset belonging to a bygone age, means strife is a likely outcome, anyway.

    *YET A PPE DEGREE HAS A PHILOSOPHY COMPONENT!

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 25.

    I agree that the Tea Party's emergence as a powerful force on the Right in the USA marks a critical shift in amercian politics, but it also highlights the paradoxical nature of libertarian ideology where the meltdown in jobs, homes and social cohesion is the direct result of laissez faire deregulation and globalisation that they espouse and their cherished free market system was only saved by the very government they despise.

    The other aspect to this is the stunning ignorance, bigotry and prejudice of Sarah Palin and most of the prominent Tea Party leaders who make Ian Paisley look like a moderate liberal.

    In truth the rise of the Tea Party feels awfully like the rise of fascism in 1930s Germany - a white, disaffected middle class that lost out bigtime in the depression, aligning with those preaching scapegoat ideology with a strong quasi-religious theme, militaristic overtones and racist nationism.

    Fox News is also repeating the German media's critical mistake of providing a platform for the Tea Party as a way of criticising Obama and the Democrats, so making what is pretty punk ideology appear legitimate - Palin is a muppet - ignorant, naive, prejudiced and bigoted, yet Fox completely fails to confront her failings and has invested heavily in building her up as a credible option. This is exactly what happened with Hitler, Goebbels and the rest of the Nazis in 1930s Germany - the parallels are really striking.

    The key differences today lie in the nature of the USA - a country built by generations of immigrants, a multicultural racial melting pot where overtly racist politics will always be in a minority, but if the economic crisis continues and the dollar goes into steep decline taking yet more white middle class aspirations with it, all the ingredients for the radicalistion of politics are there to spark civil unrest driven not from the poor, black community, but by the radical right.

    It took WWII to finally break facist ideology in Germany, Italy & Spain - today Germany is amongst the most progressive, liberal nations of the world, but I can't see how Americans supporting the Tea Party are going to make the same transformation away from this economic and political dead end the Tea Party is taking them into.

    The Murdochs are now playing with fire with their platform for the Tea Party and as News Corp tries to take control of Sky over here, we need to ask ourselves whether we want to allow an organisation willing to run a channel like Fox News to have control over a major media group in the UK - their control of so many newspapers here is bad enough already.

    David Cameron needs to think long and hard about whether his brand of caring Conservatives will get the same treatment from the Libertarian Right in the UK as the Republican old guard have just received from the Tea Party.

  • Comment number 26.

    TIME FOR A COALITION OF THE WILLING TO INVADE AMERICA, IMPLANTING LIBERAL DEMOCRACY? (#25)

    I presume not a shot would be fired. After all, pre-emptive invasion of evil-doer regimes is of American genesis. Or maybe St Tony can fix it with his powers of communication and persuasion? Is there not a saying: "Two vacuous orator-heads are better than one"? Lucky America.

    Oh - it's all going awfully well.

  • Comment number 27.

    "24. At 11:47pm on 15 Sep 2010, barriesingleton wrote:

    "Religious belief is as much a consequence of man's default to immaturity (failure to grow up) as surely as the latter underlies all the other destructive modes of living he exhibits."

    Yes, maybe, but consider this as a (real) possibility: what if arrested cognitive development (growing up, maturing) is largely just a biological (genetic) matter which therefore is not amenable to educational/environmental intervention? Surely child-like thinking would then have to be accepted in some as a given, just like other features of diversity?

    The tone of your posts would seem to suggest that the less developed must be corrected and that this lack of equality or manufacturing success is the responsibility of human agencies. Do you work for OFSTED?
    ;-)

    "Were we to nurture our children for wisdom and competence (not school for Mammon and nihilism) their need for ANY belief would recede."

    But I ask, would it? Do you not think teachers try to do that? They do you know. They are as puzzled as you that the kids do not 'want to learn'. Many burn out, give up etc. I am telling you - they have a radically flawed model. Their assumptions are wrong. They are agents of libertarianism.

    Am I making any sense? It requires a bit of thinking.

    http://www.abelard.org/burt/burt-ie.asp

    Alas, he didn't look into diversity by group in places like NYC, London etc. London was different in the 60s. NYC wasn't. People change, but not as most think.

