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Notes to myself, possibly of interest to others.
-- Bill Northlich

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Rosenberg advances Mr Brooks as our proper guide to moral living

David Brooks, via Rosenberg Tuesday: "A vote to keep Walker won't be an antiunion vote. lt will be a vote against any special interest that seeks to preserve exorbitant middle~class benetîts at the expense of the public good."

  • "Any special interest". means, one supposes, "no special interest I can think of". Anyway,
  • A question: The "exorbitant(!) middle-class benefits" accrue to ...let us think... Ah! To the middle-class. Well, the middle-class is the public, by any definition. The question then is: How can benefits which the public receives do harm to the public?  Very strange thinking to be sure.
Mr Brooks (and, presumably, Rosenberg) clearly requires of us strict Calvinst adherence to form; no music or other distractions like food stamps or medicare, no un-earned "benefits", if we are to be among the Invisible Hand's chosen. N'mind that the public is finding itself on the street in ever-greater numbers. The corrupting pleasures of a place to live and basic security in old age will distract us from the true path; it will sully our worthiness.  Yes, the great unwashed must struggle to leave earthly distractions behind to gain honorable acceptance to the republican party society.

Many, including Vitus, have pointed out that most right-wing proscriptions for societal and political harmony or progress are easily deconstructed to be revealed to consist of nothing more than self-righteous moralizing couched in modernist language.  "Austerity" comes to mind.

Mr. Brooks, whom we parenthetically note as being Jewish, is squarely in the American puritan tradition when he invokes the need for us to sacrifice in order to be seen as worthy.  Indeed there is significant overlap between Jewish teaching and Puritan/Calvinist tradition.

Then let us restate the question clearly:  Does Mr Brooks' sophistic, disingenuous language of High Morality have anything to do with the the reality people face living in day-to-day post-economic-apocalypse America?  No, nothing whatsoever.

Aside:  Vitus is beginning to loose patience with Rosenberg's inability to avoid lecturing us about the evils (of debt) even when he frequently notes, as he did just the day before the above Brooks quote appeared that, currently, Keynesianism is the only way out. ("One has to assume that at some point, the end-game will have to involve massive debt monetization from the ECB."). See also this.

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