December 4, 2013

“Oh-oh, even California’s turning on Obama”

Yes. For now. 

But that’s only because they haven’t yet learned how Obama plans to “pivot” and go on a 3-week offensive, pointing out all the advantages and freebies of his Utopian health care reform, the failures of which you haven’t really seen with your own eyes — or, if you have, it’s probably because that’s what the Republicans want you to see.  And who are you going to believe, evil Teabaggers and your own dull and non-visionary eyes?  Or the man who can promise you with a straight face that your life is actually better now than it ever was, thanks to his having unburdened you from your substandard car

If we can only remove all of these noxious vocal critics, we’re this close to a perfect perfect world.  Led by a perfect, perfect man whose only failing is that he’s too committed to the American system to fully take over all decision making for everyone ever.

Because the truth is, “this law is working.”  It’s just your failure to believe that that is resulting in the cancellation of your plans, the loss of your doctors, and the increase in the cost of deductibles and premiums.

Hope and change, people.  Yes we can!  Have you forgotten how if we all just chant it, it comes true?

Ingrates.  And of course, racists.

 

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:03am
88 comments | Trackback

Comments (88)

  1. Yep, jes wait’ll they get a ringing earful of ClownDisaster’s “We’re a better country than this murderous piece of shit the GOP wants to make it!” and the sun-drenched impoverished Calis will climb aboard the pseudo-moralizing bullet train to utopia in a blackened heartbeat.

  2. it says food stamp has fallen *more* among Hispanics than among the general pop

    and this is without Boehnerfag’s magical amnesties

  3. I took a little stroll on the Obamacare websight. It appears that basically you’re getting catastrophic care (oh, and birth control!!!), and regular insurance prices. For my family, it’s $1000 a month, but doc visits are $50 copays, and $80 for specialists. Out of pocket? $12,000 max, but of course you need to add in the premium, so that’s $24,000.

    For catastrophic care. Good Job Obama!

  4. I have no intention of even visiting Ocare’s site let alone signing up, especially when y’all are braving the fever swamps for me (thanks, Carin!).

    I watched some the healthcare hearings this morning and heard many fantastic claims about the wonders of Ocare from the D side of the aisle. Well, I am an empiricist: I’d like to hear a testimonial from an actual participant (name, rank, serial number all verifiable, of course) who is receiving care who was unable to secure it prior to Obama’s meddling. So far, I got nothin’.

  5. Living in southern Clownifornia, rest assured that despite Black Nixon polling badly among the faithful, the religious zealots who vote for the State as God will not easily abandon their deity.

  6. Out of pocket? $12,000 max, but of course you need to add in the premium, so that’s $24,000.

    See? All of you filthy conservatives care only about money.

  7. You fellas see this?

    http://weaselzippers.us/2013/12/04/dnc-offers-supporters-ability-to-wish-republicans-a-happy-kwanzaa/

    Why does the DNC hate Wiccans? I see no holiday for Druids or witches.

  8. Them wishing me a happy Kwanzaa is like me wishing them a happy Lifeday.

  9. You’re neglecting the fact that many are also starting to see/ have always viewed Obama as the corporatist, centrist, war monger that he is, and are looking for a legitimately progressive option. If Bill De Blasio here in NYC, Kshama Sawant in Seattle and the excitement over Elizabeth Warren are any indication; Californians are turning on Obama because he sold them legitimate progressivism and what they got instead was a weak willed, middle of the road president unwilling to fight for the programs that most Democrats really wanted, while padding the pockets of the 1% all the while. No one is turning on him because a small few are losing their plans or some cancer ridden children are being trotted out on the news – it’s because they want what they actually voted for.

  10. Carrie Fischer looked like she had a happy Lifeday IYKWIMAITYD.

    http://www.stomptokyo.com/sings/swholiday/images/leiadumb.jpg

    Luke decided he wanted to feel Mary Kay pretty to celebrate the occasion.

    http://www.criticalmess.net/images/luke.jpg

    Art Carney gave the empire the run around and then used his comic genius to sing a sad song.

    http://blog.comicspriceguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/ACSW.jpg

    Itchy watched an erotic disco video.

    http://l3.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/Gfz1mmaGZY5MEPWY.0zVcQ–/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NQ–/http://media.zenfs.com/en-GB/blogs/ukiemovies/Itchy.jpg

  11. Californians are turning on Obama because he sold them legitimate progressivism and what they got instead was a weak willed, middle of the road president unwilling to fight for the programs that most Democrats really wanted, while padding the pockets of the 1% all the whilewhat even the most dim-witted of Republicans could see, a year or more in advance of his first election

  12. Dalek – then let them go that way. Good luck with that – ha ha ha …

    Remember all during the healthcare debate, the retort was always “THIS IS NOT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE.” Sure, there are people who want it, but they are in the small minority.

