Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Dene Moore reports on Enbridge's efforts to turn the Northern Gateway pipeline review process into an inquisition against critics. But I'll point out that thanks to the Harper Cons, that strategy is even more insidious than it seems at first glance: because of inflexible timelines the Cons have deliberately built into review processes, any time Enbridge can waste on such side issues only raises the likelihood of the project receiving approval by default.

- Meanwhile, Carol Linnitt compares the sources of funding and support for critics and proponents of the Gateway pipeline - and not surprisingly, finds that the oil sector is where we should have some concern about foreign control. And Tim Groves discusses how the oil industry has been in cahoots with Canada's security apparatus to coordinate against critics.

- Bruce Cheadle reports on the Cons' latest ad spending revelations - with tens of millions of dollars being poured into a new ad blitz even as the programs being promoted have receded in the rear-view mirror.

- Finally, Purple Library Guy nicely highlights some of the inherent contradictions in right-wing ideology:
Charities do a pathetically bad job taking care of the poor compared to government programs; research on this is so clear as to reach confidence levels typical of physics rather than sociology. But my question is, how can they believe all those things at the same time? If welfare is bad for the recipients because they become dependent on it, then surely charity is also bad for the recipients because they become dependent on it. If those charities were actually better at taking care of the poor than the government would be, that would just make it worse.
The right also believes the government shouldn't create jobs and that there needs to be enough structural employment to encourage labour force "flexibility" (i.e. settling for low wages and crappy working conditions for fear of not having a job). Admittedly they don't often tell the voters about that last bit, it's more something they talk about in elite business and economics publications. At the same time they believe that if anyone doesn't have a job, or their job doesn't pay enough to live on, it is their own fault for not having more initiative and self-reliance (see above about welfare). Again, I don't see how you can have both these beliefs in one ideology; if you're deliberately arranging for a certain level of unemployment then you are making sure that a certain percentage of people, no matter how much initiative or self-reliance they may have, won't have jobs. Turning around and blaming the victims is vicious and hypocritical of course, but it's also a logical contradiction. Both facets of right wing belief cannot be true.

So on this as on so many other issues, the right is not just factually wrong (although it is) and not just deliberately engineered to benefit the few at the expense of the many (although it's that too). It's impossible, a system of ideas that contradicts itself from the get-go. It's not just that the Right isn't right. The Right cannot be right. It would have to abandon some of its beliefs before there was even a point to testing whether the remainder were accurate.

No comments:

Post a Comment