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Messaging discussion

athena1's picture

Hey guys. New here. A short intro:

I'm a skeptic and leftie activist.

I've decided that in order to be a better class warrier against the 1% and neoliberalism, I need to actually understand macroeconomics a bit better.

Anyway, onto messaging progressive economics. I'm wondering if pithy digs might be useful. Like "predator drone progressive" or "Ayn Rand socialist". I don't like being mean, but digs can be effective.

Also, one of my biggest problems is that people I argue with have usually never even heard of neoliberalism. Is there some neoliberalism 101 web page somewhere?
Something written by Bill Black would be ideal, since he has street cred. Even the libertarians like him. I honestly think some libertarians are just going through a phase and will eventually Come To Jesus.

Also, I'm of the opinion that our best hope for avoiding libertopia is convincing the scientific community that we're right, and educating them about what's going on. JMO.

What are you guys thoughts on messaging, etc?

No votes yet


twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

an excellent post by Hugh on that very topic. There are probably others that I've forgotten, but you can do a search (the search box is way down toward the bottom of the page) and find others.

Good luck! And welcome!!

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Hugh discusses both neoconservatism and neoliberalism. I do agree with him that neoconservatism has come to be associated with a specific approach to the conduct of American foreign policy. That being the case, it is odd that the term was coined by the American leftist Michael Harrington in the early '70s and aimed at several former liberal and leftist intellectuals who had come to reject and become ferocious right-wing critics of New Deal/Great Society domestic policy. Irving Kristol, "the Godfather of Neoconservatism," eventually embraced the term for himself in his 1979 article entitled "Confessions of a True, Self-Confessed ‘Neoconservative.'"

As for the questions Athena1 raised in her post, I think brief reviews the intellectual history behind the social science of "macroeconomics" and the political theory of "neoliberalism" would provide the best approach for explaining the meaning of those terms and the ideas behind them. I'll have a go at drawing up something from that direction later in the week but, of course, by then it'll be a little late to post here. No matter, at some point I'll post whatever I come up with in a future thread where anyone interested can lend a hand in polishing it up.

As to whether I'll be able to do a good job summarizing the essentials of these topics I don't know, but I do know in three hours I can turn anyone who reads Corrente into a well informed person on the subject of neoconservatism, with a strong tutorial on one branch of Islamic radicalism thrown in for good measure, if they'll take my advice and watch the three-part 2004 Adam Curtis documentary series, "The Power of Nightmares," which appeared on BBC television at the time of the height of neo-conservative power in America.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

iirc. It's been a few years since I've seen it and I'd like to watch it again, now that I know more about how how this politics stuff works (thank you, correntewire!). And thanks for the links, CM!

Submitted by lambert on

Are there transcripts on the Adam Curtis material?

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

I'll look around for them. Unfortunately, the documentary is no longer available via some old links I had for them. I hope that's not where the transcripts were. However, pedagogically speaking, you lose a lot from the explanations without the video.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

Another meme that I think might spread is Hudson's observation that "an economic system without a moral goal is like a highway system not designed to connect cities but rather just wander around totally randomly." (terrible paraphrase of the mighty Hudson's actual words)

I think even oBots should be able to get that.

Oh, and I have a question! What's the deal with zero hedge? People have directed me there before, but my spidey sense smelled libertarian. Is my spidey sense malfunctioning there?

Also, at some point we all need to get each other's email addresses (maybe via Lambert for those who want to connect?) I have a plan involving coordination for Winning The Internet when it comes to changing the opinions about the Dems and their true objectives. But...we'll have to be sneaky. But that's for a later date.

Oh, and another question! Can we cuss here?

Submitted by lambert on

... for awhile, especially at the books link.

Corrente has been around since 2003, and we have an awesome back catalog. And there has been a ton of messaging work done; most of us are very experienced at it. It's one of the major on-going themes. It's very hard work, though.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

And I THINK the fact that I found my way here is evidence that yáll are pretty darn good at it.

Those who recognize me from FDL know I was on OWS like white on rice. Like, I was promoting it there before anyone else, irrc. Somebody somewhere was figuring out how to communicate with the economically illiterates like me.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

I REALLY think Medicare has negative associations in the minds of 50% or more of the sorts of people we want to educate.

"Free at the point of need healthcare" seems better to me.

Yeah, the NHS is under attack and getting privatized/voucherized. But folks who know about that have already picked a moral side on that. (And most UKers are extremely pissed off about it, AFAIK.)

Also, Canada and Australia.

Submitted by jawbone on

a program to worry about. First, they try to use it to beat Dems, then they intro legislation to try to cut it or ruin it.

But, for you, who are the people who are against Medicare?

I know none, by the way. Except for a few who think doctors are reimbursed enough.

On my 65th birthday, getting Medicare was the best birthday present I ever got.

athena1's picture
Submitted by athena1 on

...but for young people afraid of getting older, it has a "eeww...that's for OLD people" feel to it.

European socialized medicine feels all exotic and cool.

Also, Medicare really is part of our hypothetical "budget problem". People who read Dean Baker will know all about that.

It would be interesting to run a cheap focus group over at amazon mechanical turk on this. (It's easy to put up surveys on the cheap over there.)