Monday, November 13, 2006
Ozymandias Had Nothing On The Neocons
In order to understand America today, one must remember that nearly three decades ago, the wealthy conservatives in this country, led by former Nixon cabinet member William Simon, set out to literally create their own reality and force the rest of us to live in it. These very expensive decades-long efforts have included not just the buying off or buying up of large sections of the media (especially radio), but also attempts to remake the academic and scientific worlds in their own image. As Ron Suskind notes, this effort to deny the existence of objective reality led to the breathtaking arrogance and ignorance of the Bush Junta, an arrogance and ignorance affordable only to those cocooned by vast piles of money:
"In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency. The aide said that guys like me were 'in what we call the reality-based community,' which he defined as people who 'believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. 'That's not the way the world really works anymore,' he continued. 'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.'"This was as the Bushies were planning to act on the advice of a convicted grifter, Ahmad Chalabi, and invade Iraq, fully expecting to find flowers, candy and WMD. We all know how that turned out.
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