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  • Patca’s Law

    Posted by Shannon Love on August 12th, 2007 (All posts by )

    Commentator PatCA said the following in a comment on Ann Althouse’s blog.

    In today’s world, everyone will get their “15 minutes” of victimhood…

    I vote we christen this Patca’s Law (suggested pronunciation pat-ka).

    You know you’re living in a wealthy and compassionate society when people compete over who gets to claim the most victimization.

    —-
    Related post: Angie’s Law

     

    10 Responses to “Patca’s Law”

    1. joseph hill Says:

      the a5 minutes of fame thing was dumb when Andy said it and now it is a tiresome cliche.

    2. Oliver Suess-Barnkey Says:

      One measure of the cultural triumph of American liberalism is that, dating from Reagan, U.S. conservatives enthusiastically–if absurdly–began to celebrate their victimhood as a source of political power.
      Reagan’s team artfully framed their movement as one of rebellion against the establishment, whereas conservatives had traditionally worshipped the establishment as the fount of social stability, propriety, correct religion and correct economics. (Conservatives still are by, of and for the establishment, but for marketing purposes, they choose to brand themselves as rebels.)
      It has become an article of faith among American conservatives that the U.S. “mainstream” media–increasingly dominated by right-wing owners–somehow skews liberal. Rightwing Christians routinely bellyache when they’re made fun of in films and TV comedies and conservative white males reflexively assert that they’re oppressed by affirmative action or some other government plot to help women and ethnic minorities.
      Pre-Reagan conservatives would have seen all this bellyaching as extremely unbecoming to the movement. Their idea was that because America is a free country–perhaps the freest–with a free market in news media, any bias would be corrected by the marketplace.
      As for women and ethnic minorities getting a leg up, that doesn’t change the ability of everyone else to shape their own fate. The Goldwater conservatives would want nothing to do with today’s crybaby neocons and their ilk.

    3. Patca Says:

      Hey, hi Shannon. Thanks for the mention. I haven’t visited here in a while, think I’ll stick around and catch up!

    4. Shannon Love Says:

      Oliver Suess-Barnkey,

      Reagan’s team artfully framed their movement as one of rebellion against the establishment, whereas conservatives had traditionally worshipped the establishment as the fount of social stability, propriety, correct religion and correct economics.

      Actually. this is merely a leftist stereotype generated by the American-Left’s thoughtless aping of the European Left. In truth, American conservatives, especially social conservatives, have always viewed themselves as outsiders battling against the corrupting influences the big cities, big commerce and big media. Its important to note that from 1792-1968, the Democratic party was the socially conservative party in America.

      It has become an article of faith among American conservatives that the U.S. “mainstream” media–increasingly dominated by right-wing owners–somehow skews liberal.

      Its also an article of faith among everyone who has studied media biases using objective measures. It was far more true in the 1970’s than today. Back then every newspaper in the country synchronized their headlines on national issues with the New York Times. There were only four broadcast news programs, each one controlled by self-identified Leftist.

      Their idea was that because America is a free country–perhaps the freest–with a free market in news media, any bias would be corrected by the marketplace.

      Except a free market did not exist for broadcast media. The Federal government granted exclusive broadcast rights to specific entities by fiat. There could never be any free-market counterbalance to Leftist media as long as the government prevented free-market access to the major media format of the era. When cable became a competing technology (with unregulated content) with broadcast in 1980, and when the government stopped censoring radio under the “Fairness Doctrine”, we did see a free-market correction, one that continues to this day.

      Pre-Reagan conservatives would have seen all this bellyaching as extremely unbecoming to the movement

      Except that every political group in the history of democracy has portrayed themselves either as victims or as representing victims.

      Remember, the power of the state is nothing but the power to kill. Any law, no matter how trivial is backed by the credible threat of lethal force. In order to justify using the positive power of the state, one must make a case that someone is so victimized that it justifies the use of force to rectify the injustice. The poor think themselves victimized by the rich and the rich think themselves victimized by the majority. The rationalizations never end.

      As for women and ethnic minorities getting a leg up, that doesn’t change the ability of everyone else to shape their own fate.

      And if any social or fiscal conservative had ever claimed such a thing, you might have a point.

      Frankly, it seems like all your perceptions of American political life are lifted straight out of 19th century Europe. Leftist have long since ceased to be the plucky rebels against aristocracy and capitalism. Now they represent elements of the establishment in their own right.

    5. Oliver Suess-Barnkey Says:

      Shannon writes:
      “American conservatives, especially social conservatives, have always viewed themselves as outsiders battling against the corrupting influences the big cities, big commerce and big media.”

      Yes, right-wing populism has always existed. But neither major political party could or did seek to exploit it as a key pillar of power until Reagan. Liberals never liked the nativism that went along with right-wing populism and traditional conservatives have always been primarily interested in an benefited from stability and the status quo, even.
      Big commerce and big media get that way only because they work harder and smarter. The suggestion that conservatives should begrudge or fear that success is, as I said, evidence that victimology has been adopted by many Americans who now label themselves as conservative.
      Conservatives traditionally have been owners of big media, not critics of it and have managed and owned companies, including big ones, and have not been critics of the “corruption of big commerce.”

      Shannon writes:
      “Its important to note that from 1792-1968, the Democratic party was the socially conservative party in America.”

      Regardless of which party they chose, pre-Reagan conservatives naturally considered themselves as allies of success in a free-market society, including corporations and the news media. Liberals were the ones challenging the status quo and questioning the fairness of economic domination by the few.
      Reagan’s policies drove ideological bifurcation by using wedge cultural issues such as religion and abortion to lure away low-income Americans attracted to the Democrat’s pro-union policies. From there, the divide widened as right-wing populists and born-again Christians supplanted the Goldwater-led conservative movement that relied more heavily on libertarian ideas.
      This is the change Reagan brought to the Republican party and Bush 43 deepened it and widened it. It’s no surprise that Goldwater’s on record opposing Bush 43 on the war, gays and other key issues…

    6. Shannon Love Says:

      Oliver Suess-Barnkey,

      You seem to have very elastic and imprecise definitions of conservative and liberal. There is no major group of people who are “conservative” on most issues and no major group of people who are “liberal” on most issues. Political parties win by stitching together ad hoc coalitions of voters who support them on most things. Parties lose when they alienate to many voters.

      Conservative and Liberal, even as synonyms of right and left, don’t map onto political parties. For example, the Republican party during the Civil War era, conservative or liberal? Rightwing or Leftwing? Today, the Democratic party is the most conservative party on all but a tiny handful of minor social issues. On every other issue, they seek to maintain the status quo or return to status quo that existed prior to 1980. They seek to expand government power into every aspect of life except sex. . On the other hand, Republicans have tried to introduce novel new solutions for everything from social security to education. On every issue, except sex, they have sought to decrease the role of government and maximize personal freedom. So which party, exactly is the modern day “liberals?”

      You seem to automatically equate wealthy with conservative although that has never been true and is certainly not true today. Neither is big business of all kinds allied with a free-maket ideology. In fact, big business likes big government and big government likes big business. The two feed off one another. Neither likes the instability that a true free-market introduces. Look at France. France has a big government philosophy that justifies itself in large part by claiming to stick it to big business. Yet, of the 30 largest French corporation in 1970, all still exist as major corporations today. In American 20 of the top 30 companies today didn’t even exist in 1970. Clearly, its better to be a big corporation in a dirigist state than in a more free-market one.

      Since the 1930’s, the American Left in general and the Democrats in particular have walked hand-hand with big business. Most of the factors that Democrats tout as sticking it to big business actually protect big business from competition by creating significant barriers to entry.

      Conservatives traditionally have been owners of big media…

      If by Conservatives you mean the Wealthy, then you are technically correct. After all, it is very difficult to for a poor person to own a “big” anything. If you intend conservative to mean, holding traditional personal values or fostering a free-market then the answer is a definite “no.”

      The vital thing you miss is that the major media of the 20th century was broadcast media and no free-market existed in broadcast media from the mid-1920’s to the present day. The government choses who can and cannot broadcast on the nationalize airwaves. Federal law prohibits owners of broadcast media from interfering in editorial decisions.

      The day of wealthy people promulgating their ideas via the media died the end of the supremacy of newspapers. Broadcast journalist became nothing more than a very small group of unaccountable people who had a government enforced monopoly on the primary means of communications. Their biases slowly pulled the medium to Left and newspapers were pulled along in their wake.

      Reagan’s policies drove ideological bifurcation by using wedge cultural issues such as religion and abortion to lure away low-income Americans attracted to the Democrat’s pro-union policies.

      Reagan didn’t do squat. All he did was stand still while the Democrats charged past over a cliff. The Democrats alienated large sections of the electorate by using non-democratic means to force massive social change. Prior to the sixties, the Democrats reflected and respected the conservative social values of the poor and middle class. It the 60’s, they pissed all over the sensibilities of everyone who wasn’t a arrogant, highly educated, upper income, urban dweller. All Reagan had to say was, “I didn’t leave the Democratic party. the Democratic party left me.” and it resonated.

      The highly centralized mass media played a key role in the alienation. Diversity in viewpoints was completely lost in the era of 1945-1985. People turned on the news and never saw anyone asking the questions they wanted asked. They knew the news was biases because they watched the news. When Reagan said that the media tilted strongly to the Left people who were not of the same subculture as journalist immediately knew it to be true.

      It is simply elitist arrogance to believe that millions of Americans changed the way they voted just because of some clever political marketing. The Democrats failed in most policy areas and the people knew it. That is why they have never recovered the power they wielding for 50 years prior to 1980.

    7. Tweed Says:

      “Today, the Democratic party is the most conservative party on all but a tiny handful of minor social issues. On every other issue, they seek to maintain the status quo or return to status quo that existed prior to 1980.”

      Perhaps Oliver’s comments would make more sense to you if where he wrote “conservative,” you read “right-wing.”

      To be sure, most people hold a mix of political views. But you, and most other Americans, can still meaningfully speak of liberal and conservative ways of thinking.

      And you are mistaken to suggest that the Republicans favor small government on everything but sex. The very biggest government program of all–by a large margin–is the Department of Defense, and the Republicans favor it in spades, along with the idea that the U.S. government can and should turn third world dictatorships into democracies at the point of a gun.

      Republicans have aggresively pursued the expansion of government power to surveil ordinary Americans, including measures to eavesdrop on telephone conversations and email.

      Republicans have at the same time supported massive socialist subsidies to tobacco farmers and other agribusinesses, with and without support of Democrats.

      Republicans, in particular the Bush administration, has strengthened the FCC’s restrictions on what can be said and or shown on television and radio. (though you may consider that part of the GOP’s “sex” fetish.)

      Objectively, it’s obvious that Republicans favor strong central government every bit as much as Democrats do. The differences is in what they want government to do. Democrats want the government to level the economic playing field. Republicans want the government to enforce cultural conformity and religion and engineer social change at home and abroad by increasing punishment.

    8. Jonathan Says:

      Tweed, aren’t you mislabeling ideas in the same way you say Shannon is? Most of the policies you object to are idiosyncratic Bush administration policies rather than being inherently Republican or conservative. Indeed many Republicans and conservatives have objected to Bush’s policies as being pro-big govt.

    9. Shannon Love Says:

      Tweed,

      Objectively, it’s obvious that Republicans favor strong central government every bit as much as Democrats do

      Time precludes me from answering in detail but perhaps I can sum up my argument with one question: Can you think of one policy area that doesn’t touch on sex that the Democrats advocate letting individuals have more decisions making power?

      I honestly cannot think of one. It’s weird when you think about it. I must have missed something.

    10. Realty Says:

      Yes, Rightwing Christians routinely bellyache when they’re made fun of in films and TV comedies and conservative white males reflexively assert that they’re oppressed by affirmative action or some other government plot to help women and ethnic minorities.