    So let them go full-throated Elizabeth Warren. They’ll try to moderate her, as they did Obama. Pretend she’s not a marxist.

    As for whether or not Obama is a full-on Commie – what does it matter? He govern end as they all do – with their own economic interests as the first priority. Did he pay back all his friends? As he made all the correct connections so he can live like a king the rest of his life?

    That is what he truly cares about. His image. His perks. His tee-time.

  13. and legitimate progressiveism looks significantly different from what obama’s doing in what way, dale?

  14. “what even the most dim-witted of Republicans could see, a year or more in advance of his first election” … if that’s really what they saw then the years of ranting about how the nation’s been ‘transformed’ into a socialist hellhole by our Marxist, highly educated (gasp) and brown skinned communist dictator has been at best dishonest. if you never believed it then you were just fear mongering while holding on tight to those dog whistles.

  15. What we saw was that his grand progressive plans were going to fail.

    And we were right.

    And, he may be “highly educated”- if that means he went to school for a long time – but he’s not especially learned.

  16. no see the problem here is you seem to believe that there actually exists a legitimate progressivism, rather than exactly what we’ve been getting in terms of enforced societal collapse, factionalization, and infinite buttpat loops between the ruling political class, big business, and the media.

    this is pretty much what happens every time.

  17. If you think that socialism sucking up to big business is inherently contradictory, Dalek, you are even more lacking in imagination than I had suspected.

  18. Socialists suck up to big business? THE DEUCE YOU SAY?

  19. “Princess Leia looks overdue for her Lifeday.’

    Renew! Renew!

  20. And a socialist hellhole is one in which your choices have been reduced, and those connected to the government are the ones who advance.

    Which … we’re pretty much well on our way to that, I’d say.

  21. you fools! legitimate progressivism would disband all businesses except communes that meet the approved diversity criteria to continue functioning!

  22. or… rather a legitimate progressivism would only be in line with any of the monetary or social service policy initiatives advanced by basically all other industrialized nations.

  23. Dalek just wants us to know that no true Scotsman wud ‘er do what Angus” the Bruce” Fergusson MacGreggor ha’ dun, and therrrefore ‘ee es no true scotsman laddie! N’er ye mind the sporan and the tartan kilt and sgian-dubh and bagpipes and the haggis in ‘is teeth o’ the single malt on ‘is brrreath. ‘Tis but bric-a brac.

  24. “If you think that socialism sucking up to big business is inherently contradictory”

    I think there may be a word for that. Starts with an “N” I’m pretty sure (and no, it’s not that n-word).

    But hey, Hugo Boss uniforms, Krupp sidearms, and stylin’ Benzes for everybody, right?

  25. is this industrialized nations including china and india?

    can we get in on some of that hot eugenics action as part of our legitimate progessivism?

  26. also i heard famously progressive industrialized nation australia just said they weren’t going to be resettling or naturalizing illegal immigrants. is this a failure of progressivism or a model of what we should be doing? i am not sure.

  27. rather a legitimate progressivism would only be in line with any of the monetary or social service policy initiatives advanced by basically all other industrialized nations.

    See also: no legitimate Scotsman.

  28. …but my larger point is that people who saw Obama as anything other than a Chicago political hustler had their eyes squeezed tightly shut and were just hoping an awful lot.

  29. oh! oh! industrialized nation russia recently banned all demonstrations of pro-gay sentiment; is this a social service/s> policy initiative we should have followed, instead of the cancellation of DOMA by executive fiat?

  30. “Highly educated” is a joke phrase, of course, where “lowly educated” covers the entire water-headed front. There isn’t surprise that either ClownDisaster, nor that his leftist brethren like the troll here prefer lowliness to anything else, though. It’s both more comfortable and more comforting to be lazy and empty-headed with them that mistakes pleasure for the good.

