December 28, 2009

Patrick "Li'l Milton" McIlheran

Speaking of Journal Communications, Inc., how pleasant it must be to write a guest op-ed for the local paper only to have it savaged within hours by a member of that same paper's editorial board as "a morbidly wretched example of willful, stone-blind irrationality."

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" reportedly sustained a series of mini-aneurysms upon learning Obama Hussein's Malcolm X-Mas tree had no decorative Carlos Castillo balls on it.


Clutch said...

Ironically, it's as much a Marxist position as any to see feudalism and capitalism as exclusive.

In any case it's amusing to see an allegedly adult man earnestly rehearsing libertarian talking points like a 16 year-old who discovered Rush last summer and Rand at Thanksgiving.

Feudalism and capitalism are complicated things; core elements of each may be combined. Feudalism "at bottom" is also about hereditary power (/lessness) that is preserved within classes by a range of means -- including the retention of property and disproportionate access (or lack thereof) to political influence across generations.

That actual capitalism (private profit seeking in actual -- not Libertarian Heaven -- markets) can and does display these and important related hallmarks of feudalism to a discussion-worthy degree would be news to nobody of any intellectual curiosity, honesty, and capacity. But it is news to Patrick McIlheran.

illusory tenant said...

Neil Peart, at least, can be forgiven thanks to his high-level musical proficiency.