Vox as neoliberal propaganda for "intellectual" narcissists

Even though, as I pointed out in my previous diary, the "Left" is at best a point of pride on a few Facebook profiles, the Right feels obliged to restrain any sort of deviance because, you see, austerity planning has its beneficiaries. So they run articles in places like Vox warning us that phenomena like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn are not the solution to our problems.

So for instance one can read this piece:

No easy answers: why left-wing economics is not the answer to right-wing populism

Let's go over this one, shall we? In its own stumbling way this Vox piece reveals the full caliber of the intellectual might put to work for the neoliberal narcissism that is Vox. Never mind the ambiguity of Bernie Sanders or of his legacy so far -- the trail of slime left behind by Vox is not ambiguous at all, as follows.

First we start out with the notion of Sanders-ism -- offer the masses a few benefits and maybe they would have outvoted Trump had they been granted a chance or something. Our Vox mouthpiece (not to be confused with the Mouth of Sauron, hard as that may be) starts off with a quaint appeal to authority, to show us all how wrong Sanders-ism really is:

“[It’s] a kind of liberal myth,” Pippa Norris, a Harvard political scientist who studies populism in the United States and Europe, says of the Sanders analysis. “[Liberals] want to have a reason why people are supporting populist parties when their values are so clearly against progressive values in terms of misogyny, sexism, racism.”

Of course Vox is not permitted to examine the counter-argument that "populist parties" offer themselves as the primary alternative to neoliberalism, which the traditional "welfare state parties" have embraced. Perhaps the Vox editorial board remembers the most frightening moment of the 2016 Presidential campaign, when neoliberal candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton promised us all that she was going to put her husband Bill "Peterson Foundation keynote speaker" Clinton in charge of the economy. Of course the Vox editorialists don't remember it the same way as we do -- that and Clinton's paling-around with Henry Kissinger were big disqualifiers. For us, not for them.

Meanwhile, the Mouth of Vox dazzles us with this factoid:

The problem is that a lot of data suggests that countries with more robust welfare states tend to have stronger far-right movements.

I'm sure it has absolutely nothing to do with the ruling parties' embrace of neoliberal austerity planning, budget-cutting, and privatization in those countries with more robust welfare states.

At any rate, the Mouth of Vox could not utter truth even if it were clever enough to do so, and so we run into this data-supported question:

Why did voters who by and large benefit from social democracy turn against the parties that most strongly support it?

Never mind that "the parties" don't really support social democracy now, and that perhaps their opponents on the "far-right" might in some cases be further left than said "parties."

But the Mouth of Vox is not ready to shut up just yet. There follows an "exposition" of the rise of the populist Right and a disparagement of the social-democratic deviants, beginning with this gem:

Corbyn’s year-plus of Labour leadership has been something of a test case for this theory. So far, it has failed utterly.

Yeah, never mind Corbyn's failures in dealing with a hostile mass media despite public support for many of his positions. We've given him a year and a half -- he's toast.

Then the Mouth of Vox shifts the argument to a portion on the American scene, in which it is argued:

There’s at least suggestive evidence, as my colleague Andrew Prokop writes, that Sanders misread the election results — that embracing left-wing populism won’t, in fact, win over Trump voters.

Those who did an ounce of research on the 2016 Presidential election know, on the other hand, that failing to "win over Trump voters" was not the cause of Clinton's election loss. Rather, in November large numbers of voters, many of whom voted twice for Obama, decided not to cast a vote for either of the major-party candidates.

Scrolling down further, we can then be lectured by the Mouth of Vox on the racial divide in the US. The discussion, however, is meant to reinforce Vox's preconceived notion, as follows:

The upshot is that a significant shift to the left on economic policy issues might fail to attract white Trump supporters, even in the working class. It could even plausibly hurt the Democrats politically by reminding whites just how little they want their dollars to go to “those people.”

So there you have it, folks. Better vote for the triangulating neoliberal politicians, because otherwise -- okay, where were we?

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Comments

detroitmechworks's picture

Is picking up a hell of a lot of screen and bandwidth.

Seems to me the MSM and their corporate overlords have figured out that they can't make right wingers feel guilty about being racists anymore, and as such have shifted targets to those that MIGHT still listen.

Hence the incessant drum beat that "You're REALLY racist, you just don't accept it!"

It worked at TOP to get the opposition to shut up, so I guess they've approved a full media production run. Add in the nice new rules about blocking "Fake News" and they've got the tools in place to enforce the same kind of bullying, because that was the key. Not a strong narrative that captured imagination... Bullying and silencing.

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19 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

@detroitmechworks Interesting a high profile hit piece on Sander supporters on Huppingtonpost this weekend accusing Bernie supporters of being duped by Russian propaganda sites and posters. Of course the article was taken up at TOP with many ugly comments about Bernie and supporters.

