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The enormous hidden costs to society of 'right-wing' political governance

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This page last updated on or about 6-4-05
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This is a draft. Please contact me with any factual errors or inaccuracies found, so that I may address them. Thank you.

There's growing evidence that so-called 'right-wing' politics is surprisingly hazardous and costly to society virtually across-the-board.

But what exactly do people mean when they refer to a group or policy as being 'liberal'? Or 'right-wing'? Well, 'liberal' is a common label applied to 'leftist' politics, while political conservatism is generally regarded as being to the 'right' or 'right-wing' in such thought.

To get a better idea of where such groups stand on the issues let's examine the dictionary definitions of "liberal" and "conservative":

As of 10-7-03 the primary (first) internet-based dictionary definition of conservative indicated basically a bias in favor of tradition, and opposition to change, while for liberal is given the description of a philosophy opposed to bigotry, dogma, or intolerance, and in favor of reform and progress.

From the definitions above, it would appear that mainstream conservative thought and policies would be more prone towards preserving the status quo (keeping the wealthy rich and powerful, and everyone else much less so), while liberal efforts would be more likely to do the opposite: seek changes for the better instead, for the majority of folks who are not wealthy-- and let the tiny minority who are truly rich fend for themselves.

But perhaps it would be beneficial at this point to define "rich", as intended for use in this document.

For the definition of rich or wealthy has been much muddied by political propaganda and even some questionable fudging of figures by certain government agencies in recent history.

So just how much money are we talking about here, when discussing the truly wealthy? (CLICK HERE)

Of course, political thought is much like the colors of the rainbow: there's a wide spectrum possible, with many shades existing in-between the most recognizable hues. Thus, there can be niches of social conservatives and fiscal conservatives, as well as fiscal liberals and social liberals. There can also be conservative, moderate, and liberal democrats, as well as liberal, moderate, and radical conservatives. Such nuances can often better describe a particular individual politician or voter, than the simple labels of conservative or liberal themselves.

Here however, for clarity's sake, I will limit myself to discussion of just the two foremost brands of modern political thought in America: conservative (right-wing) and liberal (left-wing) parties, and their typical differences in policies and goals, and how these may affect society. In the US the right usually label themselves as Republicans, and the left as Democrats.

I'll not delve much into the politics of more primitive societies, such as non-democracies, like the Iraq and North Korea of early 2003, or the defunct Soviet Union and Nazi Germany of decades past.

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Before we examine the likely damages right-wing governance wreaks upon a nation, let us first take a look at the possible advantages and benefits of right-wing politics on same.

So what are some possible advantages of right-wing political governance? (CLICK HERE)

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Now let us summarize a few of the benefits that more liberal policies brought America during the 20th century:

Women gained the right to vote; Social Security and Medicare were created; minorities got more civil rights protections, and much, much more.

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Unfortunately, America's conservatives have gradually gained more and more influence over the country and its policies over past decades...

...resulting in even many Democratic politicians of the 1990s and early 21st century essentially acting like moderate or liberal Republicans themselves, where crucial votes and decisions were concerned. Partly this transition seemed due to the virtual takeover of the mainstream US media by conservatives, as well as the increasing election campaign funding dependence of politicians from both major parties upon wealthy donors. The ever narrowing difference on the issues between many Democratic and Republican politicians also contributed to the ambivalence on the part of many Democratic and Independent voters in recent elections (like those of 2000 and 2002), resulting in many conservative victories at the polls.

But just how powerful is the media anyway, in influencing public opinion and behavior?

Could it really be possible for a rich minority to seize control of a nation's mainstream news and entertainment media, and thereby eventually the minds of a nation's populace as well?

Unfortunately, it appears not only possible, but likely. Keep in mind that even decades past a high priority for conquerers (such as invading armies) was often seizure of major TV and radio broadcast stations, in order to minimize resistance among the citizenry under seige. Today, large corporations are transforming the art of persuasion and propaganda into an actual science, thereby making it ever easier to part consumers from their money. The same techniques may be used to affect political perspectives as well.

As big corporate business has been a major, perhaps primary constituency of US Republicans for nearly 90 years, it's only natural that the slick marketing and advertising techniques nurtured in corporate labs would be most often put to use in media towards aiding right-wing causes, and defeating more liberal policies. The deep pockets of corporate campaign contributors also helps the effectiveness of such techniques.

Finally, by 2002 (with an added boost from a fortuitous and spectacular terrorist attack) American Republicans once again may have reached a pinnacle of power unseen since their economic debacle of the 1920s, which helped bring about the Great Depression of the thirties for America and the world.

By declaring that America was 'at war' after the 9-11-01 terrorist attacks (and classifying the conflict as a 'new kind of war', likely to last indefinitely), the Republicans, apparently in de facto control of all three branches of US government after 2002, tightened their grip still more, with outright censorship and ramping up of both propaganda and secrecy both domestically and internationally, as well as reducing accountability for themselves and their wealthy backers-- all with remarkable cooperation from the mainstream US media.

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But exactly how could someone preserve the status quo in today's world?

How could it be done in a world undergoing political, social, and economic upheaval due to population growth and concentration forcing many primitive aspects of society and government to modernize or else court catastrophe? A world where technology advances are increasingly making each succeeding decade seem drastically different from the last?

Well, first of all you must not only ignore any information or experts which don't support your status quo agenda, but actively work to silence or suppress such dissent, discredit it, and/or confuse the issues in public forums by any and all methods available to you.

As for the catastrophe itself catching up to you, major disasters of the sort you arrange usually take a while to actually come to fruition (the Great Depression required perhaps ten years of concerted effort)...

...so by that time you should have successfully diverted $trillions in tax payer monies to your friends, family, and political donors by various channels, as well as made good on your own escape from office, leaving the horrific mess for others to clean up for years-- maybe even decades-- to come. You should also be reassured by US history, which shows top politicians and major political parties pay for their crimes even more rarely (and with smaller penalties) than top US business executives and corporations. After all, the only punishment meted out to the Republican party responsible for the Great Depression of the 1920s was a US electorate unwilling to trust them with majority control of all three branches of US government simultaneously for such a lengthy period again, for many decades. By contrast, Germany permanently banned from existence its own right-wing political party which so decimated it and the world during the same period.

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But of course, above all else, the position of the existing 'upper crust' must be guaranteed and even further strengthened, if possible.

