Thursday, March 06, 2008

Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson

With the news today that Texas is still going to court to ban sex toys to protect the "culture of life" (hop over to Pandagon and read Amanda on the deadly dildo jostle factor) the incredible Mrs. Robinson over at Orcinius is busy publishing one of the most illuminating analyses of the rise of right wing ideology in the US I've ever read. She's publishing a three parter over at Perlstein's The Big Con.

Part I explores the plans put forward by three main strategiests of the conservative movement, more than thrity years ago. (Howard Phillips, Richard Viguerie, and Paul Weyrich)

each of whom wrote important books and papers laying out the goal of creating a conservative America, and showing specifically how the movement could make that happen.

The ideas in these plans went through various iterations through the decades; but their essential goals and intentions never changed much. And, as it turned out, they didn't have to: the plan worked so well and kept the conservative base so focused and engaged over the long term that it didn't need much more than an occasional refresher, or the odd subplan elaborating on how the main ideas should be applied in some specific domain.

Reading these plans now, as a progressive, it strikes me: We're now living in an America in which every institution is dominated by these guys. Every facet of our looming disaster was dictated by bankrupt conservative ideas; yet our very ability to visualize fresh alternatives has been constricted by the frames they deliberately laid around our language and discourse. Most of the country finds it hard to even contemplate or discuss our predicaments in anything but conservative terms. It's clear they've done more than merely mess up our country; they've also, quite intentionally, messed with our minds.

As it turns out, messing with our minds wasn't just one part of the plan; it was the essential goal of the entire plan of conquest. They used sociology, social psychology, lingusitics, and a subtle understanding of human motivation to get into our heads and change the way we processed reality itself, in ways that made it impossible to question all the other things they were up to.

Robinson draws for her analysis from the work of some guy named Huebeck who took one of the documents and replaced the word "conservative" with "liberal" to see how it would look. Apparently, it makes a darned good blueprint for world domination.

Part II covers their ten point plan. Much of it is stuff that we, in the liberal bloggosphere, have been watching openmouthed (here's my version but its not identical to hers)

Stand up for yourself
Speak for others
Master the mass media
Set people on fire
Ask people to contribute
Insult the other side
Act like the other side doesn't exist
Dress the part
Act like you got the job already
Don't whine *except tactically*

I think this, series, Huebeck's work, all of Digby and Bob Altemeyer's work on the Authoritarian personality crack the code of conservative dominance right down to the dildo fear alluded to above. For the sake of the suffering women (and men) of Texas--lets get reading! And then--conquer the world.


I can't wait for Part III