The Truly Grand Bargain? Almost Marx confronts David Brooks

“Sometimes you have to walk through the desert to get to the Promised Land. That’s the way it is for Republicans right now. The Republicans are stuck in a miserable position at the end of 2012, but, if they handle things right, they can make 2013 an excellent year — both for their revival prospects and for the country.”

Here is Mr. Brooks sounding like an Old Testament prophet, not the blood obsessed zealots of that loathsome document, but as re-imagined by Walt Disney, the American kitsch-meister: all very benign under a heavy coating of syrup.  All this is perfect for a generation of readers brought up with television as a constant companion.

This essay is more of the same advocacy for Simpson-Bowels austerity as the key to a prosperous future, with dire warnings about the political/ethical blindness of the present.  Mr. Brooks counts on the short memories of his regular readers.  Once an exponent of Free Market economics, this destructive mirage brought the world’s economy to near ruin, he has replaced that destructive folly with its ideological twin, austerity.  

Mr. Brooks has failed to address the continuing failure of Capitalism. Never will he address that issue, with any degree of honesty.The project of rescue consists in the Republican Party saved from their own plutocratic obsessions, their political nihilism. All of this is without surprise, just a slight change of tone. It should be kept in mind that the long term goal of American Conservatism is the destruction of what is left of the New Deal and the Great Society. Conservatives have accepted that a policy of slow but steady erosion of these programs will bring the desired results, argued as a response to dire political necessity.

Almost Marx   


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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