Can you please delete the above post?
I'd rather not have to do another mod alert.
"of the Republican elite and their mentally impaired hand-puppet. "
Tasteless and classless as usual.
it attempts to be logical and to retain an historical perspective. Besides, I don't think in Tweets or Bumper Stickers. This is the entirety of the letter sent to friends, one of them the woman in Virginia mentioned.
Inside Job is a docu-something-or-other about the last 4 years of the Bush Presidency. In the process it explains much that the news agencies, both print and Television, assiduously avoided seeing let alone exposing, as much because they were involved as anything else.
Some opinions about the movie are negative (including a Rotten Tomato award), possibly based on casting or performance, but more probably because it actually does get close to the heart of the truth, of both of the Republican elite and their mentally impaired hand-puppet. (How many Presidents can you name who required their own remedial teacher/spouse?)
On the other hand, there's a pair of really good articles from that Progressive site I was put on to by my friend in Virginia. http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2011062312/debt-ceiling-deals-cuts-could-crash-economy
The Republican Party is assiduously mixing up the Kool-Aid for the nation, the only question is will Barack Obama (The Capitulator) and enough Dems drink it? If so, prepare for the 30's again. Remember Bush's mis-statement about "wanting to be a divider"? I know, he said so many impossible things it was hard to digest your breakfast. (a riff on Lewis Carroll, work it out)
By the same author is a discussion of the "theory" behind all Republicanism since Roosevelt. When they discovered that the real world didn't respond the way they wanted it to in 1929, they turned (and we are surprised by this, why?) to fiction, specifically to the Fascist best seller The Fountainhead (1943) by Ayn Rand. Now Ayn Rand didn't call it Fascism, she was smart enough to call it Objectivism at a time when those who had mixed the Kool-Aid she'd swallowed were trying to rule the world. She just took 9 or 10 years to digest it and turn it into something just different enough to be accepted by the cerebrally damaged or those who failed the Sesame Street "One of these things is just like the Other" Test. Her acknowledged prototype for her Objective Man or Perfectly Autonomous Individual was a serial killer, William Hickman, whom she admired because he was so dissociated from individual people and society as a whole that he just went out and did what he felt like doing, which frequently was killing people for no apparent reason. Psychopath as Superman or Ubermensch.
"Some say that maybe it is a bad idea to base a political party's ideology on a belief that altruism, democracy and Christianity are "evil." Others say that maybe it is a bad idea to base a country's policies on fictional novels rather than science and history. Still others say is it a bad idea for national leaders to think of most of the public as "parasites" while saying people with tons of cash are "producers" who should govern. I am talking about the Republican Party's embrace of Ayn Rand and her cruel philosophy."
I have to admit that I've been inclining more and more to the Randian hypothesis for the Republican Party's behaviour since the departure of Bush who was such a Bozo he got in the way of seeing the philosophy guiding the hand that was up his "back" pulling the strings. Karl Rove didn't give one the Hollywood image of Randian Objectivism either that Kirk Douglas did in the movies. Of course fiction, camera angles and a cleft chin can cover a multitude of less admirable ideas. Then again Karl Rove's smirking baby face doesn't reveal the Nine Circles of Hell that appear to be going on inside his head and those of his army-centipede-like followers. I wasn't however, aware that Senator Ron Paul had actually named his son Rand Paul, after Ayn Rand, that was a discovery.
Now country of origin doesn't, or shouldn't make a difference in how we treat someone, but it often makes a difference to how they see us and our institutions, like democracy, and freedom of opinion, and in their failure to have absorbed the results of the Enlightenment and particularly those democratic principles as they developed in Western societies. It should therefore come as no surprise that Ayn Rand was "born Alisa Zinov'yevna Rosenbaum, February 2 [O.S. January 20] 1905 - March 6, 1982), was a Russian-American novelist, philosopher, playwright, and screenwriter. She is known for her two best-selling novels and for developing a philosophical system she called Objectivism."
She moved to the US at the age of 20, and clearly had a remarkable grasp of English since she first worked as a writer in Hollywood for a period then had a play produced on Broadway. Her philosophy is counter-Communist to the point of Fascism. The "Individual" is exalted over all and is effectivelly above the law and social norms. None of this is particularly remarkable in a (I presume) Czarist refugee from Communism, it just doesn't take into account any of the 2500 years of the development of Western Democratic Thought from profoundly different historical circumstances.
The history of Russia is not the history of Greece, The Roman Empire, Nationbuilding, Kingship and ultimately the subordination of even the most remarkable kings and that goes back to the late 12th Century, transmuted into law in 1215.
One has to take into account the difference between an essentially open borderless tribal playground for various ethnic groups from Mongolia to the Baltic, and its development of a very weak central government based remarkably on the influence of the Norse who were responsible for founding most of the cities west of the Ural mountains. Even the word Rus means Norseman, because of their red beards. The Norse were equally influential in England, Scotland and Ireland and along with the Saxons invented the roots of Parliamentary meeting and decision making. The Great Moot of Iceland and another roughly contemporaneous in England among the Saxons are seen as the earliest forms of Parliamentary expression. Congress is a Parliament where ideas and policies and decisions are discussed (French, parler).
So why in god's name would Americans who have had the benefit of 2500 years of gradually developing democratic leaning rule, chose to follow a totalitarian from the steppes? Regrettably I have no answer except that it exalts the successful lucky minority at the expense of the majority. It appeals to the totalitarianism in that minority who think that just because they've been very lucky and perhaps unusually smart, means that they should rule without regard to anyone particularly not the majority. In other words it is the antithesis of the pre-Revolutionary thinkers like Thomas Paine, and the antithesis of those who conceived drafted and wrote the Declaration of Independence (Jefferson, Madison, Mason, Adams et al.) which was about the freedom of individuals as a group from the coercion of the Individual as a singular leader or the member of an elite class whom all unquestioningly followed.
Just look at the make up of the opposing forces, the British led by the aristocracy but manned by the poorest of the poor, opposing a rather chaotic far less hierarchical group eventually based on merit. it was roughly 40 years later that Arthur Wellesley and Irishman and Duke of Wellington described the British Army as "The scum of the nation led by the fool of the family." Of course commissions were still purchased then, you didn't have to go through all that tiresome learning and working your way up the ranks, you payed L10,000 and bought your kit and you were a Colonel.
Ayn Rand's philosophy is the archetype of the boy who through great good fortune finds himself on third base convinced that he'd hit the ball far enough to enable him to run there, instead of being directed there by family, or luck or the ineptitude of the other players. The smart ones are the ones who actually do hit a triple, and notably these days, they are the ones Gates, Soros, Buffet in the lead speaking out against the concept of being born on third and thinking you've hit a triple. Of course they've had 8 years to observe the problems with that idea.