Mike Lux, AlterNet
One of the clearest dividing lines between conservatives and progressives is represented by a battle of metaphors: the individualistic "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" metaphor vs. the community "we're all in this together" metaphor.
Conservatives have always been individualists first and foremost, believing that we are all ultimately on our own, and that being dependent on others and especially the government is the ultimate sin. Believing fervently in Adam Smith's "invisible hand" of the marketplace, many conservatives are so passionate about the primacy of marketforces and individualism that they are willing to embrace the Social Darwinists' idea that if you're wealthy it was because that was how natural law intended things to be. They also embrace Ayn Rand's argument that selfishness is the ultimate virtue and that charity and self-sacrifice actually weakens a society by helping the "leeches.”
"Holy S**t, What a Nightmare This Turned Into": How Austerity Destroyed Our Small Towns, Max Fraser, AlterNet Jeanette Eastman, Associate Editor, Evergreene Digest
Once as wholesome a symbol of the American Dream as the family breadwinner and apple pie, the very idea of Middletown now seemed a pale shadow of present realities, as the stark prose of unemployment statistics and eviction notices inscribed a very different kind of story onto the lives of millions of Americans.
10 Most Obscene Lifestyles Choices of America's 1% Elite, David Sirota, AlterNet
Jeanette Eastman, Associate Editor, Evergreene Digest
Complaining about having to do their own dishes, or bragging about $800,000 car garages, the 1 percenters are all but screaming “let them eat cake” from the ramparts.