How Racists Are Useful Idiots


In 1901, Russian scientist, Ivan Petrovich Pavlov, conducted a series of experiments called “conditioned reflex” [also referred to as “classical conditioning”]. Pavlov attached a device to a dog to measure the amount of saliva produced when he rang a bell. He rang the bell just before he fed the dog so that the dog associated the sound of the bell with food and thus, would salivate in anticipation of eating. After doing this several times, he would ring the bell without feeding the dog – the dog would still salivate as much as before because it had been “conditioned”. In American politics, certain politicians ring a bell [by using special code words] and white racists salivate just like a faithful dog and cast their votes for those politicians. With regard to voting for certain politicians, white racist voters are useful idiots.

They are racists and thus, idiots. They are useful in that certain politicians can “ring that Pavlovian bell” knowing that the racists will eagerly cast their vote in response. Once in office, however, those politicians can submit legislation and enact policies designed to cater to the desires of their wealthy constituents. Catering to those desires often comes at the expense of the Pavlovian racist dogs’ economic and social well-being. In short, those politicians have methodically performed the calculus in how best to get elected. What is also quite possible is that, personally, some of those politicians might be mildly racists or perhaps not racist at all but they know which “bell” to ring to get votes.

To be a racist one must first eschew logic and reason at all costs – and above all, avoid the truth and ignore basic reality. This kind of utter stupidity lays the groundwork for being a faithful idiot. As long as racist beliefs are stoked, politicians can bend the racists over and have their way with them. Their racism is so deep-seated and logic-defying that given a choice between having more if blacks can have as much or having less if it means that blacks would have even less, the racists would, more often than not, choose the latter. Thus, many politicians nurture this inbred state of emotions to win elections. More exactly, those politicians exploit the cleavage between the races by providing the white racists with a convenient scapegoat; a group of people to blame because “those people” are dangerous, lazy, criminal and less intelligent.

This manipulation and use of idiots is nothing new. Hitler noted the utility of racism with respect to the Jews and thus, stated, “The masses are… stupid. Only emotion and hatred can keep them under control.” [emphasis mine]. Anton Chekhov asserted the same thing when he declared, “Love, friendship, respect, do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something” or some group.

But we need not refer to the distant past for examples of how some American politicians ring a bell that racist hear very clearly and who salivate like Pavlov’s dog and eagerly cast their votes for those politicians.

Richard Nixon, employed what is called the “Southern Strategy” to win the votes of racist useful idiots of the South who became disenfranchised with the democratic party. This strategy was perfected by Lee Atwater, political strategist for Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He described it this way:

“You start out in 1954 by saying, N*gger, n*gger, n*gger.” By 1968 you can’t say “n*gger” — that hurts you. Backfires. So, you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I’m not saying that. But I’m saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial is saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N*gger, n*gger.” [the edited spelling N*gger, is mine]2 https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Southern_strategy

In other words, to exploit the idiocy of racist voters, politicians reference things associated with African-Americans – rightly or wrongly – without mentioning African-Americans directly. The politicians speak with “code words” such as crime, drugs, urban areas, welfare, fatherless children, unwed mothers, reverse racism, quotas, food stamps, etcetera. Use of these words gives them plausible deniability if they are accused of racism.

Sometimes, instead of code words, politicians ring that special bell that makes the racist salivate like Pavlov’s dog by using code pictures.

In 2006, Harold “Ford was up against a white Republican, Bob Corker. The Republican National Committee bankrolled an ad that included a simpering, wriggling blond gushing about how she’d met the bachelor Ford at “the Playboy party.” The spot ended with the winking blond whispering, “Harold, call me,” – and began an angry debate over whether the ad exploited, as the NAACP put it, “a powerful innuendo that plays to pre-existing prejudices about African-American men and white women.”” http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/harold-ford-jr-weighs-new-run-senate-attempt-south-ad-controversy-article-1.458501

This was also reported in the LA Times as follows: “A new Republican Party television ad featuring a scantily clad white woman winking and inviting a black candidate to “call me” is drawing charges of race-baiting, with critics saying it contradicts a landmark GOP statement last year that the party was wrong in past decades to use racial appeals to win support from white voters.

