Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Paranoia on Parade, audio version with commentary

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I earlier blogged Dave Troy’s long article on the history of right-wing paranoia and how it has affected politics in the US. He now has a three-part audio version, with commentary. At that second link, Troy writes:

For the last several months, I’ve been working on a story for publication in the Washington Spectator about the history of the “goldbug” movement in the United States from the New Deal to today. That story“Paranoia on Parade: How Goldbugs, Libertarians and Religious Extremists Brought America to the Brink” was published this week as a lead feature, along with a 3-part podcast series that features the story along with extra commentary.

In the words of Washington Spectator editor Hamilton Fish:

Dave Troy’s masterful essay Paranoia on Parade highlights our May-June issue. Against the backdrop of the January 6 Committee hearings, Troy traces the roots of the insurrection to the wealthy industrialists, oil barons and tech entrepreneurs and whose century-long crusade to dismantle the government and assert control over the currency wound up on the Capitol steps.

Opponents of the New Deal and leaders of the American business community looked to European fascism for models that would enable them to thwart social democracy and the democratization of America. They recruited aggrieved veterans, conservative Christians, anti-communists, anti-Semites and white nationalists to their cause, one that ultimately failed to excite a nation in thrall to Roosevelt’s program.

After WW I, industrialists called for the gold standard, which would protect their wealth from the corrosive effects of inflation and prevent governmental expansion at a time of national economic crisis; right-wing business and political interests aligned in the John Birch Society; in Texas the Hunt family hoarded silver, and later assorted ex-military and extreme right-wing fortune hunters chased rumors of Filipino gold; and the allure of the new world of crypto caused a stir in a culture gone mad for anything digital. The protagonists all shared the goal of easing the currency out from under government oversight and control, and the whole paranoid circus, their disciples, descendants and derivatives, in one guise or another, converged on Washington on January 6.

This longform piece is, I think, the most important thing I’ve ever written. It is my attempt to make sense of what’s gotten us here, through the lens of paranoid politics — in the sense of the term coined by Richard Hofstadter in his landmark 1964 essay “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”—covering 1933–2022.

It’s a wild story, covering everything from goldbugs, the “I AM” cult, to Birchers, QAnon, cryptocurrency, and January 6th — and importantly, asserts they are all expressions of a single unified reactionary phenomenon. . .

Continue reading. The links to the audio version are found at the link.

Written by Leisureguy

29 June 2022 at 10:02 pm

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