For these who have managed to accumulate great wealth-- no matter how-- represent a natural aristocracy among men, and so should not be subject to the same constraints placed on others (no matter what the US Constitution might say).

So strive to make sure society's laws reflect this natural order, by freeing the rich from any responsibility to society whatsoever in terms of tax liabilities, environmental pollution, workplace safety, legal justice-- you name it (the concept of the 'divine right of kings' is relevant here).

One of the American right-wing's favorite spiels is that taxing the wealthy is not only unfair but hurts the economic performance of the country as a whole. But historic economic statistics, many experts, (and even some wealthy individuals themselves) indicate otherwise.

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Make sure poor inventors are shut out.

Although lack of universal healthcare, savings, and educational and investment opportunities will usually prevent the poor from successfully starting up their own businesses of any significance (or succeeding thereafter), it's always possible a poor person might get a bright idea and by some mix of happy accident, determination, and work manage to patent it, thereby making themselves potentially a player in the rich world. So shut this door too as well as you can, so that most poor inventors will have little recourse but to sell out for pennies on the dollar to a corporation, or else simply have their ideas stolen from them via the courts or other means.

Atop all this, there are indications that there's immense innovative potential just waiting to be tapped in our presently oppressed and impoverished minorities. What wondrous inventions or medical breakthroughs might we be missing out on by restricting the opportunities of so many people? What heights could our living standards reach if we truly lived in a meritocracy, rather than something nearer to a plutocracy? Indeed, the best ideas appear to come from the 'grass roots' or individual level, rather than the corporate one (or a government committee). So why keep the gates to such creativity closed?

Of course, allowing a faster pace of innovation would increase competition and reduce profits for major corporations...as well as generate more jobs and push wages up, thereby sorely upsetting the status quo...

Another great way to minimize entrepreneurship, economic progress, and social change at all levels is to tilt the legal balance heavily in favor of large corporations and monopolies over small business and entrepreneurial startups.

Of course, if you overdo it, you kill your country's prosperity and send living standards plummeting-- at least for everyone but the very richest folks.

Of course, stifling change and innovation and holding back millions of folks yearning to be free and prosperous can be lots of work under the existing US Constitution. Which calls for ever more bureaucracy. Guess which US political party has been most responsible for growing the federal bureaucracy over the past 40 years? The Republicans.

If a nation makes too much economic progress too fast, it'll create too many jobs, cause average wages to go up, and just generally wreck the whole status quo infrastructure by enabling lots of folks to escape poverty and those already in the middle-class to become much more comfortable and ambitious. So it's imperative to restrain growth in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and jobs creation, if holding back socio-economic change is an important goal. So which US political party do you suppose has done better at holding down growth in GDP and jobs in past decades? The Republicans, again.

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In modern times, a right wing or conservative government usually sides with business against employees (and often even against consumers) when conflicts arise between the two. Thus, such governments likely worsen or exacerbate the tendencies of most businesses to maximize profit for minimal cost or effort on the part of management, at the expense of their employees (and even customers!) health, safety, and well being. After all, that's usually the fastest and easiest way for a business to prop up the bottomline.

So in this way do right-wing governments tend to increase the stresses and injury to employees and citizens across the board, by way of relaxed standards for work safety practices and product/service quality, and less regulation of the production and disposal of pollution byproducts.

The government's lack of concern for worker status also weakens the power of collective bargaining, and makes it easier for companies to prevent or minimize wage increases for workers (regardless of productivity or profit improvements), or even terminate employees for arbitrary reasons.

Ironically enough, while such policies may deliver a short term boost to business profits and overall economic growth, in the long term they can be disasterous at all levels, from individual worker and citizen health, to the status of an entire national economy, as health worsens and related costs rise, and businesses lose customers due to declining competitiveness, product safety, and reputation (and are forced to lay off employees and/or cut back on employee benefits, wages, and new product R&D and rollouts).

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Ridicule, subvert, corrupt, or overthrow democratic principles and dissent and their supporting socio-economic pillars wherever possible

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'Breed' and train ever more docile peasant stock for future war and business fodder via government and business policies; one side benefit of this should be a shrinking middle-class and growing ignorance and confusion among both the middle-class and those below as to the true reasons for their worsening predicament

Continually squeezing the poor and middle-class in every possible way should over time shrink the middle-class while making both the middle-class and those below less capable of realizing what's happening, let alone muster sufficient political influence to reverse such trends.

After all the dissenting scientific, economic, and historic information and experts have been suitably dealt with, set out to so burden and demoralize the lower classes that they will have precious little extra time, energy, or money with which to mount a credible electoral or political threat to your control or legacy any time soon-- and hopefully, ever. Raise taxes and living costs on both the poor and middle-class (and cut any government services or benefits they might otherwise receive) at every opportunity. Regressive taxes are the best, as neither group earns sufficient money to render their impact negligible, as do the rich. Disproportionately targeting the lower classes with arrests and imprisonment makes for another fine method by which to keep them down.

Reducing the quantity and quality of opportunities available for people to move up the social and economic ladder helps too.

So ridicule public schooling, and starve it and similar institutions (such as public libraries) for funds, while at the same time demanding more from such entities, in order to make them look ever worse in the media, and therefore steadily lose voter support. Keep higher education opportunities like college as private and exclusive as possible, and offer as little financial aid to needy enrollees as you can get away with. That way college graduates will tend to hail mainly from the upper classes, with only rare examples from the lower.

Keeping people ignorant and poor are excellent ways to maintain and even widen control of them, no matter the type of government utilized.

Also fight against such things as 'affirmative action' policies with all your might.

For these things help open the doors to minorities who have traditionally been poor and so should stay that way, if the status quo is to be preserved. Maybe still worse, the more diversity, the faster the likely economic progress and pace of technological innovation in a nation (which both spell social change).

Make sure to avoid creating a universal healthcare system...

...as after discrimination in educational opportunities, high medical bills may be the surest modern way to keep the majority of low income people too impoverished and too scared to risk furthering their education or training on their own initiative, or switching jobs or starting their own businesses-- which helps employers maintain better control over both workers and their wages-- as well as keep potential competition from new business startups to a minimum. Naturally, the most important employers are the major corporations, whose executives virtually all hail from the upper classes. The fact that these large corporations make up only a tiny fraction of a country's employers is irrelevant.

Another benefit of preventing any universal healthcare system from taking hold in a country (to a conservative way of thinking anyway) is the great consumer uncertainty and concern, and vast multitude of inefficiencies such a void inevitably creates-- and therefore related profit opportunities of all sorts (including criminal enterprises).

