In the frenetic ideological run up to the House vote on healthcare reform this weekend, the rhetoric from the Right can only be characterized as hysterical. The terror of “Armageddon,” the “destruction of the nation,” and warnings of socialism and communism resonated on Right-wing talk radio and television. For their part, mainstream corporate Democrats took pot shots at critics from Left for being naïve and impractical.
In their venomous diatribes against healthcare reform, capitalist apologists repeatedly invoked our system’s and our nation’s long overdue need for a “market correction.” In their worldview, it has been unions, working people, and other ‘less worthy’ members of our society who have been living high on the hog and taking our country down the toilet. The notion of granting such people any measure of relief is abhorrent to their psyches. But no mention of the excesses of Wall Street is made.
Beyond their attacks on those below, Right-wing ideologues – including prominent talk radio personalities – seem to blur the spheres of public and private wealth and power. When confronted with the fact that the healthcare reform package being passed will benefit the insurance and pharmaceutical companies, they reply that all this means is that those companies will become administrators of “Obamacare’s socialized medicine.” Exactly. But much is lost in the semantics.
The power of the successful ideological reification of the market is astounding! When people are able to more easily accept the notion of “market corrections” and allowing their society to be sacrificed at the altar to protect the integrity of an ideology – to their own detriment – it is clear that we have “drunk the Kool-Aid.”
But let’s get our semantics straight: there is no “creeping socialism” at work here. A power elite that organizes the state on corporatist principles and values, and that consummates the marriage between corporations and the state is called, fascism. As it stands now, it is clear that corporate interests will prevail whatever the outcome of this political theater is. It is incumbent on us to continue to analyze, expose, and act to combat such fascist forces.