Critics said the ad, which is funded by the Republican National Committee and has aired since Friday, plays on fears of interracial relationships to scare some white voters in rural Tennessee to oppose Democratic Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr. Ford is locked in a tight race, hoping to become the first African American senator since Reconstruction to represent a state in the former Confederacy.
“It is a powerful innuendo that plays to pre-existing prejudices about African American men and white women,” said Hilary Shelton, head of the Washington office of the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People, the country’s oldest civil rights organization.

A former Republican senator, William S. Cohen of Maine, was more blunt. Cohen, who was also Defense secretary under President Clinton, said on CNN that the ad was “a very serious appeal to a racist sentiment.””
http://articles.latimes.com/2006/oct/24/nation/na-ford24

Remember, many American politicians need racist voters to advance the economic agenda of the wealthy which is also deleterious to the economic needs of those white racists. Much of what the racist voters want does not conflict with the economic interests of the wealthy. Most of the states of the former Confederacy can be characterized by the observation of Claude-Frederic Bastiat. He asserted, “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

For example, when the legislature of North Carolina was taken to court for gerrymandering designed to suppress the votes of African-Americans, the US Supreme Court sided against North Carolina in Cooper v Harris. The Supreme Court, in 2017, also struck down two of the state’s congressional districts earlier this year, saying they were impermissible racial gerrymanders.” This was in complete agreement with the finding that the North Carolina legislature “enacted a voter ID law that a federal appeals court struck down, saying it targeted African Americans “with almost surgical precision.” https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/north-carolina-racial-gerrymandering_us_59f23725e4b03cd20b805ace

Race is like a shiny trinket that distracts the idiotic racists from looking at where the politicians’ ultimate objectives are revealed. It is not in the economic interest of many of the wealthy for racism to be shut down. There is much to be gained from white racism in America. Such gains are possible because, as Niccolo Machiavelli explained, “Men are so simple of mind, and so much dominated by their immediate needs, that a deceitful man will always find plenty who are ready to be deceived.”

Many American politicians have been so successful in dealing the race card to win elections, Russian propagandists took a seat at the table and dealt the same race card to disrupt and sow more dissension. https://www.alternet.org/election-2016/russian-propagandists-took-page-out-americas-racist-political-playbook
Yes, even the Russians can see that racists can be played like a cheap dollar store fiddle. Play it and the racists will dance like an elephant in a tutu – completely unaware of being used for the will of the one playing the fiddle.

To best illustrate how severely stupid racists are and how useful to the politicians and wealthy they can be, note the following. In the Pre-Civil War South, plantation owners would rather pay a black slave nothing than pay a white man for the same tasks. Later, during the Civil War, stupefied by racism, those non-slave-owning whites fought and died so that slave-owners could keep their slaves and not pay whites for the same tasks. True, the plantation owners were racists also, but could not have perpetrated a self-serving exploitive system without the useful idiots to support it. Proof-positive that racists are intellectually anemic at best and just dangerously damn stupid at worst. In either event, politicians use them like toilet tissue.

One final note: Prior to 1964 – 1968, Southern Democrats were unabashedly segregationists/racists. Later, they abandoned the Democratic party and tied themselves to the Republican party and subsequently painted the southern states solidly “red” [as opposed to “blue”]. This is not to say that all Republicans are racists [after all, many Democrats are also] but it is to say that a profoundly significant number of racists comfortably identify as Republicans as evidenced by how their social interests and those of many Republicans are aligned. And that alignment can be exploited to advance the economic interests of wealthy donors.

In any event, racists are dolts – always have been and always will be. They are Pavlovian dogs who wag their tails and salivate like useful idiots each time politicians ring that bell.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Riveting! Got some talking points for lunch next Thursday—this, plus the earlier missive regarding hope/ your children. Thanks so much for sharing.

    On Tue, Dec 12, 2017 at 9:40 PM, carlespiemaryalice wrote:

    > CarlespieMaryAlice posted: “In 1901, Russian scientist, Ivan Petrovich > Pavlov, conducted a series of experiments called “conditioned reflex” [also > referred to as “classical conditioning”]. Pavlov attached a device to a dog > to measure the amount of saliva produced when he rang a bell” >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your response and I am looking forward to our upcoming lunch.

      Like


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