In a bewilderingly complex, largely private patchwork system like that of the USA circa 2003, related windfalls for the elite of the healthcare industry also mean hefty campaign contributions for those politicians who help feed and care for the beast via legislative favors. Of course, the profits garnered by criminal undertakings in the field (and their adverse impact on innocent consumers) are rarely considered by political and economic analysts. Thus, these elements primarily show up only indirectly in additional personal and small business bankruptcies, and various US citizen health statistics which don't compare well to other developed nation citizens-- such as the shorter lifespan of average Americans, in general. Clues to such factors might also exist in the estimates of waste in the US system, which is apparently far less cost-effective than the universal healthcare of many other developed nations.

Conservatives often counter facts like the above by saying America has the best healthcare system in the world.

But that's only true in a few narrow and specific areas-- in most ways we're not even in the top ten-- despite spending more for healthcare than anyone else.

So saying America has the best healthcare system in the world is like saying you won an auto race where you placed 24th overall, despite having the most expensive car in the contest.

All the above should insure you swelling numbers of poor folks who'll grasp at whatever straw you offer them afterwards. So promise them they can get a bit more education, healthcare, and training by joining the military. That way you can have an all volunteer force and avoid a draft, which can create problems when poor folks expect your rich kids to have to go to war beside their own.

One especially sweet thing about pushing all these poor folk into the military is they then lose many of the normal civil rights they possess as civilians, becoming much more like the medieval peasants they're supposed to be.

Then you can use them to attack other countries, or as experimental guinea pigs, or whatever, with much less potential downside than you'd face doing the same to other citizens.

Make it ever harder for the non-wealthy to retire in comfort in their old age. Make them work until they die.

And try to take away or reduce any which way you can whatever pensions and medical benefits they might obtain despite your efforts. After all, only the wealthy really know how to spend and invest such resources properly.

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Suicide and stress among the governed as signs of a given political party's ideals and fitness for governance

It would appear logical to assume that suicide is a last resort measure taken by people who are desperate and without hope for rescue or escape for some awful circumstance. Those circumstances may be real or only imagined, but never-the-less painful or scary enough to cause a human being to take their own life.

Right-wing governments tend to accentuate feelings of isolation and lack of support in many citizens, which combined with less fortunate circumstances in the distribution of wealth leads to increased suicide rates. On the other hand, left-leaning governments are usually more community-oriented and inclusive, thereby reducing the isolation felt by many among the populace, and causing lower numbers of people to take their own lives.

Could the typically more 'inclusive' nature of left-wing governments as opposed to 'right-wing' authorities be significant for the citizenry in other ways as well? Most assuredly so. Indeed, under right-wing rule the difference looks to help create more crime and terrorism, as well as less overtly injurious under-achievement and lower productivity (and so living standards) in general.

Less inclusive, and/or more divisive governments can have other negative effects on their populace too.

Speaking of the role unequal wealth distribution looks to play in increased suicide rates, income disparities appear to increase and even be encouraged under right-wing governments (the wealthy typically see their taxes substantially cut, even as minimum wage rates for the poorest wage-earners are steadily eroded by inflation, and regressive taxes (taxes which hit low income earners the hardest) steadily increased). Therefore, this contributor to suicidal and other high risk behavior too would seem to often grow and expand under the watch of right-wing governments.

Another item which would seem logical in the discussion of suicide is that many of those who may come to seriously contemplate suicide out of desperation and/or hopelessness, may naturally attempt less final but still risky acts beforehand to put off or postpone the final reckoning. So what sorts of behavior might desperate and hopeless human beings try, just short of suicide? Crime. Even violent crime, which may bring about the accidental or purposeful killings of others. Self-treatment with drugs, both legal and illegal, which may also bring about the deaths and serious injury of third party innocents due to the risks of transactions, thefts and other crimes commited to pay for drugs or otherwise obtain them, and accidents stemming from the mind-alterring or other effects of certain drugs, such as may occur in car chases and collisions.

Lower education levels usually limit a person's legitimate employment and wage potential-- and so might help nudge them into crime. Ergo, helping insure everyone the opportunity to attain higher levels of education may reduce levels of crime and violence across-the-board. Of course, the young of wealthy and middle-class families have always had more and better opportunities in regards to education than children of the poor. So it would seem government aid towards the poor in regards to education would be one logical step in not only raising future generations out of poverty (and thereby increasing the economic strength of the nation and generating more tax revenue than would otherwise be the case), but reducing future losses both financial and human stemming from crime and related violence. While 'liberal' voices are often heard pressing these points, 'right-wing' voices typically oppose such views.

There's evidence that such aid to the poor strengthens the foundations of democracy in a nation as well-- and so contributes to national security.

Of course, if one of your goals is to undermine democracy in a nation, making it more susceptible to domination by non-democratic factions or even external threats, then it's logical to do what you can to maintain existing conditions of poverty, and even worsen them where possible, by pushing ever more people into such dire straits.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the likely higher health and medical and productivity costs a society pays for suffering a 'right-wing' government in power.

Especially in the USA, where right-wing parties have much in common with the early settlement of strongly religious Puritans on American shores. Today, someone being "puritanical" is thought to be "strict in moral matters".

And make no doubt about it: the USA can be as strict as the worst of them--

-- at least in regards to persecuting and punishing the young, the weak, the poor, the uneducated, the mentally ill or impaired, and similarly disadvantaged folks in our society.

At times we even treat animals better than we do human beings, in the USA. But for the rich and powerful of course, we are usually lenient to a fault.

Indeed, this is a difference often emphasized with attacks against liberals stating that liberals believe "if it feels good, do it", as opposed to right-wingers, whose policies seem to suggest if something feels good it's probably wrong and should be banned or censored. Want examples? Here's just a few: Right-wing policies preaching abstinence for up through twenty and thirty-somethings as a preferred means of birth control; zero tolerance for drugs in schools (even mild pain relievers like aspirin, or direly needed asthma inhalers and anti-allergy drugs in some cases (kids are actually dying due to such policies(!)); and absolute denial of the right to doctor-assisted suicide for anyone, no matter how hopeless their situation, or how badly they may be suffering.

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Note that all this extra stress that right-wing governments seem to put upon their citizenry from many directions at once can place an enormous strain upon the immune systems of the public, likely pushing many who'd otherwise be healthy into sickness or injury, and worsening the plight of those with health already compromised by other factors.

