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Thursday, December 15, 2005

20 - Social Darwinism: How Right-Wingers, After Causing Suffering and Death, Assuage Their Consciences / Another O'Reilly Propaganda Technique Exposed

When a right-winger wakes up in the morning and looks in the mirror, does he or she see a cold-blooded killer, a destroyer of lives and hope? No, he or she sees a good person whose values and actions help the poor and the suffering. How could this be possible? The concept of Social Darwinism provides the answer -- it's the salve to the right-winger's conscience.

Bill O'Reilly employs a bottomless bag of tricks to bamboozle his audience. We'll dissect audio clips from a recent show to expose yet another such trick, O'Reilly's use of the "mislabel your sources" propaganda technique.

Jack Clark 3:44 PM [+]
Post #113460802012217191

Comments:  This section is for listeners. To receive a reply from Jack Clark, you should call the comment line.

Qpute from description of podcast... "When a right-winger wakes up in the morning and looks in the mirror, does he or she see a cold-blooded killer, a destroyer of lives and hope?"

Come on guys, let's be fair here. We both know that most people left or right are not cold blooded murderers. We know that both sides try to do what is right despite disagreements. Try to think before you hammer out these outrages statments.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  5:35 PM   [+]
I agree with darksaturos, for a change. (I can't believe I just said that.)

Many right-wingers are exceedingly generous, for example after a hurricane, where the suffering is well-publicized, and the victim could not be blamed.

I also don't understand why you would ridicule the right-wingers who took the time to email you with their point of view, instead of encouraging dialog and giving them information about poverty that they might not have been exposed to.

I have appreciated some of your podcasts as alternative to AM radio - this last podcast though struck me as vindictive, not rational.
Except for the part bashing O'Reilly - I can never get too much of that.

Oh yes, and it is quite a spiffy-looking webpage for a small-time operation. Please let's keep the fairness and civility level up though, or you will probably lose following, myself included.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  10:34 PM   [+]
hi jack
excellent work.....
its like if the human species has split into two distinct groups.....
its about time the term human be not applied to right wingers

keep up the good work
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  11:41 AM   [+]

You mentioned right-wingers being immune to logic and reason in an argument, reacting solely to emotional appeals. I find that to be very much *not* my experience. It's the ultra left that abandons reason and logic, and instead relies solely upon emotional appeal. Right-wingers are very good with logic and reason. It's why they succeed so often. The problem isn't with the right's ability to reason. The problem is with their core values. A person acting purely upon logic and reason is capable of any number of horrific and immoral acts. We need to do what you've done in the past - better spotlight just what the values of the right are. And what the consequences of those values are in terms of political policy and human life.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  7:37 PM   [+]
To expand on what Adam Bishop said:
Conservatives do not trust their fellow man to take care of them.
As a result they concentrate on self-reliance.
Liberals believe that people can and should care for each other. Therefore they seek to develop or enhance a nurturing society.
Conservatives believe that overly liberal policies lead to parasitic behavior and eventual economic collapse, e.g. communism. This is logical and correct, in my opinion, based on human nature which responds well to positive reinforcement.
Liberals believe that overly conservative policies lead to a mean and brutish society, e.g. gang-infested neighborhoods, Wall Street(ha,ha).This is logical and correct, in my opinion, based on human nature which responds to cruelty with cruelty.

Conservatives TEND to be logical because their priority (economic survival) encourages that approach, I think.
Liberals TEND to be emotional because their priority (a caring society) encourages that approach, I think.

However, as Jack has ably demonstrated, liberals can build perfectly logical arguments in favor of liberal policies such as minimum wage.
Unfortunately, he has also shown how to draw ridicule by employing logically tenuous arguments such as:
-Not donating to a particular charity, makes one responsible for the suffering that results. Does that mean that all of us who are to the right of Mother Teresa are guilty?
-Assigning guilt to the larger group ("most right-wingers") based on the action of an extremist few.
Bluein Texas and con have also made this logical error.
Alienating all the rank-and-file conservatives who believe in fairness and law-and-order does not exactly build support for your cause. Would it not be more strategic and mutually beneficial to build an alliance with them in going after the corrupt extremists in their group? This should work since conservatives believe in being held accountable for one's actions.
What does not work, in my experience, is forcing an incompatible world view on theirs.
For those liberal objectives that are incompatible with conservative world view, it may be more productive to go ahead without them, e.g.Physicians Without Borders, Fair Trade Co-ops,etc...

Just my two cents. Awaiting comments...
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  12:31 AM   [+]
Anonymous: I agree with certain of your contentions. Conservatives "believe" in self-reliance while at the same time ignoring the fact that they benefit from many programs that discourage it. A few podcasts back, Jack went through a list of the so-called "liberal" (realistically just common good) progams that help conservatives live full, productive lives and which their forefathers opposed.

