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Mar 30 2008

Left-Wing Wealth, Right-Wing Wealth, And The Exploitation Of Fear

I was having a political discussion with a friend of mine who is a very, very good person, and cares deeply about his family, friends, and this nation. We were talking about the race-, sex-, and class-based schisms that currently divide the nation.

I contended that the only way to get past this stuff is for everyone to realize that the elite right-wing corporate oligarchy has intentionally fueled race-based and sex-based discord and division so as to splinter the vast majority of people in this nation so that they do not unify as a class-based supermajority and kick the elite right-wing corporate oligarchy right to the fucking curb where they belong, and give this nation back to its citizens.

His response was to point out that wealth is not a right-wing phenomenon, and that there are plenty of superrich left-wingers as well.

My perception is that the very rich left wingers get that they are very rich in large part for relatively random reasons that are not intimately related to their value as individuals. This understanding of their own good fortune leads as a corollary to them wanting to see everybody living a decent life, and being willing to see their own relative wealth diminshed to some extent to create a more economically equitable society.

My perception is that the very rich right wingers think that their extreme wealth demonstrates that they are somehow better people than everyone else, and those who are poor or middle-class are unworthy individuals who deserve to be poor or middle-class. This understanding of their own good fortune–and its absence in others–leads them to being very comfortable with the idea that everyone other than their fellow very rich can basically go fuck themselves.

And even though they don’t necessarily say that this is fine with them, the monetary and fiscal policies of the right-wing have always fucked the poor and middle class right up the ass.

The genius of the right-wing oligarchy is that they have convinced so many middle-class, and even poor, people to keep voting them into office, even though as soon as they get into office they just economically fuck the vast majority of the people who voted for them right up the ass. They do this by exploiting all sorts of fears: fear of other races, fear of the other sex, fear of other religions, fear of terrorists, fear of immigrants, etc.

Fear is a very powerful motivator, perhaps the single most powerful motivator of human behavior that exists, and the right wing has been exceedingly successful at generating and exploting fear. They use fear as a wedge to keep the vast supermajority of the non-super-wealthy classes from forming an unstoppable political force and kicking the corporate oligarchy and its political toadies (who do, unfortunately, also include a number of Democratic Party politicians) right to the fucking curb, where they belong.

These right-wing shitbag oligarchs have fucked up every single goddamn thing in the entire world they have touched over the last ~40 years, and the idea that we as a nation are anywhere near to electing yet another one of them as President is testament to how amazingly, yet sadly, effective they have been at driving these wedges of fear into our polity.

NO MORE FEAR!!

15 comments

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  1. 1
    drugmonkey

    Class warfare!!!! CLASS WARFARE!!!!!!!

    FEAR IT!!!!!!

  2. 2
    Michael

    Try countering fear with love.

  3. 3
    the Rev Jerry Gloryhole

    One thing they haven’t fucked up is their intentional ruining of education in this nation.
    Just kidding.
    Fear the poor!

  4. 4
    Mad Hatter

    I have to admit that when I hear people talk about how proud they are to have voted for their “values”–anti-gay marriage, anti-immigration, anti-abortion, anti-science, etc.–instead of for their economic interests, I’m a lot less sympathetic when they get fucked “right up the ass”. Too bad those votes also screw over everyone else.

  5. 5
    The Barefoot Bum

    There are no wealthy people on the left. There are wealthy Democrats, but that’s not quite the same thing.

    Every wealthy person I’ve met (and I’ve met no small few), right or faux-left, believes they deserved their wealth and believes that their wealth, however it was obtained, proved that they are inherently better people.

    I don’t really fault wealthy people for this attitude (the connection between wealth and moral value is so deeply drummed into our cultural consciousness that even most poor people make it) but I think it’s a mistake to draw left/right distinctions among the rich.

    About the only distinction you can draw is between the hostile and paternalistic rich; the main difference is that the latter cares so much about you that they’ll use a little Astroglide when they’re fucking the rest of us up the ass.

