The Revealing Inconsistency of Conservative Free-Market Ideologues

charleslb

Active Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2010
Messages
32
Consistency is an overrated intellectual trait. In fact, as Emerson observed, “A foolish consistency can be the hobgoblin of small minds”. However, the inconsistencies of dogmatists can be quite revealing, veritable openings to an insight into what really unconsciously motivates their beliefs.

Which roundaboutly brings me to the ideologically bumptious boosters of capitalism on the political right, both conservative free-marketeers and the members of their “libertarian” lunatic fringe. I’ve frequently noticed, maybe you have too, that their particular fundamentalism suffers from a somewhat glaring mental blind spot wherein we discover a very telling inconsistency indeed.

The true believer in capitalism, you see, astutely realizes that he/she has a serious problem when it comes to the messily flesh & blood examples of capitalism that exist in the real world today. Capitalism as we find it being represented out there by its actual, avaricious practitioners, i.e. by transnational firms that earn a big honking F in global citizenship and environmentalism, cutthroat corporate Croesuses, Wall Street greed-meisters, and all the motley Mammon worshippers who make up the bourgeoisie and define the praxis of capitalism, is, alas, a quite different proposition from what the ivory-tower theory of Friedman and von Mises devotees would have us expect.

According to the idyllic-ideological cultural narrative of America and other free-enterprising lands, the capitalist system is supposed to be an “enlightened self-interest” driven, material prosperity generating machine, and our reward for being dehumanizingly reduced to its menial cogs is that most of the material prosperity trickles down to us. Of course the historical and empirical reality of capitalism is somewhat disillusioningly different. The aggrieving actuality of capitalism is that it’s a mode of production and a social power structure in which most of the wealth created by hard-laboring workers, and most of the economic and political power is hijacked (expropriated) by a small class of overgreedy owners and moneyed overlords (i.e. capitalists). The resulting status quo, is, to say the least, not in the ideal best interest of the working masses and the poor, in other words the bulk of humanity.

Such is the harsh and morally outrageous truth of capitalism debunked and beheld in all of its inequitableness. Now of course this is all quite inconvenient for the socially and self-indoctrinated members of the cult of deified capitalism who wish to maintain, and have us all buy into their faith in free markets, the profit motive, and the Greed is good creed. How they deal with the mounting disconfirming evidence that points to the unfoundedness of their pseudoreligious conviction of the goodness of capitalism is the psychologically interesting thing.

How they deal with the abject baselessness of their belief, with the cognitive dissonance engendered by the irreconcilability of their doctrinaire persuasion with experiential reality, is to resort to a rationalized and quixotic inconsistency and an ideological purism/utopianism. Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn’t the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand, and excluded from being presented as damning evidence against the validity of their free-marketarian piety.

It’s quite tautological and circular reasoning, or rationalizing, of course. Essentially the lame logic here goes: Capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness, thus no serious faults that mar its lovliness can be imputed to capitalism, ergo capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness. Put even more simply: Capitalism is good, therefore capitalism can’t be guilty of any badness, and if capitalism isn’t guilty of any badness then it’s good. And round and round the question-begging thought process goes, rather like that of evangelicals who reason that the Bible is the word of God because in the Bible God says that the Bible is the word of God.

Which is to say that the feebly pseudological, ideologically befooled enthusiasts of capitalism make a subconscious intellectually-dishonest choice to hold firm in the fallacy that capitalism is what they want it to be, and that the impure instantiations of capitalism we find in countries such as the United States are impostors. This is the facile way that they use utopianism to evade ideologically inconvenient reality. Where they fall into inconsistency is in playing apologist for the less-than-ideal American capitalism that they put down as a rank bastardization. And in taking the side of rich capitalists in a system that they admit is profoundly flawed, event to the extent of disparaging the working poor and the unemployed as losers who deserve blame for their own economic plight.

Well, what’s up with this bit of talking out of both sides of your mouths, free-marketeers? From one corner of your mealy mouths we hear you contemptuously condemning our current system because it isn’t really and truly capitalism; and from the other corner we hear that said system’s fat cats are just “successful” men and women who are entitled to their obscene golden parachutes and to paying far less than their fair share of taxes, and that the poor are bums who merit no compassion from society in the form of social welfare programs. What the juxtaposition of these two irrationally contradictory affective attitudes reveals is that your pro-capitalist stance, rather than being eminently logical as you-all like to make out, is more likely psychological.

