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November 04, 2004

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Nick Piombino

In joining with the Born Again Christian movement, the Republicans have shifted the ground of politics to recreating a political party as a cult. A cult needs to focus people on at least two main areas: hate and fear. What is feared are the terrorists; what is hated is anyone that does not abide by traditional Christian and Capitalistic values, in particular traditional values of private property, exclusive ownership, marriage, children and family. This is clearly not a cult of love, but a cult of fear and hatred. God will give money and power only to those who obey. Those who obey are principally those who passionately believe in the economic principle that underlies all these beliefs: free markets and the heating up of violently brutal competitiveness. In turn, this creates a divide and conquer strategy. Those who believe in sharing and working together over brutal hatred and competition must be induced to bow to the God of hatred and competitiveness. Competitivness produces strength, power and winners. Sharing and loving produces weakness and losers. In order to bring all under this umbrella, all must be conquered and subjugated and forced to believe in unbridled competitiveness and hatred. Intellectuals and scientists are not to be trusted: they believe in the free sharing of knowledge and an open belief in cooperation. This is dangerous to the cult and must be eliminated- but not by opposing this approach- but by making it appear weak, unGodly and irrelevant (non competitive, the paradyme of losers). Only ownership brings security and freedom. Those that share must, in the end, be made to be destitute and therefore powerless.

Tim

Thanks Nick...I dig it. Now if only they would go the distance and do kool-aid suicide en masse!

The discourse or ideology as you've mapped it out here is indeed an accurate one. I wonder if the only response for Democrats at this point will be to employ a strategic essentialism that divides this strategy (say, by connecting moral values with economic inequalities, or by connecting religion with forgiveness, inclusion, etc).

So one of the things I'm wondering is, how to respond when Repubs start grunting like apes or wiggling their butts in a Britney Spears-like esctasy? Is there anything outside of the game of public language, other than poetry? Can one actually step outside the oppressive sign of the patriarch which rules according to hate and fear? Or does one just shrink into nothing, off the map, not a statistic? This reminds me of the last lines in a Michael Davidson poem: "in the all-night sale / we can recover everything. / I am lost in aisles." That last line is triumphant because it's free, but it's also very sad and isolated at the same time.

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