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Pwog Eliminationism

By Al Schumann on Sunday January 9, 2011 08:29 AM

Bill Sock, er, Sykes and the other anthropathological investigator pwogs keep harping on the racism, paranoia, authoritarian culture and status fears of the poor wingnuts, but they rarely care to discuss any of the economic factors that gift the right wing demagogues with recruits. It's an astonishing oversight. Downward mobility, job insecurity, fragile savings and wage stagnation are the driving forces. The fear-based manifestations are the results, not the proximate causes. Once they're in place, it gets harder and harder to address the causes. That's a problem. Or is it?

My suspicion is that the neglect of causation is not entirely an oversight. The pwogs have a nasty streak a mile wide and just as deep. They're willing to endure a collective economic punishment that affects them, provided it makes the wingnuts even more miserable. Hence their continued support for neoliberal monsters. No pwog will literally take up a gun or burn a barn, although they do have the mentality. Instead, they'll wage economic and police state warfare until the wingnuts completely break. They're the smart people. A passive aggressive embargo keeps the blood from directly dripping off their hands.

I suppose there's a measure of satisfaction in that. They can always feel good about the relatively higher incidences of mental illness and criminality afflicting their brothers and sisters, even as they whittle away at their own chances for security. Change they can believe in, if you will.

Comments (27)

Hot damn, Al. All sorts of synchronicity. I was reading some responses @ Echidne, and the impression I kept getting was that motive was the most important factor, for those professional liberals. They needed to believe that the motive of the shooter was the significant part. His suffering, and the suffering he caused only operate as props in their arguments, for many of them. The prog wants his ideas in order, perhaps to provide cover for each of his complicit acts. He certainly doesn't seem inclined to understand the underlying materiality of suffering, rage and dispossession.

What matters for the progressive argument is fealty. Fealty to the worldview.

This specific comment illustrates best that to which I referred, Al:

"Common sense tends to suggest that in order for any nutjob to murder anyone, said nutjob is normally in ideological opposition to his victim. Seriously, common sense..."



I just expanded my comment below to BS into a full blog entry. Thanks for the memories, Gents.


Mad Al might i add to your list of missing Dembo neoliberal causals

these moynihan-dem development
rising payroll tax rates
from late 70's to early 90's
and the pan dembot elixir
rapidly rising
health premiums thru out
the post 68 darkening twilight

then one must notice
the two edged sword
of credit policy and regulation
house lot values

though your fragile savings category covers the cracked nest egg part of it

Al Schumann:

Jack, yeah, it's not really a fratricidal pyrrhic victory if they can dress it up with some trendy, updated imputation of Satanic possession—their secular junk sociology. And who knows, they might wind up as the last people lording it over the shitheap, once the right wingers crack past any hope of self-salvage.


I think I'm just sticking to the crazy-man explanation for now. I just read an article saying that more people may have been involved, and that could change my opinion, but from what I've read so far it doesn't seem like you can really attribute this to the tea party or to capitalist society. Even if you solved all of the social ills that could plausibly be solved, you're still going to get the odd guy who goes off his meds, or is not diagnosed early enough, and does something like this.

A smart man once wrote that people actually have a huge capacity to tolerate suffering, but have almost no capacity to tolerate senseless, inexplicable suffering. I think we're getting a case study on the strong instinct to attribute deeper causality to an event where the causality was rather shallow.

Al Schumann:

Owen, thanks for the additions. The fiddles and scams are important to my argument.

Ms. Xeno, that's an excellent, accurate, bleak blog entry.

Al Schumann:

FB, as far as I know, you're right on the specifics of this shooting. I'm going off on a tangent: pwog refusal to consider the causes of right wing recruitment.

Glad you liked it, Al.

At this point, we can concur with one other that the real "crazies" aren't the ones we're supposed to see as such. That's about all we have, most days. Might as well make the most of that ability before it, too, is taken away "for our own good."


"Anti government" is the moniker the media conglomerates and government spokestools appear to have settled upon, to describe a young man who doesn't seem to have the ability to form coherent sentences.

When the big cos and the federales start pimping that term, and progressives sing kumbaya with their more nakedly corporate conservative counterparts, crime bills and prison expansions aren't that far off.

Again - a nod to the Neetch: Shooting princes can make them stronger. A lesson there, about how many princes there are, and the level of opposition necessary to not make them stronger...


" I'm going off on a tangent: pwog refusal to consider the causes of right wing recruitment."

True. I didn't really read it closely enough. I was still caught up in the Sykes frame


Jack, it wasn't Nietzsche who wrote that, it was Emerson.


The Neetch, "Twilight of the Idols" -

"Are we immoralists harming virtue? No more than anarchists harm princes. Only because the latter are shot at do they once more sit securely on their thrones. Moral: morality must be shot at."


ah, I stand corrected. I thought you were referring to "if you shoot at a king you must kill him". My bad.

Al Schumann:

FB, I couldn't resist the Sykes/Sock flourish, but looking back at it it's misleading as the introductory sentence. Thanks for catching my intent despite that.


