Friday, July 20, 2012

Right Wing Propaganda and The Normalization of Falsehood

"Presidential Mendacity Ranking" from Washington Monthly 


I just stumbled on "We The People," a webpage secondarily known as "Dancing Czars." 

"We The People's" dedicatory quote, purportedly from Lincoln, is - like much right wing propaganda - complete confection. 

Anyone who reads history -- indeed anyone with a passing "ear" for Lincoln -- would know that WTP's misattribution lacks every oratorical, rhetorical and linguistic characteristic of our sixteenth president. 

It is fitting that We The People should proclaim its "mission" by putting a lie in Honest Abe's mouth. 

The most notable characteristic of contemporary "conservatism" is its passion for falsehood - deliberate falsehood, Prince of Darkness falsehood contrived with deception aforethought.

Democracy cannot survive the normalization of mendacity and, in this regard, contemporary "conservatism" is doing everything possible to re-enact the tumbling of The Two Towers. 

"There are two ways of lying, as there are two ways of deceiving customers. If the scale registers 15 ounces, you can say: "It's a pound." Your lie will remain relative to an invariable measure of the true. If customers check it, they can see that they are being robbed, and you know by how much you are robbing them: a truth remains as a judge between you. But if the demon induces you to tamper with the scale itself, it is the criterion of the true which is denatured, there is no longer any possible control. And little by little you will forget that you are cheating." Denis de Rougemont

Alas... Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Or, as Churchill put it, "The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes."  In addition to apparent praise for FDR's Glass-Steagall Act - - this webpage also posts George Carlin's routine, "The Owners of America" in which Carlin eviscerates The American Dream

It is worth noting that Carlin's last presidential vote was for George McGovern. Whatever Carlin's political feelings at life's end, he was ferociously opposed to every plutocratic impulse on the right side of the aisle. Watch the following clip, then ask yourself: "Which side is Carlin on?" Duh.


Here is what Lincoln really sounds like: "In my present position I could scarcely be justified were I to omit raising a warning voice against this approach of returning despotism. It is not needed nor fitting here that a general argument should be made in favor of popular institutions, but there is one point, with its connections, not so hackneyed as most others, to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it induces him to labor. This assumed, it is next considered whether it is best that capital shall hire laborers, and thus induce them to work by their own consent, or buy them and drive them to it without their consent. Having proceeded so far, it is naturally concluded that all laborers are either hired laborers or what we call slaves. And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that condition for life. Now there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless. Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."  Read more: State of the Union Address: Abraham Lincoln (December 3, 1861) —

Since its existence depends on the perpetuation of falsehood, "We The People" will not correct its "Lincoln lie."

Similarly, "We The People" - like the rest of the noise machine - will never publish Lincoln's views on the relationship between capital and labor.

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