  31. You can’t support a social democracy without severely curtailing immigration. Migrant workers are surplus labor brought in by big business to artificially keep both unemployment high and wages low. Real wages will never increase if business always has the option of cheap migrant or outsourced labor. If the choice is between open immigration policies and updating America’s social contract to be more in line with our peers in the global north while increasing the presence living wage jobs; I think the trade-off would be well worth it, and the choice obvious. But most progs are too pussy to make the tough calls.

  32. For catastrophic care. Good Job Obama!

    Here, here!

    Cat-care, which is not that expensive, with the extra of preexisting condition care which makes for much of the added expense. The rest of the expense is likely there to cover the uncertainty brought on by the huge number of “The Secretary shalls/may/cans that are embedded in the “law.”

  33. Rather than moronically “updat[ing]” it, how about abiding by America’s social contract for a few years instead, and see what bounties might unfold?

  34. If the choice is between open immigration policies and updating America’s social contract to be more in line with our peers in the global north while increasing the presence living wage jobs; I think the trade-off would be well worth it, and the choice obvious.

    Who would these peers be, and please include their employment level. thanks in advance.

    But most progs are too pussy to make the tough calls.

    I heartily support for the proggs to be full-throated in their support for communism. A little bit of honesty in the discussion would be refreshing.

  35. with the extra of preexisting condition care which makes for much of the added expense. The rest of the expense is likely there to cover the uncertainty brought on by the huge number of “The Secretary shalls/may/cans that are embedded in the “law.” –

    The beauty of expanding a REAL cat-care plan, would be that it would open up healthcare, etc, to the freemarket. People who were shopping around for that pap smear, or colonoscopy … etc. THey would refuse the $25 bandaid. It could bring the price of health care DOWN.

    But Obamacare does not of that. It further muddles the water, while we get expensive care for more money.

    GOOD JOB BARRY!

  36. sdferr, we’ve been languishing under the original contract for decades and it turns out that “I got mine, now fuck off” isn’t really doing good by too many people.

  37. The original contract has not been in effect at the least since Calvin Coolidge’s day. Thank FDR for starters.

  38. What I don’t understand is why the Khunters of the world hate the Tea Party so much, when it seems we all have much the same opinion of Obama, his administration, and his allies in Congress.

    Why is it, Khunter, that hating Obama because he’s crushing our liberties and wrecking our economy while helping out his buddies in Chicago and Wall Street makes me an ignorant racist, while your hating Obama because he’s crushing our liberties and wrecking our economy while helping out his buddies in Chicago and Wall Street makes you a frustrated true believer?

    And while you’re at it, why is it that when I tell you that granting Obama carte-blanche to run roughshod over our founding documents is sure to end in tyranny, just as it has every single fucking time it’s been tried over the last century, it makes me an ignorant lackwit; yet when you tell me that the real problem is that you simply anointed the wrong God-King to rule over us in the name of Progress, it makes you some sort of visionary?

    Bear in mind that failing to address either of these questions seriously may result in my discounting the value of your contributions to this community’s discussions. For what it’s worth.

  39. I don’t think it’s “too squishy” so much as “too many potential votes for us because we told them we’d give them nice things” when it comes to the people in power.

    That’s just a hunch, though.

  40. “I got mine, now fuck off”

    Last time I heard that phrase was when Harry Reid said his staff didn’t have to participate in the shit sandwich they successfully forced the rest of us to eat. Time before that was when the EBT system went offline at the Wal-Mart. Time before that was when the Union demanded a 6% pay hike, even after having been informed that it would mean laying off anyone who’d been hired in the past two years.

    Seriously, it’s tragicomic how our lefty commenters lack even the slightest vestige of self-awareness when they type out their talking points.

  41. It’s a sort of backhanded or unintended kindness on the part of the political left Squid: they just can’t help revealing their twisted souls in the full nakedness of the truth required to see them. But hey, “Follow us!” they shout, for they alone know the way — and besides, their magic tailors make the best suit of clothes.

  42. “we’ve been languishing under the original contract for decades”

    Nonsense. Not since the New Deal, at least, as sdferr pointed out. Arguably not since the ratification of the XVIIth Amendment.

  43. So when did the “Obama is a secret conservative” meme take off, anyway? I noticed Dale beating that drum here and then see Ted Rall throwing it out to excuse his terrible drawing skills in the link on another thread.