  • Comment number 28.

    25. At 04:17am on 16 Sep 2010, richard bunning wrote:

    "In truth the rise of the Tea Party feels awfully like the rise of fascism in 1930s Germany - a white, disaffected middle class that lost out bigtime in the depression, aligning with those preaching scapegoat ideology with a strong quasi-religious theme, militaristic overtones and racist nationism."

    You've given us your take, let me give you a different one:

    Hitler came to power to address a radical problem which was emerging in Germany at the time (just as it had in Russia) and that was anarchism at the hands of people who called themselves 'communists'. In fact these were what came to be called Trotskyites.
    They too had a racial agenda according to Solzhenitsyn in his last book.
    It seems they too had a great sense of entitlement. Promotion of universal equality (even under a Veil of Ignorance', where there is none biologically, may just be a clever means to take advantage of naive people and to replace the ruling class with ones own people may it not?.

    http://www.ethnopoliticsonline.com/archives/ais/ais%20main.html

    The Tea Party is anarchistic, what American analysts call 'astroturfing'
    (not real grass-roots at all). It's essentially Neoconservative/Libertarian in agenda as should be clear if you read any AEI policy publications. Many of its recruits won't see where this leads or what inspires it. It's Trotskyism. That's how entryism works. America has been dumbing down for decades. Look into the hard data rather than your beliefs.

  • Comment number 29.

    #14 jc

    Hayek was just a means to an end. Economists (just like philosophers) are just political pawns. The elite picks and chooses the ones that help implement their agenda. I doubt that it works the other way round.

    As for China playing the currency manipulation game, well quite frankly, who can blame them. If you read SuperImperialism by Michael Hudson you can see that since the late 60s the US ignored it's trade deficit with the world. In fact from the 70s it became their deliberate strategy. It was the problem of surplus countries to recycle the dollars.

    China has undertaken the only strategy it can, which is to play by the rules that the US created. Whilst the US attempts global hegemony of oil, culture & flappy paper money, China is blind-siding it by building up national infrastructure, manufacturing capability, hydroelectric power generation, rare earth resources, and not to mention physical gold. China is happy to let the US manipulate the Gold price. They are slowly acquiring enough of it at these low prices, until the moment they are ready to dump the dollar: at that point it's Adios Muchachos for the US as it becomes Mexico all the way up to Canada! (courtesy of M Keiser)

  • Comment number 30.

    Adrian Douglas interviewed by Jay Taylor with the second part being relevant for those who have not learn't anything :-

    http://www.gata.org/node/9016

  • Comment number 31.

    Hawkeye_Pierce @13 yep and didn't the mods hold that back for some hours !

    Let me just reiterate that for those who have learnt nothing and those who like to 'hold back'

    "Gold can be used as a hedge against a depreciating fiat paper currency. Given that there is probably something like 100 paper claims on gold than the physical stuff then I'd say that at the moment it is actually an "anti-bubble". The price is being deliberately suppressed to maintain the illusion of a functioning fiat currency, i.e. disguise the devaluation of paper money.

    Whilst the herd still trusts paper money, and hasn't even considered holding Gold (probably because they naively think that the BoE has a massive hoard of the stuff!) then it can't really be a bubble.

    Let's call that when the shoe-shine boy is handing out the tip."

  • Comment number 32.

    #25 Richard Bunning : -

    Pretty spot on, although I do not think that Fox News can be entirely blammed.

    You only have to search the web, and not search too much, to find that the Worldwide Wibble is full of far-right US websites, internet radio stations and so on.




  • Comment number 33.

    As we have gone from the far-Right in the US to holding gold... let's change tact again.

    Why has no one raised the question of, here in the UK, reducing the salaries and pension rights of every public sector worker rather than firing 600,000 people?

    This is what they have done in Eire so why is no one suggesting it here?

    I note that Moneyweek have raised this question again this morning. The figures could, at a stroke, solve our defence spending problem.

