April 05, 2012

Two good articles in The Baffler

On their site this month:

Maureen Tkacik has some issues with The Atlantic. But will she go there?
And with this sort of triple-threat propaganda triumph in view, the otherwise baffling success of this once reputable magazine grows clear. Of course The Atlantic is a turgid mouthpiece for the plutocracy, a repository of shallow, lazy spin, and regular host of discussion forums during which nothing is discussed. It is, in every formal trait, a CIA front.

Thomas Frank points out what may be obvious to some: you're more likely to be rewarded for playing along than being right.
A résumé filled with grievous errors in the period 1996–2006 is not only a non-problem for further advances in the world of consensus; it is something of a prerequisite. Our intellectual powers that be not only forgive the mistakes; they require them. You must have been wrong back then in order to have a chance to be taken seriously today; only by having gotten things wrong can you demonstrate that you are trustworthy, a member of the team. (Those who got things right all along, on the other hand, might be dubbed “premature market skeptics”—people who doubted the consensus before the consensus acknowledged it was all right to doubt.)


Blogger First Sea Lord said...

Bingo. The phrase in the latter reminds me immediately of the CIA's later investigation of WWII OSS agents who they termed "Premature Anti-fascists."

April 6, 2012 at 1:49 PM  

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