5. Market-Driven Hysteria and the Politics of Death
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Market-Driven Hysteria and the Politics of Death
If we take seriously the ideology, arguments, and values now emanating from the right wing of the Republican Party, there is no room in the United States for a democracy in which the obligations of citizenship, compassion, and collective security outweigh the demands of what might be called totalizing market-driven society, that is, a society that is utterly deregulated, privatized, commodified, and largely controlled by the ultra-rich and a handful of mega-corporations. In such a society, there is a shift in power from government to markets and the emergence of a more intensified political economy organized around three principal concerns: deregulated markets, commodification, and disposability. In spite of the current failure of this system, right-wing Republicans and their allies are more than willing to embrace a system that erases all vestiges of the public good, turning citizens into consumers, while privatizing and commodifying every aspect of the social order—all the while threatening the lives, health, and livelihoods of millions of working-class and middle-class people.
If we listen to shock jocks on right-wing talk radio and an increasing number of their ilk in other media-driven spheres, casino capitalism is not only sexy, it provides an argument against the very notion of politics itself and the power of the government to intervene and protect its citizens from the ravages ← 69 | 70 → of nature, corrupt institutions, and an unregulated market. In this discourse, largely...
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