  6. 6
    The Barefoot Bum

    (My apologies for the person/number errors in the previous comment.)

  7. 7
    PhysioProf

    Every wealthy person I’ve met (and I’ve met no small few), right or faux-left, believes they deserved their wealth and believes that their wealth, however it was obtained, proved that they are inherently better people.

    I know for a fact of the existence of wealthy people who do not feel that way.

  8. 8
    juniorprof

    As do I.

  9. 9
    crowlie

    40 years? In its current incarnation it goes back at least to the Industrial Revolution at which point books were published by men of religion defining the wealthy as morally superior to the poor.

    And they do say it. Every time some social-darwinist fucktard deliberately misinterprets the psychology of abuse and opines “people on the street choose to be there” they’re ramming it in yet again. Arseholes.

    The use of the combined threat/reward of fear and consumerism was used successfully by the Roman Empire and the origins of that go back to the rise of the ancient Near Eastern city states. A king needed a god to endorse his hold on power and legitimate the murder, rape and general hideously abusive behaviour that kept him alive as king.

    Money isn’t the problem. Exploitation and the continuity of the artificial construct that is Patriarchal society is the problem.

  10. 10
    PhysioProf

    Well, yeah, the megatheocorporatocracy (as Twisty so eloquently puts it) that benefits from, and thus maintains, patriarchy is the problem. But I like to focus on the current specific manifestation of this problem, which is the Republican Fucking Party, hence my “~40 years” reference.

    But you are absolutely right, and I agree with everything you say. Economic inequity is more of a symptom than a cause. Althought it is a very painful symptom for many people.

  11. 11
    crowlie

    Very fucking painful!

    Somehow it seems to me, from my vantage point on the other side of the planet, that connecting the Republicans to their puritan anti-intellectual class abusing roots is necessary revelation for those who think they’re “god’s own”…

    Tariq Ali called it a kleptocracy or oligarchy of thieves. :-)

  12. 12
    The Barefoot Bum

    Any rich person who didn’t feel that they deserved their money, and who didn’t feel it gave them some sort of moral superiority, live in such a way that you would never know they were rich… if they didn’t just give their money away outright.

  13. 13
    WereBear

    There’s rich, and happy about it, and then there’s rich, and greedy about it.

    That’s the sort of left/right axis we’re discussing.

    Essentially, if you are the sort of person who is so obnoxious you have to buy friends, you will never have enough money. The sort of person who wouldn’t be important, who wouldn’t ever be paid attention, unless you have money.

    If money is the only thing in your life you value, you will never have enough money.

    I’ll illustrate with a little story:

    In our area, most of the stores have a can on the counter for the local Animal Shelter. These cans have one purpose: feeding animals that people can’t afford to feed themselves.

    I dump my change in the cans so kids won’t have to give up their dog, so the elderly shut-in can keep the cat who is their only companion.

    I don’t have much, but I have more than these people. So I give.

    The right wing rich are screwing everyone else to keep their equivalent of the change I drop in those cans almost every time I shop.

    That’s what sick fucks they are.

  14. 14
    Anonymoustache

    PP,
    Your perceptions about wealth and entitlement-philosophy are grounded in reality, and are shared by other prominent people who have seen plenty of both. Here’s Warren Buffett’s opinion:
    —”Mr Buffett, who runs Berkshire Hathaway and is generally regarded as the world’s most successful investor, said he was a Democrat because Republicans are more likely to think: “I’m making $80 million a year, God must have intended me to have a lower tax rate”—
    My blog piece on him, meritocracy, and relevant refs are at:
    http://yacketyyakia.blogspot.com/2008/03/warren-buffett-american-hero.html

  15. 15
    drdrA

    Physioprof-

    I am tagging you for a 6 word memoir. I do this with trepidation… hoping you won’t simply string together 6 cuss words… but that might be entertaining as well.

  1. 16
    Welcome Field Negro Readers! « PhysioProf

    [...] left-wing-wealth-right-wing-wealth-and-the-exploitation-of-fear/ [...]

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