Sunday, July 22, 2012

GOP: Crime Syndicate And Kooky Cult

Seasoned journalist, and Texan Len Hart, of the famed website "The Existentialist Cowboy," ( wrote an essay last November  that examined the GOP and found it to be both a crime syndicate AND a "kooky cult."

From Hart:

The International Cultic Studies Associantion lists the defining characteristics of a 'cult'.  I fully agree with the 'list' and also the assertion that the GOP meets most of several atttributes, perhaps all characteristics that define the word 'cult'.

Here is the list as 'published':
  1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
  2. The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
  3. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
  4. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
  5. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary.  This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, [torture,] lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
  6. The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group.  They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

Hart goes on to say, "It has always been my belief --stated often on this blog, FB, 'The Opinion', NPR, and various other forums on the internet --that the GOP is not a political party.  Rather, it has characteristics of kooky cults and an organized crime syndicates."

And he also notes:

I have many issues with the Democratic party but being GOP-lite is not one of them.  For all their faults, 'being as bad as the GOP' is NOT among them.  I can cite three essential and defining characteristics that distinguish Democrats from the cult of GOPism:
  • EVERY Dem has presided over greater GDP and JOB GROWTH than has ANY Republican Prez since 1900;
  • EVERY GOP 'tax cut' has been followed by a recession/depression.
  • EVERY GOP TAX CUT has resulted in the transfer of wealth UPWARD to a 'ruling elite' which is now just ONE PERCENT of the total population.
Those fact are at the core of the Occupation Movement!  A corollary is this:  EVERY recession/depression since 1900 has occurred during a GOP administration and as a result of GOP policy.

Hart's most recent essay, "How Progressives Can Take Back America," notes:

Progressives' best chance for changing the fascist direction taken by American politics may be found in a book that was, in fact, appropriated if not usurped by the GOP.  I have in mind one Saul Alinsky whose 'Rules for Radical', written for a liberal, left leaning movement owing much to FDR and war opponents like Eugene Debs.

Interestingly, it is the GOP which has made more effective use of the strategies and tactics than have liberals or Democrats for whom 'Rules for Radicals' was written.  It is cited in GOP campaign manuals, practiced in almost every campaign.  I have personal knowledge of that, having acquired a few GOP 'campaign manuals' at a time when Tom DeLay was building a conservative machine while gerrymandering the state of Texas.

Alinsky advises 'activists' to work inside the existing system, to utilize the existing networks and/or infrastructure. Starting from scratch is inefficient, time consuming, wasteful of time and resources.  Democrats have an infrastructure in place already. Use it! As ALINSKY himself said:
"There's another reason for working inside the system.  Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most.  Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people.  They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future."
--Saul Alinsky
Alinsky's Rules:

  • RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)
  • RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don’t address the “real” issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)
  • RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
  • RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity’s very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)
  • RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)
  • RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid “un-fun” activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)
  • RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)
  • RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)
  • RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists’ minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)
  • RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management’s wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)
  • RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)
  • RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

  • --Saul Alinsky, Rules for Radicals

    Alinsky's strategies are food for thought in the battle to criminalize Conservatism, but they are only a mix of strategies and tactics.  Remember: The total objective of all true lovers of democracy in America is to criminalize Conservatism.


    "The greatest pleasure is to vanquish your enemies and chase them before you, to rob them
    of their wealth and see those dear to them bathed in tears, to ride their horses and clasp to
    your bosom their wives and daughters."

    Genghis Khan (History's first venture capitalist. 1162?-1227.)