Unfortunately the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Patrick McIlheran's right-wing guy-savagery is widely misplaced, as he doesn't seem to have understood what the object of his Randian derision was talking about (no surprises there).
In fact, that's the weird part about Patterson's essay: He hooks up "feudal" and "capitalism" in the apparent hope of discrediting the noun with the adjective. But it's like saying "Christian Islam" or "dry water"* — the phrases work only if you wildly distort what you're meaning [sound effect of exploding irony meter goes here].If Milton McIlheran has never come across the descriptive term feudal capitalism, then he can't be much of an expert in economics, which is supposedly his strong suit. (Or, at least, it's the most common product of his daily rummaging around right-wing blog-sites, regardless of their comically dubious provenance. See, e.g., Dad29.)
One needn't expect McIlheran to endorse Marxist political theory, obviously, any more than one would expect a socialist to approve the Chicago Boys' hopping into the sack with Augusto Pinochet.**
But at least the latter can be reasonably well-informed about it. Unlike the former, who appears to have forged a career out of embarrassing himself in print (admittedly, much to our delight).
McIlheran says the emergence of his dearly beloved capitalism is what ended feudalism. Well, no. Feudalism never went away, is the point. And elements of feudalism survive in the present system as evidenced by the situations described (accurately) by John Patterson.
Patterson's observations seemed straightforward enough to me, and hardly irrational, whether you agree with his prescriptions or not.
But we know by now that McIlheran is a ridiculous calumnist who will stop at nothing — including lying — in his failed attempts to discredit his perceived political opponents.
Or, in this case, discredit an author who'd dare to suggest that the species of capitalism practiced in the U.S. is less than ideal. So McIlheran had to mark his spot, as they say in the animal kingdom.
What's morbidly wretched is that the perceptive John Patterson (or the like) isn't featured more often and the hackish McIlheran, less.
Meet your Journal Communications supastars: "P-Dendro" McIlheran, Charlie "Gone Galt" Sykes, and James T. "Hip Musings" Harris.
* McIlheran came from Minnesota, yet he's unfamiliar with ice.
** Disciples of "Brongblart's Hollywad.com" reportedly sustained a series of mini-aneurysms upon learning Obama Hussein's Malcolm X-Mas tree had no decorative Carlos Castillo balls on it.