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Has nobody ever told him?

In the United States one of the biggest exercises in false consciousness the world has ever seen – people gathering in their millions to lobby unwittingly for a smaller share of the nation’s wealth

The Guardian’s George Monbiot is talking about the US Tea Party Movement.

Which is it, do you think? Has nobody ever told him about the fixed quantity of wealth fallacy, or does he just enjoy winding people like me up?

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21 comments to Has nobody ever told him?

  • Ben

    Tea partiers do not want socialism because they, rightly, see handouts as degrading to the recipient. It’s not false consciousness, it’s self respect.

    For false consciousness see Georges Monbiot or Polly Toynbee as socialists.

  • Gareth

    The Moonbat said:

    people gathering in their millions to lobby unwittingly for a smaller share of the nation’s wealth

    They are not doing it unwittingly. He cannot comprehend a group that doesn’t feel entitled to other people’s money and is happy to support themselves and their own communities as they see fit rather than as politicians see fit.

  • Robert Speirs

    Apparently Moonbat thinks it more reasonable for people to gather in rather smaller groups and threaten and commit violence to get an undeserved larger share of a dwindling national wealth – as in Greece.

  • I think he is alluding to his view that lowering taxes and dismantling regulation moves wealth from the many to the already rich few at an even greater rate. Ergo, the masses asking for this will see wealth they would otherwise have gained go elsewhere.

    I do not support MonBioRot’s view, but that is how I see his position.

    As you say, he is part of the “Better to have the poor poorer than the rich richer” Socialist mindset.

  • RAB

    Jeez, that was a screaming pile of shit, even by Monbiot standards, eh?
    Why cant he stick to subjects he is a real expert on knowing nothing about, like AGW?
    Lumping the Tea Party, the Freedom Party and UKIP together is a neat trick isn’t it? Getting a bit crowded in that pigeon hole George!
    Thanks for boiling down the reason why I hate the left to one word though George, Effete! Of course, I see it all now! If they had a bit of spine I’d vote for them for evermore.
    As for following buckets on a stick, I grew up in the Socialist Paradise of South Wales, where we have been electing dead sheep with red rosettes on for a hundred years now.
    And no, we are not voting for a smaller share of the wealth George, we are voting for leaving the wealth with the people who created it, to do with as we wish, even create more wealth with it perhaps, instead of having it forcibly removed from our pockets and handed over to steaming upper class socialist theorists like you, who know so much better than we, how to spend our hard earned money.

  • Quig

    “the nation’s wealth” !!! And from whence does the idiot Monbiot believe that this wealth springs?
    What the Tea Party wants is the opportunity for the individual to create wealth and for the individual to benefit from that wealth as they, the creator thereof, shall deem meet and right so to do.
    The wealth of a nation is only that wealth which is created by its citizens. Neither the “nation” nor its “government” create wealth. They consume it only; theoretically, for the common good.

  • Siha Sapa

    I wonder, has it ever occurred to the good Moonbat that perhaps we prefer to earn what we have.

  • Laird

    “to lobby unwittingly for a smaller share of the nation’s wealth.”

    There’s nothing “unwitting” about it; most Tea Party activists know exactly what they’re doing. And it’s not “the nation’s wealth”, because the nation has no “wealth” other than what it steals from others. So in reality these people are seeking to retain more of their own wealth, rather than a greater share in the government’s depredations. Seems pretty rational to me.

    Here in the US, the statists are the victims of their own success. They saw the election of Obama as vindication of their goals, not simply a repudiation of Bush’s. So rather than continuing to engineer the gradual transformation of the US into their dream of a socialist workers’ paradise, which has been working so well for the last few decades, they got impatient and tried to ratchet up the pace of change. They turned up the heat too fast, and the frog started to notice. Now it’s trying to escape from the pot, and the statists are simultaneously (1) surprised, and (2) trying to find a lid to put on it. It’s a simple case of hubristic overreach.

    Monbiot clearly doesn’t understand the American psyche. We don’t have a “working class” in the sense of Europe’s, heirs of serfdom which view themselves as being in perpetual opposition to the cultural and economic elites. The average American worker doesn’t think of himself in such terms, but rather identifies emotionally with the economic successes he sees all around him. “That could be me (or my children) someday” is a more prevalent attitude than “those people don’t deserve their success, and we have every right to take it from them.” Monbiot writes “There’s an opening here for trade unionists to move in and agree that an elite is indeed depriving working people of their rights, but it is not an intellectual elite or a cultural elite or a liberal elite: it is an economic elite.” But there is no meaningful “trade union” movement in this country (the only unions which are growing and have any real power are the public employees’ unions). And, of course, he can’t see that what is “depriving working people of their rights” is an ever-growing government.

    It probably tells you all you need to know about Monbiot that he cites with approval Thomas Frank, a man as condescendingly smug as he is ignorant. He writes a regular column in the Wall Street Journal; it is so infuriating that I have long since stopped even trying to read it.

    Still, you have to give Monbiot credit: the man does know how to turn a phrase. “Its corporate backers wrap themselves in the complaints of the downtrodden: they are 21st-century Marie-Antoinettes, who dress up as dairymaids and propose that the poor subsist upon a diet of laissez-faire.” Very clever. Or how about “the world is run by those who turn up.” True. We need to keep “turning up.”

  • guy

    Would Monbiot then turn around and call those same people ‘greedy’?