    From Moneyweek:

    'If we only cut the average public sector compensation down to the level of the average private compensation we'd be saving a deficit busting fortune immediately (around £42bn – £7,000 a year, on average, times 6m workers). And this surely wouldn't be that hard to do.'

    'The inclination of the top level bureaucrats would, naturally, be to cut the pay of the lowest paid first. But as I have said before, it would be more straightforward (and fairer) to cut from the top down. You could cut all salaries above £150,000 back to £150,000. Then take 15% off everyone earning over £120,000, 10% off everyone earning over £90,000 and so on. Or something like that. I'm sure George Osborne can do the numbers. And that would be that. Job done.'


    http://www.moneyweek.com/blog/how-to-cut-the-deficit-without-cutting-jobs-00243.aspx

    Or is such thinking too out of the box?

  • Comment number 34.

    tea party and the rise of fascism in Germany in the thirties...that's a hell of a jump, guys, I usually embrace all things conspiritorial but that's a big one...even for me

  • Comment number 35.

    Paul,

    If you're passing by Detroit on your travels, then it might be worth catching up with Nicole M Foss (a.k.a. Stoneleigh). Not seen today's KR video yet, but I suspect that it is right on the money. Here's a reader comment about her:

    "You have a real talent to explain in simple words the
    complex problems we are facing. Along with Michael Hudson,William Black,Steve Keen and Stacy and Max ,Theautomaticearth has been
    invaluable in unlearning old beliefs and facing reality."

    http://maxkeiser.com/2010/09/16/kr78-keiser-report-markets-finance-economic-recklessness/

  • Comment number 36.

    The heavy lifters of the new-Keynesian world on fiscal stimmulii have been China, Japan and the USA. Much larger proportions of their GDP have been committed toward fiscal fire-crackers. They've tried to coordinate and front-load with tax cuts. Central banks have fed the process by expanding their balance sheets and exposing themselves to market pressures. Dollar/Yen/Yuan- status has provided cover. In the meantime old US norms of market economics have been turned on their head with fat-cat bailouts - the language and psychology of 'bailout' should not be underestimated and gets confused with 'stimulus'! Isnt it no wonder that some Americans are asking, what next? Where's the pay-back and who will foot the bill?

  • Comment number 37.

    #25

    I dont agree with the Germany 1930's analogy where extremism was born out of the very real grinding poverty generated from the punitive measures imposed on Germany as punishment for WW1.

    The situation in the USA is quite different, what we are witnessing is the death throws of the American Dream not the creation of a new radicalism. The radicalism has always been there.

    If comparative analogies must be drawn I think you would get more mileage of comparing what the USA is going through now to what the USSR as was went through around 1990 after the fall of the Berlin wall and subsequent collapse of communism. Similarly you can use that analogy to predict a future course.

    If we are lucky the decline of the USA will follow a similar path and be relatively bloodless. You will see a period of steady decline, as emerging power players steadily and systematically untangle themselves from the $$ and USA debt and wean themselves off USA consumption, replacing it with their own. As they do so USA influence in the world will steadily decline, as it already is.

    This will be gradual and punctuated by attempts by the USA to re-capture past glories and achievements on the world stage (like Russia) by some grandstanding and flexing of muscle.

    You will also see fault lines developing internally along racial lines within its borders (like russia).

    The decline trend line will continue because the ideology that built the USA has run its course and no ammount of stimulus can re-animate the American Dream now, just as nothing can re-animate communism as was.

    The USA is buried under trillions of debt accumulated through the singular pursuit of ' The american dream' ,being kept on life support by the global economy just long enough for the rest of the world to extract themselves from their dependence on them. They do not have many friends in the world (like russia) and people put up with them only because they have to.

    Am I close?

  • Comment number 38.

    #37 Yes, I'd say that you're very close.

    To build on the point that I was making at #29, see this recent article:

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/goldman-conspiracy-helps-china-beat-us-2010-09-14

    "China is very effectively using the out-of-control Goldman Conspiracy greed machine as a vital weapon in China's two-pronged global strategy against America....the Goldman Conspiracy is America's unfortunate Black Swan, a Trojan Horse helping our enemy abroad, undermining our economy back home."

