Re: [sixties-l] Gore v. Bush

From: Ted Morgan (
Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 19:58:13 CUT

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    I would dispute one point in Scott's comment:

    > The conclusion we reached was that Nixon represented a deep tendency
    > within the American electorate to drift rightward, in favor of
    > unrestrained capitalism (and potentially fascism) and away from
    > participatory/direct democracy. Remember Kevin Phillips' book, "The
    > Emerging Republican Majority"?

    I think you'd have to document that this tendency lies "within the American
    electorate" as opposed to being manipulated by a concerted, heavily-funded propaganda
    campaign that really goes way back (cf. Red Scares, Cold War, etc.) through Nixon's
    "secret Plan for Peace" (and an elite that wanted by that point to get out of Vietnam
    for economic & global reasons) through the post-60s "selling of the market" and
    "government-bashing" anticipated (and lobbied for) by the Trilateral Commission and
    followed up on by one corporate foundation after another in the 1970s & 1980s (cf.
    Olin, Scaife, Heritage, etc.). And opposed to this, see the public opinion polls cited
    in Ferguson & Rogers "Right Turn" that show that outside, perhaps of crime (and some
    on welfare), public opinion was miles from the direction the "Reagan Revolution" was
    headed --i.e., it, too, was an elite-generated phenomenon. A good book on this is
    Alex Carey's "Taking the Risk out of Democracy:Propaganda in The United States &
    Australia," (U.Ill.) and Elizabeth Fones-Wolff, "Selling Free Enterprise: The Business
    Assault on Labor & Liberalism, 1945-1960." [I've also written a piece on this re. the
    role of 60s-bashing in this elite retrenchment process.]

    In short, I tend to see this phenomenon as much more "top-down" than Scott's comment

    Ted Morgan

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