When a political argument is being made to sway you to accept a belief or a political policy, listen carefully and pay attention to how the argument is meant to appeal to you.
Are you given a rational argument? That’s how political arguments were presented to the public in the earliest period of the American founding when classical liberalism was our ideology. You can read these kinds of arguments in the Federalist Papers. Rationalism was our modus operandi back then. There were also emotional appeals but an argument had to make sense. People wanted to accept policies that would work to make politics run smoothly–like a well oiled machine. Limited government would stop tyranny, they hoped. Natural rights were valued. People also wanted the government to protect private property. Americans expected the government to have a sound monetary system. They wanted freedom and tolerance in a low tax environment before income taxation and countless regulations. It was thought then that political freedom requires economic freedom.
Perhaps you are instead provided a purely emotional appeal, one based on faith without proof. Belief without proof became a political tool of argument and persuasion after Freud wrote about the unconscious mind. Hidden processes became a new way of looking at worldly events during the modern liberal period from the Civil War until the end of WWII. Marx wrote about historical materialism and inevitable processes. Governments were thought to progress through stages of growth, change and eventually decay. Income taxation helped the North win the Civil War. New transportation and communication connected people to a larger world of talk and travel. Darwin wrote about natural selection and small changes over long time periods suggested a world changing on a scale that is longer than a person could appreciate in a single lifetime or generation, with unknown potentials in the far future. Government was presented as an expanding bureaucratic service providing jobs to caring and newly empowered individuals that hoped to combine public resources and public power to shape a bright future. Modern liberals used public monies and built museums and schools and libraries and train stations. Modern liberals wanted to borrow from the future whenever there was an economic shortfall like a recession. They wanted to manage the economy with government regulations. They stopped giving much thought to having a sound money system. Government money was supposed to be made available in the hard times. In the good times, it was hoped that debt could be paid down.
Are you instead being fed a fantasy of fear or riches or endless entertainment or infinite power? That’s the kind of appeal that you get under neoliberalism. Neoliberals put together globalization with financialization. They have imagined that you can have whatever you want with easy money and global trade. They have increased the kinds and amounts of money in circulation. They imagine no end to government’s ability to create more money with the printing press or with transnational banking, uniting the whole world’s assets in trade. Everyone is encouraged to borrow more and more money. The government is imagined as being staffed by experts that have endless strategies, knowledge and tools to keep the wheels of government and the intensively managed economy in motion. The government is so powerful that it can pick economic winners and losers. There is no need to account for failures in policies because the future is always brighter than the present and we must hurry to embrace it. Externalizing costs to the public has been the easiest way to deal with problems as can be clearly seen during the 2008 Great Recession.
If you look at arguments about the covid scare, you can see that they are fantasy based. We live in the neoliberal era and fantasy based arguments are par for the course. But there are problems with relying on these arguments to make decisions that affect public health. The pcr testing used to detect covid infection doesn’t work. The inventor of pcr says that you can’t use it the way that public health officials are using it to detect covid becuase it causes inaccuracies. Public statements about covid infections aren’t based on a reliable standard. Sick or well, alive or dead, a positive covid test means nothing consistent. More hysteria is constantly spewed at you. Public service announcements about covid are meaninglessly telling you to stay at home, to wear a mask and wash your hands. You can see that covid restrictions limit your freedoms and enhance on-line shopping.
You can see that the economy isn’t healthy. On-line shopping has grown while the brick and mortars have been shut. Was this a growth strategy for one part of the economy at the expense of millions of jobs? You hear about mandatory vaccines (“an idea so good that it’s mandatory” used to be a joke). Maybe you are without employment because of covid restrictions. Even people with jobs are worried about jobless Americans and you hope that they can get enough to eat and some worthy shelter. You wonder when economic opportunities might improve. If you get covid you wonder if you can get effective drugs to treat it soon after diagnosis. You have lost confidence in doctors and hospitals that seem to be prohibited from giving the cheapest and most effective care quickly.
You worry when you hear about a mandatory vaccine because that isn’t informed consent. And our other mandatory vaccines might be causing serious problems already, at least according to some who worry about massive increases in auto-immune disorders since 1989 when more children’s vaccines became mandatory. You may wonder why our Courts have let this kind of tyranny continue. Some courts have ruled that covid restrictions are unconstitutional while others have ruled that a state of quarantine allows for a temporary suspension of some freedoms. But a policy of quarantine is by definition completely inappropriate for an agent that can’t be contained by a quarantine. Covid can’t be contained by quarantine as the world can clearly see. You wonder when this tyranny will end.
If you want to learn more about politics and economics in America, buy a copy of Political Catsup with Economy Fries, available at Amazon.com.