  • Comment number 39.

    37. At 9:50pm on 16 Sep 2010, Jericoa wrote:

    "The decline trend line will continue because the ideology that built the USA has run its course and no ammount of stimulus can re-animate the American Dream now, just as nothing can re-animate communism as was."

    For what it's worth, I think you're on the right track. But note, the USSR probably want the way that it did in 1989 and afterwards because it had experimented with capitalism in small ways from the death of Stalin onwards. China did not do this until Deng, and it's not clear how far they have really gone with that as it's limited to SEZs and most of what matters is still under state control. The USA is going through major population changes over recent decades which are doing it no favours on the world stage in terms of human capital. The same is happening in Europe sadly. Sometimes, what we like is not good for us, but there's no telling most people that, as I suspect you well know.

    I am a little surprised that Paul Mason has not been able to cover how the Chinese government runs its country. Perhaps that may serve as a prompt/plea for a BBC2 or BBC4 series?

  • Comment number 40.

    #38

    I had missed your post #29, very similar dynamic but coming at it from the perspective of those who would be kings as oppose to the now rapidly fading star of the incumbents.

    Put those two angles together and I think that represents a pretty robust, sober and substantiated general model of the current geo-political / economic scene which could be used to make general predictions of future emerging geo-political and economic situations (normal variation associated with 'homo sapien' behavior accepted).

    The link you posted is a fascinating insight as well from the far east perspective.

    We even seem to have the begrudging nod of tabblenable01 (#39), which given his/her predisposition for 'take no prisoners' analysis as cold as a sharks eye coupled with his / her barely disguised pleasure in opportunistic antagonism has got to be taken as an encouraging sign that we are on the right track.

    It would be a good general predictive model for Paul to pull together and present on NN if you are listening Paul? Providing, of course, it gets past the BBC's editorial pre-disposition ever since the Dr David Kelly affair to avoid potentially controversial investigative journalism and analysis.





  • Comment number 41.

    tabblenabble01's comment in #28 equating the Tea Party to anarchism to Trotskyism is most interesting, given Trotsky's history. Lenin and Stalin were pretty much the same. Molotov commented in his book "Molotov Remembers" that Stalin was like a lamb compared to Lenin in terms of cruelty. I would not go that far, but I'd agree that Lenin was as brutal as Stalin, but with better table manners.

    Trotsky's behavior during the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was comical. Trotsky's position on the German-Russian war was "no war, no peace," i.e. he honestly thought that the Germans would just accept the borders as they were and move on. In actuality, the Germans laughed and restarted their advance, costing the Russians many more miles of lost territory. One more trivia point: Finland, the Baltic States, Ukraine, and a few other countries became independent because of this extra treaty, because at the end of WWI, these countries belonged to Germany, not Russia, and therefore they were fair game at Versailles.

    In other words, Trotsky was naive and beyond idealistic, even more so than his pals. As tabblenabble01 wrote, so is the Tea Party.

    tabblenabble01 also opined that "America has been dumbing down for decades." Very true. Americans simply cannot understand that trade deficits are evil, even more so than budget deficits, as no country has ever imported its way to prosperity (China exported to the USA six times as much as the USA exported to China in 2008). They cannot understand that outsourcing jobs to other countries is a major reason why jobs are not being created now; in the past, jobs were always created after a recession. And Mason's previous post concerning China's cornering of the rare earth market is simply beyond them. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/newsnight/paulmason/2009/11/rare_earth_the_new_great_game.html%29

    All that said, the Tea Party still has one value, an alternative to the multinational corporate party of the left and the multinational corporate party of the right.

    To read my updating of Mason's rare earth reporting, see my "The upcoming USA-China war" series of blogs.

    http://saucymugwump.blogspot.com/

  • Comment number 42.

    Re: 37

    You make some interesting points - drawing parallels with history is an inexact science, but one that can offer insight. Your assessment of the outcome of the process seems very credible, but I think the dynamics of the Tea Party and their relationship to the media and the Republican Party feels like 1930s Germany more than it does 1980s USSR. There was no middle class revolt in the USSR - the whole thing caved in because the command economy stopped working and any commitment of the population to the system had long ceased when it failed to deliver the standard of living people wanted, whilst communist retoric of community interest was revealed to be a cover for appararatniks to line their own pockets.

