Poverty in the Age of Apathy: An Analysis

43.6 million Americans are living in poverty. What some consider the “greatest, richest, most powerful country in the world” has the highest rate of poverty its ever had in over fifteen years.  And instead of appalled reactions to this information, this is what I came across on the interwebs (Via USAToday):

Libertarian01 (36 friends, send message) wrote: 1h 14m ago

yup and more then half that number are illegals, so get rid of them, numbers drop.
**(Ed note: Well, what could you expect from someone with Libertarian in their screen name?)

hotamit (0 friends, send message) wrote: 1h 38m ago Trillions of dollars in socialist entitlements later and all I got was this lousy T-Shirt (Hope and Change). In the meantime, twenty million of our tax dollars are being diverted to Africa for the purpose of teaching African men how to wash their genitalia.

Deja vu all over again: What party controlled the WH and congress in the early 60’s?

**(Yeah, I did’t get that one either. Next!)
midofroad (0 friends, send message) wrote: 1h 30m ago

Our policies have encouraged generations of people to not work, many choose to live below our definition of poverty, most of the world would trade places with them tomorrow.

**(Yeah, because all of those people out there submitting applications left and right don’t want to work. Because eating the next day is just not important for anyone. Where is this Poverty Paradise Villa so many are talking about? )

I just love how so many Americans are so happy they managed to ride down the tube of the correct dick and be so lucky to not have to be born into or vulnerable to these economic situations!! If only we could ALL be SOOO lucky!!

Sheezus. It didn’t take that long for us to get here. Politicians are exploiting the stupid bigots in our country for their own gain. Does anyone see what is wrong with this kind of scapegoating?? Blame the poor for their plight because they didn’t work hard enough/ are stupid.

TeaPartyDouche1: Instead of fixing the problems that lead people to poverty, let’s just kick them to the curb and continue scratching our heads while corporate America robs us blind!!

IHeartGingrich69: Such a great idea!! And then while we’re being robbed blind, let’s just blame the whole thing on illegal immigrants. Then, we can harass some Muslims because their beliefs don’t align with ours!! Finally, we are ready to take America back!

Sad but true. And while we’re on the topic of apathy, let’s get into the kind of world these people desire.

Right Wing Populism (Stanford Humanities, David Patton review)

Hans-Georg Betz

Radical Right Wing Populism in Western Europe

1) The strategy of right-wing populism relies on a combination of ethno-nationalism with anti-elitist populist rhetoric and a radical critique of existing political institutions.

2) Conspiracist scapegoating employed by various populist movements can create “a seedbed for fascism” in the United States.

3) They are considered radical because they oppose the welfare state and present political system; right-wing because they reject social equality and immigration; and populist because they appeal to the fears and frustrations of common citizens.

“According to Betz, radical right-wing populist parties have “two faces.” First, they espouse a neo-liberal economic philosophy. They maintain that the welfare state has delivered bloated bureaucracy, excessive taxation, and suffocating debt, rather than social justice.

To remedy this situation, they call for less regulation, less state expenditure, and lower taxes. Betz points out that their orientation mirrors Thatcherism, which also pledged to liberate individual talents and energies from the oppression of big government. Betz then traces the emergence of anti-immigration as the major far-right concern since the late 1980s, showing that national populists blame incoming foreigners for the decline of national culture, rising criminality, and welfare-state fraud. With a thinly veiled racism, political leaders such as Jean-Marie Le Pen (FN), Franz Schönhüber (Reps), and Jörg Haider (FPÖ) play on the fears and frustrations of common citizens.”

Wow – regressive politics at work!! Might I mention that this article was written in 1994? They don’t say “history repeats itself” for nothing. The review also goes further Betz’s views on Right Wing Populism and immigration, and though anti-immigration sentiment attracts workers, the educated and white collar workers are alienated.

“He characterizes today’s parties as radical because they oppose the current welfare system and the present political system (although they support representative democracy); as right-wing because they reject social equality and the integration of foreigners and other outsiders; and as populist because they exploit the frustration of the general public (4). They distinguish “themselves both from the backward-looking, reactionary politics of the traditional extremist (i.e., neo-fascist and neo-Nazi) Right as well its proclivity for violence” (3).”

So as we can see based on the comments posted above, there are a whole bunch of (predominately) angry white people who are angry at Latinos for taking their jobs, blacks for demanding their rights/affirmative action, poor people (primarily viewed by these people as black or brown anyway) demanding government assistance, Muslims for blowing up the trade center, gays for destroying the principles of the bible, Socialists for caring about people, Jews for killing Jesus….I can go on and on. But this is our enemy ladies and gentlemen.  So now we ask ourselves: How do you stop a bunch of crazies that believe in all of this crazy shit in the first place? How can you tell someone anything that doesn’t want to hear it?

This is what Leon Trotsky has to say about it:

Shall we succeed in creating a strong party for the moment when the crisis comes? Might not fascism anticipate us? Isn’t a fascist stage of development inevitable?

The successes of fascism easily make people lose all perspective, lead them to forget the actual conditions which made the strengthening and the victory of fascism possible. Yet a clear understanding of these conditions is of especial importance to the workers of he United States. We may set it down as a historical law: fascism was able to conquer only in those countries where the conservative labor parties prevented the proletariat from utilizing the revolutionary situation and seizing power. In Germany two revolutionary situations were involved: 1918-1919 and 1923-1924. Even in 1929, a direct struggle for power on the part of the proletariat was still possible. In all these three cases, the social democracy and the Comintern [the Stalinists] criminally and viciously disrupted the conquest of power and thereby placed society in an impasse. Only under these conditions and in this situation did the stormy rise of fascism and its gaining of power prove possible.

And on that note: start mobilizing.

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