Tea and Anarchy
(The American Conservative) -- by Thomas E. Woods Jr. --
According to Slate editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg, a specter is haunting America: the specter of anarchism. Not real anarchism – that’s Weisberg’s emotional hypochondria at work – but merely a growing skepticism of authority.
This won’t do at all. Americans were born to be ruled by people and ideas of which Jacob Weisberg approves, and they are supposed to like it, or at least shut up about it. If they absolutely must complain, their complaints and modes of resistance must be kept within bounds approved of by Slate, a division of the Washington Post Company.
In other words, if these uppity peons would just stick to ideas and strategies chosen for them by their enemies, it would be easier for our betters to tolerate them.
Let’s hear from Weisberg himself. “The Tea Party movement has two defining traits: status anxiety and anarchism…. [It’s] a movement predominated by middle-class, middle-aged white men angry about the expansion of government and hostile to societal change.” I like Lew Rockwell’s reply: “Weisberg, need I mention, is a middle-class, middle-aged white man angry about any opposition to the expansion of government, and hostile to societal change not directed from the top. Oh, and no intellectual important in the current order is anxious about losing his status.”
The “Tea Party” designation refers to a diverse lot, and Weisberg is exaggerating its anti-establishment features. Some Tea Partiers speak of “taking our country back” while looking forward to pulling the lever for Mitt Romney in 2012, or think Sarah Palin, a complete nonentity, is a “maverick” despite being in Bill Kristol’s hip pocket. This branch of the Tea Party poses no threat to any established interest, and in fact strengthens the regime by misdirecting justifiable anger into officially approved channels.
But there is a sliver of genuine rebelliousness to be found here and there in the Tea Party, and it is this that Weisberg finds so awful and scary. “What’s new and most distinctive about the Tea Party,” he writes, “is its streak of anarchism – its antagonism toward any authority, its belligerent style of self-expression, and its lack of any coherent program or alternative to the policies it condemns.” Perhaps worst of all, Weisberg huffs, the peons don’t trust the experts, a designation they insist on preceding with the adjective “so-called”!
They don’t trust the experts? I can’t imagine why. Could it be that the experts told us the economy was fine in 2006? (James Galbraith admits this: only about a dozen economists predicted the financial crisis, according to him, though – natch – he pretends the Austrian economists do not exist.) Or maybe it’s because economist Paul Krugman said in 2001 that what the economy needed was low interest rates to spur housing – the very thing that gave rise to the housing bubble. Or maybe because Ben Bernanke denied there was a housing bubble, said lending standards were sound, denied that the subprime problem would spill over into the rest of the economy – there’s no real need to go on, since one of those uppity anarchists has collected these and other whoppers into one of those authority-undermining YouTubes that are destroying America.
I can’t resist one more example: Just two months before Fannie and Freddie collapsed and were taken over by the government, then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson told reporters not to worry: after all, he said, their regulator reported that they are adequately capitalized. When called on this two months later, Paulson denied having misled anyone: “I never said the company was well-capitalized. What I said is the regulator said they are adequately capitalized.”
See, Jake, people don’t trust someone like that...MORE...LINK