4 05 2010


(or, “Limbaugh lower now!”)


Denunciation, is the hardest of all rhetorical expressions to do credibly. You may start out with a truly, terribly Bad Thing to denounce for it’s badness, and, before you know it, carried away by your pure disgust at the Bad Thing, find yourself unintentionally descending into mere invective.

On the Right side of contemporary US politics, for example, Rush Limbaugh has made a fortune from his zestful daily invective against everything and everyone to the left of himself and his Dittoheads. George Orwell, in the 1930s and ’40s, did a better job of staying in the denunciation mode as he excoriated the most evil absurdities of the political movements of his time, both Right and Left. And the poet Alexander Pope, in 1729, wrote a whole long narrative poem of pretty effective denunciation that is still read with great appreciation by lovers of English literature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The Dunciad

On the Left in the USA of today, though, far too little good denunciation, or even invective, is written. This is probably because people on the Left in the US are usually not true leftists but rather liberals, and a central tenet of classical liberalism is  to leave the maximum possible room for the working out of many points of view in society. But these days the Right could clearly do with a bit of lambasting both in the form of denunciation and invective, because, among other things, the long hegemony of its worship of “the self-correcting free market” over American politics just recently kicked the whole world into a Depression from which emergence is still uncertain.

One denunciatory voice of satisfying acerbity is beginning to surface in  the pages of the New York Times, where every day one amazingly good writer after another makes public comments following the columnists’ opinions.

Here’s what one of these posters, who has become* my favorite new Denunciator, said** recently in the public comments section following economist Paul Krugman’s column of May 2, 2010, on the explosion of  a drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. He does descend to invective, true, but it’s such satisfying invective:


Phil in the mountains of Kyushu
May 2nd, 2010
10:39 pm
“Yes, Prez O. needs to take on the “Drill, baby, drill!” crowd.Taking on these obvious ignoramus-savages, however, also obliges taking on savages of another ilk — the smarmy, apparently-well-educated, but above all cynical, breed that ever keeps enrolling in and graduating from the U.S.’s swarm of biz and law schools.It’s these, more superficially genteel, sorts who pose the greatest menace to civilized life — as they on their cynical quests for the quickest possible buck want no regulations, no safety devices, and no accountability to any parts of the otherwise civilized world.

These educated savages got their cynicism and sociopathy in systematic ways — in all the amoral, ethics-free forms of  specialization training in which  Corporate America indulges. It’s a massive, deadly world that operates in and from all those biz and law schools — relentless in their view of life as simply a set of venues for the smoothed, greased, and padded robberies that their corporate world practices and they enable.

Destroying thousands of square miles of international and national waters? And beaches, and wetlands, and fisheries too? No problem for this educated form of humanity that has learned no humanity in all their education. So, sure — let’s hope Prez O. reverses on his earlier cave-in to the “Drill, baby, drill!” savages. Let’s hope he reverses on lots of caterings and cave-ins he’s made all across the spectrum of Corporate America. But the odds of this happening aren’t great, given, on the one hand, Prez O.’s wish to be liked by the powerful  and, on the other, the ongoing massive tilt toward savagery by the educated ilk that comes from too many schools that teach mere technique shorne not only of morality, but even of the most superficial kind of reflection on consequences.”
Keep up the good work Phil!
*   See my first “Damn, This Is Fine!” blog entry, reprinting a particularly
astringent Denunciator outpouring, here:
** Text slightly improved by me. For a great putdown, a trope closely related to “denunciation”, see the Bob Dylan song Positively 4th Street.



2 responses

13 05 2010
Mammon uber alles + Foxes guarding the chickenhouse

Every time there’s an s&l collapse, or an enron, the biz pages (usually) publishes a spurt of stories to the gist of [<< bad idiom, sorry] "mba schools begin teaching ethics".
Yet, evidently nothing changes because the system perpetually remains dedicated to eradicating any halfway ethical business (unless the business is inherently protected as a niche).
Also, i'm sure you also have noticed that many people *independently* apply the word sociopath* to what the msm rush-clones refer to as "ambitious, hard-working, job-creating entrepreneurs©".
Having worked for these people, I'll agree that they ephemerally *appear* "hardworking" in that they are obsessively (and usually energetically) self-centered "24/7". You can also easy see that they don't accomplish any more true work than regular 40 (or fewer) hr/wk employees.
When younger, i was more stubbornly naive than most people, but looking back, i've realized that I worked for only *one* employer/manager who didn't operate as a sociopath.
Another was so young, he could possibly have soon (later) "developed" a conscience.
One of the 'sociopaths' once give some hints (in sort of a confessional moment?) that he wasn't technically sociopathic, so i think this MO forms based on personality + something terrible in upbringing.
And… because these types are "successful©", they breed, and indoctrinate (some) of their offspring.

The only similar type of personality-type i "experienced" before attaining employable age, was the bullies in school.

13 05 2010

Thanks for the comment, there Mr. or Ms None! Thanks for THIS, in particular, which was good information that I didn’t possess, having mostly worked in the public sector:

“Having worked for these people, I’ll agree that they ephemerally *appear* “hardworking” in that they are obsessively (and usually energetically) self-centered “24/7″. You can also easy see that they don’t accomplish any more true work than regular 40 (or fewer) hr/wk employees.”

None of this is surprising. After all, If you think about it, the USofA has “selected for” the business sociopath type of personality for almost 400 years. For most of that period, America was the place you came if you found the rules too constrictive at home, and you were aggressive by nature. After all, there was a whole new continent here to be exploited! You almost couldn’t NOT make it big.

Unfortunately, the continent is not wide open and readily exploitable any more. But the hyper-aggressive money people are still being produced here in great numbers, and must exploit SOMETHING. These days, that would be us.

Yes, all the regular working people of the USofA are the business-sociopaths’ next field of raw material. Need an example of how they’ve systematized shearing us sheep over the last decades?

Have you ever had a credit card with a major bank like Chase or Chemical?

If you have, then you know.

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