To call it ‘victory’ no matter what; to redefine ‘success’ as whatever happened; to call yourself a leader though none will follow you anywhere; to be wrong every minute of every day yet wear the calm expression of one who is always right: these are the tricks of the Right in these latter days of their fading propaganda, tricks taught by Karl Rove, Don Rumsfeld, John Howard, Hannity, O’Reilly, Henderson, Jones.
Thus Iraq was a success though suicide bombings kill hundreds a month and the Prime Minister is trying to hang his deputy; Afghanistan is nearing success though our trainees kill their tutors and the urinated-on corpses now mean the Taliban win the negotiation; our floated dollar was a superb idea though an unfloated currency, China, now rules the world; a Mormon who likes firing people is an ideal candidate for Leader of the Free World; the Global Free Market is a success though twenty thousand children die of it a day.
‘Success’ is whatever happens. There was no alternative. It’s all good. It all shakes down. It adds up in the end. If everyone is greedy, why, the better guys win. The duds, the has-beens, the evolutionary also-rans like Stephen Hawking will be weeded out.
Has ever a way of thinking and predicting and rewarding and punishing been more intellectually bankrupt in world history? Capitalism is a wasteland, a snakepit, a poisoned river, a fight of jackals over dry bones, yet the righteousness continues. The way to create jobs is by sacking people from government jobs and bringing billionaires’ taxes down, way down. That should do the trick. Julia Gillard is all in favour of it, cutting back government jobs and taxes to get nervous working people spending again. How can it be wrong?
It’s very much like Catholicism after tens of thousands of priests were shown to have buggered children last century and nuns to have enslaved unmarried mothers whose babies they stole in tens of thousands and gave away: these are but a few bad apples and Christ forgives them and God is on our side, we were told. And now we are told that it kills nine hundred infants an hour, but capitalism works. And sure Gaby Giffords got shot in the brain, but handgun ownership in Arizona is a civil right for everybody without exception including the deranged.
How dare these people — O’Reilly, Hannity, Akerman, Henderson, Bolt — keep saying these awful things? I mean, you can go to gaol for inciting terrorism, which kills five thousand innocent victims worldwide a year. And they incite capitalism, which kills twenty thousand a day. Should they go to gaol? Should they, too, go to gaol for incitement of mortal harm?
…Well, I myself don’t think they should, frankly. Freedom of speech to me is pretty important (an inalienable human right, you might say, like handguns in Arizona), just so long as all the microphones are turned on, and all who speak are heard speaking.
And the turning on of the microphones in this past year — by the Facebook-driven Arab Spring, by wikileaks, by the revealed craziness of the debating Republican candidates week after week, and the Tea Party cranks who last August in Congress wrecked the economy — is as big a change in the way we live now as was, in its day, the motorcar. The lunacy cannot be hidden anymore. It turns up on phone cameras wherever protestors are shot at, and ships go onto rocks and sink and captains desert them, and al-Jazeera keeps broadcasting the truth twenty-four times a second, and more and more of the Third World tune in.
This combination brought down Mubarak, Ghaddafi, Berlusconi, Perry, Palin, Bachman, Huntsman, Gingrich. It will bring down Santorum, Putin and (maybe) Netanyahu. The fruits of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil are everywhere on offer, and the serpents bewhispering fresh new thought in ears no longer ignorant of the West’s vile crazy ways. America is tottering and its Missionary Wars in the Muslim World look ever more block-headed as the money runs out and it begs the Taliban’s forgiveness for pissing on the dead and al-Jazeera stays on the air and the Third World watches.
Nowhere in the world in seven years has America made a new friend. No-one sings ‘I want to be in America’ anymore, except illegal Mexican meatworkers maybe and Russian whores.
It’s time the Right opened its eyes, as the Catholic Church has done, and took stock, and asked forgiveness, and started apologizing all round for massive harm done thus far on earth to the living and the dead.
Gerard Henderson, a good Catholic, should go first.
Over to him.