    Why I find resonances between the rise of the Tea Party to the Nazi Party is that both started with the disillusionment of the middle classes in an era of economic decline, where they have seen their wealth and power sapped away and have responded by moving to the right, coalescing around nationaism, racism and religious fundamentalism, then using the media to recruit support and marginalise existing rightwing politicians and hijack the political process.

    Sarah Palin's ravings remind me more and more of the arian claptrap of 1930s German street orators - pig ignorant, prejudiced and pandering to the most base prejudicies and nationist stereotypes, whilst claiming legitimacy through reference to supernatural, devine authority and cultural superiority.

    A prophetic essay on German fascism written in 1937, "Steps to an Ecology of Mind", characterised German culture of nationalism and socialism, draconian discipline and wild disorder, huge physical courage combined with existential cowardice, love of insiders and an all-consuming hatred of outsiders. And these values formed vicious circles, biting each other like Uroboros, yet escalating in intensity.

    It's a difficult thing to get across, but a few moments with a movie camera says it all. You cut from goose-stepping soldiers to Krystal Nacht and flaming torches, "better a terrible end than an endless terror" as the brownshirts liked to say.

    The shirts may not be brown now, but I fear that the torches are yet to come... the references to bloodsports, hunting and the glory of the gun are equally at home in both ideologies.

    My point is that the sociological process of middle class alientation is the same - a disillusioned middle class casting around for a champion to lead their fightback, unable to come to terms with the root and branch failure of the market to fulfill their dreams, left in the ruins of everything they worked and strived for, unable to accept the contradictions of the evidence before their eyes, clinging to the belief that what went wrong was not that their system didn't work, but that it was corrupted, abused and debased by impure elements be they foreigners, lefties or criminals - that their value system would work if only it could be cleansed, our enemies identified and destroyed by our fighting men and women.

    "The wrongdoers must be rooted out - the body politic must be cleansed - we must carry the fight to the enemy - there must be no compromise - we must do this for our children - and we are totally justified in doing so because God is on our side."

    "Tommorrow belongs to me" could be sung quite happily at a Tea Party meeting: (with a few geographical tweaks)

    The sun on the meadow is summery warm
    The stag in the forest runs free
    But gathered together to greet the storm
    Tomorrow belongs to me
    Tomorrow belongs to me

    The branch on the linden is leafy and green
    The Rhine gives it's gold to the sea
    But somewhere a glory awaits unseen
    Tomorrow belongs to me
    Tomorrow belongs to me

    The babe in his cradle is closing his eyes
    The blossom embraces the bee
    But soon says the whisper, arise, arise
    Tomorrow belongs to me
    Tomorrow belongs to me

    Now Fatherland, Fatherland, show us the sign
    Your children have waited to see
    The morning will come when the world is mine
    Tomorrow belongs to me
    Tomorrow belongs to me

    (Better known as the marching song of the Hitler Youth....)

  • Comment number 43.

    #42

    I dont dispute there there is a strong element of the dynamic you put foward at play. I dont think it is the 'big picture' though.

    The USA is on a cycle of decline, militarily, with the proliferation of high tech weaponry (and low tech for that matter) the USA can barely invade a tin pot corrupt middle eastern dictatorship with 1970's(mostly) technology and hold it it militarily or sell 'the american dream' to it to hold it culturally.

    What chance have they of being successful in any broader arena against more motivated and well equiped and organised opposition...unless they 'go nuclear' of course.

    I dont disagree as such but I think (hope) the dynamic you describe is more likely to be expressed as fault lines and conflict within the USA's own borders (as stated in my post), which again, from a collapse of an ideology point of view is very similar to USSR circa late 80's / early 90's and we can use what happened there as a reasonable base model to make predictions about the USA's situation and by extension the global geo-political dynamic.

