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Hullabaloo


Monday, November 08, 2010

 
Perlstein's "Mendocracy" and Shock Doctrine Economics

by digby

Rick Perlstein wrote a fascinating article for The Daily Beast over the week-end about what he calls out "mendocracy" --- which means a society ruled by liars. He discusses the fact that most Americans believe that Obama raised their taxes when he actually lowered them and uses Limbaugh's admonition to his audience that Obama always means exactly the opposite of what he says as an example of how that kind of thing comes to pass.

(a) A mountebank teaches his millions of followers that everything the president says is a priori a lie;

b) The mainstream media that acts as if anything his millions of followers believe is a priori deserving of respect as heartland folk wisdom (note the cover article lionizing Limbaugh in this week's Newsweek);

(c) The president unilaterally renders himself constitutionally incapable of breaking the chain between (a) and (b), such that, (d), the assumption that Obama raised taxes when he really lowered them becomes hegemonic for a majority of the electorate, and even a large plurality of Democrats.

Q.E.D.: Governing has become impossible.

And dammit, the essence of Obamaism as an ideology is that it is Uncivil to Call Out Liars.

Limbaugh basically says up is down and black is white and millions of people believe him because he's telling them a story that makes sense to them. Of course Obama raised their taxes -- he's a Democrat and that's what they always do. He's just pretending that he didn't.

But I have a question for Perlstein and others who study history. While it's possible to call out liars for lying -- and I agree that it's necessary -- what in the hell do we do about total lunacy like this?
BECK: Here's what's coming: Inflation. Now, you listen to the people on television, and look, I'm not an economist. I'm a high school educated guy. And maybe that's why I can see things that other people can't. Because I don't have that big old head where I've been, it's been filled by the so-called experts. I pursue these things myself. I try to figure it out myself. And I look at what's happening in our country. And I listen to the experts saying 'Oh no, that's fear mongering, there's no inflation happening. Did you see last month, we had the lowest increase since WWII?" Well that was last month.

[...]

As a result, QE2 Americans will have to endure a lower standard of living. It is a tax on all Americans. Prices are going through the roof. Basic cost of living, food, clothing, energy, is all going up. And there will be a QE3 and QE4. That's Peter Schiff. How about doctor doom? The guy who is one of the only people who got it. Leading economist Nouriel Roubini, he tweeted this. I love my global economists tweeting: "QE2 will be followed by QE3 and QE4 as QE2 will fail to revive the real economy and to prevent deflationary pressures." There you go. So when does it stop? When does it stop? The price of your house? Deflation. The price of food? Inflation.


Does your head hurt? (You can click the link above to get the refutation of the Beckian gobbledygook.)

On his radio show today he said "governments are conspiring to keep gold prices down; you have to think like a German Jew in 1934" while a Republican banker put some (completely unbelievable) words in Sarah Palin's mouth about inflation in which she parrots Reagan as if his words have the same meaning in today's situation. It entirely possible that banker (through intermediaries) was the president of the World Bank, Bob Zoelick, one of George Bush's "Vulcans," who today called for a return to the Gold Standard. Beck, Palin, Zoelick. A trifects.

Get out your copies of The Shock Doctrine and pour yourself a strong drink. Our Mendocracy has finally enabled full blown disaster capitalism. Perhaps the method to the billionaire financed Tea Party madness is finally coming into focus. The willing acquiescence of the Democratic party will only make it sweeter.


Update: Brad DeLong calls Bob Zoelick the stupidest man alive.

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