Monday, January 24, 2005

The Economy that Dare Not Speak Its Name: Condi on Capitalism

Condi Rice is the archetypal rightwing thinktank wonk. The main substance lurking behind her worldview is the spread of Capitalism, which of course is the economy that dare not speak its name. But she cannot say that out loud in a public debate. E.g., during the public spectacle of her confirmation hearings, she was critically called to account for "hypocrisy" and "inconsistency" about US foreign policy in criticizing other governments. Ironically it was a Republican Senator, not a Democrat, who pressed this issue. See the link above for a transcript of what was actually said during this critical exchange.

But the Republican Senator, Lincoln Chafee, was a bit disingenous or perhaps thick-skulled about the neo-conservative rules. In the end, one wonders if Chafee is just playing around or just playing dumb. Perhaps he's a pre-neoconservative who favors isolationism? Again, I'm astounded at the political ignorance of our
political bosses.

In other words, Condi Rice's neocon foreign policy only _appears_ to be inconsistent unless you decode it to see that this is because it is about spreading capitalism. Once you decode that master signifier, her whole lexicon and worldview becomes consistent. Such "debates" between two conservatives are frustrating because they operate as if the terms used by the neocons are in plain English out of the dictionary. But they aren't. Since the key cannot be spoken out loud, the whole thing is in "other words" a code, but a code that distorts and damages the original meanings.

As a public service, here is how to decode the code. Whenever Condi Rice says:

"democracy" = neoliberal free market policy
"illiberal" = anti - neoliberal market
"cooperation" = allowing US corporate interests.
"Civil society" = business class like us
"tyranny" = no cooperation with the Empire

This is a systematic code that is like some parallel dictionary off the books. These "debates" are frustrating because the Chafees of the world try to discuss it as if the code wasn't operating, as if Condi was speaking plain English out of the dictionary. But when you decode her remarks, the consistency is clear. Condi Rice comes closest to having to decode herself for Chafee in a didactic manner when she patiently explained to him that,

" we hope that the government
of Venezuela will continue to recognize what has been
a mutually beneficial relationship on energy and that
we can continue to pursue that. We certainly hope
that we can continue to pursue counter-drug activities
in the Andean region, and Venezuela participates in

She comes close there. We still need to decode:

"energy" = oil exports through private business and
"counter-drug activities" = military aid to the counterrevolution in Columbia.


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