    I think (hope) that the USA is too culturally and ethnically diverse now for the tea party to be anything other than a very powerful and de-stabilising internal force within the USA's own borders. The principals of the Americican Constitution run very deep in the psychy of its people and act as a backstop against the tea party ever becomming much more than a rather nasty and noisy storm in an 'American size' tea cup.

    If i am wrong , better start cleaning out that nuclear bunker in the back garden from the 70's and clearing out the dust from the bio / chemical warfare suit, because that is the only viable global interventionist option they have now that their economic model is busted.

  • Comment number 44.

    I have enjoyed reading everyone's views on the Tea Party movement, parallels in history etc. Isnt the clue in the title. Without some investigation of how Americans perceive and react to their sense of patriotism and their interpretation of their Constitution ( reference here the language of bailout), I cannot see how the debate is properly informed. Regarding the decline of self-righteous,profiteering, bullying and racist world super-powers I am fascinated as to why no-one mentions the decline of the British Empire as a good parallel in history. Perhaps that tells us something of our own arrogance.

  • Comment number 45.

    42. At 02:53am on 18 Sep 2010, richard bunning wrote:

    "remind me more and more of the arian claptrap of 1930s German street orators - pig ignorant, prejudiced and pandering to the most base prejudicies and nationist stereotypes, whilst claiming legitimacy through reference to supernatural, devine authority and cultural superiority."

    The 'claptrap' to which you refer actually vilified anarchists - freedom fighters who were destroying the economy for economic gain at the expense of the status quo. What you should do, I suggest, is try to look past all the rhetoric and look instead to whose interests anarchism (international socialism aka the Socialist International in fact - see The Austrian School/Chicago School and the Frankfurt School etc too) actually serves. It serves globalism, i.e capitalism.

    This undermines regulation and the state everywhere in the interest of the Libertarian free-market. The mass movement in Germany was in fact explicitly anti-Bolshevik (not the same thing as anti-USSR in its entirety as Stalin was anti Bolshevik in the 30s too). It wasn't racist, but, internationalist communists (Trotskyites and anarchists) used anti-racism to dupe the masses and to get support from abroad. That the German war against naked capitalism was not racist or 'Aryan' can be seen by the simple fact that the Tripartite Pact (Axis Powers) included Japan and was allied with the Arabs. If you look closely, for a while, it also included the USSR (1939-41) itself, and here's the radical thing to take on board, in terms of long-term consequences, it included the USSR right through the war and afterwards, as the USSR opposed to Trotskyism as an agent of capitalism just as the Germans did, it just took over most of the territory the Germans occupied in East Europe!.

    The USSR went on to try to sweep through Europe, and the USA tried to stop them - hence 'the race to Berlin'. What does that make the USA politically? Where is its power concentrated? Might this make many in the West dupes, even today?

    I suggest you will need to think about this, and not just think in terms of Western post-war free-market propaganda.

  • Comment number 46.

    #44

    hi Shireblogger, glad we are keeping you entertained if nothing else:)

    ''I am fascinated as to why no-one mentions the decline of the British Empire as a good parallel in history''

    For my part (in so far as I can judge my own motives) I don't mention it because I dont think it occured to me as being a good parallel.

    The thing that sent me towards what appears to be, on the face of it, a counter-intuitive analogy between the USSR and the USA (tabblenabble comments noted in that regard) was simply by watching the popular recent 'shoot em up' spy movie SALT.

    I interpreted that movie as being a sub-conscious expression of underlying USA geo-political sentiment expressed via the politically acceptable '' rogue Russion sleeper spy hard line communist''. Which, if you have seen the movie, is a pretty scary thought to have!!!

    The british empire was of its time and not so relevent here although it clearly play a part. The USSR and the USA 'empires' of ideology were, to an extent, mutually dependent on each other. The collapse of one, you could argue, was pre-destined to lead to the collapse of the other albeit seperated by a 30 year gap.

    One system tried to ignore human nature (communism) the other embraced human nature to the point of self destruction (capitalism and the USA 3 trillion debt).

    And the emerging ideology?.....China...a merging of statism and capiltalism...Deng's 'caged bird' concept of capitalism and democracy where those two ideologies are balanced within a single new one.