The common characteristics of right-wing governments would also appear to more readily exhaust their citizenry mentally and physically over time, thereby resulting in more mistakes, accidents, and lower quality of school graduates at all levels merely from fatigue/sleep deprivation alone, compared to more liberal regimes-- even where work safety standards were not relaxed.

Inadequate sleep looks to cause other problems and increased costs as well.

So much for adults and sleep deprivation. What about our kids?

It turns out the pressures on average American families today are leaving many children sufficiently sleep-deprived as to significantly impair their academic potential-- and even leave some damaged for life, both mentally and physically.

One item that's long been on the American liberal agenda (and bitterly opposed by the right) is a universal health care system something along the lines of those already in operation in virtually all other developed nations on Earth.

The benefits of a universal healthcare system likely far outweigh its costs...

Yes, the benefits of a universal healthcare system likely far outweigh its costs...especially as more and more diseases than we ever suspected are turning out to be potentially contagious-- including perhaps the most dangerous of all: many forms of mental illness or madness.

So if we don't help keep the poor healthy (even including their dental and mental health), we only increase everyone's risks (and related healthcare costs) of serious illness. Poor health in general is contagious, people!

Of course, if it's really true that lots more deadly and crippling diseases are infectious than we once thought, then a nation like the USA with no universal access to healthcare would likely see the death rates from infectious disease rising over time, right? Right.

Then again, since even most doctors today still aren't aware of the infectious nature of many of the diseases described in prior references, America's present statistics on the death toll of infectious disease within its borders are likely gross under-estimations.

Note that the USA's tendency circa the late 20th and early 21st centuries to ignore and endanger the vast majority of homeless mentally ill within its borders could eventually help cause an epidemic of mental illness within that nation-- since it's turning out that quite a few mental maladies may be infectious. So be sure to add the mounting toll of drug addiction, violent crime, accidents, and lost opportunities regarding work productivity improvements (where they stem from mental illness) to the costs of hosting right-wing governments.

There's some worrisome indications that America's mental illness epidemic may have already begun. In recent years college dorms have proven to be a fertile breeding ground for dangerous bacterial meningitis. As of 2003 it's been discovered that mental health in general has been deteriorating in the same environments.

Lacking a universal health care system within a country also creates greater opportunities for massive, costly health-related fraud and confidence games to be perpetrated against business and citizens-- thereby costing that society in yet another way.

But if all the above is true, and Americans have indeed seen their government become increasingly conservative/right-wing over the last 40 years, wouldn't the enormous waste, inefficiencies, and corruption involved be obvious? Wouldn't statistics show Americans paying more for healthcare than many other developed nations, but getting less? Wouldn't the massive and growing diversion of taxpayer and consumer dollars into the healthcare industry be documented? Wouldn't the price gouging show up in US consumer's pocket books, compared to other countries? Wouldn't the election campaign coffers of right-wingers be bursting from the contributions of the giant corporations whom they're helping to terrorize the American citizenry with exhorbitant healthcare and drug costs?

Yes, they would. And they DO.

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Reduce or undermine national security wherever possible in order to further weaken democracy and debate by encouraging a continuing environment of fear and uncertainty...

...then when faults are found blame them on others or question the patriotism of those who called attention to them; ideally, outlaw so-called 'whistle-blowers' as well as free speech in general, altogether.

The lessons of how the Nazis won control of pre-WWII Germany have not been lost on 2003 US neoconservatives. Stoking and maintaining fear and uncertainty among the populace is important. Economic hardship heaped upon the masses may be one of the most powerful tools towards this aim. The creation of secret police measures and a widespread surveillance system are also helpful. Equate political protest and dissent with crime, and then crime with terrorism against the state.

One brand of thought (apparently circa 2003 American right-wing) pushes the notion that the best defense is a belligerent offense, where you systematically antagonize and intimidate virtually all other nations on the planet via various aspects of your economic and military might (might makes right in the conservative lexicon apparently-- note the similarity to the divine right of kings concept). Along the way you deliberately break long-held treaties and agreements with just about everyone (including your friends and allies), unilaterally raise trade tariffs and declare certain entire nations of the world to be evil incarnate, and likely targets for pre-emptive attack via your own weapons of mass destruction-- even if those so targeted possess no such weapons themselves. Oh yes, you also proclaim that everyone who doesn't completely agree with you is your enemy, and seek to punish or harass them accordingly. Meanwhile, you look the other way as your big business friends trade with your declared 'enemies', possibly increasing the likelihood of successful terrorist attacks against your own civilian population, and strikes against your own far flung military personnel.

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It appears imperative from the preponderance of evidence that a relatively liberal society be maintained into perpetuity, for the optimal survival, health, and prosperity of future generations.

Because many of the downsides of even occasional right-wing/conservative control may continue to inflict death and injury onto innocent unborn future generations even decades after the damaging rules have been rescinded or overturned by more enlightened leaders.

Just two examples include the typical tendency of right-wingers to support a dirtier environment than liberals pollution-wise, as well as higher budget deficits.

Indeed, it could be argued that given the wealth of data now available, there's incontrovertible proof that 'right-wing' political governance could well be the single largest discretionary factor damaging the health and safety of the overall population of a given developed nation (such as America) today.

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So in light of all the above, exactly what are the details of the 'status quo' that American right-wingers are so intent on defending or impressing upon the world? What are the core goals and ideals involved?

The best answer I've been able to find so far is as surprising as it is troubling. And apparently almost diametrically opposed to the original intent of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence. For where the Declaration of Independence states "All men are created equal", the core agenda of the American right seems instead to subscribe to the idea that all men are NOT created equal. Indeed, that some qualify as gods (or lieutenant gods) walking the Earth, and should be treated that way.

Yes, this sounds bizarre to me too. Practically too outlandish to discuss in reasonable and polite company. But just examine the references on this page and consider the matter for yourself. And keep in mind that there's plenty of folks in the world harboring bizarre beliefs.

In 1609 King James VI of Scotland stunned people with his declaration regarding the 'divine right of kings', wherein he basically proclaimed such rulers were the lieutenants of God, and qualified as Gods themselves, and so were not required to answer or explain themselves to anyone. All who criticized or questioned them were at best bad Christians, and at worst heretics to be imprisoned or executed.

Of course, I do have to admit that government based upon 'the divine right of kings' was the dominant type of official authority throughout the overwhelming majority of history, and likely pre-history as well (thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of years)-- even if its definition wasn't formally expressed until 1609.