The key to the psychological place that your emotive reverence for capitalism and capitalists emanates from, I suspect, is the positive, sympathetic view of affluent individuals that you often express, vs. the distinctly negative, unempathetic view of the poor that you seem to subscribe to. What this strongly suggests is that you harbor (perhaps in some Neanderthaloid part of your brains that amorally esteem strength and dominance) a primitive admiration for and desire to vicariously identify with “successful”, status-possessing, dominant members of the pack. Such vicarious identification certainly provides a self-esteem boost for aspiring and failed Horatio Algers, and for wannabe high-status males/females. Likewise, expressing uncompassion and disdain for the less fortunate makes the ego-serving statement that you disidentify with them (even if technically, according to your income, you fit in the demographic of the “working poor”), and don’t suffer from their alleged shortcomings.

At the heart of the “love story” of capitalism is a poignant tale of narcissism. Pro-capitalists sometimes accuse anti-capitalists of holding a viewpoint that’s informed by a sneaking and resentful envy for the shinning “success” of the rich, but of course they’re actually projecting their own admiration, which skews their socioeconomic perspective and accounts for their adoration of capitalists and infatuation with the ideal of a system that gives one licentious freedom to pursue the egoistic dream of being a moneyed somebody, a bourgeois Big Man, an uber capitalist.

All of the cocksurely commonsensical and logical arguments that pro-capitalists avail themselves of to defend their psychological attachment to the social-climbing fantasy of a perfect capitalist society in which everyone is unfettered to fully actualize his/her primordial craving for socioeconomic status and dominance are just intellectualizations of the yearnings of our needy egos and “selfish genes”, as it were. This is what it really comes down to, for conservative free-marketeers and libertarians; this is what their inconsistency and utopianism betrays. We should refrain from obligingly feeding into their denial by taking their arguments seriously. Instead, we should seek to sprinkle big grains of psychoanalytical salt all over their self-deceptive ideology, and critically confront them with the unconscious motives underlying their political and economic mind-set.

:)
 
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Openmind

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Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
4,111
Location
Currently Belgium
Consistency is an overrated intellectual trait. In fact, as Emerson observed, “A foolish consistency can be the hobgoblin of small minds”. However, the inconsistencies of dogmatists can be quite revealing, veritable openings to an insight into what really unconsciously motivates their beliefs.

Which roundaboutly brings me to the ideologically bumptious boosters of capitalism on the political right, both conservative free-marketeers and the members of their “libertarian” lunatic fringe. I’ve frequently noticed, maybe you have too, that their particular fundamentalism suffers from a somewhat glaring mental blind spot wherein we discover a very telling inconsistency indeed.

The true believer in capitalism, you see, astutely realizes that he/she has a serious problem when it comes to the messily flesh & blood examples of capitalism that exist in the real world today. Capitalism as we find it being represented out there by its actual, avaricious practitioners, i.e. by transnational firms that earn a big honking F in global citizenship and environmentalism, cutthroat corporate Croesuses, Wall Street greed-meisters, and all the motley Mammon worshippers who make up the bourgeoisie and define the praxis of capitalism, is, alas, a quite different proposition from what the ivory-tower theory of Friedman and von Mises devotees would have us expect.

According to the idyllic-ideological cultural narrative of America and other free-enterprising lands, the capitalist system is supposed to be an “enlightened self-interest” driven, material prosperity generating machine, and our reward for being dehumanizingly reduced to its menial cogs is that most of the material prosperity trickles down to us. Of course the historical and empirical reality of capitalism is somewhat disillusioningly different. The aggrieving actuality of capitalism is that it’s a mode of production and a social power structure in which most of the wealth created by hard-laboring workers, and most of the economic and political power is hijacked (expropriated) by a small class of overgreedy owners and moneyed overlords (i.e. capitalists). The resulting status quo, is, to say the least, not in the ideal best interest of the working masses and the poor, in other words the bulk of humanity.