  44. “I got mine, now fuck off” isn’t really doing good by too many people.

    When everything is said and done, I’m paying out just a shade over 41% of my income to one tax or another.

    When “they” get “theirs” from me, I’d rather they say, thank you, but what do you expect from a bunch of ingrates? Tell you what, I’ll live with “fuck off” as long as they don’t take more, deal?

  45. “Migrant workers are surplus labor brought in by big business to artificially keep both unemployment high and wages low.”

    Right, there is nothing Big Business(tm) likes more than a bunch of people too poor to buy the goods and services they produce.

  46. O may have manufactured this meme himself. Last month with all the JFK hoopla, there was a lot of loose talk about Jack being a closet conservative. (All bullshit of course, but sometimes you just keep paying out rope for them.) Perhaps, since he cannot decide WHO he is, he is now going to become JFK as reimagined by people who weren’t alive when Kennedy was president.

    He gave the Lincoln thing a good run and then threw it overboard about the same time as the JFK noise started. “What Gettysburg Address anniversary thing? I must fix the healthcare!”

  47. So when did the “Obama is a secret conservative” meme take off, anyway?

    Can’t say Pellegri, but here’s hoping to its long life, as hilarious as it is: the country needs a hearty sustained belly-laugh nowadays.

  48. Indeed.

    As a bonus it might also make it clear to people why the classical liberal/libertarian/whatever else we are team is equally disgusted with Establicans.

    But I do not trust people who go for the Obama-the-stealthcon meme to be able to make that connection.

  49. I thought about signing up on Healthcare.gov, but I decided it would be simpler just to hand over all my passwords, my SSN, and all the personal info that my bank’s website uses to verify that I am who I say I am, to the guy I saw tampering with the ATM so he could harvest everybody’s PINs.

    Eliminate the middleman, says I.

  50. Last month with all the JFK hoopla, there was a lot of loose talk about Jack being a closet conservative. [you mean like this, maybe? E.S.] . . . . Perhaps, since he cannot decide WHO he is, he is now going to become JFK as reimagined by people who weren’t alive when Kennedy was president.

    That’s all part of the Lefts’ latest redefinition of the basic terms of the political debate.

    The GOP is supposed to be gulled into declaring victory in their campaign to conserve the New Deal, so they can move on to fighting to conserve the New Frontier/Great Society.

    Were that to actually, happen, the Era of Reagan really woould be over.

    A smart Republican would take this opportunity to point out just how far outside of the American mainstream the Left has taken the Democrats. But that presumes there’s such a thing as a smart Republican.

  51. A smart Republican would take this opportunity to point out just how far outside of the American mainstream the Left has taken the Democrats. But that presumes there’s such a thing as a smart Republican.

    Would this Dave qualify? He’s willin’, if possibly not exactly a Republican.

  52. I had somebody with presidential aspirations in mind, or even just a desire to see the GOP enjoy a majority in both chambers of Congress. But I suppose Horowitz will do until somebody better comes along.

  53. Perhaps Horowitz would send a copy of his book to Scott Walker, and then offer to spend some time with Walker in order to drill down into the details.
    But at just a guess, Walker probably wouldn’t want to expend the time — too divisive.

  54. David is doing his level best to get the word out and, I believe Pablo said this so forgive me if I am misremembering, that he is helping out Glenn Beck in an advisory capacity. They have different styles, but so far so good. I love him, have read all his books and even have a letter from him.

    Sadly, like the rest of us, Dave grows old and is putting a full court press into getting the message out to the faithful and the newly enlightened.

  55. That’s all part of the Lefts’ latest redefinition of the basic terms of the political debate.

    True dat, Ernst. Kind of like Numbnuts challenging us to come up with a “cure” for his healthcare woes.

    No Sale.

  56. If Kennedy had really been conservative, he’d have turned LeMay loose on Cuber.

  57. That’s an idear, right theah.

  58. No one is turning on him because a small few are losing their plans or some cancer ridden children are being trotted out on the news – it’s because they want what they actually voted for.

    How adorable.

    If you actually read this site rather than looking for ways to troll it and me, you’d know that I’ve spent years detailing how all “progressive” / Marxist / Fabian socialist / communist / collectivist schemes, will — and must — end at the point where liberal fascism is established.

