March 20, 2009

Corporatist Language

Filed under: Corporatism — Tags: , , — Russ @ 5:06 am
I used to be confused about the cult expressing itself in terms like “best and brightest”, “talent”, “innovation” being used in ways that clearly had no relation to the English language.

This was obviously an Orwellian ideological language, but it took me awhile to figure out that the key is that all these terms are being used in a corporatist, not even a capitalist, sense.

Therefore, whereas innovation normally refers to creating some new real value, and talent refers to innate ability at some real endeavor, here innovation refers only to finding new ways to seek and collect rent, the talent referred to is that of a con man, and the pivotal figures are the lobbyist, the lawyer, the PR flack, the captured regulator, the corrupt politician.

I don’t doubt they’ve been so immersed in this ideology for so long they have come to completely believe in it, and are incapable of seeing anything from any other perspective.

This also goes to the inability of this administration to look at things any other way. Whether one’s gut response to these AIG bonuses was, “this is unconscionable, these contracts are on their face invalid, let’s figure out how to fix this, but fix it we must and shall”, as opposed to “contracts are sacred, and we can’t do anything about it”, is clearly a matter of ideology and political will.

(By now strict legalities have nothing to do with the matter.)

That’s why the exemplary adminstration response was Summers blathering about the “rule of law”, how we can’t “abrogate” and so on. This is because he’s a hard-core ideological warrior for corporatism and has dedicated his life to enabling looting operations like this one.

He may deplore, on a tactical level, the brazen shoddiness of this particular extraction. But he cherishes this basic outcome. So of course he’s going to claim it’s a legal fait accompli, when it is in fact no such thing.