For most of humanity basically lived among 'islands' of various kingdoms and empires, themselves surrounded by a virtual sea of anarchy, ever since civilization grew beyond the tribal stage. This arrangement of a privileged few commanding the toil of masses of peasants or slaves dominated the human condition until very, very recently. The ideas of democracy and a 'middle-class' were largely introduced by the ancient greeks, and somewhat practiced by the Romans for a while, but didn't really take off as something close to a mainstream idea worldwide until around the time of the American Revolution (with America's formation being more of an effect, rather than cause of the trend). Indeed, as of early 2003 substantial elements of democracy and a 'middle-class' life-style still elude a great many people worldwide.

Many citizens of the developed nations are woefully unaware of this circumstance-- as well as the dangers that it poses to their own future. For the weaker in quantity and quality both democracy and a middle-class population are worldwide, the more vulnerable democracy and middle-class living standards are everywhere to many threats, both natural and man-made.

Is there a sizable percentage of us genetically vulnerable to authoritarian arguments?

So in the long view of history, individual liberty, political democracy, and a 'middle-class' remain relatively new and untried ideas, still highly vulnerable to usurpation by the forces of plutocracy (among others), which themselves may enjoy certain advantages like the majority of humanity having been effectively 'bred' for hundreds or thousands of generations to be largely subservient to authority. The most intense form of such circumstantial genetic engineering appears to have taken place in east Asia, with the Japanese perhaps being the most heavily shaped in this manner, due to the long-lived nature of their particular society's homogeneity, and minimal exposure to outside influences.

Including all the above in our considerations, it becomes apparent that one important reason many right-wingers may effectively work for a return to a medieval social hierarchy is their own genetic composition. It could well be that many of them feel compelled beyond all manner of logic or reason to support such a system. Indeed, as the right-wing movement includes a strong religious element, and research has shown that the strongly religious are especially susceptible to compulsion in general, this would go a long way towards explaining why even many poor and otherwise economically disadvantaged people often vote against their own best interests and against all reason to help put conservative candidates into office-- for they simply 'feel' they have no choice in the matter.

Unfortunately, modern expressions of nationalism or patriotism may be closely akin to religious fervor in themselves, and so subject to the same awful extremes and dangers. And yet, the way our political systems are currently set up, shrewd use of nationalism and patriotism are often key to electoral victory.

Tally up the power and influence of both religion and unquestioningly obedient nationalism/patriotism in a given modern population, and you get a terrifyingly slippery slope to totalitarianism, which may require surprisingly little more in the way of political manipulations or circumstances to bring to fruition.

If a human genetic predisposition to authoritarian rule does exist, then it would follow that a certain percentage of a given population will almost always vote for or support even the worst (in terms of anti-democratic, and/or despotic) political candidates and policies, with little or no prodding or debate of the issues or logical persuasion required. They may even vote for a given entity for no more reason than its political party or religious label-- issues, logic, and circumstances be damned.

Of course, the existence of such a faction among humanity would mean all democracies and middle-class folk worldwide are perpetually at far more risk of losing their liberties and prosperity than they may suspect-- wherever such a pro-authoritarian group is large enough (or else sufficiently wealthy and/or influential) to determine the outcome of elections. Note that in times of perceived crisis or extensive divisiveness or large numbers of largely obscure candidates competing for the vote in a system such as 2003 America's, such a core group could be very small indeed yet still be effective at causing ruin for their nation as a whole. And at some point, perhaps sooner than anyone suspects, merely one more decisive victory at the polls for such elements-- ever-- may be sufficient to doom all humanity to extinction: if that victory occurs within a power effectively already in command of the entire planet politically, economically, and/or militarily (much as the USA is, circa 2003).

[see The war for our destiny for more about this danger].

Indeed, this may be precisely what happened to many other technological civilizations which might have preceded us in our galaxy. [see The rise and fall of star faring civilizations in our own galaxy for more about this possibility]

Please note that I'm suggesting possibly compulsive or nearly so pro-authoritarian tendencies among both Republicans and Democrats here, within their most 'loyal' (perhaps read: closed minded) factions-- which appear to be slightly more than half of the typical Republican electorate, and slightly less than half of the Democrats (based on the figures above).

Isn't it interesting that very close to 50% of the most likely voters in both parties may consist of fanatical loyalists, not subject to persuasion by the other side under almost any conditions?

But even reasonable people in more effective control of their faculties than the fanatical loyalists described above can be tricked or persuaded to vote for someone or something which will ultimately prove not to be in their own best interests. Especially if they are poorly educated and/or under economic duress at the time, or not provided sufficient quality of information with which to make their decision. Post World War I Germans for instance indirectly voted Hitler into power, with their support for Nazis at the polls. Once he managed to accumulate sufficient additional influence from his position, he abolished the major democratic elements of the government and took supreme control.

In present-day America it appears that certain factions among the voters are so hard-wired into their electoral roles that they too might help a Hitler rise to power, so long as he was of the proper political party-- or religious faith.

Perhaps the greatest historical contribution of the USA to what strength and vitality modern democracies do possess has been its glorification of individuality and personal initiative, free speech, entrepreneurism, and activism, especially over the past century. But it remains to be seen if these young and brash ideas can prevail over the power of age-old plutocracy, ever more manipulative modern media, and the genetic and intellectual vulnerabilities of many of us to authoritarian forces.

Anyway, from the 'divine right of kings' declaration in 1609, fast forward almost 400 years. The official population of kings has dwindled to almost zero worldwide, with such despots almost universally thrown out of power. To be sure, kings by another name (dictators) have seized and stubbornly held on to power in a few backward spots around the globe, and kings or queens are still allowed to tap some national wealth and prestige (if negligible real political power) in even a few otherwise modern states like Great Britain. But by and large kings have been relegated to the trash heap of history.

Over the past few centuries however, another replacement of sorts for medieval kings has arisen: the immensely wealthy. Individuals who can literally buy (or otherwise conquer) entire cities, islands, industries, governments, and even nations in some cases.

All of which has led to this: the modern ideology of the American right. A modernized version of the 'divine right of kings', with the fabulously wealthy being regarded as the new royals (or deities) to be served by everyone else. A sort of blessed plutocracy, if you will.