  • PeterT

    If we look at the ‘nations wealth’ at any one point in time; then sure, it is possible to divvy it up as you would like through tax and spend. The ‘fixed quantity of wealth fallacy’ is only a fallacy once dynamic effects are taken into account, i.e. that the “pie” grows over time, and tends to grow faster the freer the economy. As is well known, the problem with promoting libertarianism is that one needs to explain such dynamic effects to people who find it difficult to understand them. Much easier to identify supposed evils and ban or tax them out of existence. If you can’t fit a manifesto on a postcard (or a stamp) you may as well not bother standing for election.

  • Sunfish

    Siha Sapa:

    I wonder, has it ever occurred to the good Moonbat that perhaps we prefer to earn what we have.

    Some of us are still trying to clue him in to how we prefer to have what we earn.

    One step at a time. The problem with Moonbat is that you can’t pull a head out of the ass that it wants to be in.

  • Ian F4

    When it comes to the politics of “false consciousness” the green movement are masters, Monbiot being a fully paid up member of such groups who, under the austerity of environmentalism, employ Stasi tactics of using children to rat on their eco-abusive parents, and criminalise pensioners for the contamination of recycling, nothing more than a bunch of proto-communists, and he talks about the right disguising their intentions.

    Monbiot is just p*ssed that the right might be able to out do the leftists in this arena now.

    As for the machinations of the PVV, has it never occurred to him that the Dutch working class, world renowned for their tolerance and liberalism, aren’t very likely to be chums with a bunch of misogynist, homophobic, anti-semitic, religious conservatives, hardly any “stirring up” needed there.

    But this isn’t new, if anything, Wilders is just riding the populist wave set in motion by Pim Fortuyn, who broke the anti-immigration taboo. Since then, a decade of riots, no-go areas, death threats and assassinations haven’t exactly endeared the general population to oppose this cause.

    The concept of minimum wage and child benefit reduction are totally consistent with any anti-immigration policies, nothing hiding beneath there, and how does he figure “tax cuts” would be opposed by working and middle class families ?

  • hennesli

    Tea Party members who proclaim their rugged individualism will follow a bucket on a broomstick if it has the right label, and engage in the herd behaviour they claim to deplore.

    This is certainly true

  • Paul Marks

    People oppose ever bigger government spending, on both economic and moral grounds.

    And instead of either accepting or disputing their arguments – Mr George Monbiot just says they are showing “false consciousness”.

    Mr Monbiot describes himself as a Green rather than a Marxist – but when his political religion of ever bigger government is opposed he just trots out Marxist stuff in order to kill real debate.

    It is pathetic.

    Of course Monbiot could reply that Karl Marx just stole the idea anyway – with Rouseau pretending that whenever people did not agree with him they were suffering from “pride” (rather than noble “self love”) and that their real salves (of which their pride filled minds were not aware) really agreed with the commands of the “Lawgiver” (i.e. Rouseau himself).

    It is often this way with totalitarians. They do not openly oppose freedom – on the contrary they say they are in favour of it. But always turns out that “true freedom” is to obey their every command – which is what we “really” want to do, even if we do not know that is what we want to do.

    That the Guardian newspaper chooses people like George Monibot and Polly Toynbee should tell people what they need to know about the Guardian newspaper. And the sort of people who buy it – and advertise government (especially teaching) jobs in it.

    Their political faith is totalitarianism – to them the collective is all. They do evil – and they would do far more evil if they had the chance.

  • Axis Mundi

    The ‘fixed quantity of wealth fallacy’ is only a fallacy once dynamic effects are taken into account, i.e. that the “pie” grows over time, and tends to grow faster the freer the economy

    But that is a bit like saying time is static if looked at at any given movement of time, i.e. “at noon, there is a fixed quantity of noon-ness”.

    Well, no kidding.

  • Tea Party members who proclaim their rugged individualism will follow a bucket on a broomstick if it has the right label, and engage in the herd behaviour they claim to deplore.

    So the Tea Party members claim to deplore VOLUNTARY collective action? Really? This appears to a criticism of a political movement on the grounds it is a political movement.

  • K

    engage in the herd behaviour they claim to deplore.

    In the view of the statists on the receiving end of their wrath, more a pack, than a herd, actually.

  • Tedd

    “They turned up the heat too fast, and the frog started to notice.”

    Spewed some coffee over that one. Nice.

  • n005

    Tea Party members who proclaim their rugged individualism will follow a bucket on a broomstick if it has the right label, and engage in the herd behaviour they claim to deplore. The left, by contrast, talks of collective action but indulges instead in possessive individualism.

    I am inclined to believe that a more accurate interpretation would be that individualists, being individually competent, are perfectly capable of social cooperation when it serves a purpose, while the collectivists actually are inept at collective action, as they individually possess no virtues to contribute to any society, and the only society any collectivist is fit to live in would be an imaginary one, created in his own mind, populated by people who all inexplicably think exactly like him, and perhaps are less selfish than him.

  • Paul Marks

    Correct Perry.

    What the Tea Party people (the people who actually came to the events – rather than various formal Tea Party organizations) is to engage in grass roots, community, voluntary cooperation.

    Exactly what the left say they are in favour of. And exactly what they really hate (and fear) most.

    When the left talk about “community organizing” they mean professionals (such as Barack Obama) GOING INTO a community and engaging in agitation and propaganda – in order to use the locals as fuel on the path to victory for the total political control (i.e. the destrucion) of civil society.

  • Laird

    Well put, Paul.