I have just read for the fourth time, Sara Robinson's important 2012 essay entitled, "Conservative Southern Values Revived: How a Brutal Strain of American Aristocrats Have Come to Rule America"

It's not long, and one of those reads which I think every 10th grader should be forced to consume, and then be quizzed on again and again until the foundational concepts are ingrained and at least partially understood.  Until such understandings are embedded in each generation's mindshare, each will too easily fall victim to the same forces of plantation economy, aristocracy, and other rank manifestations of predatory capitalism that have soiled the one before.  Free markets have done much for civilization. But only by making them a little less free are we going to be able to constrain their raging excesses and the humanistic failures that have resulted from them.

Below are the last few paragraphs of Sara's post. They make for a tidy list of some of the greater threats posed by this centuries old culture war of inbred and nouveau-greed lording over historically disadvantaged populations of compliant serfs. It's a war threatening not just America, but the entire planetary ecosystem of our delicate species.


It's not an overstatement to say that we're now living in Plantation America. As Lind points out: to the horror of his Yankee father, George W. Bush proceeded to run the country exactly like Woodard's description of a Barbadian slavelord. And Barack Obama has done almost nothing to roll this victory back.

We're now living in an America where rampant inequality is accepted, and even celebrated.

Torture and extrajudicial killing have been reinstated, with no due process required.

The wealthy and powerful are free to abuse employees, break laws, destroy the commons, and crash the economy — without ever being held to account.

The rich flaunt their ostentatious wealth without even the pretense of humility, modesty, generosity, or gratitude.

The military — always a Southern-dominated institution — sucks down 60% of our federal discretionary spending, and is undergoing a rapid evangelical takeover as well.

Our police are being given paramilitary training and powers that are completely out of line with their duty to serve and protect, but much more in keeping with a mission to subdue and suppress. Even liberal cities like Seattle are now home to the kind of local justice that used to be the hallmark of small-town Alabama sheriffs.

Segregation is increasing everywhere. The rights of women and people of color are under assault. Violence against leaders who agitate for progressive change is up. Racist organizations are undergoing a renaissance nationwide.

We are withdrawing government investments in public education, libraries, infrastructure, health care, and technological innovation — in many areas, to the point where we are falling behind the standards that prevail in every other developed country.

Elites who dare to argue for increased investment in the common good, and believe that we should lay the groundwork for a better future, are regarded as not just silly and soft-headed, but also inviting underclass revolt. The Yankees thought that government's job was to better the lot of the lower classes. The Southern aristocrats know that its real purpose is to deprive them of all possible means of rising up against their betters.

The rich are different now because the elites who spent four centuries sucking the South dry and turning it into an economic and political backwater have now vanquished the more forward-thinking, democratic Northern elites. Their attitudes towards freedom, authority, community, government, and the social contract aren't just confined to the country clubs of the Gulf Coast; they can now be found on the ground from Hollywood and Silicon Valley to Wall Street. And because of that quiet coup, the entire US is now turning into the global equivalent of a Deep South state.

As long as America runs according to the rules of Southern politics, economics and culture, we're no longer free citizens exercising our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as we've always understood them. Instead, we're being treated like serfs on Massa's plantation — and increasingly, we're being granted our liberties only at Massa's pleasure. Welcome to Plantation America.

How do we even begin to unmask and redress these crises of a modernist empire spiraling out of control? Will it be fixed  by carping on the marginal excesses of it, as seen in the issues of drones, national detention controversies and bank bailouts? Or will it be by finding new leadership and policy precepts that replace the ones which are clearly failing to provide for the common good? Ones not motivated by wealth accumulation or careerist ambitions, but rather by a sincere desire to advance our species toward its collective survival and some kind of satisfying intellectual and cultural status quo that endures long enough to reward successive generations without falling victim to them.

I have my ideas for getting there. I am sure you have yours. It's time we started to share them together, and out loud, in hopes of finding a brighter future before we're denied access to one by a dark and aggressively resurgent past. 