    You really think the “leaders” of the “people’s” revolution believe themselves on the level of the riff raff they pretend to champion? Of course not. They deserve perks because they do the hard work of ruling over the “masses” — making their decisions for them, running their lives, engineering their existence from cradle to grave. And that deserves some big houses and some important connections, not to mention plenty of scratch to separate them from those they rule.

    It always ends in a new aristocracy and the police state necessary to run it.

    With one exception: that’s when George Washington refused to become a king-like ruler, and set the US on a course that, before the Fabians reinfected us with the disease of European governance, was first and best among world political systems.

    So kindly fuck off.

  59. I’m pretty sure the people turning on Obama now thought they were voting themselves a Get Out of Jail Free card for their raaaaacism. Which, by expecting that they only proved how raaaaacist they are.

  60. Dalekhunter says December 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    You can’t support a social democracy without severely curtailing immigration. Migrant workers are surplus labor brought in by big business to artificially keep both unemployment high and wages low. Real wages will never increase if business always has the option of cheap migrant or outsourced labor. If the choice is between open immigration policies and updating America’s social contract to be more in line with our peers in the global north while increasing the presence living wage jobs; I think the trade-off would be well worth it, and the choice obvious. But most progs are too pussy to make the tough calls.
    - See more at: http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=52118#comments

    I’m just stunned by the breadth and scope of the ignorance in that statement. You do know about economics,right?

  61. I’m just stunned by the breadth and scope of the ignorance in that statement. You do know about economics,right?

    Given Dale Khunter’s various posts over the years, I would say he doesn’t.

  62. He thinks economics are cheap sound equipment.

  63. Omg, nr, the chefs in the bottom picture look like the klan. Whatever happened to the White House optics?

  64. the new and improved bull connor: flotus. with dogs. this should be viral.

  65. yea who brings a dog to a food line for little peeps?

  66. michelle is ready for the nyc

  67. flotus does have those taunt arm muscles that the msm told us about.

  68. flotus attacks white girl with dog because of “white priviledge”

  69. princeton graduate pays back “whitey” for sumthing

  70. “flotus puts dogs on 5 year old tea party person’

  71. Everytime I see the abbreviation ‘flotus’ I read it as flatus.

    You takes yer amusement where you can find it these days.

  72. i luv sum alinsky for the alinsky faithful. more servings of satan please.

  73. >Even I am not particularly happy about being described as a
    ‘dissident’, but objectively I have become one, whether I like it or
    not. Subjectively, I can dress up the motives of my actions in any
    honourable garb I choose, but objectively speaking I have dropped
    out of that ‘majority’ who, overtly out of loyalty, though actually
    out of indifference, accept things as they are. I have no idea as
    to the social origin of dissidents in other socialist countries.
    Unhappily, such information is not available to us and, to our
    detriment, we do not do enough to seek it out. In our society,
    however, dissidents are recruited chiefly from among those whom
    the regime has harmed, under-rated or persecuted in some way, and
    who have been denied the opportunity to lead full lives for reasons
    of their origins or unconventional views. Let me not be misunderstood
    however. The term ‘origins’ is not employed in this instance in
    the vulgar sense of class: there are no descendants of industrialists or
    other entrepreneurs. There are a minimal number of such cases
    among our dissidents, if any at all. ‘O-rigins’ here describes those
    cases where fate has decreed that offspring with ‘healthy class backgrounds’
    are victimized because their parents – say, peasants or
    industrial workers – once defended non-conformist views or ‘misbehaved’
    in some other way, or merely fell foul of sectarians of the
    1950s or their descendants in the subsequent years.
    Confirmation of my claim about the ‘origins’ of dissidents can be
    found, for example, in the list of more than 1000 people who signed
    Charter 77. They include former politicians or public figures,
    dismissed journalists, actors banned from acting, singers and
    musicians condemned to silence, clergy without pulpits, writers and
    academics forbidden to publish and carry out research, professors
    banned from lecturing, economists, philosophers, mathematicians,
    lawyers and psychologists obliged to fire boilers or clean shop
    windows, artists with no opportunity to exhibit, doctors without
    patients, and so on. And then there are a whole lot of young people<