    It seems to be proving quite sucessful....


    Maybe there are analogies to be made with the decline of the British Empire, but i dont think they are as relevent as the one drawn, i hope, at least, that it is not a case of arrogance.

    As an interesting footnote.. i have been put at notice of redundancy yesterday. More a self preservation rather than arational decision on behalf of that particular decision maker I fear but non the less the outcome is the same.

    giz a job anyone !!!!

    Many americans will recognise the above dynamic also.

  • Comment number 47.

    Hey, Jericoa, I wish you well on the job front. Being in property and construction I'm watching my back as I suspect many are. If the decency and intelligence of your posts are anything to go by, you'll ride the storm. I havent seen the film. I'll make a point of doing so. The cold war chess game provided the opposing blocks with a raison d'etre.It generated its own lazy logic of mutually assured destruction. With the fall of the Berlin Wall,the figleaf fell away and the US as well as Russia and China have been struggling to define themselves, their values and national interests.Globalisation has supercharged the dynamics. 9/11, followed by the credit crunch, may, in combination, turn the US inward and less internationally evangelical. The US introspection could signal a new era of conflict. I am watching with interest the military manoevres in the South China Sea and the posturing. I am watching the control of the valuation of the Renminbi and Chinese dominance of the US Treasury debt market and their activity in buying/selling Yen and its assets. These are the new battlegrounds, aside from the Middle East, and the Tea Party Movement is, in part, an expression of fear toward some of this.President Obama is certainly taking them seriously.

  • Comment number 48.

    #47

    Thanks for yout kind words shireblogger, as a bilingual engineer with a reputation for innovative design, team building and financial acumen (if I do say so myself)getting another position with a more financially stable company is unlikely to be an issue, the issue is the disruption it causes my family and how to manage that. At the moment (by design) I live a very short distance from my work place, in future it would be questionable whether I will even be in the same city.

    The probable answer is to start my own company but there are lots of things to consider and work out at the moment so reflecting on the emerging geo-political and economic landscape may need to take more of a back seat in the comming few weeks, depending, that is, on how much sitting around on my bum at work twiddling my thumbs my employer wants to insist on me doing.

    The financial situation is so bad people being made redundant have to work their notice period to assist with cash flow and in the hope they will get some work out of them in the two or three month notice period.

    For the individual it means sitting around with no motivation, not much to do and firm in the knowledge that by doing so they are losing a significant tax free lump sum redundancy payment....great for teamwork and office atmosphere (not) which itself feeds back into a cycle of corporate decline.


    Capitalism has become too efficient to sustain a politically acceptable level of employment in developed countries...unless of course you want to get horribly into debt in order to fund a mountain of 'non jobs' or, keep training and re-training people for jobs that will never exist (sound familiar)?.

    It is an absolutely shocking waste of life, which is totally unecesarry if it were recognised that we have the technology to do something totally different now in conjunction with applying what we know about the things that make people happy....which does not involve working 40 hours a week in a futile job in order to pay the interest on your mortgage and own a TV which recieves 500 channels, mostly carrying superflous junk which at least enables the suffering individual to live large chuncks of thier life within the confines of a soothing semi- hypnotic state.

    I really like one of Barrie Singleton's posts which illustrates this far better than me, copied as below:



    ''There is a beautiful moment in 'Groundhog Day' when Phil Connors says to the two drunks: "Have you ever considered what it would be like to wake up every day, to find everything is the same, and nothing you do matters?" One of the drunks gathers a couple of brain cells and replies: "That just about sums it up for me." (All quotes approximate.)

    Somebody has been going round systematically switching us off.

    If we were all switched on, the Pope would win the Nobel Prize for Standup Comedy. Poor Dawkins (who would come second) must be busting a blood vessel. ''

    Hilarious...and true... there is a phrase in the buddist philosophy known as a 'supertruth laugh' a moment of pure joy, expressed as laughter when you experience something which is perfectly in tune with the way of things. Barrie managed that for me in that last line of his.

    Respect.


  • Comment number 49.