Due to my recent cancer surgery, I have lost any natural chance of having my own biological children. But I hope I have at least a few good years left where I might be able to do something to help all the other children on this rotating sphere of cosmic debris we're all traveling on.  We all get only a very brief span of years to do whatever good it is that we're going to do with them. We should probably get started.

Read the entire post. Then tweet me your thoughts.

Grey Parker is one of those bloggers you stumble upon when someone in your stream says "you gotta read this."  I did that some months ago, and ever since, I eagerly snap at his posts like a Venus Fly Trap that just got lucky.  Today, Grey decided to respond to the execrable new Tokyo Rose of right wing propaganda, Dana Loesch, the oh-so hot and sassy queen of fabrication and faux-facts, who @CNN had the unmitigated corporatist's gall to make a "contributor."  As if we hadn't had enough of these pugnacious media sociopaths, such as her bilious boss, Andrew Breitbart, this gussied-up raconteur of packaged hate aimed at anyone but the elites who butter her daily bread has all the charm and grace of a hand grenade tossed into an infant care ward. 

Despicable Dana (DD), as I call her, had posted the following within one of her more scurrilous screeds over at bigJournalism.com (a site so misnamed that still makes me throw up a little in my mouth each and every time I see it),

"I loathe when American conservatives define themselves as “right wing” anything, even in jest — just as I loathe when the liberal press uses it as identification for American conservatives — because it is an inaccurate use of the term."

Spotting yet another professional hit job on the truth, worthy of anything Jonah Goldberg, the Right's minister of mawkish meanderings about whatever fake histories appealed to him on any given day might have contrived, Grey proceeds to educate DD on her grotesque misunderstandings and misrepresentations of history, as well as her felonious overreliance and misuse of Wikipedia.  Thankless job of evisceration that it was, Parker works his words like a righteous saber, leaving little more than entrails and eye shadow on the floor.

Enjoy reading it: Here You Go, Dishonest Coward 

For posts such as that…

…I have added Grey to my growing list of writers who demonstrate great understanding and insight when explaining the history and precedents of what brought America to this increasingly sad and sinking ship of state where fallacies get more attention than facts, and the fancy-faced, canard-spewing carnival barkers like Loesch get rich by advancing any misinformation that benefits the very worst class of elites the world has seen in modern times.  

Fairly soon now, I hope to deploy this small army of articulators in a unique way, well before the 2012 election, with this attenuating hope that there is still enough respect for truth left in America that basic facts can still have a bit more influence than complete and utter falsehoods. An inventor by trade, I didn't actually want to spend my creative time finding and popularizing new ways of correcting the lies and distortions in the Right's public narratives, but it's been increasingly clear that someone has to do it. When the time comes, I sure hope Grey will join me.  My gut says he will, but to even my surprise, I'm wrong  a lot :)

And now this:

I know it's been a long while since my last post. I just have too many projects and too little time. But as important and real as that excuse is, another is that I've really come to enjoy tweeting the thoughts and ideas of other people saying what I might have wanted to say, but who say it far better than I would have.  We all have our talents and passions. At this time, I am content that one of mine is promoting those whose stable of skills at informing and truth telling are a good deal deeper than my own.

You must watch and understand this…

Republican-controlled Legislatures in 32 states are now pushing for the most onerous and restrictive voter registration laws in our history. Laws specifically designed to cripple new voting amid the people most effected by the near-fascist policies now being pushed down the throats of the middle class.

These are no longer long range changes. They are radical, and they are ruinous, and they must be stopped. This is a national emergency larger than any threat we have ever faced.  We either rise to it, or we perish.  Obama, and even Democrats are not our core problem.  The entire system we have allowed to become deconstructed by this radical conservatism, bought and paid for by plutocrats and billionaires is the problem.

As I keep saying. Democracy is too important to be left to Democrats.  You must get active. You must get everyone you know to get active.  We're not running out of time.  It's already gone.