    @ page 181 poptl

  74. Our system is most frequently characterized as a dictatorship or, more precisely, as the dictatorship of a political bureaucracy over a society which has undergone economic and social leveling. I am afraid that the term “dictatorship,” regardless of how intelligible it may otherwise be, tends to obscure rather than clarify the real nature of power in this system. We usually associate the term with the notion of a small group of people who take over the government of a given country by force; their power is wielded openly, using the direct instruments of power at their disposal, and they are easily distinguished socially from the majority over whom they rule. One of the essential aspects of this traditional or classical notion of dictatorship is the assumption that it is temporary, ephemeral, lacking historical roots. Its existence seems to be bound up with the lives of those who established it. It is usually local in extent and significance, and regardless of the ideology it utilizes to grant itself legitimacy, its power derives ultimately from the numbers and the armed might of its soldiers and police. The principal threat to its existence is felt to be the possibility that someone better equipped in this sense might appear and overthrow it.

    Even this very superficial overview should make it clear that the system in which we live has very little in common with a classical dictatorship. In the first place, our system is not limited in a local, geographical sense; rather, it holds sway over a huge power bloc controlled by one of the two superpowers. And although it quite naturally exhibits a number of local and historical variations, the range of these variations is fundamentally circumscribed by a single, unifying framework throughout the power bloc. Not only is the dictatorship everywhere based on the same principles and structured in the same way (that is, in the way evolved by the ruling super power), but each country has been completely penetrated by a network of manipulatory instruments controlled by the superpower center and totally subordinated to its interests. In the stalemated world of nuclear parity, of course, that circumstance endows the system with an unprecedented degree of external stability compared with classical dictatorships. Many local crises which, in an isolated state, would lead to a change in the system, can be resolved through direct intervention by the armed forces of the rest of the bloc.

    In the second place, if a feature of classical dictatorships is their lack of historical roots (frequently they appear to be no more than historical freaks, the fortuitous consequence of fortuitous social processes or of human and mob tendencies), the same cannot be said so facilely about our system. For even though our dictatorship has long since alienated itself completely from the social movements that give birth to it, the authenticity of these movements (and I am thinking of the proletarian and socialist movements of the nineteenth century) gives it undeniable historicity. These origins provided a solid foundation of sorts on which it could build until it became the utterly new social and political reality it is today, which has become so inextricably a part of the structure of the modern world. A feature of those historical origins was the “correct” understanding of social conflicts in the period from which those original movements emerged. The fact that at the very core of this “correct” understanding there was a genetic disposition toward the monstrous alienation characteristic of its subsequence development is not essential here. And in any case, this element also grew organically from the climate of that time and therefore can be said to have its origin there as well.

    One legacy of that original “correct” understanding is a third peculiarity that makes our systems different from other modern dictatorships: it commands an incomparably more precise, logically structured, generally comprehensible and, in essence, extremely flexible ideology that, in its elaborateness and completeness, is almost a secularized religion. It of fears a ready answer to any question whatsoever; it can scarcely be accepted only in part, and accepting it has profound implications for human life. In an era when metaphysical and existential certainties are in a state of crisis, when people are being uprooted and alienated and are losing their sense of what this world means, this ideology inevitably has a certain hypnotic charm. To wandering humankind it offers an immediately available home: all one has to do is accept it, and suddenly everything becomes clear once more, life takes on new meaning, and all mysteries, unanswered questions, anxiety, and loneliness vanish. Of course, one pays dearly for this low-rent home: the price is abdication of one’ s own reason, conscience, and responsibility, for an essential aspect of this ideology is the consignment of reason and conscience to a higher authority. The principle involved here is that the center of power is identical with the center of truth. (In our case, the connection with Byzantine theocracy is direct: the highest secular authority is identical with the highest spiritual authority.) It is true of course that, all this aside, ideology no longer has any great influence on people, at least within our bloc (with the possible exception of Russia, where the serf mentality, with its blind, fatalistic respect for rulers and its automatic acceptance of all their claims, is still dominant and combined with a superpower patriotism which traditionally places the interests of empire higher than the interests of humanity). But this is not important, because ideology plays its role in our system very well (an issue to which I will return) precisely because it is what it is.