The conservative dream: An incremental but steady devolution of society back to its Medieval state-- but maintaining modern technologies and conveniences. Persuade the masses to relinquish their prosperity, freedom, and power of political self-determination in favor of perpetual subservience to a divinely ordained elite. In other words, take the world back to the days of kings and peasants. At first, subtle but costly means of persuasion will be needed, due to the nagging existence of voting rights in a democracy: hefty donations to political campaigns of elected officials to buy influence regarding their decisions in office, and the financing of slick media campaigns to affect the votes cast by the masses. But eventually such mass voting rights can be rescinded altogether, or restricted to only the party faithful (who usually vote as ordered), as was done in places like the communist USSR, and may still exist in the China of today.

Of course, the American Republican party already tightly controls whose votes count even in their own primaries; check out sometime the numerous 'dirty tricks' used to insure Bush rather than McCain won the Republican Presidential nomination for 2000. Some believe they manipulated the general Presidential election vote in Florida as well, via actions like declaring many likely Democratic voters to be ineligible due to criminal records, when in fact such records didn't exist (Bush's brother Jeb was governor of Florida at the time).

Could it be that the Republicans have already usurped our elections via illegal means? There's much evidence that it's possible, and likely to become only more so in the future. Circa 2003 Republicans are frequently acting as if they have no concerns about losing dominance ever again, 'burning bridges' left and right both domestically and internationally, as they turn back many liberal American reforms of the 20th century, and break with lots of multi-national agreements, some long established (like the Geneva Convention) and others more recently entered into by various US administrations.

The theoretical new Republican state of course would be stronger and more stable than those previous centrally controlled countries (China and the USSR) due to a stronger adherence to unregulated trade, and Christian values less encumbered by Constitutional restraints against the merging of church and state (at least this would be the conservative expectation). Just exactly which 'flavor' of Christian religion would be top dog in this new order has not yet been announced. But woe be to the Jews and Muslims and other organized faiths for sure, should such ambitions be realized (and don't forget the bitter experience of Northern Ireland, which proved lengthy conflicts of attrition can break out even among fellow Christians as well).

The conservative wish to weaken or remove entirely the separation between church and state enshrined in the US Constitution would effectively make American Christianity much more like Islam-- and so vulnerable to the same excesses, extremes, and horrors the world has witnessed in many Moslem nations over the past century.

Thus, the US separation of church and state has basically protected American Christianity from its own extremists-- at least up to now.

The 'divine right' notion fits all the facts extremely well. Frighteningly well. I've seen no other interpretation of right-wing ideology which even comes close to explaining US Republican behavior and policies of the last few decades better than this. If someone can ascertain a credible alternative, I'd love to hear about it [CLICK HERE to email me]. If the 'divine right of kings' really doesn't represent the bedrock of modern US Republican ideology, it sure does offer an amazingly close parallel to whatever other ideas are at play there. And the citations presented on this site deflate pretty much any alternative explanation or excuse I've seen conservatives offer for their actions and policies in the mainstream media over my lifetime.

'Might makes right': the alarming deterioration of American morals due to decades of growing conservative political influences

Whatever the root ideology of the right, the general population seems to be perceiving it as something very like the 'divine right of kings' described above, which is easily interpreted as 'might makes right' and 'anything goes so long as you don't get caught or punished'. Risk-taking is also encouraged by this general atmosphere-- but not necessarily risk-taking of an ethical, practical, or positive variety. No, this environment portrays civilization as a very anarchic affair, much like war, with an 'all or nothing' or 'every man for himself' mentality. This message is reinforced by how the US consistently punishes or rewards its wrong doers. The poorer you are, and the smaller your crime, the more likely you are to reap the severest of punishments. The richer or better connected you are, and the bigger or more grandious your crime, the more gentle your punishment (if any) will probably be, in most cases.

Indeed, if you are wealthy, equipped with the proper connections, and commit sufficiently brazen acts involving substantial amounts of money and influence, you can qualify to be President of the United States.

Authoritarianism, deception and perpetual war major pillars of neoconservative philosophy

But there's still more to the apparent core philosophy of the conservatives in control of America 2003: and it may be even more disturbing than the 'divine right of kings' theme. Especially in light of the events of 9-11-01 and their aftermath in America. Perpetual war, authoritarianism, rule by deception, might makes right, the entire citizenry considered evil and guilty until proven innocent-- all these are among the beliefs subscribed to by many of today's US neoconservatives.

This growing perception that 'might makes right', 'anything goes', and justice is biased in favor of the rich and powerful in America is increasing levels of fear, anxiety, anger, and stress across the board in the US as of 2003, and so reducing American altruism and generosity (important elements of a liberal society), with the corrupt or misguided among the wealthy and their ideological followers leading the way to a darker and crueler age.

Another damaging long term effect conservatives may be having on America is discouraging deep contemplation, lengthy consideration, or substantive debate of virtually any issue, in favor of simplistic, strictly ideologically conservative proposals, which often ignore well established science facts and expert opinions regarding solutions to vexing problems-- and then later ignoring or censoring any results which indicate failure of those simple fixes.

Another effect of this has been rendering American society increasingly short-sighted, and unwilling or unable to consider the long term implications of its actions or decisions, which is gradually bankrupting the nation in terms of education, trade, debt accumulation, investment acumen, childcare, and a myriad of other matters.

Though the right may have primarily initiated such changes in the public mind set (or exploited previously existing vulnerabilities) in order to make it easier to persuade others to their cause and further their political agenda, it appears such trends may have calamitously spun beyond even the conservatives' control, so that now America as a whole is trending downwards in educational achievements and aspirations: trends which spell dark decades ahead for American innovation, democracy, prosperity, and politics. And the conservatives' consistent efforts to micro-manage, ideologize, censor, classify, or shut down large blocs of scientific research to suit their own often questionable goals, as well as undermine public education and limit higher education opportunities for the non-rich, haven't helped such matters either.

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It may even be that your own political affiliation can have a significant impact on your personal health and happiness-- especially if you're male, currently raising male children, or hope to have such children someday

Being strongly conservative or 'right-wing' in your attitudes and perspectives may make you get sick or hurt more frequently, and apt to die younger, than someone else who sports your exact same mental and physical attributes, but is more of a moderate or a liberal than yourself.

Right-wing policies appear to be especially harmful to males of all ages, including unborn embryos and even potentially male but as yet unfertilized eggs in a mother-to-be (for those eggs are more likely to become female than male, under the stresses of a right-wing government). One reason males are usually at higher risk from such policies is that despite facing perhaps the brunt of the policies compared to women, men are also less likely to seek professional help in coping with the effects on their health.

