(Below is a comment I made on Brad DeLong’s site, considerably revised).
I guess I’ll go back to pointing out, as I haven’t for awhile, that we’ve been in let’s-pretend never-never land for several years now. An effective majority of Americans have renounced analytic thought.
As a leftist I used to be the anti-economist in most groups, arguing against market-worship, but now conservative cornucopians (Lomborg’s own self-description) are the ones rejecting economic analysis. Case in point, Luskin’s most recent Krugman-bash).
Ultimately, when the contradictions become impossible to ignore, things have to get really ugly. I think that the Bush core constituency’s uncritical “Will to Believe”, and their absolute personal trust in one man, are totalitarian without any exaggeration. We’re now in the grace period when totalitarian methods aren’t yet necessary (probably toward the end of it), but there has to be a day of reckoning sometime. And a lot of the Armageddon neo-Confederate WW-IV free-market absolutists are looking forward to the day when they can bash heads.
Marxists tell me that this is all a masterful, rationally-planned scheme, but my feeling is that a minority within the monied class has been swept up by anger and ideological madness, and that most of the rich aren’t thinking except in terms of short-term advantage. Scaife, Moon, the Koch brothers, and Murdoch aren’t the richest Americans, but they’re by far the most influential politically because they dish out the money. Two of the five of them, are probably mentally ill, and the other three are nasty pieces of work, but Americans are not bothered by that.
I have to wonder about the seemingly-rational people who are playing along for the money, and even more so about the relatively-intelligent unpaid conservatives and moderates, seem to be entirely oblivious to what’s actually happening. They are the people responsible for reelecting Bush, and when they figure out what they did, there won’t be much that they can do.