Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TEA-ness Envy

Chris Hedges interviews Noam Chomsky on the subject of TEA Parties...

Truthdig: Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'

“I have never seen anything like this in my lifetime,” Chomsky added. “I am old enough to remember the 1930s. My whole family was unemployed. There were far more desperate conditions than today. But it was hopeful. People had hope... There is nothing like that now. The mood of the country is frightening. The level of anger, frustration and hatred of institutions is not organized in a constructive way. It is going off into self-destructive fantasies.”

Chomsky just doesn't get it... While there is the potential for the kind of dangerous outcome he imagines (particualrly if the Tea Party continues to get routed away from the anti-war Paul factions and towards Palin's militarism), his fears are largely misguided... Or, as with much of the fear and loathing coming from the left, his alarmism only betrays an envy that an uprising like this didn't come from progressive ranks during the Bush years.

Political allegiances aside, he should be happy that the otherwise apathetic masses are finally getting fighting mad! These days they are somewhat less concerned with NFL stats and now are spending more time and energy writing angry letters to their representatives, attending protests, and getting involved with their local communities. The more astute among them are even becoming savvy in recognizing the dangers of big government/big business symbiosis, and how the two-party "duopoly" & main-stream media had previously succeeded in "manufacturing consent." But no more. The beauty of this is that the general public - and the productive classes in particular - can no longer be so easily duped; they are less susceptible to being mugged by another 9/11, for instance. Though it would've been nice had they acquired this level of recognition in March of 2003, nonetheless late is better than never. Even Rush Limbaugh has been warning of the possibility of false-flag domestic terrorism - as Alex Jones creeps into the talk-radio market-share, so does his rhetoric become mainstream.

That being said, Chomsky is correct that there are certain points of similarity of the Tea Party movement with the populist fever that gathered around Hitler during the Weimar period. For one thing, a point which he doesn't emphasize, the motivating factors are similar - in the case of Weimar Germany, it was austerity measures imposed in order to pay off foreign debts (following the Versailles Treaty and the "November criminals" who signed it) that got the Volk mad; while in the current situation, it is austerity measures now being imposed to pay off the gambling debts of Wall St. following the bank bailouts which the Federal Reserve pushed on Congress with threats of martial law in September '08.

But he is also correct that the difference is the absence of a Hitler - yet - though this appears to be Palin's aspiration. This could change...

A bad sign is the recent "Papers Please" immigration legislation passed in Arizona with Tea Party support.

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