The modern Conservative Movement in America and elsewhere among Western Style republics, is a movement based upon deceit. Were the politicians and theoreticians of modern conservatism to be honest in their message to potential voters, they would be relegated to a minority of also-rans. Yesterday, I went into some detail as to the roots of modern conservatism in America: here. What I illustrated was that this “movement“ is the brainchild of a group of super-wealthy oligarchs and those who serve abjectly as their minions, anticipating scraps from their “Masters“ tables. The pseudo-intellectual philosophy intended to give this “movement“ its false sense of having substance, has been developed by intellectual lightweights and frauds, like Ayn Rand, William F. Buckley and Ludwig Von Mises. What they have done is to put lipstick on a pig and pretend it is serious philosophy. The “pig“ that I am referring to here is the nakedly selfish quest for money and power.
Modern conservatism posits that the greatest enemy to freedom for all is “government“, with its taxation, regulation and legislation that prevents people from acting freely. They hold up the concept of the “Free Market“ as being the great facilitator of economic progress and prosperity for all. They clothe their pretensions as flowing directly from the wisdom of the most influential of early Philosopher/Economist’s Adam Smith. It was indeed from Adam Smith, who developed the idea that a “Free Market“ exercised a beneficial “Invisible Hand“: This is his “notion that individuals’ efforts to pursue their own interest may frequently benefit society more than if their actions were directly intending to benefit society.“ You will note how Ayn Rand elaborated on this idea in her puerile writings.
However, like many who have intellectual pretensions, but whose minds are clouded and made ignorant by their own personal prejudices, modern conservatives only took from Smith that which justified their predilections. A look at the complete picture painted by Adam Smith is instructive:
“Smith’s belief that when an individual pursues his self-interest under conditions of justice, he unintentionally promotes the good of society. Self-interested competition in the free market, he argued, would tend to benefit society as a whole by keeping prices low, while still building in an incentive for a wide variety of goods and services. Nevertheless, he was wary of businessmen and warned of their “conspiracy against the public or in some other contrivance to raise prices”.
“Again and again, Smith warned of the collusive nature of business interests, which may form cabals or monopolies, fixing the highest price “which can be squeezed out of the buyers”. Smith also warned that a business-dominated political system would allow a conspiracy of businesses and industry against consumers, with the former scheming to influence politics and legislation. Smith states that the interest of manufacturers and merchants “…in any particular branch of trade or manufactures, is always in some respects different from, and even opposite to, that of the public…The proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce which comes from this order, ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and ought never be adopted till after having been long and carefully examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most suspicious attention.” Thus Smith’s chief worry seems to be when business is given special protections or privileges from government; by contrast, in the absence of such special political favours, he believed that business activities were generally beneficial to the whole society.“ Adam Smith
How similar does: “Smith also warned that a business-dominated political system would allow a conspiracy of businesses and industry against consumers, with the former scheming to influence politics and legislation“ sound in context to today’s political condition? Are we to assume that Conservative pseudo intellectuals like Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, William F. Buckley and Ludwig Von Mises pretend to have absorbed all of Smith’s ideas, but forgot to read this one about the dangers of unfettered business interests? I assume they ignored it because it undercuts the case they make to destroy the power of government to tax and to regulate economic activity and commerce. Therein lies the dishonesty and the deceit of the modern conservative movement
We see this dishonesty in the dancing Paul Ryan, Donald Trump and Congressional conservatives are purveying in trying to destroy the Affordable Care Act. They all claim that the ACA needs to be repealed and replaced by a “better plan“ which will “reduce premium cost“ while maintaining the same level of coverage. Ryan’s proposed plan will do none of that. The GOP “Health Care Plan“ is merely a scheme to further lower Rich people’s taxes and raise the cost of coverage for older and sicker Americans. This dishonesty was pointed out in the article: Paul Ryan’s Wonk Shtick Is Getting Old, by the Huffington Posts’ Jason Linkins.
“Lord, have mercy, I have said all of this before. Paul Ryan: the man whose plans to balance the budget do not balance the budget. Paul Ryan: somehow credited with being a deficit hawk despite having his fingerprints all over any number of deficit-busting policies. Paul Ryan: he will provide growth by closing tax loopholes, despite the fact that an insufficient amount of the same exist. Which is why he’ll never tell you which ones he’s aiming to close.
And now, he’s Paul Ryan ― the guy who doesn’t understand how health insurance works. This week, Ryan dazzled the media with a PowerPoint presentation in which he tried to lay out the nuts and bolts of his Affordable Care Act “replacement” bill, which almost everyone from across the political spectrum hated the moment it was let out of the closet in which he’d stashed it. One moment that caught everyone’s attention was this statement: “The whole idea of Obamacare is that the people on the blue side pay for the people on the red side,” he said, pointing to his slide before clarifying, “The people who are healthy pay for the people who are sick.”
This is not “the whole idea of Obamacare.” This is the whole idea of health insurance. This is the whole idea of insurance, period. President Barack Obama did not come up with this idea. If Obama had invented this concept, then we’d all have written stories back in 2009 about how a visionary president completely came up with the idea of the health insurance industry, entirely on his own.“
As Linkins continues his article by laying out the deceptions within this plan, it becomes clear that Ryan is being deceitful in his defense of his “Health Care Plan“. We must wonder, however, why that deceit in the Ryan plan’s purposes is necessary and we must wonder what Ryan actually wants to achieve? Linkins nails it and in doing so sums up the entire mentality of the Modern Conservative movement and shows why they must lie in order to sell their purposes to the overwhelming majority of the American people:
“So what is Ryan up to exactly? The Huffington Post’s Jeffrey Young, speaking on the “So That Happened” podcast, referred to Ryan’s health care bill in a different, but more honest, way: as “a huge tax cut bill financed through Medicaid cuts.”
“Universal coverage has never been a conservative goal,” said Young. “In other periods when Republicans had control of the entire government … they never even attempted to tackle the uninsured or any of these things because it’s not been a priority for them.
“This is why I sort of half jokingly referred … to this bill as a huge tax cut financed by Medicaid cuts, because tax cuts are something that they are unified about,” Young added.
And Ryan is unified in this as well. This is, in fact, the Rosetta Stone by which Ryan’s worldview is explained: Those who have achieved affluence have done so through proper moral choices and deserve rewards. Those who are struggling have made poor moral choices and require punishments to induce them back into prosperity. That’s the whole of it. And you can see how this is wholly incompatible with what “health care reform” seeks to achieve. In Ryan’s view, if you have come to the point in your life where you are incapable of simply financing your own health care, this is down to your personal failings, and you don’t deserve much beyond the barest of minimums.
So in the end, it’s not that Paul Ryan doesn’t understand health insurance. And it’s not that he doesn’t understand math well enough to know that the numbers don’t add up to a sufficient “replacement” for Obamacare. That’s because what Ryan is “repealing” and “replacing” isn’t a health care bill ― he’s swapping out the moral universe that gave birth to the Affordable Care Act with the one that he prefers. One in which the state rewards affluence and punishes those who fail to achieve it. One in which the very notion of redistributing money from the well-off to the poor for the purpose of health care provision is a mortal sin. Properly reconfiguring the universe along these moral guidelines is, to Ryan’s mind, an “act of mercy.”“
How does the Modern Conservative Movement, based upon the notion that those who lack wealth, lack moral rectitude and are therefore undeserving of society’s attention, get the support necessary to gain and maintain power? Their belief in who is “unworthy“ to receive consideration after all, makes a wide majority of citizens out to be “unworthy“. How then do they get those citizens to support their conservative cause? They lie.
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