The Dr. Strangelove legacy

So remarkably, inadvertant as it surely is, never-the-less right wing policies appear to be bringing about certain elements of the presumed military elitist fantasy depicted in Stanley Kubrick's film Dr. Strangelove: that is, that should the world suffer some great future calamity, a handful of elite males will likely enjoy large personal harems of women with which to repopulate the world. For right wing policies in general look prone to pressuring the overall eligible and virile male population to shrink across the board...reducing both the number and quality of available males, thereby forcing females (especially certain minority females) to look further afield...and for more women in general to remain unmarried and available as well.

It may be useful to note here that right-wing thought typically sees the average human being as 'guilty until proven innocent', as well as selfish and greedy to a fault. Or at least that appears to be the perspective on which they often base their security, economic, and other policy proposals. So it would seem right-wingers are basically 'pessimists'. This is not necessarily good for their health (and their presumption that those of us under their rule are 'guilty until proven innocent' doesn't bode well for our health either).

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But what happens to a society which suffers domination by right-wing politics over a prolonged period of time? With no chance for even temporary recovery from the excesses of such government over an extended period?

Actually, we know what happens for it has occurred before, both in America and other nations.

In two of the most well known cases, America and the world experienced a vicious and prolonged downward economic spiral and jaw dropping death tolls after right-wing governments took control of the US in the 1920s, and Germany in the 1930s-- check out how the Great Depression and World War II began.

The generation of Americans which survived through those times wouldn't allow a rerun of such events while they dominated the electorate in succeeding decades-- but as that generation died off, memories of the old calamities died with them, rendering Americans vulnerable once more to a repeat of some of their darkest moments-- or worse.

In contrast to America, after WWII the Germans actually outlawed the continued existence of the right-wing political party which so injured them and the world in the thirties and forties (the Nazis).

In the 1920s, it took many years for the market crash and depression to be finally triggered by right-wing excesses, and a bit longer still for World War II to finally become unstoppable.

Note that in a world where the vast majority of humanity is still struggling to survive, much less prosper, and rapid technological progress is the norm, a government that's willing to embrace change, to experiment, and adapt to new circumstances is essential, while a government which tries to excessively slow or restrict such social adaptations may not only cause vast amounts of unnecessary suffering and death, and prove a drag on progress and innovation, but commit errors grievous enough to imperil its own nation's well being-- and perhaps even the whole planet.

Take a look at those definitions again, and consider which type of thinking will be more conducive to humanity's future survival and prosperity:

As of 10-7-03 the primary (first) internet-based dictionary definition of conservative indicated basically a bias in favor of tradition, and opposition to change, while for liberal is given the description of a philosophy opposed to bigotry, dogma, or intolerance, and in favor of reform and progress.

Unfortunately, there's yet another factor possibly nudging us constantly towards the destructive 'right-wing' end of the political spectrum, no matter what our normal inclinations: the rapid rate of change itself in technology and the sciences, which may often turn upside down cherished beliefs from generations past, overnight. Such change can be unsettling, spawning fear of change in general, and thereby making lots of people more prone to maintaining the old familiar status quo, in a nod to the old saw 'better the devil you know'.

From everything we know as of mid 2005, it appears that most (perhaps all) the technological civilizations which ever developed in our galaxy before us suffered extinction or irrevocable collapse not long after their equivalent of our own 1900 AD.

To see much, much more justification for the statement above please examine the study found here, and this essay.

If it is true that all who preceded us made basically the same mistake(s) which led to their end, and that they were not that much different from us in many of the ways which matter most, then it is likely that we will do the same.

That is, by far the most likely path we will take over coming decades will be one which leads to our own destruction.

And what would that path be? What course is humanity most prone to follow in the years to come? The most logical answer is the same one we've followed over all of recorded history: Ever grander and more spectacular cycles of civilization building and technological advances, punctuated by horrific wars powered by ever more terrible weapons and greater loss of life. Our different expressions of civilization will rise, prosper, mercilously kill or conquer others, then be killed or conquered in their turn-- just as occured in the past, over and over again.

But wait. Might not our weapons be reaching such an awesome level of destructive power as to soon be capable of finishing off all humanity in one God-like sweep of the globe?

Yes. The power of total annihilation of our race is within our reach, at last. And it will definitely be firmly within our grasp long, long before any significant number of us could escape the planet to survive indefinitely on our own in space.

So if we continue upon our normal historical course, we'll soon be simply dust again; the stuff from which we came. If each of us continues to treat our cousins in other nations as vicious, predatory competitors at best, and outright mortal enemies (or slaves or animals) at worst, then soon the game will be over, and we'll all have lost.

Except for extremist right-wing evangelicals of course. For their ultimate goal is the end of the world. Just ask them!

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Blind, unquestioning patriotism is un-American and a fertile breeding ground for awful errors and outright evil

The most likely path we'll take-- the easiest, simplest, most instinctive path-- the path of nationalism, lump-in-the-throat, unquestioning patriotism, ruthless, no holds barred economic competition and military aggression, conflict, and intimidation-- the path of religious, ethnic, and other discrimination and conflict-- the 'every man for himself' route-- the radical right-wing conservative or neoconservative path-- will lead us only to utter and complete self-destruction.

The end of the world may be far nearer than most of us expect. For US leadership may have for decades maintained a 'scorched Earth' policy: kept in place a strategic 'doomsday' plan for making the entire planet itself unfit for human habitation, if the US government were to fall or suffer some similar scale calamity (or the US President or another near the top lost their mind and pulled the trigger).

In other words, unknown to the American public, the US military may have been prepared for a generation or more to kill off all humanity, if the US itself fell-- or its commander-in-chief went mad.

Of all the roads which could lead to human extinction, three of the major thoroughfares must be economic collapse, over-militarization, and environmental damage due to pollution and/or over-harvesting so severe that the planet can no longer sustain us.

The world already witnessed US conservatives lead the way into the greatest economic depression the world had ever seen, during the 20th century.

Many analysts agree that event also helped propel Hitler to power in Germany, and so bring about WWII. As of the early 21st century, we may be about to see at minimum a repeat of that economic scenario, if not another world war too.

Of course, the President of the United States proclaimed the nation to already be ramping up for another world-spanning war as of 2001.

Please CLICK HERE for more on the ongoing precipitous decline of America.

