If [belief in evolution] means assenting to an exclusively materialistic, deterministic vision of the world that holds no place for a guiding intelligence, then I reject it.
One word interests me here: "materialistic." Brownback, or rather, Brownback's ghost, is punning on the meaning of "materialism." Doing so is a small but important piece of standard "intelligent design" creationism rhetoric. And it highlights exactly how cheap a fraud it is.
Oh come on Tristero, even they can't be that crude and cynical can they ?
Oh yes they can
As for spirituality, Rove said, “As baby boomers age and as they’re succeeded by the post-baby-boom generation, within both of those generations there’s something going on spiritually—people saying it’s not all about materialism, it’s not all about the pursuit of material things. If you look at the traditional mainstream denominations, they’re flat, but what’s growing inside those denominations, and what’s growing outside those denominations, is churches that are filling this spiritual need, that are replacing sterility with something vibrant, something that speaks to the heart of the individual, that gives a sense of purpose.”
Actually, maybe "cynical" is too kind to Rove. He is trying to convince Jeffrey Goldberg, who is unlikely to fall for the equivocation. I think it is really possible that Karl Rove doesn't think there people can care about anything other than the quest for material things and religion (and he has said that he is not religious). Explains a lot no ?
The Rove quote via Matthew Yglesias who is brilliant as usual. Rove is also still on the internet high
The power of the computer has made it possible for people to gain greater control over their lives. It’s given people a greater chance to run their own business, become a sole proprietor or an entrepreneur. As a result, it has made us more market-oriented, and that equals making you more center-right in your politics.”
I'd say the fact that it's now more feasible for people to "run their own business, become a sole proprietor or an entrepreneur" means people are more interested in seeing the development of a policy agenda -- federal guarantees of health insurance, elder care, and basic child services -- that facilitate that sort of lifestyle.
So Yglesias argues that the Petit Bourgeousie are naturally leftist !?! This reminds me of the time he argued that the left is naturally non-ideological (OK he said liberals but he contrasted us with rightists). Rove is combining Friedman and Marx (the facial hair popular front). Yglesias notes that Generous Motors et al made it possible for US workers with steady jobs, health insurance and generous pensions to reject the welfare state, but that small (tiny) businessmen need the state.
So why is it that small businessmen have traditionally voted on the right ? Well when the left was organized labor this is understandable (I don't have to read history books or even remember to no, I live in Italy and the conflict between the interests of employees represented by trade unions and of small businessmen is a constant part of the policy debate). US trade unions are too weak to drive e-entrepreneurs to the Republicans.
Another issue is tax evasion. Tax evaders usually choose to convince themselves that taxes are theft. Everyone thinks everyone else is evading more than they are and feels cheated. Evasion limits revenues and programs. I am sure that tax evasion, anger over tax evasion, and sense of guilt over tax evasion is a major problem for the left in, say, Italy. It divides employees and small businessmen and prevents a broad social democratic coalition typical of Northern European countries with very few small businessmen.
I don't think the internet is going to aid Rove by making his natural opponents quarrel over tax evasion. It makes it possible to manage a tiny business. It makes it very very hard to hide transactions. It means less and less use of cash. It is not going to help Rove.
I think Yglesias is right and Marx and Rove are wrong. The changes in the US economy increase economic risk and reduce the role for employer based social insurance. Thus they help the Democrats.
Update: A link to this post.