Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Arrogant Victims

On the Golf Channel recently they were talking about arguably the greatest golfer ever, Jack Nicklaus.  If you ask golf professional's what separated Mr. Nicklaus from his contemporaries most will answer something about his ability to focus, and think, his way around the golf course.  But, in this particular piece a reporter made an observation I found particularly interesting... in his opinion Mr. Nicklaus had a trait that was "a lousy trait to have as a person, but essential to have to be a champion golfer - nothing was ever his fault."  The wind picked up at the last minute, there was a spike mark in his way on the green, there was a sudden sound from the gallery... all of which were responsible for any poor shot he would hit, not him. Thus, he never lost confidence in his own ability.

George Monbiot has a piece reposted at Common Dreams about Ayn Rand and her influence on the "New Right"...

How Ayn Rand Became the New Right's Version of Marx: Her psychopathic ideas made billionaires feel like victims and turned millions of followers into their doormats

 "It is not hard to see why Rand appeals to billionaires. She offers them something that is crucial to every successful political movement: a sense of victim-hood. She tells them that they are parasitized by the ungrateful poor and oppressed by intrusive, controlling governments."

Just as Nicklaus was never at fault, neither are the conservatives... supremely confident in their own abilities, any failure is obviously the fault of the poor, the government, others... they are true victims.  It's equally true of the 1% and their conservative acolytes and minions in the 99%, albeit in different iterations.  Easiest to see in the whining of the 1% - Koch, Limbaugh, etc., and the 'pickle vendors' but not too much of a stretch to see it in the working poor conservatives, - "keep the government out of my medicare/away from my social security" - they are on an individual level supremely confident, and convinced if 'someone like them' (Sarah Palin) were elected President they too would hit life's lottery, seriously have you ever met a Palin supporter who wasn't supremely sure of themselves?  Thus, Rand's philosophy, when interestingly paired with Christian fundamentalism, and it's inherent self-righteousness, has become the guiding principle of the Republican Party... one in which logic and reason need not encroach.  The results, as Monbiot points out, are clear:

"Saturated in her philosophy, the new right on both sides of the Atlantic continues to demand the rollback of the state, even as the wreckage of that policy lies all around. The poor go down, the ultra-rich survive and prosper. Ayn Rand would have approved."

No comments: