Wednesday, May 19, 2004
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The Nation celebrates capitalism in spite of itself
Marc Cooper's essay in The Nation on Las Vegas takes the requisite number of poshots at the American variety of capitalism. That said, it's impossible for Cooper to hide his sneaking admiration for the place. Some highlights:
UPDATE: Megan McArdle points out that New York can rival Vegas in the area of conspicuous consumption.posted by Dan on 05.19.04 at 01:37 PM
Cooper wrote: "It's one of the few totally honest interludes you can have in modern America. All the pretense, all the sentimentality, the euphemisms, hypocrisies, come-ons, loss leaders, warranties and guarantees, all the fairy tales are out the window. You're out of money? OK, good--now get lost."
That's eerily similar, I think, to the way things would be if the Nation magazine were able to install in the U.S. the communist government of its most sincere dreams. Its editors would quit pretending that they hate unequal income distribution, that they love justice for the little guy, that they believe in constitutional government and guarantees of free speech... and simply announce, "Okay ladies and gents, the party is over. The train for the Gulag leaves in five minutes. Be on it."
Until then, the Nation has to guess at what 'normal' is and try and pretend to be that way.
posted by: Lee Dise on 05.19.04 at 01:37 PM [permalink]
LD, playing the 'they're still Stalinists underneath' is an turned-around version of Godwin's Law.posted by: The Dark Avenger on 05.19.04 at 01:37 PM [permalink]
If you say so, DA. But as I recall, there was actually a debate in the Nation as recently as a dozen years ago between Hitchens and Cockburn, about whether Stalin was really so bad.
In the ideal world of the leftists, people would be free, and would freely choose to adhere to their prescriptions for a better world. That hasn't happened yet, though. Liberals respond to the people's recalcitrance by using the coercive power of the state while wringing their hands at the necessity to do so. The only difference is that communists don't blanch at necessity.posted by: Lee Dise on 05.19.04 at 01:37 PM [permalink]
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