But what of the other two paths to potential armageddon? Regarding over-militarization, likely most members of both the Republican and Democratic parties would agree that Republicans overwhelmingly tend to spend more on military buildups and stockpiling than Democrats.

To see details of the perils and often unaccounted for costs and risks of over-militarization to any society, as well as all humanity itself, please refer to this page.

As for environmental damage, there too majorities of both parties would likely agree that Republicans consistently argue for less regulation on polluters, and Democrats for more.

Thus, America clearly suffers three potent pillars of potential calamity within the guiding principles of its own modern Republican party; and if the world contamination plan described in the citation above truly existed years ago (and still does today) the survival of all humanity may be at risk from insanity or misjudgments on the part of top US leadership now, and for years to come.

The contamination described before may be one of the very worst fates we could devise for ourselves: but worldwide nuclear war, lying perhaps one notch below cobalt contamination in total devastation, would likely still be more than enough to rob humanity of its future.

Keep in mind many of the folks at or near the top of the current US Republican party honestly believe that everyone everywhere would be better off DEAD.

For then the 'good' folks would be in heaven for their reward, and the 'evil' folks would be in hell, and all uncertainty about which was which and whose faith represented the one 'true' religion would all finally be settled for good.

But if you don't believe me, just seek out some of the right-wingers themselves.

Odds are it won't take you long to find among them strong believers in an imminent Armageddon, with themselves and their leaders playing important roles in setting the stage for the literal 'end of the world'. Doomsday. I've mentioned elsewhere in this document the strong streak of religious dogma present in modern American right-wing politics. Bush and some of his conservative predecessors and cohorts themselves have made obvious their religious views are key elements in their decision-making, and that they believe themselves in some cases to have been specially chosen by God to possibly make certain types of events occur in the world...

It's a sobering thought to contemplate: that adhering to many of the principles espoused by 'right-wing' conservatives today may basically be equivalent to seeking the extinction of the entire human race.

But that's what it amounts to. Examine again the multitude of references on this page if you wish. Pay close attention to the answers top conservative leaders give when questioned. Do your own research into these matters, if you disagree with my conclusions. PLEASE!

You say you're stunned by these revelations? Had no idea that the reins of the US government had been handed over to such scary folk?

Well, that's what comes of paying insufficient attention to what's happening around you.

Of course, once upon a time the US was a democracy and boasted a free press and functional checks and balances on excessive concentrations of power, so that behavior such as has been done of late by the Bush Administration and its cronies would have been equivalent to signing their own political death warrants. But no more.

Hopefully the US will still find some way to pull out of this downward spiral. Preferably, more moderate factions among the conservatives themselves would rein in the excesses of their radical elements. But as of mid-2005, the future looks dire, with the credibility of the US electoral and campaign finance systems in serious question, all three branches of government under one party control (as in the defunct USSR under Stalin) and the media now owned and controlled by the very same wealthy interests which bankroll the election campaigns of the monopoly party. Beyond all this, those at the top often ignore or ride roughshod over the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, saying that the war on terror trumps everything. Anyone who protests against all this is at best ignored by the media, and at worst harassed, blacklisted for future air travel or employment, or subjected to powerful smear campaigns.

Lots of folks in Germany too were astonished and appalled when they discovered Hitler and the Nazis had seized power in Germany, prior to World War II. But by the time they grasped the horror of their waking nightmare, it was too late to stop Hitler and World War II from taking their course.

But Nazi Germany and World War II may have been just the dress rehearsal for what is to come. Imagine Hitler with a decisive edge in military technology no other nation on Earth can match-- and maybe no combination of allies can overcome, either. Will we all simply acquiesce to their demands, becoming their de facto slaves, with those of us our conquerors deem worthless or dangerous being routinely exterminated for reasons of 'efficiency' or 'profitability'?

No. At least some of us would fight. Even against hopeless odds. And die. And whatever remained of the human race would toil away for their masters for decades, perhaps even centuries, into the future. Until finally the brutality, hopelessness, and stagnation of it all caused the world economic and technological base to break down irretrievably. After that our descendents, both masters and slaves, would fall back into utter techno-primitivism, much as depicted in the Mel Gibson "Mad Max" film series. Humanity could conceivably continue on for millennia in such a state, albeit with a massively reduced population, numbering perhaps only in the hundreds of thousands worldwide, and living for quite some time on salvagable remnants from the civilization that was. But all the easily acquired and utilized raw resources of industry would be gone. The human race would once again become overwhelmingly composed of subsistence farmers and textile laborers akin to those of ages past, within only a generation or two. Civilization's legacy of mass extinctions and biospheric devastation from global deforestation and the accumulation of industrial and nuclear wastes would doom human numbers to dwindle ever smaller over time, until finally they fell below the critical mass necessary to sustain the race. The last few people would die with a whimper, probably of starvation or disease, likely possessing no knowledge whatsoever of the towering aspirations their long dead forebears had harbored for themselves, nor how they had paved the way for this literal hell on Earth for their posterity.

But in the here and now we may still have time to prevent such an ignominious end to our race.

If we are to have any chance to survive the coming decades as a thriving civilization of free peoples, we will have to radically reform our behavior-- and in ways we've never been able to do in the past.

Sure, we've changed a lot before when necessary to our survival: we learned how to stand up, wield tools, speak, start fires, invent things like the wheel, the plow, and more.

But we never ever stopped killing. Never suppressed our appetite for blood and violence, for very long. Never stopped seizing what we wanted, when and where we possessed the means. Never stopped lying and deceiving. Never learned to love our whole species and our planet as the family they truly are.

And yet we must now do all these things, or meet our end-- perhaps within this very generation.

According to the silence in the heavens, we can't do it. No one ever has. Is this how all so-called intelligent life in the universe ends up? Committing suicide because, when all is said and done, we can't overcome our most primitive impulses?

I'm no political expert, and so can offer few specifics on overcoming the present advocates of the status quo in power. All I know is that we appear headed towards a precipice, and cannot continue upon our present course without courting multiple sorts of catastrophe-- and perhaps the ultimate end itself. But it may be helpful to know that around the early 21st century the majority of citizens in a developed nation such as the USA were decidedly not as competitive, aggressive, selfish, greedy, and self-serving as many right-wing/conservative think tanks and politicians usually portrayed them-- claiming this justified many of their executive and legislative decisions. And that, contrary to the usual right-wing punditry, economic markets often desperately need government intervention and regulation in order to work most properly and effectively, and stave off various potential disasters.

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