I have written about “class warfare” and the misuse of this term by the American Conservatives quite a bit in the past. The issue reared its head up again over the current economic debates in Washington recently. Yesterday, Paul Ryan stated:
Class warfare may make for good politics, but it makes for rotten economics. We don’t need a system that seeks to divide people. We don’t need a system that seeks to prey on people’s fear, envy and anxiety.
While he is correct about class warfare not necessarily being good politics, his statement is one of misdirection. President Obama finally stated, “This is not class warfare. It’s math.” He is completely correct, on most accounts. But, I’m not really focused on President Obama’s speech today or his new fiscal proposals. I’m really focused on the rhetoric, tactics and aims of the GOP, especially the Tea Party.
Class warfare is taken from the title of a book of interviews with Noam Chomsky in 1996. Prior to this publication, the term was “class conflict.” Class conflict is a Marxist term. There are several forms of class conflict: direct violence, indirect violence, coercion, or ideology. All of these ideals are concerned with poverty, labor conditions, union power, starvation, government propaganda, and similar themes. All of these ideals are concerned with the wealthy forcing the less wealthy to support their system of power.
Even this whole “Big Government is the problem” ideology is antiquated and unsubstantiated. The Tea Party and their candidates continually insist, “the government is the problem.” Or that “Big government is the problem.” They constantly claim that taxation should be minimal. So, they want a nonexistent government and almost no taxation? They are seriously advocating that the United States be run like Somalia?
As of July 2003, Somalia had no national government. In 1986, income tax in Somalia was between 0% and 19%. In 2003, the sales tax rate was 10%. Really? This is the nation we want to aspire to be? Somalia?
They also claim that National Health Care is oppressive and destroys freedom and financial growth. They claim that unions and labor organizations stifle the economy. They claim that outsourcing labor is responsible for the destruction (or erosion) of the middle class.
There is a country that has no “at will” employment. Employees are guaranteed 24 paid vacation days per year, though most get 4 to 6 weeks. Maternity leave and working conditions are legislated at a high level. This country also opened up six more factories in a cheaper country this year, so far. Germany is hardly the same picture as Somalia. They make cars that automatically avoid accidents (if the driver isn’t paying attention) and parking lots that automatically stack cars underground. Germany also has 6.1% unemployment.
Are we really to believe that there is “sound reasoning” behind the GOP/Tea Party ideology? And back to the Conservative rhetoric: Class warfare? Really? They also claim to be against “Big Government” – yet, they want the government to legislate who can get an abortion, who can get married, what religions are valid – and they want the state to execute people. How much more power can you give the government over the right to take people’s lives? The point of all this is not to turn the American Democrats into saints, or even to validate them as effective or even validate them as valid… only to point out that the American Conservatives are full of empty rhetoric.
A few weeks ago, the American Conservatives claimed that Congresswoman Waters advocated violence by stating, “The Tea Party can go straight to hell...” in response to a Tea Party members’ statement that the Democrats were plantation overseers. On Sunday, Andrew Breitbart stated that the American Conservatives/Tea Party were armed and ready for conflict with the “Liberals” – and claimed American military would support them.
I’m under attack all the time. They call me gay, there are death threats… There are times where I’m not thinking as clearly as I should, and in those unclear moments, I always think to myself, ‘Fire the first shot.’ Bring it on. Because I know who’s on our side. They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country, and we have the guns… I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line because they know what they’re dealing with.
And I have people who come up to me in the military, major named people in the military, who grab me and they go, ‘Thank you for what you’re doing, we’ve got your back.’ And, so … So…
They understand that. These are the unspoken things we know, they know.
Just to be clear… Breitbart elaborates more here:
He says, “… to be clear … I’m talking about civil war … ”
If American Military officials are telling him they will support an armed insurrection against American citizens, they are committing high treason. If he is complicit in the act, he should be tried for it, too. This is a high crime. One of the highest. And this guy is an asshat. He edited videos that destroyed community service organizations and sabotaged Shirley Chisholm’s career, by selective editing. He is not a journalist, he is a propagandist.
When Breitbart states that military officials have confided in him that they would support an armed insurrection, where is the support of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security procedures that the Tea Party so consistently endorses? I think Dick Cheney should Waterboard Breitbart until he names every single military officer that confided in him to endorse high treason.
At the very bottom of it all… the Tea Party and the GOP are all empty rhetoric. We already know they hate science, so there is no science behind their claims. They hate half of America, at least. They consistently espouse Marxist rhetoric to condemn Marxism, Communism, Socialism, and even most forms of Capitalism… really, the Tea Party prove more every day that they are nothing but contemporary, American Fascists.
Finally, what ever happened to Sarah Palin? I know I shouldn’t care… but Palin quotes are the gift that keeps on giving.