Tea Bag Dialectic
The title may seem odd, but hear me out. A dialectical relationship is one based on a contradiction. A unity of opposites that drives both in existence. Like the relationship between capitalists and workers. Its a massive contradiction that perpetuates the class structure of our society. This is what I see when I look at the attitude of the Tea Baggers and whose who hold the similar belief that America is a socialist country.
We see this big contradiction in their belief/ideology. What we see is that everything is socialism and nothing is socialism. Appropriately enough this in line with the dialectic. Something its both itself and not itself. Anything that is socialism can be claimed not to be. Anything that is not socialism can be claimed to be. Bank bailouts could not be anymore obviously anti-socialist, while the Mises version of what a central bank should to do actually is socialist.
Another example of this is the contrasting views of what socialism is in the eyes of the followers of this movement. If you live in a poor state, socialism is all the rich people keeping the poor down. Its the evil socialist government of America serving the corporate elite. They scream in unison, “corporations are not capitalism!” Socialism becomes a tool of those who privately own the means of production. Its an attack on the privilege of the rich.
If you live in rich state, socialism is poor people keeping the rich down. The complaint they make is that the working class is harming the wealthy, too many taxes are preventing the fairytale “trickle down economics” from functioning and helping all. Now socialism is attacking those who own the means of production as opposed to helping them. Mad scrabbles are made to defend the privilege of the rich. The most vile lies and distortions come out of Fox News decrying Marxist and/or Muslim influences killing the American dream.
In this contradiction we see an overall manufactured perspective that is being developed despite the obvious insanity of it all: A defence of the privileged elite appearing as popular defence of the working class. This is what the entire corporate manufactured Tea Bagger movement is all about. Defending the privilege and power of the rich while convincing it’s working class followers that it is defending them.
To many this might seem like a new thing, but really it is history repeating itself. The Founding Fathers themselves practised this idea as well. The Constitution spoke so passionately about freedom and liberty, while plainly to be seen it was intentionally written to protect the privileged. (For a good explanation of this check Michael Parenti on the Founding Fathers.) A great deal of effort was taken to appeal to the masses while doing its opposite. They spoke of freedom, but yet Native Americans, African slaves and women were not even counted as people.
This Tea Bag dialectic is not something new, its something redone for a new age.