It was plenty clear. I'm afraid it's just not my day today. I'm going to dim sum. I can't think with a hangover and har gow on the brain


"I think we're getting a case study on the strong instinct to attribute deeper causality to an event where the causality was rather shallow."

any one brain's weird wiring diagram
can be a proximate cause
those dead are no more or less dead
then if they'd been killed
by a sun dazzled senior
in a run away mercury sedan

but the act ...this act
occurs in a very complex but noetheless causative nexus

a vectored nexus of socially contrived meanings and that nice sub set of meanings that can become triggers

this nexus warrants dissection ...no ??
okay...maybe not so much
as the quavering legion
of utterly senile licensed drivers

i think something along the lines Mad Al
rolls out above
captures the wider field of social forces
that yields many tea baggers and a sifted few
keenly focused killer nutballs


my ultimo causal compression

the rubinite strong dollar policy
killed that kid


this post may be my favorite in quite some time

thanx Al
...and of course ....thanx ralph


"this post may be my favorite in quite some time. thanx Al"

Mine too. It's restored my belief in free speech. And thanks, FB, for identiying the BS syndrome.

Not to discredit the other sharp observations already made on this topic, the public response to the incident, if not the incident itself (effect of tv and all that) does fall into the general phenomenon of Spectacle. And now that we're talking about it, we've fallen into Spectacle too.

Al Schumann:

I've got a corollary to the post, Owen. The areas where the demagogues find the easiest pickings are full blown comprador fiefdoms, the front lines for the War on Labor and the asset bubbles. The absentee lords live safely out of harm's way.

I remember Echidne (who Crow links to) back when we were both on one of the long-gone feminist boards together, taking well-deserved potshots at various "Men's Rights" trolls and the like. I think I lost interest in her shtick around the time she started using cutesy words like "Wingnutia."

An awful lot of people I normally think of as decent could stand to read this column. They're so busy loudly proclaiming their own superiority every time somebody says the words "Tea Party" that they can't even see what's right in front of their noses. They, too, can't imagine any true dissent that comes from anywhere but the most simplified, one-dimensional caricature of the GOP "base." In adding to this echo-chamber perception so kindly handed down to them by the mainstream media, they're part of the problem. One of the ones I know on LJ refers to the shooter as our "Enemy." He should be smart enough to know that as "Enemies" go, this dude is small potatoes. I lack the strength to try and point these people in the right direction anymore. It's much easier to just avoid them, whenever possible.


...And now that we're talking about it, we've fallen into Spectacle too...

Sorry about that. I'm hoping to buy a crepe pan soon and post about that, instead. If I'm lucky, IOZ will swing by and offer a blistering take-down of my crepe technique, and the fame I've long coveted in Blogland will be mine at last. Perhaps I can even parley it into a guest shot on the Food Network.

Bill Sykes:


The problem is that the "Tea Party" isn't made up of economically deprived working class people. It's made up of the privilaged.


particularly aggrieved and working-class backgrounds? Are we really seeing legitimately angry working-class Americans being steered into the right by clever right manipulators in accord with at least one key aspect of the famous "Tom Frank Kansas thesis"? Is the "Tea Party thing" really rooted in "the people who ought to" -- or even could -- "be organized by the Left"? Are these "Tea Party" people really motivated primarily by economic issues and problems and just slightly by concerns and sentiments of race, gender, and religion? Are their grievances really all that legitimate and potentially progressive? Last but not least, are they really coalesced into anything that deserves to be considered a "movement," much less a "populist uprising" (of any sort)?

Based on recently released national data generated by CBS and the New York Times and our own regionally specific (Midwestern) research and observation of the "Tea Party" people, our answers to each of these questions is a resounding NO.

Bill Sykes:


Who are the Tea Party people? Angry though they may be, these right-wing "populists" hardly come from disadvantaged and working-class sections of the U.S. populace. According to a recent (April 5-April 12, 2010) CBS and New York Times poll of 1,580 persons among the 18 percent of Americans who call themselves Tea Party supporters, they are "wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class." The survey finds that 75 percent of them have college educations; 76 percent enjoy household incomes above $50,000 (including a fifth of them making more than $100,000); 78 percent describe their financial situations as "good" or "fairly good;" 65 percent of them identify as either middle or middle upper class; 59 percent are men; 75 percent are 45 or older; and 89 percent are white.

Milton Marx:


My big mystery here. The shooting happened in Arizona and the primary target had a D after her name (a fact that no doubt warms the hearts of some SMBIVA's). Gee, wonder how THIS could've happened. No one could possibly have been egging on this nutjob, not at all.

You folks no doubt will give youselves carpel tunnel over-analyzing this one. I think the Pima sheriff summed it up perfectly. But, oh wait, he's an eeeeevil fascist working-class pig, so why would his word count for anything among the swells.

[wolf-whistles at photo]

"Where you from, you sexy thing?"

[catchy bass riff goes here]


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