Such is the harsh and morally outrageous truth of capitalism debunked and beheld in all of its inequitableness. Now of course this is all quite inconvenient for the socially and self-indoctrinated members of the cult of deified capitalism who wish to maintain, and have us all buy into their faith in free markets, the profit motive, and the Greed is good creed. How they deal with the mounting disconfirming evidence that points to the unfoundedness of their pseudoreligious conviction of the goodness of capitalism is the psychologically interesting thing.

How they deal with the abject baselessness of their belief, with the cognitive dissonance engendered by the irreconcilability of their doctrinaire persuasion with experiential reality, is to resort to a rationalized and quixotic inconsistency and an ideological purism/utopianism. Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn’t the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand, and excluded from being presented as damning evidence against the validity of their free-marketarian piety.

It’s quite tautological and circular reasoning, or rationalizing, of course. Essentially the lame logic here goes: Capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness, thus no serious faults that mar its lovliness can be imputed to capitalism, ergo capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness. Put even more simply: Capitalism is good, therefore capitalism can’t be guilty of any badness, and if capitalism isn’t guilty of any badness then it’s good. And round and round the question-begging thought process goes, rather like that of evangelicals who reason that the Bible is the word of God because in the Bible God says that the Bible is the word of God.

Which is to say that the feebly pseudological, ideologically befooled enthusiasts of capitalism make a subconscious intellectually-dishonest choice to hold firm in the fallacy that capitalism is what they want it to be, and that the impure instantiations of capitalism we find in countries such as the United States are impostors. This is the facile way that they use utopianism to evade ideologically inconvenient reality. Where they fall into inconsistency is in playing apologist for the less-than-ideal American capitalism that they put down as a rank bastardization. And in taking the side of rich capitalists in a system that they admit is profoundly flawed, event to the extent of disparaging the working poor and the unemployed as losers who deserve blame for their own economic plight.

Well, what’s up with this bit of talking out of both sides of your mouths, free-marketeers? From one corner of your mealy mouths we hear you contemptuously condemning our current system because it isn’t really and truly capitalism; and from the other corner we hear that said system’s fat cats are just “successful” men and women who are entitled to their obscene golden parachutes and to paying far less than their fair share of taxes, and that the poor are bums who merit no compassion from society in the form of social welfare programs. What the juxtaposition of these two irrationally contradictory affective attitudes reveals is that your pro-capitalist stance, rather than being eminently logical as you-all like to make out, is more likely psychological.

The key to the psychological place that your emotive reverence for capitalism and capitalists emanates from, I suspect, is the positive, sympathetic view of affluent individuals that you often express, vs. the distinctly negative, unempathetic view of the poor that you seem to subscribe to. What this strongly suggests is that you harbor (perhaps in some Neanderthaloid part of your brains that amorally esteem strength and dominance) a primitive admiration for and desire to vicariously identify with “successful”, status-possessing, dominant members of the pack. Such vicarious identification certainly provides a self-esteem boost for aspiring and failed Horatio Algers, and for wannabe high-status males/females. Likewise, expressing uncompassion and disdain for the less fortunate makes the ego-serving statement that you disidentify with them (even if technically, according to your income, you fit in the demographic of the “working poor”), and don’t suffer from their alleged shortcomings.

At the heart of the “love story” of capitalism is a poignant tale of narcissism. Pro-capitalists sometimes accuse anti-capitalists of holding a viewpoint that’s informed by a sneaking and resentful envy for the shinning “success” of the rich, but of course they’re actually projecting their own admiration, which skews their socioeconomic perspective and accounts for their adoration of capitalists and infatuation with the ideal of a system that gives one licentious freedom to pursue the egoistic dream of being a moneyed somebody, a bourgeois Big Man, an uber capitalist.

All of the cocksurely commonsensical and logical arguments that pro-capitalists avail themselves of to defend their psychological attachment to the social-climbing fantasy of a perfect capitalist society in which everyone is unfettered to fully actualize his/her primordial craving for socioeconomic status and dominance are just intellectualizations of the yearnings of our needy egos and “selfish genes”, as it were. This is what it really comes down to, for conservative free-marketeers and libertarians; this is what their inconsistency and utopianism betrays. We should refrain from obligingly feeding into their denial by taking their arguments seriously. Instead, we should seek to sprinkle big grains of psychoanalytical salt all over their self-deceptive ideology, and critically confront them with the unconscious motives underlying their political and economic mind-set.

:)

Great article! Are you the author?