The place, however, that failed to be mentioned in this list is in the workplace. Conservative business owners benefit from things like public small business loans (though it could be said that private small business loans could be substituted for these), agricultural subsidies, and - this is the most important one - business bankrupcy laws.

Now I'm glad they're in place personally since a company going out of business through financial mismanagement more often than not hurts the people at the bottom more than the top. However, if conservatives really believed in "survival of the fittest" at all levels, they would let monopoly take over.

Though, thankfully, Jack is wrong that conservatives are purely sociopaths down to a man or woman and they understand that it's important to have a safety net for companies to avoid the harms inherent in monopoly to society as a whole.

Now, I don't want to make this an attack against President Bush, but it must be said that when it comes to business he's not a very firm believer in personal responsibility of his own person when it came to business. If he truly believed in poverty being the fault of lack of hard work or poor decisions than he should be panhandling on the streets of Houston after running multiple businesses into the ground instead of being in the White House. Luckily he had friends in high places (including the government) who were willing to bail him out. It's a little disheartening that he and many of his ilk don't understand that most people don't.

Adam Bishop: There has recently been a huge paradigm shift in the mentality of conservatives and liberals. Perhaps in the 1960s, you were correct in your assumptions but this is not 40-years ago.

If you listen to the rhetoric of the left v. the rhetoric of the right these days, it's the right that is making the emotional appeals to people's natures such as fear. It's the left that is actually quoting hard statistics and logical arguments based on these statistics.

This is somewhat of a generalization in itself and there are logical types on both sides. However, the shrill wing of the Republican Party has completely taken it over.

And it is such a false statement to say that so many right wingers succeed. There are hundreds and thousands that fail, just like those on the left. If it were true that people are successful because they're right wing, than limousine liberals would not even exist.

It's the same as the false argument that people get more conservative as they get older that the right loves to perpetuate. If this were true (and political scientific research has shown that the most salient factor in party affiliation vis-a-vis age is which party someone came into political awareness under and that this affiliation tends to stay with them throughout life). If this argument were true than the so-called liberal AARP couldn't exist because it would have absolutely no base. There would also be no one over the age of 60 voting for Democrats - let alone Democratic office holders over that age.
posted by Blogger incendiarymind  9:32 AM   [+]
Hi, I enjoy your podcast even thought I don't always agree with your point of view or politics.
You have intelligent and well reasoned arguments. Just one thing that's a problem, you really sound immature and childish when you put on that fake voice when your quoting conservatives.
It detracts from an otherwise excellent show.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  11:22 PM   [+]
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
posted by Blogger incendiarymind  7:41 AM   [+]
I actually agree with anonymous. Not that you sound whiny and immature (because that's the point) when you mock the right wingers in that voice but I swear I have to brace myself and squint my eyes so my head doesn't explode in pain when you make the voice. It is very distracting (and sometimes a little hard to understand because I'm slightly hard of hearing and your accent come out when you're doing the voice).
posted by Blogger incendiarymind  7:43 AM   [+]
Darksaturos said: "We know that both sides try to do what is right despite disagreements."

Wrong. The loud mouth pundits of the Right do terrible harm. Not direct physical harm, but a kind of social harm. They spread hate disguised as righteousness. They are of self-deluded, pack mentality, feeding of one another's hateful attacks of Liberalism.

The Religionist's terrible crusade against evolution is actually anti-science -- a crusade not just to supress science but to usurp it, to twist it into a terrible "theolo-science" making children ignorant with a pagan-like view of the world as supernatural and unknowable.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  10:24 AM   [+]
You have identified several omissions or inconsistencies in my conservative-vs-liberal analysis.

1)The notion of conservative self-reliance is contradicted by corporate welfare.
Answer:Self-reliance is only a tool to accomplish the main goal, which is self-interest. Corporate welfare is yet another tool.

2)Being helped out by friends in high places contradicts the notion of personal accountability.
Answer: Allies, or friends, are very popular means of increasing self-interest. In fact, it would appear that ethics are trumped by friendship, which is trumped by personal self-interest. Therefore, Bush will support an unqualified ally as a judge candidate or allies who exploit illegal immigrants, until such time as his own position is threatened.

3)Unregulated conservatism leads to monopolies, which are destructive to the larger group of conservatives.
Answer: Agreed. A succesful conservative may increase his self-interest to the point that he can suppress the self-interest of most other conservatives (or others). Just ask the legions of small-time entrepreneurs rendered extinct by predatory pricing and purchasing power of behemoths like Walmart and Microsoft.
However, I disagree that the wider group of conservatives has managed to effectively defend themselves against monopolies.
Their obvious weapons (other than avoiding direct competition via niche markets until these, too, are assimilated) would be a)political, in the form of new rules, or b)economic, in the form of popular boycotts.
Both of a) and b) require a free popular media to be succesful. That the powerful conservative has protected his own self-interest by ownership and manipulation of the media has been meticulously documented by former right-wing media insider David Brock's landmark book, "The Republican Noise Machine".

