Sunday, September 5, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Eliminationism and Unsustainabilty

Eliminationism is a new word for the Lector. I have been using other words, like “demonizing” and “scapegoating”, to describe what the right wingnut politicians, media and pundits do to encourage the ignorant and uninformed workers in this country to follow along like lemmings as they usher them over the cliff. After doing some reading on the subject, the more accurate term is eliminationism. “Isms” usually mean beware of what comes next.

Eliminationism is the belief that one's political opponents are "a cancer on the body politic that must be excised — either by separation from the public at large, through censorship or by outright extermination." This whole idea and the relatively newly coined word come from political scientist Daniel Goldhagen and Hitler's Willing Executioners (1996). The book suggests that the German people not only knew about, but also supported, the Holocaust because of a unique and virulent "eliminationist anti-Semitism."

Goldhagen argues that eliminationism is the root cause of every mass murder perpetrated in the 20th and 21st centuries is his follow up Worse Than War: Genocide, Eliminationism, and the Ongoing Assault on Humanity (2009). These eliminationist exercises would include: atrocities in Darfur, Islamic terrorist suicide attacks, genocide in Rwanda, Nazi German atrocities and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. (I find it uncomfortable to include the WWII atomic bombings that we would like to think ended a war, but how could we have condemned 250,000 civilians to instant death if we did not totally marginalize them to the point of being unworthy of living?)

Eliminationist rhetoric is now the tool of choice for the right wing media, rePuPlicans and tea baggers to provoke hate speech and derision directed toward anyone who does not adopt their views of how we will all be better off if we become a third world country. Remember, there is an alarming percentage of these people who are counting on the Rapture to occur soon to take them out of their misery so they can hook up with Jesus. They want to prepare for the “end times” by making sure the quality of life for everyone is reduced to the point where we are all praying for the end of the word to come soon.

Public employees are certainly not the only ones who are a target of the wingnuts but they are targets none the less. The less taxes, less regulation, less government mantra equates to reducing the jobs available to workers. From that, we see direct attacks on individual sectors such as firefighters, law enforcement, educators and general employees. The accusations are usually factually false but what do they care? They just say whatever they think will enflame the populace to act irrationally. AND it’s working.

Unsustainable is another word de jour in the right wing lexicon. It seems like any right wingnut opponent to a living wage, adequate benefits and reasonable service levels from any entity that employs people (public or private) has learned the use “unsustainable” as the term that will provide a complete defense to layoffs, wage reductions and pension benefit obliteration for employees.

Please understand the right wingnuts who use the term are correct in that, if they continue to starve government and employees, nothing is sustainable. WTF will happen when pensions and Social Security are destroyed, benefits are completely voided, pay is reduced to poverty levels and no one has a decent job?

Our economy is in near shambles. The reason why we are in such trouble is not because middle class wage earners exist. Wages, benefits and pensions that provide a middle class standard of living did not cause the financial crisis we now face. Yes, further reductions in government expenditures and taxes along with reductions in employment for the public and private sector will put more money in the hands of the very rich.

They have enough money to weather any economic storm. How many millions do you have saved up?

And oh yes, have a nice Day?

Wjc

Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes

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