And, I'd like to know what you think about this (relatively) new idea of "Conscious Capitalism," that is being tried and preconized by such corporate giants as "Whole Foods," and the former co-funder of "Trader Joe's" etc. . .

Do you believe that this movement is "for real" and has a chance to bring American run-away Capitalism to a more fair and true Capitalism (by putting the "greed" motive behind the "advantage for ALL" motive?)

consciouscapitalism.org/
 

Dr.Who

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Messages
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Location
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What I read of that was filled with errors.

Capitalism is not at all as bad as you claim - it is quite often wondeful. It is always better than the alternatives. The bad aspects of it are the result of abuses - mostly by government, and even if some alternative were not merely idealistic utopian dreaming they would still have lying beneath the surface - capitalism. Capitalism cannot be removed from an economy. It will always be there.
 

Openmind

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
4,111
Location
Currently Belgium
What I read of that was filled with errors.

Capitalism is not at all as bad as you claim - it is quite often wondeful. It is always better than the alternatives. The bad aspects of it are the result of abuses - mostly by government, and even if some alternative were not merely idealistic utopian dreaming they would still have lying beneath the surface - capitalism. Capitalism cannot be removed from an economy. It will always be there.

You don't like copetition, do you Who?

You are faced with an individual that is at least as articulate and smart as you appear to be, and you don't like it!

I think it's so funny!
 

cashmcall

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2012
Messages
1,594
Consistency is an overrated intellectual trait. In fact, as Emerson observed, “A foolish consistency can be the hobgoblin of small minds”. However, the inconsistencies of dogmatists can be quite revealing, veritable openings to an insight into what really unconsciously motivates their beliefs.

Which roundaboutly brings me to the ideologically bumptious boosters of capitalism on the political right, both conservative free-marketeers and the members of their “libertarian” lunatic fringe. I’ve frequently noticed, maybe you have too, that their particular fundamentalism suffers from a somewhat glaring mental blind spot wherein we discover a very telling inconsistency indeed.

The true believer in capitalism, you see, astutely realizes that he/she has a serious problem when it comes to the messily flesh & blood examples of capitalism that exist in the real world today. Capitalism as we find it being represented out there by its actual, avaricious practitioners, i.e. by transnational firms that earn a big honking F in global citizenship and environmentalism, cutthroat corporate Croesuses, Wall Street greed-meisters, and all the motley Mammon worshippers who make up the bourgeoisie and define the praxis of capitalism, is, alas, a quite different proposition from what the ivory-tower theory of Friedman and von Mises devotees would have us expect.

According to the idyllic-ideological cultural narrative of America and other free-enterprising lands, the capitalist system is supposed to be an “enlightened self-interest” driven, material prosperity generating machine, and our reward for being dehumanizingly reduced to its menial cogs is that most of the material prosperity trickles down to us. Of course the historical and empirical reality of capitalism is somewhat disillusioningly different. The aggrieving actuality of capitalism is that it’s a mode of production and a social power structure in which most of the wealth created by hard-laboring workers, and most of the economic and political power is hijacked (expropriated) by a small class of overgreedy owners and moneyed overlords (i.e. capitalists). The resulting status quo, is, to say the least, not in the ideal best interest of the working masses and the poor, in other words the bulk of humanity.

Such is the harsh and morally outrageous truth of capitalism debunked and beheld in all of its inequitableness. Now of course this is all quite inconvenient for the socially and self-indoctrinated members of the cult of deified capitalism who wish to maintain, and have us all buy into their faith in free markets, the profit motive, and the Greed is good creed. How they deal with the mounting disconfirming evidence that points to the unfoundedness of their pseudoreligious conviction of the goodness of capitalism is the psychologically interesting thing.

How they deal with the abject baselessness of their belief, with the cognitive dissonance engendered by the irreconcilability of their doctrinaire persuasion with experiential reality, is to resort to a rationalized and quixotic inconsistency and an ideological purism/utopianism. Quite simply, they take and dig their intellectual heels into the position that empirical capitalism (capitalism as it takes form in the real world) isn’t the genuine article at all, that its failure to completely conform to the perfection of their imagined ideal of the beautifulness of capitalism means that it can be dismissed out of hand, and excluded from being presented as damning evidence against the validity of their free-marketarian piety.

