Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Tea Party Will Win and America Will Lose

By Tom Kando

 On October 14, Frank Rich wrote a disturbing article which sounds very true, alas: THE TEA PARTY WILL WIN INTHE END (New York Times Oct. 14, 2012).

Here is what Rich says, essentially: America will forever remain a right-wing country. American popular culture is fundamentally anti-government. This ideology is entrenched, and it is being re-enforced forever by the plutocracy’s funding of propaganda - political campaigns, talk radio, the Western “individualistic” cowboy culture allied with old Southern anti-federalism in support of racism.

Not much has changed since Goldwater, half a century ago.  Liberals always delude themselves into believing that the essence of America is progressive and that the right-wing is at the fringe.

In fact, it is the opposite. The right, like cockroaches, never dies. It always adapts.  It co-opts new rhetoric and jettisons things (like its affiliation with the Ku Klux Klan) when they become embarrassing. The right always  comes back stronger than before: Think of  Ronald Reagan’s triumphs, and what is going on today.

America is a fundamentally right-wing country, and it will remain so. Rich’s article is  upsetting, because it seems true.  Here is my initial reaction to it:

Therefore, America will increasingly fail, and fall behind. America  is wedded to a political and economic system which is less effective than the more modern systems that are currently evolving.

Ever since the late 19th century, the world began to experiment with the inevitable next chapter in social evolution, namely more integrated  and planned systems of social and economic development. Many mistakes were made, including National Socialism and Bolshevism.  However, these errors should not be misinterpreted to mean that “Socialism” is a failed experiment. By whatever name you wish to use, it is inescapable that the future belongs to  more planned, centralized, “mixed” social democracies. Western Europe is one possible model, despite its current (but only temporary) difficulties. China is another. And there is a myriad others - from Canada to Japan, from India to Australia and New Zealand.

What all these countries have in common is that they enjoy (1)  a greater emphasis on fairness and on the well-being of the general population rather than focusing excessively on the success of an elite, or (2) they enjoy  rapid economic growth. The US enjoys neither of these.

One thing is clear: The world is moving forward towards such systems, and  America finds itself at the rearguard of history. Its allegiance to “paleo-Capitalism” and its refusal to evolve towards a mixed system dooms it, as it becomes increasingly dysfunctional  both politically and economically.

One is reminded of Spain’s decline from the 16th century onward, when it embraced the defense of the Catholic status quo as its fundamental mission,  while much of the rest of Europe moved on towards Protestantism, Capitalism and modernity (see Max Weber). leave comment here