From the album "America: 25 years in review"
Much analysis has been done on the economic system that has emerged in the United States over the past three decades and its effect on people at large. Our song "The Washington Consensus", for example, goes into detail about the Neoliberal system that currently dominates. The other side of the economic coin in this country, however, has little in common with Neoliberalism aside from an affinity (to some degree) for technocratic management. While a great many people experience the confused hybrid of free and quasi-Free Markets and oft-dysfunctional liberal democratic institutions, a network of large businesses, executives, revolving-door regulators, politicians, lobbyists, corporate litigators, and others who benefit from our business-corporate alliances experience an altogether different existence. An existence above and outside the everyday experience, where large businesses and and politicians comfortably exchange campaign contributions for favorable policies; where regulators are installed to not regulate, or worse, put in place policies which favor their particular industries; where said regulators, after doing a stint at a government agency, have plum jobs awaiting them in the private sector in the very industry they were formerly regulating (and back around again); where the rhetoric of Free Markets gives way to the reality of wheel-greasing donations; and where preferred industries and companies are anointed winners and the rest wind up losers. This makes up the mostly legal, quasi-Corporatist part; still left to deal with is the Crony Capitalism and of course, pure corruption. With the dealings and legality so murky, which label you might use depends on a number of factors and particular context. It's fluid, and pinning it down to any one of them at a given time given shifting rules and norms would likely prove to be quite a challenge. This song tackles them collectively.
"The final irony of corporatism is that it represents the triumph of the one 20th-Century ideology that is considered so utterly discredited that most educated people don't even bother to learn what it believed about economics: fascism." writes Frontpage Magazine. Fascism with the original intended meaning: the merger of state and corporate power. Though the name and its ideas (especially with regards to guaranteed delivery of goods and services, and the romantic notions of the "organic body") are soundly rejected and ridiculed by nearly all quarters, in practice, both Republicans and Democrats practice it in this country every day, and have helped nurture and entrench it to a degree that might make the NFP proud. This hidden triumph is Mussolini's Revenge.Read more
A casual look at the Republican party might make one believe that they are completely unified, utterly in lockstep with no dissension. This view seems to be supported by both the outward-facing messaging, and by the fact that Conservatisms of all kinds tend to be quite organized, disciplined, and intolerant of dissent. The very well managed (particularly in the 1990s and 2000s) organizations and congressional voting policies (institutionalized by Gingrinch and Delay) add further support to this view. Finally, when it comes time to vote, the many factions are very dependable, despite the considerable nose-holding required to vote with the party as a whole.
Dig deeper into the policy discussions and the picture gets considerably more complex and nuanced, as one would expect from any group of sufficient size. The conflicts created by these ideological differences have pulled the US in many different directions over the past few decades, with (an upon first glance) confusing mix of policy decisions which have served to have an often deleterious effect on the country. This song attempts to touch on and summarize each major faction, of which there are four. Many more minor factions and sub-factions could be enumerated, but these four could be considered defining for "modern Republicanism", a set of ideas and policies that this song serves as a thoroughly vituperative tirade against. Each faction gets its own section. Lyrics start with a ">" and are italicized. Full lyrics without the explanation at the bottom.
From the album "America: 25 years in review."Read more