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woo me with science

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Member since: Tue Jan 13, 2004, 10:24 PM
Number of posts: 32,139

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I get in trouble for this all the time.

I'm not a political scientist, and I appraise the words based on how I believe they are interpreted by average citizens who hear the labels. You're absolutely correct that they are used consistently to describe neoliberal and Third Way politicians. I detest their use, because I think they have popular connotations that actively disguise the true extremism and antidemocratic nature of the policies involved.

"Centrism" to me carries a deliberate connotation of being "in the center"..in other words, not extreme in either direction. Ditto for the word "moderate," which is constantly used to describe Third Way politicians whose policies are anything but moderate in the traditional sense of the word.

Austerity and attacks on safety nets in a country that has already devastated its middle class are opposed by over 80 percent of Americans across party lines, yet these Third Way economic positions are nevertheless described as "centrist," as though they fell in the mainstream of American opinion. Policies coming out of our government now routinely bear little resemblance to what people have repeatedly stated in polls that they want, and neoliberal politicians lie their way through campaigns because they realize how unpopular their positions really are...yet we persist in calling them "centrists."

Secret laws, secret courts, "Kill Lists"/indefinite detention without due process, and mass surveillance in the United States of America are extreme violations of our Constitution and should not be considered "moderate" positions in any sense of the word. They are extreme, even fascistic policies, yet the politicians who espouse them are permitted by us to describe themselves as "moderates."

I think we need to start using the words, "corporatist," "extreme," and even "fascist" to describe what is happening in this country under the corporatist/neoconservative/neoliberal/Third Way agenda. We are witnessing a malignant merger of state and corporations and the active dismantling of important Constitutional protections. The corporate state is pouring our tax dollars into propaganda and marketing for their agenda, and IMO the vast majority of Americans, while aware of their own economic pain, have little understanding of the peril facing our democratic institutions and basic Constitutional protections.

We use words that suggest the current neoliberal and neocon policies are business as usual in America...just another flavor of policies that Americans can trust still fall safely within the boundaries of a democratic, constitutional, representative political system. They are "centrist" or "moderate." But they really aren't...and I think we need to adjust our labels to drive home the seriousness of the crisis we face.

Posted by woo me with science | Wed Jul 16, 2014, 11:09 AM (3 replies)

Psst. When replying to posts,

You need to remember to switch back to the correct persona.
Posted by woo me with science | Mon Jul 14, 2014, 01:17 AM (3 replies)
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