Right Wing Populism: 40 years in the making
The rich have been fighting working people for generations. Their industrial complex is almost complete.
Imagine a worker-backed political movement seeking to
- Defund their own retirement
- Slash their wages and eliminate overtime pay
- Defend the rights of corporations
- Decrease their personal job security
- Make their own healthcare intentionally more expensive
- Make college unaffordable to their own children
- Increase pollution in their community
- Subsidize the rich
- Decrease protection against price-gouging
- Eliminate their rights in the workplace
It wouldn’t work. Or would it?
Sure there’s clever propaganda such as claiming after increases in workplace productivity, distributing some of the gains to the workers through higher wages instead of the owners through higher salaries would somehow be something different and increase prices.
This makes workers fight to guarantee monetary gains from automation always go upwards and never to themselves.
These crafty manipulations and manufactured stories exist across the board. OK fine.
But even if you could pull the wool over some workers eyes temporarily surely they’d connect the dots or someone would do it for them.
Or maybe not … here’s a plan!
Create the right division
Even if you convinced some workers, others would dissuade them, correctly claiming it’s a ploy by the rich to make workers fight for their own impoverishment.
Unless that is, discrediting truth-tellers is built-in. If the rich could convince the workers those who fight on behalf of them are in fact the enemy, then their institutions and struggles would be seen as anti-labor. Additionally, any revelation of the hustle would be dismissed as a lie.
For instance, name anti-labor laws stripping workers of their rights as “right-to-work”. Workers rights are then against the right-to-work while those for right-to-work they must be for, um, workers rights too?!
Oh, how very clever naming can be.
Put forth the right people
There’s still problems. If this manufactured movement puts the wrong people up for office, they could eventually fight for workers rights since they were duped into believing that was the point.
By electing the rich with long track records of being abrasive to workers rights you ensure the representatives won’t go against their class and fight on behalf of the workers.
Have the right institutions
There’s still a problem because the news media may point out the businessman-turned-politicians fought against workers and is praised by the fellow rich for proactively dismantling the middle class.
Establish a propaganda outfit explicitly dedicated to disseminating the lies that fooled people in the first place and say it is the media. You could even claim it’s fair and balanced.
Because this will obviously be talked about as a public relations arm of the rich and not an actual news source, it has to discredit the actual media as untrustworthy or somehow biased with the enemy.
The people in the movement will consume the propaganda believing it is the news and the view that they are consuming propaganda as the falsehood.
Take the right strategy
Attack anyone who points out the fundamental issues with the movement. If the public trusts the institution of the discloser, then attack the institution. If it’s a University or a science foundation, fight to defund it and slander it as biased.
Instead, put forth think-tanks which strategize how to lie to workers and convince them to voluntarily and enthusiastically enslave themselves.
To make this a palatable alternative, characterize the previous gains made against the workers as the failed strategy of an opposition party. Make it look like those who fought for a higher standard of living and worker solidarity were affiliated with the party who fought for a lower standard of living through outsourcing and worker fragmentation through de-industrialization. Claim they are the same thing.
Any term used to describe the rich in unfavorable terms, take it and describe the enemy. The rich aren’t the powerful elite, no — it is those who have been arrested fighting for human rights; they are the powerful elite. It isn’t the trillion dollar oil companies using climate denial to perpetuate their business interests — no it is the $60k a year climate scientist who has the business interest.
The new hustle
After the instrumentation of the policy, when the hoodwinked people clearly see their own lives in even more dispair, because ripping them off was always the primary goal, the cause of their plight is already built in.
It’s the enemy of course! The reason thing didn’t work out wasn’t because it’s all a giant con and they are being hustled — no, it’s the pesky people claiming it’s a scam; they are to blame. If they only went away and let the goals of the propaganda get instrumented more quickly, the worker would come out ahead!
It’s like claiming “no, this cigarette cures cancer, However, you must smoke 6 packs a day! What? You smoked only 2 and got cancer? Well there’s your problem!”
It’s just a dream
This probably wouldn’t work. Think of all the infrastructure needed! You’d need well-funded think tanks, propagandists in every field, a strong media presence on AM radio, cable news, and the internet. Then you’d need some well-known businessmen who are also celebrities to run the thing.
You’d need to successfully position a major political party as representing syndicalist and anarchist workers’ struggles but in practice, has the same destructive and debilitating economic policies that impoverish the majority. Then you’d need to somehow convince that you are not them, while at the same time advocating for the same things with different language.
Oh man that sounds like a lot of work! It would take probably like 40 years to start winning elections — and even then, there’s probably still a few holes to plug up.
But hey, it’s worth a try. To hell with the people, right?