    Fourth, the technique of exercising power in traditional dictatorships contains a necessary element of improvisation. The mechanisms for wielding power are for the most part not established firmly, and there is considerable room for accident and for the arbitrary and unregulated application of power. Socially, psychologically, and physically, conditions still exist for the expression of some form of opposition. In short, there are many seams on the surface which can split apart before the entire power structure has managed to stabilize. Our system, on the other hand, has been developing in the Soviet Union for over sixty years, and for approximately thirty years in Eastern Europe; moreover, several of its long-established structural features are derived from Czarist absolutism. In terms of the physical aspects of power, this has led to the creation of such intricate and well-developed mechanisms for the direct and indirect manipulation of the entire population that, as a physical power base, it represents something radically new. At the same time, let us not forget that the system is made significantly more effective by state ownership and central direction of all the means of productionThis gives the power structure an unprecedented and uncontrollable capacity to invest in itself (in the areas of the bureaucracy and the police, for example) and makes it easier for that structure, as the sole employer, to manipulate the day-to-day existence of all citizens.

    Finally, if an atmosphere of revolutionary excitement, heroism, dedication, and boisterous violence on all sides characterizes classical dictatorships, then the last traces of such an atmosphere have vanished from the Soviet bloc. For, some time now this bloc has ceased to be a kind of enclave, isolated from the rest of the developed world and immune to processes occurring in it. To the contrary, the Soviet bloc is an integral part of that larger world, and it shares and shapes the world’s destiny. This means in concrete terms that the hierarchy of values existing in the developed countries of the West has, in essence, appeared in our society (the long period of co-existence with the West has only hastened this process)In other words, what we have here is simply another form of the consumer and industrial society, with all its concomitant social, intellectual, and psychological consequences. It is impossible to understand the nature of power in our system properly without taking this into account.

    The profound difference between our system-in terms of the nature of power-and what we traditionally understand by dictatorship, a difference I hope is clear even from this quite superficial comparison, has caused me to search for some term appropriate for our system, purely for the pur poses of this essay. If I refer to it henceforth as a “posttotalitarian” system, I am fully aware that this is perhaps not the most precise term, but I am unable to think of a better one. I do not wish to imply by the prefix “poso” that the system is no longer totalitarian; on the contrary, I mean that it is totalitarian in a way fundamentally different from classical dictatorships, different from totalitarianism as we usually understand it.

    The circumstances I have mentioned, however, form only a circle of conditional factors and a kind of phenomenal framework for the actual composition of power in the posttotalitarian system, several aspects of which I shall now attempt to identify.

    III

    The manager of a fruit-and-vegetable shop places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” Why does he do it? What is he trying to communicate to the world? Is he genuinely enthusiastic about the idea of unity among the workers of the world? Is his enthusiasm so great that he feels an irrepressible impulse to acquaint the public with his ideals? Has he really given more than a moment’s thought to how such a unification might occur and what it would mean?

    I think it can safely be assumed that the overwhelming majority of shopkeepers never think about the slogans they put in their windows, nor do they use them to express their real opinions. That poster was delivered to our greengrocer from the enterprise headquarters along with the onions and carrots. He put them all into the window simply because it has been done that way for years, because everyone does it, and because that is the way it has to be. If he were to refuse, there could be trouble. He could be reproached for not having the proper decoration in his window; someone might even accuse him of disloyalty. He does it because these things must be done if one is to get along in life. It is one of the thousands of details that guarantee him a relatively tranquil life “in harmony with society,” as they say.

    Obviously the greengrocer is indifferent to the semantic content of the slogan on exhibit; he does not put the slogan in his window from any personal desire to acquaint the public with the ideal it expresses. This, of course, does not mean that his action has no motive or significance at all, or that the slogan communicates nothing to anyone. The slogan is really a sign, and as such it contains a subliminal but very definite message. Verbally, it might be expressed this way: “I, the greengrocer XY, live here and I know what I must do. I behave in ihe manner expected of me. I can be depended upon and am beyond reproach. I am obedient and therefore I have the right to be left in peace.” This message, of course, has an addressee: it is directed above, to the greengrocer’s superior, and at the same time it is a shield that protects the greengrocer from potential informers. The slogan’s. real meaning, therefore, is rooted firmly in the greengrocer’s existence. It reflects his vital interests. But what are those vital interests?