4)Right-wingers are emotional too.
Answer: Yeah, I messed up on this one. It doesn't take a genius to hear the emotional manipulation on talk radio: Flattery ("You're a great American"), demonization of a common enemy (liberal "elites"), clever identification with a subset of the target listener's beliefs and values.
Demonizing of so-called liberal "elites" is the perfect distraction from increasing domination by large corporations. Perhaps rank-and-file conservatives (who are more likely to produce widgets than term papers, repair cars than write news articles) already resented intellectual bullying, or being underrepresented.

5)Many so-called "liberal" programs may in fact be "common good" programs.
Answer: Brilliant.
I really think everyone should mull this one over. It is an idea which is compatible with both conservative and liberal world-views, and therefore has a lot of political potential (assuming you can overcome corporate control of the media).
Another potential troublespot is how many conservatives seem to be observation-based as opposed to liberals seeming more comfortable with ideas. You really have to use analogies to communicate an idea to a conservative, e.g. laws against stealing are for the common good.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  2:10 AM   [+]
I should add that the Bush family cannot be considered as representative of mainstream conservative thought. See ( http://www.kmf.org/williams/bushbook.html ) to get a picture of just how freaky these people are.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  3:45 AM   [+]
The same author clarifies the 9/11 discrepancies ( http://www.tarpley.net/bushb.htm ).
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  4:06 AM   [+]
Including eyewitness accounts of the explosions (not fires, not airplanes) that took down the world trade center buildings ( http://www.reopen911.org/Tarpley_ch_6.pdf ).
Good stuff, but highly disturbing to the uninitiated.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  4:20 AM   [+]
For anyone who actually cares, here is an article by an 85-year-old maverick economist who thinks the U.S. economy is fundamentally bankrupt. Read before you judge.
( http://www.schillerinstitute.org/economy/nbw/nbw_reg_org.html#return to fdr concept ).
He proposes a "common good" solution consisting of long-term public-works projects to rebuild economic infrastructure.
I don't know enough about economics to support or reject his proposal, although according to him, it does have a good track record.

By the way, this guy was supposedly jailed, then released, on "conspiracy" charges. The more I read, the crazier this world gets.
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  9:47 PM   [+]
Wow. Do a search on Amazon on this guy, and you see his economics ideas are accompanied by radical polarization over the man himself.
Watch your step!
posted by Anonymous Anonymous  10:48 PM   [+]
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Great podcast - a must listen to
Jack Clark documents the right's wars on the poor, civil liberties, the right of workers to organize at work and obtain a decent working wage and work conditions, and against other countries who refuse to accept American domination. Jack provides all the sources so that you can see for yourself how the right is out to enrich itself at the expense of everyone else. Great job, Jack!
Submitted By: magyarbill
awesome show
Clark always backs up his statements against the right wing with fact and data, which gives him all the more credibility. As conglomerate media controlled by politics clouds the mainstream news media, Jack Clark, along with NPR and Democracy Now! have become my primary news source. Awesome podcast!
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In-Depth, Meaty, Hardcore Knowledge
This podcast is not just entertainment, humor, chimp-bashing, or gee-whiz recap of the weeks events. Instead, it hits hard and in-depth on the world economic situation and how right-wing policies impact the poor and less advantaged all over the world. He examines Americas support of the World Bank, IMF,multinational corporations, etc., and connects the dots. This is a podcast for grown-ups. He gives good reasons why the right wing is NOT living up to its precious Bible, without putting down the Bible. As a Jesus-loving Christian and moderate Democrat, I respect this podcast for its subject matter. The grown-up manner of the speaker is just icing on the cake. He IS funny, but hes not trying to be, he just has a deadpan delivery but doesnt have to make jokes to make it interesting. The facts make it interesting and devastating.
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Jack Clarks Blast the Right podcast is truly a breath of fresh air when it comes to political commentary. Jack is not like some commentators who simply climb on their soap box and state their own opinions as fact. Instead, Jack welcomes competent challenges to his way of thinking, and with logical analysis and sound research, debunks the lies, distortions, and self-deceptions of the right wing. I strongly recommend Blast the Right for people who seek the truth and care more about the long term health and well-being of the whole citizenry than the short term personal gain advocated by modern conservatives. Listen as Jack carefully shows how the high-sounding "God and country" rhetoric of the right wing is really just a smokescreen for policies that ultimately lead only to the increased misery, suffering, and death of the less fortunate for the particular benefit of the wealthy and the well-connected. And, if you find yourself in agreement, return to Podcast Alley to place your vote! Thanks!
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