Lovely interview with Corey Robin, the author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. He makes an excellent point, flagged on Digby’s Hullaballoo, which is that although liberals frequently express astonishment at what we perceive to be the conservative base voting against their own self-interest, this is not necessarily true.
As Robin notes in the interview:
I don’t have a theory of false consciousness; I don’t think anyone’s being distracted. I think the right really does deliver the goods of power and privilege to more than an elite class. And the way it does that is often through the private life of power, the slave plantation being, of course, the most obvious form, but the family and the workplace also being critically central. Burke understood this—that our identity is a historical inheritance, and one of the main aspects of that inheritance is this private relationship of power and domination. And that relationship is so close to us that to give it up would really be a form of self-destruction.
And as Digby further states, noting that conservatives have a different definition of what their self-interest is:
They believe that giving up their private power would be far more destructive than giving up political power. Sure, right wing politicians are all liars and cheats and do anything they can to hold on to their public power. That’s the gig. But to the true believers their central concern is losing the privilege that defines them. And it isn’t really about money, although that’s tangentially part of it. It’s about hierarchy, status and dominion.
Click the link for the entire interview, which is great reading. I know what I’m downloading onto my Kindle next.