Nick Gillespie is saying that billionaires and plutocrats aren't screwing you over, which in fact they are. The big surprise here is who among the general public are supporting them. Which generations are voting Republican and most gung-ho for Corporatism? The old.
The Sixties Radicals have become the Man.
For those who don't know their 20th-century history, there was this big youth revolt in the 1960s that took place in America, Europe, and other places such as Japan. Youth were rebelling against authority. The fatal premise of their revolt was the kind of romantic irrationalism that youth are prone to anyway, what with raging hormones and all, reinforced by the rationalism of the technocratic system current during the Cold War era. Some rebels even became madly infatuated with America's Communist enemies: Russia, China, Cuba, Che Guevara (who met his spectacular end in 1967).
Then the rebels grew up, got jobs, even became rich. No, Kurt Anderson (born 1954, by the way), the Sixties didn't make us selfish; that was the Seventies, the "Me Decade", followed by the "Gimme Decade" (the Eighties). Radical after radical turned anti-Communist, pro-Israel neoconservative without compromising their irrationalism one bit; only the nation defined as Better Than America changed.
And so the Baby Boom rebels inevitably became the sanctimonious authority figures their younger selves rebelled against, to the point of adopting the religious piosity of their late elders (and you thought God died in 1966...).
Sure enough, the right-wing turn of the Baby Boomers comes with a Confucian sense of entitlement: you whippersnappers wouldn't even exist without us, so you owe us a debt of perpetual duty. They've redefined "freedom is not free" from "eternal vigilance is the price of liberty" to "freedom is slavery". Gerontocracy marked the long decline of the Soviet Union, that "Marxist" and "republican" version of the Russian Empire. Now America's elders, especially the rich ones, are trying to turn "the land of the free and home of the brave" into a Corporatist oligarchy dominated by — surprise! — rich old white men. You know, the same force of tyranny the Sixties Radicals were so determined to destroy back when they were young and had some semblance of conscience?
Now consider the gerontocrats of Spanner. The Becket brothers: born in the 1930s. Their baby sister Drusilla and nephew Walter Brinkman? 1950s. But they were always conservative; they were targets of the Sixties Radicals and were surprised to find them flocking over to their side as neocons. The Conservative Revolutionary Party militants who aren't simply right-wing militia types are the former Sixties (less often Seventies through Nineties) radicals turned conservative in their old age. But they haven't given up their Sixties Radical infatuation with terrorism. They still long to blow shit up, only for the Fascists rather than the Communists. And their Revolution is not just against the democratic "rabble", but even more so the "whippersnappers", who are increasingly non-white, threatening the comforting uniformity of traditional American white-bread-ness (for which threat they also blame those America-hating liberal traitors!!! whom they think are the same Sixties Radicals they themselves used to be). And so they give dominion and offer hero worship to a cabal of self-righteous Cold War superheroes born in the 1930s and whose heads remain stuck in the 1950s.
This is the theme that Willa and Hope, two "Xists" (actually, Hope's technically a late-Boomer born in 1962, but we'll let that slide) who have always refused to heed the siren song of Conservatism and Corporatism no matter how rich they got, introduce in the meeting they hold for the student tutors and dissident teachers at Mudlark House in Chapter 4.
Now for a relevant sidetrack, here's the Cracked list of six movies with political agendas you didn't notice and the Spanner response:
- The Dark Knight: Batman kidnaps foreign citizens — just like the CIA! (Nolan was trying to justify Shrub Bush's tyrannical imperial policy in this kinder, gentler version of Frank Miller's infamous Holy Terror.) Spanner: That's what bounty hunters are licensed to do; some are themselves costumed heroes, and they get very self-righteous about it.
- Ghostbusters: If you give the federal government too much power — ghosts! Spanner: True! Plus: rampaging angels, demons, and giant robots!
- Saw VI: Jigsaw pushes for health insurance reform! Spanner: Good luck torturing the chairmen of the entire healthcare industry, Jigsaw. Not that you're any less a villain (and a self-righteous one at that) for it. In fact, you'd fit right in with your fellow Social Darwinists who make up the CRP...
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen: The Government is dumb — but America is the world, and Shrub Bush and America's Heroic Armed Forces are way righteous! Spanner: Michael Bay is an official Party propagandist, just like, say, Frank Miller or Ted Nugent. Unlike them, he loves loves loves to blow shit up.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still (the original): even space aliens love Jesus! (Note: Klaatu was supposed to be a Christ figure anyway, but those earnest Catholics in the Hays Office forced the filmmakers to hammer home the point without the slightest subtlety to prevent the weakening of social control. This was the Cold War, after all, and anything short of pro-Christian propaganda was by definition atheism and therefore Communist treason.) Spanner: What's Jesus? (Remember, God died in 1966 — or at least turned comic-book dead for a few years.) Is there a Space Jesus? (Actually, America is supposed to be Jesus: the Second Coming, the Becket brothers and baby sister Drusilla won't stop telling us, occurred on July 4, 1776...)
- Superman IV: The Quest for Peace: Superman fixes the world — by taking it over! Spanner: Nice job breaking it, heroes! So, who watches the watchers? Also, fuck the sun.