Thursday, October 09, 2008

Selling Bad Ideas


Shawn Akers follows the trail of soggy crumbs left by Jonah Goldberg, and discovers a grave and gathering threat called "Commufascism."

Here's how it operates:

The secret to selling bad ideas is to make sure they are the only ones available. This is how totalitarian regimes take power.
This is quite true, which is why we need to crush academia. And demonize anyone who suggests that there's any historical explanation for anti-Americanism in the Middle East. And represent abortion as murder, period. And denounce anything short of trigger-happy anarcho-capitalist chaos as a nigger-coddling Nanny State.
Whether it was Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany or Vladimir Lenin in Communist Russia, the pattern is largely the same – totalitarian dictators come to power by enshrining themselves as cults of personality and then creating political monopolies through often less than delicate campaigns of indoctrination and censorship – especially censorship enshrouded in the intimidating aura of state power.
This is such prodigious nonsense that I feel almost helpless before it; it's as though I'm trying to extinguish Vesuvius with a squirt gun. Consider Akers' plodding earnestness as he reveals the hermetic secrets of 20th-century totalitarianism. (Talking about serious things makes you a serious person! Try it at home! Impress your friends!) Consider his dainty objection to the "less than delicate" methods of Commufascist political monopolies. Consider his judicious distinction between totalitarian censorship per se, and the totalitarian censorship that's "enshrouded in the intimidating aura of state power." And, above all, consider his perfect obliviousness to the political culture of the last eight years, in which the most frequent complaint the Right had against government censorship and intimidation was that it stopped short of executing celebrity peaceniks.

Akers goes on to argue that when a government dominates, impoverishes, and enslaves its people, "the result is always the same – tyranny." Please do make a note of it.

All this proves once again that the Historical Perspective has only one great purpose in conservative thought, and that's to paint moderates like Obama as the rectally born love children of Hitler and Stalin:
[S]cattered around the nation are tri-color campaign posters of Mr. Obama, bearing a striking resemblance to the larger than life representations of Lenin, Marx, and Engels used by soviet propagandists in the glory days of Mother Russia.
Remember that thing Akers said a moment ago, about how "the secret to selling bad ideas is to make sure they are the only ones available"? Well, he's exactly right, and that's why Obama's mild call for expanded healthcare (plus American exceptionalism) and renewable energy (plus unconditional support for Israel) has to be cast as something out of The Military Programme of the Proletarian Revolution.

Akers complains that Obama is being transformed from an underachieving mediocrity into Our National Savior, which suggests that conservatives were right, for once, when they claimed that irony died on 9/11. It's not just that Akers dislikes being dosed with his own medicine, though; he has a larger, more universal concern.
[U]nfortunately for the American people, what has been true of the form of the Obama campaign is now materializing in its function as individuals cloaked in the appearance of state authority seek to silence dissent and indoctrinate the masses.
Akers is referring to the claim that an Obama "truth squad" in Missouri has vowed to prosecute anyone who dares to point out that he's a Commufascist, a secret Muslim, a Marxist, a neo-Marxist, a terrorist, a drug user or dealer, an advocate of post-birth abortion, a messianic megalomaniac, an America-hater, a citizen of Kenya or Indonesia, an uppity arugula-eater, the Antichrist, or all of the above. The chilling effect of this threat is demonstrated by the astonishing number of people who have called Obama these things and worse over the last week; this inspires Akers to rail against the "true Nazi-Reichsführer-school-meets-Communist-Reeducation-Camp style" of the "Obama jugend," whose impolitic language "would have made Stalin blush."

Worse, Obama's henchmen have allegedly threatened legal action against radio stations that "air unapproved ads." To you, it's common sense. To Akers, it's an example of "'forced coordination' – what the Nazis referred to as Gleichschaltung."

To his credit, Akers doesn't curse the darkie without lighting what the Nazis referred to as eine kerze.
Attempts at tyranny have historically struck a sour note in the collective [!!!] soul of Americans. There is something written on our hearts that says it is wrong to take property that does not belong to you even if you take it for a “good cause;” it is wrong to kill the innocent even if their existence is inconvenient for you; it is wrong to win a contest by intimidating the judges; and it is the honor of the strong to secure justice for the weak.
That's clear enough, right? Winning a contest by intimidating judges = Commufascism. Winning a contest by pretending that you're running against an Islamo-Stalinist Hitler = democracy and fair play.

This gibberish probably won't resonate with anyone who doesn't already hate Obama. But then, it's not supposed to. The point of Akers' piece is simply that if Obama wins, the victory will be both illegitimate and intolerable. Currently, Obama's popularity is proof that he's a quasi-fascist demagogue; if he wins, the idea that he was legally elected by a majority of voters will be rejected as a moral and mathematical impossibility.

In the coming weeks, these dangerous ideas will be "the only ones available" to real Americans, thanks to "less than delicate campaigns" like Akers'. And if anyone gets killed...well, sic semper tyrannis.

10 comments:

chris said...

"it is the honor of the strong to secure justice for the weak"
Sounds like a call for martyrs.
I hope the Secret Service is up to the task.

On a lighter note, watching the wingnuts wail and rend their garments (and each other)after election day will brighten many a winter day. We're hoping for a headstart on that here in Canada next week.

eggplant43 said...

npagraNice post. These are the final days.

Jill said...

I think we should give them some kind of consolation prize for not getting their way. Dinner at Wendy's oughta do the trick.

They won't like it and loudly, but such is the case with authoritarians faced with losing their leadership.

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