Front cover of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of...

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PNAMBC = Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain

I don’t hear “Starve the beast” much from the right these days, but the corporate strategy is alive and well in Wisconsin (and all over the USA).

Wikipedia notes, “It appears the earliest use of the term “starving the beast” to refer to the political-fiscal strategy was in a Wall Street Journal article in 1985 where the reporter quoted an unnamed Reagan staffer. [8]”

The gist of it is: 1. Tax cuts –> 2. Budget crises –> 3. Emergency bills and powers –> 4. Mass privatization of schools, courts, jails, utilities, armies, etc.

Of course there are other ways than tax cuts to get to #3. Emergency bills and powers.

There is also the Shock Doctrine described by Naomi Klein. Catastrophic deregulation is one way to create a shock by unleashing the corporate sociopaths as in the Wall Street disaster.

There is George Orwell’s and  Noam Chomsky’s state of perpetual war, by which dominant political and economic classes consolidate their power over their own countrymen and transfer wealth from taxpayers to corporations.

And there is the good old culture war designed to get the poor and the middle class herded up into mobs that will vote against their own economic interests.

All told these are powerful and perhaps irresistible forces, even if they are all only built of smoke and mirrors…



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