    It is important to remember that the political ideologies we get essentially reflect the economic realities.

    "It is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but their social existence that determines their consciousness".

    The Tea Party, as some have pointed out, is the ideology of the small businessman (the Republicans & the Democrats represent big business).
    Many ordinary working class people given this false choice are supporting the Tea Party.

    But the USA is not Germany.
    Germany had no democratic history.
    The USA does have a deep attachment to democracy.
    So whilst to many educated people the Tea Party looks like a bastion of reaction, it does have at its core the desire for people power.

    But the Tea Party fails to understand that for people to actually have effective power they need to collectively control the means of production.

    Hence, despite the differences with the Nazi Party, the Tea Party may well end up going to war.

  • Comment number 50.

    #49

    If they do go to war they will have to change their name, whoever came up with that name clearly was not anticipating it to turn into anything big or they would have called it 'the progressive alliance for American values' or something with similar gravitas.

    Cup of tea anyone?

  • Comment number 51.

    It is because the US has such a strong democracy and the people have such a strong understanding of their Rights that organisations such as the Tea Party can come into existence.

  • Comment number 52.

    "51. At 1:26pm on 20 Sep 2010, tawse57 wrote:
    It is because the US has such a strong democracy and the people have such a strong understanding of their Rights that organisations such as the Tea Party can come into existence"

    Nein dummkopf!

    It is because they are incorrigible anarchists (and dummkopts)!

    http://mises.org/daily/2534
    http://mises.org/media/2070

    PS. Why did Dreben watch what Rawls wrote like a hawk?

  • Comment number 53.

    There are many things written in this blog that are being misinterpreted severely. There are a few key issues I will point out and correct.

    The American right, The tea party vs. fascists, libertarianism.

    First, the American right is very different from the right of other countries... especially the U.K. The United States does not have a long history of strong, centralized government. The American right is very individualistic. Where one in the U.K. may see fascism as a far right uprising, fascism is not seen as far right in the United States. On the contrary, fascism is grouped alongside communism as being far, extremely far left. Why? Well because both share one crucial similarity that absolutely horrifies conservative Americans, government control. Hitler or Mussolini sought to solve problems through control, just like communist countries, and in many ways socialist countries do now. Instead far right in America simply means a lack-thereof government control, regulation or presence in ones life for that matter.

    Next, the tea party is sometimes being compared to fascists simply because of the "far right label". Yes, the tea party accentuates traditional American values (which include things such individual responsibility [which is why many in the tea party are very religious]). But, as explained earlier other than the label itself, neither hold any similarity what so ever. The tea party espouses non-violence which is often NOT the case with right disturbances in other nations. Also, there is no racial component, look on any youtube.com video showing tea party protest and often the key speakers are black or hispanic rather than white. So the tea party shares no similarity to fascism.

    Finally, Libertarianism, which is often misused here, is referred to as if it means anarchist. Far from the contrary. America has its roots in law and justice. A libertarian, at least in the U.S., wants government, because, with out government, there would be a lack of peace for prosperity to occur. But, a libertarian, instead, feels government exists ONLY to provide just that, security. The United Constitution was specifically written, as said by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin (two founders of the USA), to insure the federal government had the tools to do just that and ONLY that.

    I hope this will help you understand better what is happening in the U.S. :)

  • Comment number 54.

    "Finally, Libertarianism, which is often misused here, is referred to as if it means anarchist. Far from the contrary. America has its roots in law and justice. A libertarian, at least in the U.S., wants government, because, with out government, there would be a lack of peace for prosperity to occur. But, a libertarian, instead, feels government exists ONLY to provide just that, security. The United Constitution was specifically written, as said by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin (two founders of the USA), to insure the federal government had the tools to do just that and ONLY that.

    I hope this will help you understand better what is happening in the U.S. :)"

    You're describing your beliefs. Read Murray's "What It Means To Be A Libertarian" (just read the first few pages of this and his next book "In Our Hands" to see the mark of Stelzer) and then you'll see what's really happening to the USA. Study the demographics not the rhetoric.

  • Comment number 55.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

 

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