I figure the marginalization of Sanders would go forward even though he played proverbial ball with the establishment, mainly so that he could not lead any insurgent movements anymore.

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19 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@MrWebster

Interesting a high profile hit piece on Sander supporters on Huppingtonpost this weekend

Humpington Post, did you say?

Wink

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8 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

boriscleto's picture

@thanatokephaloides

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11 users have voted.

" In the beginning, the universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry, and is generally considered to have been a bad move. -- Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy "

https://youpic.com/photographer/boriscleto/

Strife Delivery's picture

@MrWebster Ah yes...racism, the easy escape hatch you have when your economic policies enrich a few to cause suffering onto many.

Seen a few times that women, particularly more so women of color are the heart and soul, the base of the Dem Party...

And that must be one of the worst ideas I could imagine.

Non-Hispanic White are roughly 64 percent of the population. So that would leave around 36 percent left for various minorities...

But can't include men, cause that isn't the heart and soul I've been told, so for ease of use let's just cut 36 in half between men and women.

So supposedly, the heart and soul of the Dem party, women of color is...18% of the population. What an amazing surefire way to lose. But also, why are Dems mad if I don't vote for them? I'm a white male. I'm supposedly not a part of the heart and soul of the Dem party.

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9 users have voted.

@Strife Delivery

It's not the Dem Party's fault if, lacking any vestige of a heart and having privatized any soul potentially once possessed, they have no idea of how to manipulate the hearts and souls of others.

In any event, they really need just enough Dem voters to make any win allocated by TPB seems somehow plausible; the various State Departments, (if still involved?) Homeland Security and possibly others will see to the numbers presented. So if the propaganda doesn't work to fool enough people into meek submission and to quell protest, what then?

What happens if the people themselves create, crowd-fund and promote a party with a binding platform serving the public interest, which sweeps so widely that its win cannot possibly be plausibly denied?

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@MrWebster

They're outraged that Bernie is getting his message out about what democracy is actually supposed to be - of, for and by the freaking people - on the corporate media, where the rest of the public can hear it and start going 'hey, wait a minute! What have you done for us - and to us - lately?' It's the message they're once again trying to kill...

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0 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@detroitmechworks Why do I give a fuck what some DNC whore thinks? That's what I tell them to their faces. Who cares what you think? I get a big smile on my face and say, I love being racist! Love it! I'm proud of it. In fact, I want a t-shirt that says, Proud Racist! Oh, you thought I was going to shut up now? Nope. You don't get shut down any conversation I decide to have.

You should see their faces. Textbook illustration of triggering. Reeeeeee!

But if you ask, they have no arguments left after that. Mommy Hillary promised their race card would always work. Mommmm!

Btw I find it especially hilarious that the poli sci prof is named "Pippa." Yes, Pippa, tell us what the working class thinks.

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13 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cassandrus

It is a really engaging take-down, rich in meaningful connections.

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7 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@Cassandrus this diary -- flinging about accusations of privilege and racism is just going to piss people off. Wouldn't the direct approach be preferable? Shouldn't the victims of historic and present-day racism be demanding some reparations?

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6 users have voted.

"Earth/Gaia is maker and destroyer, not resource to be exploited or ward to be protected or nursing mother promising nourishment." - Donna Haraway

PriceRip's picture

          I would find it easy to believe this assertion:

          The problem is that a lot of data suggests that countries with more robust welfare states tend to have stronger far-right movements.

          Whether it is true (or not) has absolutely no bearing on anything of any importance with respect to the issues at hand. Too many people don't seem to understand that data provides jack shit when taken out of context. Particularly as there are plenty of us that can provide said context.

          For context: I spent the first twenty years of my life in sole sucking poverty. Yea, real grapes of wrath shit. I get really disgusted when ignorant "experts" construct yet another god damned argument for grinding the have-not's into the ground.

          I am a scientist, I do not rely upon almighty data. Those of us that practice the art know raw data without context is meaningless. I get angry when I see challenges to provide supporting data in online arguments, because most people do not know how to evaluate data even when context is provided. This last bit was the core of my professional life for more than four decades.

          Thanks Cassiodorus for highlighting yet another putrid variant of this disease on the rotting corpse of our moribund society.

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23 users have voted.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

Amanda Matthews's picture

@PriceRip
without a day in their lives pop up to tell tell us how good the poor, aged, and the sick really have it. Because iPhone or refigerator or freedumb!!!

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14 users have voted.

I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

Pluto's Republic's picture

@PriceRip

...a lot of data suggests that countries with more robust welfare states tend to have stronger far-right movements.

