Saturday, February 23, 2008

Cartoon conservatives

Did you know that the cartoon Captain Planet was fascist propaganda? Thanks to watching the Liberal Fascism infomercial on Glenn Beck's CNN HN show the other day I learned that. Also, democratic philosopher John Dewey was a fascist. And Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and anyone who thinks we ought to take any regulatory steps to confront global warming - all fascists. Woodrow Wilson was the world's first fascist dictator ... apparently Jonah Goldberg knows something that apparently every historian on the planet doesn't about Wilson being a dictator.

The above has a surreal quality to it. If you didn't know better you'd think this was some kind of Saturday Night Live sketch or something. But a better parallel is that of the late night infomercial. The format is instantly familiar: some hack comes on to sell a quack product and a captivated host "questions" him/her about the product with the questions actually being product selling points. Indeed, see if you can tell the difference between the above video and huckster extraordinaire Kevin Trudeau.

What is it about these fools that allows them to retain employment despite lacking intellectual merit? What Goldberg and Beck have in common, along with so many other conservative movement pundits, is an ability to mock and scorn reality and those that acknowledge it with no sense of embarrassment. It's like watching creationists laugh at people who think that the universe is billions of years old.

For a critique of Liberal Fascism, see this review by Scott Horton.

Update: Another case in point of a cartoon conservative disconnected from reality.


Brigadier Ketchup said...

Astute comparison. I knew Goldberg reminded me of someone.

And, from the first video: The reason fascism appealed to people is because it's appealing. Real intelligent analysis there, Jonah. The reason I like stuff is because it's likable.

Varun Prasad said...

The irony in that video is hilarious...

The guy who is selling a book titled "Liberal Fascism" is saying that Al Gore's use of similar terms, actually makes him the fascist!

Oh, and I love how Glenn Beck thinks that consumers, and individuals wanting to punish (regulate? I dont think liberals always want to regulate, only in some instances, where market forces are incomplete) corporations doing bad stuff is somehow inconsistent with them not wanting to punish corporations not doing bad stuff...

Unfortunately, the right is the one wanting to eliminate free market forces, because as far as they are concerned, the only constituent of it are consumers, and producers (or service providers). However, these consumers, as far as they are concerned, are only allowed to act on an individual basis. Any collective action on their part (through the government, or through labor unions, etc) is foul play, but collective action on the corporations' parts should be completely unrestricted. (e.g. Lobbyists). Essentially, they DONT want a free market, but rather one that is tipped heavily towards the producers.

Sheldon said...

"What is it about these fools that allows them to retain employment despite lacking intellectual merit?"

Precisely that! Those with intellectual merit work in universities, those without, on television. Of course there are exceptions, in universities, and on pbs. But that is the general rule.