It’s quite tautological and circular reasoning, or rationalizing, of course. Essentially the lame logic here goes: Capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness, thus no serious faults that mar its lovliness can be imputed to capitalism, ergo capitalism is a lovely system with no serious faults to mar its loveliness. Put even more simply: Capitalism is good, therefore capitalism can’t be guilty of any badness, and if capitalism isn’t guilty of any badness then it’s good. And round and round the question-begging thought process goes, rather like that of evangelicals who reason that the Bible is the word of God because in the Bible God says that the Bible is the word of God.

Which is to say that the feebly pseudological, ideologically befooled enthusiasts of capitalism make a subconscious intellectually-dishonest choice to hold firm in the fallacy that capitalism is what they want it to be, and that the impure instantiations of capitalism we find in countries such as the United States are impostors. This is the facile way that they use utopianism to evade ideologically inconvenient reality. Where they fall into inconsistency is in playing apologist for the less-than-ideal American capitalism that they put down as a rank bastardization. And in taking the side of rich capitalists in a system that they admit is profoundly flawed, event to the extent of disparaging the working poor and the unemployed as losers who deserve blame for their own economic plight.

Well, what’s up with this bit of talking out of both sides of your mouths, free-marketeers? From one corner of your mealy mouths we hear you contemptuously condemning our current system because it isn’t really and truly capitalism; and from the other corner we hear that said system’s fat cats are just “successful” men and women who are entitled to their obscene golden parachutes and to paying far less than their fair share of taxes, and that the poor are bums who merit no compassion from society in the form of social welfare programs. What the juxtaposition of these two irrationally contradictory affective attitudes reveals is that your pro-capitalist stance, rather than being eminently logical as you-all like to make out, is more likely psychological.

The key to the psychological place that your emotive reverence for capitalism and capitalists emanates from, I suspect, is the positive, sympathetic view of affluent individuals that you often express, vs. the distinctly negative, unempathetic view of the poor that you seem to subscribe to. What this strongly suggests is that you harbor (perhaps in some Neanderthaloid part of your brains that amorally esteem strength and dominance) a primitive admiration for and desire to vicariously identify with “successful”, status-possessing, dominant members of the pack. Such vicarious identification certainly provides a self-esteem boost for aspiring and failed Horatio Algers, and for wannabe high-status males/females. Likewise, expressing uncompassion and disdain for the less fortunate makes the ego-serving statement that you disidentify with them (even if technically, according to your income, you fit in the demographic of the “working poor”), and don’t suffer from their alleged shortcomings.

At the heart of the “love story” of capitalism is a poignant tale of narcissism. Pro-capitalists sometimes accuse anti-capitalists of holding a viewpoint that’s informed by a sneaking and resentful envy for the shinning “success” of the rich, but of course they’re actually projecting their own admiration, which skews their socioeconomic perspective and accounts for their adoration of capitalists and infatuation with the ideal of a system that gives one licentious freedom to pursue the egoistic dream of being a moneyed somebody, a bourgeois Big Man, an uber capitalist.

All of the cocksurely commonsensical and logical arguments that pro-capitalists avail themselves of to defend their psychological attachment to the social-climbing fantasy of a perfect capitalist society in which everyone is unfettered to fully actualize his/her primordial craving for socioeconomic status and dominance are just intellectualizations of the yearnings of our needy egos and “selfish genes”, as it were. This is what it really comes down to, for conservative free-marketeers and libertarians; this is what their inconsistency and utopianism betrays. We should refrain from obligingly feeding into their denial by taking their arguments seriously. Instead, we should seek to sprinkle big grains of psychoanalytical salt all over their self-deceptive ideology, and critically confront them with the unconscious motives underlying their political and economic mind-set.

:)

WOW
 
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Dr.Who

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Joined
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Messages
6,776
Location
Horse Country
You don't like copetition, do you Who?

You are faced with an individual that is at least as articulate and smart as you appear to be, and you don't like it!

I think it's so funny!

I am here primarily because I do like to debate and I prefer to debate with people who are articulate rather than those who are not. I love competition it is the backbone of capitalism.

Is there some particular point from the OP or from my post that you would like to discuss or debate? Or would you prefer to guess about my motives while including veiled insults?

I would prefer that we simply talk about the topic.
 
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