Not only because "a lot of data suggests" nothing of the kind — but because it's meant to embed insidious misinformation in the minds of Readers. First of all, they are talking about Europe when they dog-whistle "robust welfare states."

The message that Vox is pushing is:

[Europe] suffers stronger far-right movements because they have more robust welfare [like socialized health care].

It is equally logical to say "[Europe] suffers stronger far-right movements because NATO is an expensive relic that weakens national defense." And it is a better causal fit.

Who needs contextual data when you're spewing propaganda to hippies.

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8 users have voted.
RejectingThe3rdWay's picture

Vox is part-owned by one POS hill-bot 1%er close the gates behind him scumbag named

Markos Moulitsas of Orange State (DKos) infamy.

Anything put out by Vox shouldn't be taken with a grain of salt, it should be flushed like a bad case of diarrhea.

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11 users have voted.

When I was a kid, Republicans used to red scare people, now it's the Democrats. I am getting too damn old for this crap!

thanatokephaloides's picture

@RejectingThe3rdWay

Vox is part-owned by one POS hill-bot 1%er close the gates behind him scumbag named

Markos Moulitsas of Orange State (DKos) infamy.

Anything put out by Vox shouldn't be taken with a grain of salt,

Sure it should.

A grain of salt like this one:

180207.jpg

(that's a 50-pounder!)

Wink

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10 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Cassiodorus's picture

@thanatokephaloides That's quite a block!

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5 users have voted.

"Earth/Gaia is maker and destroyer, not resource to be exploited or ward to be protected or nursing mother promising nourishment." - Donna Haraway

@Cassiodorus

People would need mass horse/cattle sized 'outside' blocks with the amount of freaking propaganda coming in from all sides... or places like here.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

SnappleBC's picture

Isn't that a wholly owned subsidiary of Clinton-Co?

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6 users have voted.

A lot of wanderers in the U.S. political desert recognize that all the duopoly has to offer is a choice of mirages. Come, let us trudge towards empty expanse of sand #1, littered with the bleached bones of Deaniacs and Hope and Changers.
-- lotlizard

Cassiodorus's picture

@SnappleBC Part of me just wishes that Peter Jackson had gotten the Mouth of Sauron scene in The Return of the King right, and put it in the movie --

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6 users have voted.

"Earth/Gaia is maker and destroyer, not resource to be exploited or ward to be protected or nursing mother promising nourishment." - Donna Haraway

TheOtherMaven's picture

@Cassiodorus
IMHO that was one of a number of places where Jackson pandered to the lowest elements of the American moviegoing public rather than having any trust in his source material. Sigh.

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5 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

detroitmechworks's picture

@TheOtherMaven That as Jackson deviated more and more from the source material...

The critical acclaim went higher and higher, until at the very end they gave him an Oscar for it.

This is another reason why I do not trust the opinion of anyone paid to give it.

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4 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@detroitmechworks
When it's a hit, it doesn't matter how many the changes were (think 1939 Wizard of Oz) - but when it's a miss, it's usually pretty wide.

Jackson's record on the Rings trilogy went back and forth - Fellowship was close to spot-on, despite obvious deviations (Arwen replacing Glorfindel, e.g. - that was grumbled about but accepted because it introduced her early in the story, gave her something to do rather than just sit around looking pretty, and kept down the number of characters). Two Towers was where he really went off the rails, and then had to haul the story back on track by main force in Return - he didn't fully succeed.

That said, and despite the gratuitous introduction of Haldir and Co., the Helm's Deep sequence in Two Towers was brilliantly staged and presented. I suspect he was deliberately going for an "Alamo story with last-minute cavalry rescue", and as such it worked.

On the other hand, the less said about the Hobbit trilogy disaster, the better.

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5 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

detroitmechworks's picture

@TheOtherMaven In the Hobbit. (Yes, only the FIRST movie was worth watching, IMHO.)

The unexpected party sequence was good until it started ignoring the music aspect of the Dwarves.

Bilbo and Gandalf's speeches on heroism were exceptionally written original material and well delivered.

Other than that... absolute shit.

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3 users have voted.

I don't Blame Christians. I Blame Stupid. Which Sadly, is a much more popular religion these days.

TheOtherMaven's picture

@detroitmechworks
which were better than the mess Jackson's crew dished out - but when you have shit to work with, the end result will still be pretty shitty.

My take on it is that there were some nice set-pieces in search of a coherent story, interspersed with a lot of Godawful malarkey, and as a whole it was epic fail.

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3 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Ken in MN's picture

...the people failed Neoliberalism.

(By not shutting the fuck up, getting back in line like good little ants and pulling the lever for their own doom by voting for Hillary Clinton...)

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3 users have voted.

I want my two dollars!