If a government is bloated and broken at the behest of the business sector, one would think the detractors of such a government would hold business at least partially to blame. Where you have corruption, you have corrupters and it’s typically sensible to hold the source of your corruption accountable to some degree.
Wealthy aristocrats, plutocrats, autocrats and every other manner of wealth-and-power “crat” one can think of are jockeying for influence in our government through the size and use of their bankrolls. Nearly every one of the whopping 52 bills Congress managed to pass this year are either a pointless symbolic nonsense gesture or a piece of corporate lobbying material codified into law. With all this being evident, one would certainly hope that the root cause of public distresses would at some point be addressed by the most vocal and militant of the government’s detractors.
And yet for the most ardently “pro-America” or “patriotic” political movement presently wreaking havoc on our public trusts, The Tea Party, it would seem the roots of discontent are little more than skin deep regarding out civic bodies of law and governance.
In an interview with the Voice of Russia magazine, which was republished recently by Alternet, scholar and public intellectual Noam Chomsky applied what many feel is one of the most apt descriptions of the Tea Party movement, when he called them “…almost entirely white, mostly petty bourgeois.”
Though Chomsky stopped short in this interview of calling the Tea Party fascists outright, the subtext was all there. During the interview, in which topics ranged from the Tea Party and domestic American political dysfunction to US foreign policy regarding Iran, Syria and the larger Arab world, Chomsky elaborated on the difference between Tea Partiers, who are often described as anarchistic for their staunch anti-government rhetoric, and anarcho-syndicalist, who often ascribe to a looser, less orthodox set of principles regarding worker focused community autonomy and a voluntary society.
Citing that their espoused hatred for government and all things tax related, Chomsky noted the Tea Party and their typically wealthy backers, seldom if ever opposed state institutions and policies which favored the concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the conservative elite.
Much in the way conservative activists eagerly accept Koch brothers money so as to buy a louder megaphone with which to accuse progressives of taking the same from George Soros, the rhetoric of ardently opposing any public or collective interests in the name of promoting private interests clashes hypocritically with their patriotic drum beating and stars and stripes veneers.
Paraphrasing Norman Ornstein, a noted conservative political analyst, Chomsky characterized the Tea Party as “a radical insurgency opposed to rationality, to political compromise, to participation in a parliamentary system, in fact with no positive goals in themselves.”
Many progressive, forward thinking political analysts and observers have long regarded the Tea Party and much of modern conservatism as a highly reactionary, hyperbolic ideology serving to use divisive social issues and practices in the interest of shoring up a political support base for the core policy agendas set forth by big business.
Chomsky’s statements to Voice of Russia are reflective of this, bringing into starker relief and finer articulation the sense of what this relatively recent Republican insurgency means. And as the civil war within the right wing between the Tea Party and that struggling vein of rationality that remains within the GOP continues heating up, the net affects of this radical shift in conservative thinking to the true fringe continue making themselves evident throughout the nation, with frightening consequences.