Friday, November 28, 2008

Lewis Lapham on the Republican Propaganda Mill

During an argument discussion on the motivations of the vocal wing of the GOP, a friend pointed me to this article by Lewis Lapham in Harper's that dissected the core of the noise machine. In it, he explains why, in the absence of any other conservative weirdness (anti-science, anti-rights, etc.) the collective mind and voice of the Rebublican party turn to increasing the disparity between rich and poor.

In the glut of paper I could find no unifying or fundamental principle except a certain belief that money was good for rich people and bad for poor people. It was the only point on which all the authorities agreed, and no matter where the words were coming from (a report on federal housing, an essay on the payment of Social Security, articles on the sorrow of the slums or the wonder of the U.S. Navy) the authors invariably found the same abiding lesson in the tale—money ennobles rich people, making them strong as well as wise; money corrupts poor people, making them stupid as well as weak.

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