Jacob Weisberg on Uppity Old Anarchists

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According to Jacob Weisberg of Slate (WaPo) and Newsweek (ex-WaPo): “The Tea Party movement has two defining traits: status anxiety and anarchism…. [It’s] a movement predominated by middle-class, middle-aged white men angry about the expansion of government and hostile to societal change.” Weisberg, need I mention, is a middle-class, middle-aged white man angry about any opposition to the expansion of government, and hostile to societal change not directed from the top. Oh, and no intellectual important in the current order is anxious about losing his status.

“What’s new and most distinctive about the Tea Party is its streak of anarchism—its antagonism toward any authority, its belligerent style of self-expression, and its lack of any coherent program or alternative to the policies it condemns.” What is it with these people, who refuse to shut up, respect their betters, and study public policy as framed, perhaps, by the Washington Post?

“In this sense, you might think of the Tea Party as the Right’s version of the 1960s New Left. It’s an unorganized and unorganizable community of people coming together to assert their individualism and subvert the established order. [Darn right!] But where the New Left was young and looked forward to a new Aquarian age [and were the commie children of the rich], the Tea Party is old and looks backward to a capitalist-constitutionalist paradise that, needless to say, never existed.”

Darn those old people. And while America was far more capitalist than it is now, and desperately needs the laissez-faire it never had, the constitution was always a centralizing coup against the libertarian articles of confederation, and certainly nothing to be nostalgic about. Even the bill of rights is a weak reed. But not only are old people getting uppity, they are bringing up old ideas like nullification,  “settled” in 1819(!), and disrespecting the power elite. “This finds expression in hostility toward a variety of elites: the ‘liberal’ media, ‘career’ politicians, ‘so-called’ experts, and sometimes even the hoariest of populist targets, Wall Street bankers.” How dare they!

Read the whole hilarious article. Or it would be hilarious if it weren’t for the tinge of state-psychobabble: opponents of the regime aren’t just wrong. They’re mentally disturbed. Perhaps they need treatment. As the corporatist US becomes more of a police state, such sentiments are decidedly unfunny.

12:24 pm on September 19, 2010