    Let us take note: if the greengrocer had been instructed to display the slogan “I am afraid and therefore unquestion~ ingly obedient;’ he would not be nearly as indifferent to its semantics, even though the statement would reflect the truth. The greengrocer would be embarrassed and ashamed to put such an unequivocal statement of his own degradation in the shop window, and quite naturally so, for he is a human being and thus has a sense of his own dignity. To overcome ihis complication, his expression of loyalty must take the form of a sign which, at least on its textual surface, indicates a level of disinterested conviction. It must allow the greengrocer to say, “What’s wrong with ihe workers of the world uniting?” Thus the sign helps the greengrocer to conceal from himself the low foundations of his obedience, at the same time concealing the low foundations of power. It hides them behind the facade of something high. And that something is ideology.

    Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something suprapersonal and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and their inglorious modus vivendi, both from the world and from ihemselves. It is a very pragmatic but, at the same time, an apparently dignified way of legitimizing what is above, below, and on either side. It is directed toward people and toward God. It is a veil behind which human beings can hide their own fallen existence, their trivialization, and iheir adaptation to the status quo. It is an excuse that everyone can use, from the greengrocer, who conceals his fear of losing hisjob behind an alleged interest in the unification of the workers of the world, to the highest functionary, whose interest in staying iu power can be cloaked in phrases about service to the working class. The primary excusatory function of ideology, therefore, is to provide people, both as victims and pillars of the post-totalitarian system, with the illusion that the system is in harmony with the human order and the order of the universe.

    The smaller a dictatorship and the less stratified by modernization the society under it, the more directly the will of the dictator can be exercised- In other words, the dictator can employ more or less naked discipline, avoiding the complex processes of relating to the world and of selfjustification which ideology involves. But the more complex the mechanisms of power become, the larger and more stratified the society they embrace, and the longer they have operated historically, the more individuals must be connected to them from outside, and the greater the importance attached to the ideological excuse. It acts as a kind of bridge between the regime and the people, across which the regime approaches the people and the people approach the regime. This explains why ideotogy plays such an importaut role in the post-totalitarian system: that complex machinery of units, hierarchies, transmission belts, and indirect instruments of manipulation which ensure in countless ways ihe integrity of the regime, leaving nothing to chance, would be quite simply unthinkable without ideology acting as its all-embracing excuse and as the excuse for each of its parts.

    IV

    link

  75. So, Obama is turned on by California?

    TMI

  76. Tear down the [Orange] Wall! )

  77. California <spit>.

  78. >Songwriters: Bush, Kate
    They look down
    At the ground,
    Missing.
    But I never go in now.

    Im looking at the big sky.
    Im looking at the big sky now.
    Im looking at the big sky.
    You never really understood me.
    You never really tried.
    <

  79. “So when did the “Obama is a secret conservative” meme take off, anyway?”

    The Soros contingent has probably decided that Obama’s days of useful idiocy have come to an end, so they’re planning to discard him in favor of a new frontman (or woman). Cory Booker and Fauxcahontas have both been getting an inordinate amount of positive spin of late.

  80. Obama is a secret conservative because liberals don’t like him for not closing Guantanamo and for not bringing Bush and Rove up on war crimes charges. And for drones and not getting out of Afghanistan. And for continuing to expand the NSA’s intrusion into our private lives.

    And for not raising taxes to where they Should Be. And for not having raised the minimum wage so that it’s a living wage (whereupon the Living Wage bar will inevitably rise, but paynoattentiontothemanbehindthecurtain). And for failing to prosecute those in the banking industry for getting us into this mess in the first place, while pretending not to notice the complicity of congresscritters who made the whole buttslide into the economic landfill nearly inevitable. And, etc.

    Never mind that there’s some overlap in dislike, there. He’s doing all of those things because he’s sekritly Conservative.

  81. Also, although hellomynameisfail will still not admit it, for making an absolute clusterfuck of the government’s attempt to force people into participating in healthcare.

  82. But ok, let’s idolize yet another idealistic-seeming political neophyte who if elected will attempt to bend the Constitution even more in some unicorns-and-ponies direction of Justice, never mind the various & sundry liberties that get sacrificed in the process. It’s All In A Good Cause, you know.

    It’s all a fucking game, any successful player of which has simply developed a slightly different strategy in the playing. It’s therefore best, in the view of Democrats, to regulate each and every one of those various strategies as they arise, resulting in a bewildering array of laws that becomes part of the game, rather than change the rules of the game. There is no forest; there are simply a discrete number of trees that need attention.

  83. Dalek/Steve – compare and contrast. Limit, one bluebook.

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