How Movement Conservatives Are Killing Capitalism

When you falsely complain that every single thing your opponents try to do is socialism and absurdly hold your bloviating, unpopular selves up as bastions of capitalism, you probably shouldn’t be surprised when people start thinking socialism doesn’t look so bad, and capitalism doesn’t look so good.  So suggests, in part, Chris Good.  Let the record reflect that I predicted this, in full, on November 5, 2008.   Heckuva job guys, heckuva job. 

Let the record also reflect that I, personally, remain firmly with the 53 percent; I just don’t blame the other 47 percent for thinking otherwise.

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9 thoughts on “How Movement Conservatives Are Killing Capitalism

  1. It’s worth clarifying that of the 47% who didn’t answer capitalism, only 20% prefered socialism.

    27% were undecided, which is close to what I’d expect in these uncertain times. Nate Silver has more.


  2. Thanks Gherald. I should mention that to me, the combined total is still significant in light of the utter defeat of socialism over the last 25 years in the public mindset; to have people unable to decide if it’s worse than capitalism is a pretty big sea change. As plenty of people have pointed out, the poll didn’t define “socialism,” but that serves to reinforce my point – popular perception of “socialism” is often perceived in the public mind nowadays as simply “that which annoys Republican hacks” because Republican hacks are the only people who ever really talk about it in a widely disseminated fashion.


  3. I’ll quibble with Mark Thompson’s facile interpretation that Socialism is popular because it annoys Republicans. Mr. Thompson is also incorrect in asserting that in the past 25 years Socialism was utter defeated. In the past 25 years we witnessed the collapse of Communism, not Socialism. While Socialism and Communism often are linked by pols and talking heads — for that matter, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics — they are not synonymous. They are two different credos. Popular perception remains that “we beat the Commies” not the “Socialists.” Further, we had recently defeated the National Socialists — Nazis — who were well-known, bitter enemies of the Communists. These two starkly different meanings of socialist/socialism — Communist and Nazi — alone when coupled with the knowledge that many of our democracy-loving European allies are socialist states — French, Germany, e.g. — expose such explanations as annoying to Republican hacks to be both a red herring and a bumper-sticker syllogism.


  4. How many of today’s self-described conservatives and/or libertarians have read and absorbed Hayek’s “Constitution of Liberty”? Plainly, free enterprise is a broader thing than capitalism. In it’s broadest sense, the latter, to borrow a phrase, is simply the use of a surplus to create a further surplus.

    My question is really more of a statement: reading today’s right-wing bloviators, I get very little sense that Hayek’s books are things to wave around, rather than to read and absorb.


  5. This seems similar to the war-on-drugs telling everyone in the 60’s that marijuana will lead to heroin and death – and an entire generation, now entrenched as CEOs, Directors, Managers, and other useful members of society smoked mj in college without widespread systemic ill effect. It damages the credibility of the threat announcement.


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