A deep irony, underlying our political season, is that the U.S. middle class...the biggest victims of the first decade of this century, are also being slandered relentlessly. The ongoing campaign of propaganda that democracy can't work and we should turn to oligarchy has many threads. May I take you on a tour of some of the nastiest and most repulsive component memes?
One of the oldest is a nostrum that
under a democracy the people will inevitably drain the public treasury
by demanding more spending than taxes. The theory is that citizens who
get more than they pay for will vote for politicians who promise to
This is often called the “Largesse Canard” --
an outright fantasy that was first fabricated by Plato, in order to
demean the Athenian democracy, and that more recently was expressed in
an oft-quoted aphorism, supposedly by Alexander Tytler: “A democracy
cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until
the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the
public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the
candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the
result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy,
always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's
greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
“Great nations rise and
fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage,
from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to
selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to
apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to
cynical assertion has been circulated widely among the
dour Rothbardians and Randites who dominate today's warped version of
the libertarian movement....
...and it is a damned lie.
the 1990s? When Bill Clinton ran budget surpluses and wanted to spend
the black ink buying down public debt, instead of frittering it on
short term “largesse”? Nearly all of his support came from the middle
class. By huge majorities, those working Americans polled their
preference for debt buy-down. So why did it instead get flushed down the
toilet of Supply-Side (voodoo) tax gifts for the rich?
(duh) the aristocracy - supposedly wise and far-seeing - rationalized a
demand for instant gratification, instead of reduced debt which
(ironically) would have lowered commercial borrowing costs overall and
led to the very scenario that they were supposed to be after in the
first place! In other words, U.S. federal debt pay-down would have
engendered far more new business activity than opening our veins for the
wide-open maws of plutocrat vampires.
History shows that it is
always the aristocracy that behaves in spendthrift ways, not the middle
class. (Oh but they do like to invest lavishly in “think tanks” and
media empires, ordering them to spread calumnies against citizenship.
Propaganda like the Largesse Canard.)
a new twist. Dean P. Lacy, a professor of political science at
Dartmouth College, has identified a theme in American politics over the
last generation. Support for Republican candidates, who generally
promise to cut government spending, has increased since 1980 in states
where the federal government spends more than it collects. The greater
the dependence, the greater the support for Republican candidates.
states that pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits tend to
support Democratic candidates. And Professor Lacy found that the pattern
could not be explained by demographics or social issues." See a map showing the geography of government benefits.
The full article is six pages, a typical New York Times in-depth Sunday magazine drill-down.
read up on this. You need to be armed against these insults to the
people who actually create the wealth in our civilization.