middle-class gets a taste of the shock doctrine, dried passion wallpaper

This is part of a multi-page interview and difficult to get just one good snip out of. I recommend reading the whole interview, “Shock Doctrine” Unleashed by Right-Wingers in Wisconsin and Throughout the Country

AMY GOODMAN: Republican Governor John Kasich, going back to his old haunt. He was a commentator for a long time for Fox and, before that, a conservative congressman.

NAOMI KLEIN: You know, the reason why this isn’t working and why people are so outraged by it and why they’re in the streets and we’re finally seeing the resistance in this country that we have seen in Europe, with this chant, “We won’t pay for your crisis,” that really started in 2008 in Greece and spread to Italy and France and England—and, you know, the rest of the world has been waiting for the United States to—you know, how much are Americans going to take of this? It seems that Americans were willing to say, you know, “We will pay for your crisis, and would you like a tax break with that?” Right? And finally, they went too far. And so, that resistance is finally happening.

And this attack on collective bargaining, the reason why people won’t take it is precisely because they understand that this is not shared pain. It is not being shared equally. The people who created the crisis in the first place are not sharing the pain. And the injustice of this response is so blatant. This isn’t just any economic crisis. This tactic has worked. And this is, you know, what I’ve tracked over a 30-year period, that it is really easy to use an economic crisis—people panic, hyperinflation, issues like that. In the ’90s, when Newt Gingrich was Speaker, it was possible for him to argue that the source of the budget crisis really was so-called entitlement programs. You cannot do that in this moment in history because everybody understands that the crisis was created on Wall Street, it was created through speculation and greed, and a decision was made to bail out the bankers with public money and to pass the bill on to the public. And they’re seeing the bonuses back. They’re seeing the outrageous salaries. They’re seeing corporations not paying their taxes. And it’s just too unjust. It’s just so morally outrageous. And then to turn on the television and talk about everybody sharing the pain? I mean, people are just not that stupid. Thankfully.

Like many of the Right’s conspiracies, this one to not just disempower the middle-class and working poor, is not secret. It is right out there in the open. To some degree it works because the Right has been able to convince a chuck of the working class that unions are getting something other workers are not. Non-union workers, instead of buying into the Right’s divide and conquer tactics should be asking themselves how they can be more empowered. To not have an arrangement with your employer that is is one of master and wage slave. There are no John Galts who can single handedly run a successful business. They need workers either directly or indirectly to make their products or provide their services. They need workers to haul their products. They need workers to respond to the needs of their customers. By all means a tip of the hat to entrepreneurs. But creating a new product or service is actually the easy part. Doing the day to day paper pushing, truck driving, nail hammering, chemical analyzers and bed pan dumping requires workers. Workers who should be thought of as partners, not adversaries to be beaten down, used and taken advantage of. The Republican model of business is akin to the way royalty ran their properties in medieval Europe.

From the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the self-regarding thugs of ancient Rome to the glorified warlords of medieval and absolutist Europe, in nearly every urbanized society throughout human history, there have been people who have tried to constitute themselves as an aristocracy. These people and their allies are the conservatives.

The tactics of conservatism vary widely by place and time. But the most central feature of conservatism is deference: a psychologically internalized attitude on the part of the common people that the aristocracy are better people than they are. Modern-day liberals often theorize that conservatives use “social issues” as a way to mask economic objectives, but this is almost backward: the true goal of conservatism is to establish an aristocracy, which is a social and psychological condition of inequality. Economic inequality and regressive taxation, while certainly welcomed by the aristocracy, are best understood as a means to their actual goal, which is simply to be aristocrats. More generally, it is crucial to conservatism that the people must literally love the order that dominates them. Of course this notion sounds bizarre to modern ears, but it is perfectly overt in the writings of leading conservative theorists such as Burke. Democracy, for them, is not about the mechanisms of voting and office-holding. In fact conservatives hold a wide variety of opinions about such secondary formal matters. For conservatives, rather, democracy is a psychological condition. People who believe that the aristocracy rightfully dominates society because of its intrinsic superiority are conservatives; democrats, by contrast, believe that they are of equal social worth. Conservatism is the antithesis of democracy. This has been true for thousands of years.

The defenders of aristocracy represent aristocracy as a natural phenomenon, but in reality it is the most artificial thing on earth. Although one of the goals of every aristocracy is to make its preferred social order seem permanent and timeless, in reality conservatism must be reinvented in every generation. This is true for many reasons, including internal conflicts among the aristocrats; institutional shifts due to climate, markets, or warfare; and ideological gains and losses in the perpetual struggle against democracy. In some societies the aristocracy is rigid, closed, and stratified, while in others it is more of an aspiration among various fluid and factionalized groups. The situation in the United States right now is toward the latter end of the spectrum. A main goal in life of all aristocrats, however, is to pass on their positions of privilege to their children, and many of the aspiring aristocrats of the United States are appointing their children to positions in government and in the archipelago of think tanks that promote conservative theories.

dried passion red wallpaper

The Grant Museum contains some of the world’s greatest natural history collections. Charles Darwin once took some instruction there. It has moved and reopened, Moving the Grant Museum

3) While we were closed we still had to fulfill all of our university teaching with the collection. The first job was to rescue these specimens from the pile of flooded material, before they were sent off-site. The we could pack everything else. This meant that over the course of Summer 2010 all 68,000 specimens in our care were packed and moved, most of them for the second time in a year.

4) With the stores drying out and the collection safely housed elsewhere, we could return to rebuilding our Museum in the wonderful Edwardian former Medical Library in the Rockefeller Building. This room is lined with well over 100 book cases that we were to fill with specimens. In addition, a large structure was built to house our cases we brought from the Darwin, including those from the 1851 Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace.