Classical liberal, conservative (small ‘c’), free speech advocate and defender of liberty are typical self-ascribed pseudo-positive characteristics of some of the charlatans who promote extreme free market exploitation. They cannot present support for their ideology honestly because it is difficult to convince people that concentration of capital and property in the hands of a few with associated wilful disregard for the health and welfare of others is acceptable.
In an earlier epoch – Thatcher’s tenure – the free market confidence trick was sold by promoting the possible riches of entrepreneurship and small businesses. Three decades later a repeat of that tactic cannot succeed due to how the capitalist economy evolved and declined and capital became ever more concentrated.
A subset of free marketeers uses misleading appropriation of liberal phraseology and perspectives and self-victimisation as tools to simultaneously attack socialism and support libertarian free market ideology. Criminal abuse of the word ‘free’ is rampant. The style of communication – mock outrage, relentless dishonesty, avoidance of logic, veneration of a figment of imagination – replicates the tone and intent of spiritual sermons. Like religious polemics, participants’ utterances are shamelessly intended to mislead, obfuscate and obscure while demanding worship of an undefined, rickety idol that will free people from the shackles of humanity.
The advocates and protagonists of this faith have a smorgasbord of nomenclature for themselves; I shall call them The Gits.
The Gits know that a (possibly lucrative) career in gobshitery is available to the most adept purveyors of unending tripe delivered with cod surety and abject absence of shame or self-reflection because they know their political objectives are firmly in tune with prevailing aims of the wealthiest.
The Gits have no obligation nor inclination to provide evidence for their assertions or to respond adequately to queries. Faith does not require proof, consistency or didactic reasoning. Faith requires self-blinkered unashamed robotic persistence with never a moment of cognitive reflection. The Gits’ sermons and essays are deluges of repetition of oft-refuted fake points.
A Git’s TV performance features shouting, interruption of others (accompanied by feigdignation), fake surprise, fake outrage and petulance. Dramatic reactions are substituted for considered retorts.
Any criticism directed at The Gits elicits instant self-victimisation. They depict themselves as victims under attack as a ruse to create criticism of others and to waste time and energy of their opponents.
Throwing liberal axioms back in the faces of combatants is popular; pleas to liberty, freedom and protection from abuse are common. It is the dual trick of shifting accusation of wrongdoing onto their opponents while denying justification for criticism of The Gits.
The Gits’ spiritual nature was epitomised by FREER co-chair Lee Rowley in a bizarre paper called Next Generation Capitalism. (FREER is a subsidiary of Institute of Economic Affairs and Rowley is a Tory MP.) His paper was a call to arms for the brethren of the capitalist church to go among the people and spread the word of good free markets versus evil socialism. “There is a moral mission at the heart of our politics,” he declared.
Rowley’s paper was a concise gathering of every deceptive con-trick and misdirection of pro-free market anti-socialist rhetoric. Throughout he tried desperately to steal the word ‘liberal’ from its context in a laughable scheme where he described capitalism as liberal economics as a “counterpart” to liberal philosophy.
“There is a cognitive dissonance between the viciousness of the battles for social liberty with their rejection of its economic counterpart [capitalism]. An appeal to the underlying values upon which our economics are based, which are also at the heart of our societal and cultural outlook, could yet ensure more people make the link.”
The Gits have friendly broadcasters’ platforms and newspapers’ column inches handed to them daily. Failure of interviewers and presenters to challenge the Gits’ drivel is a consequence of the former’s complicity and ineptitude. Even when challenged – for example, Andrew Neil’s encounter with US Git Ben Shapiro – the appearance on TV is still a platform.
The career route from blogs and vlogs to newspaper columns and TV exists for any potential Git with a loud voice, absence of shame and narrow focussed political aims. However, almost all Gits are from the private education machine. Top private schools teach their customers’ children how to win arguments by yelling and being dishonest, skills that are vital for a Git. The old school tie network helps to acquire TV appearances and newspaper jobs.
The rise of The Gits is a consequence of the lack of a cohesive argument to support free market economics and is enabled by the well-funded right-wing online media outlets that provide both training and visibility.
Usually, a Git’s initial online appearances are presented as if independent, self-funded and “grassroots” but there is always corporate funding behind it as well as PR and media training teams. The fake independence and grassroots claims are used knowingly by TV and newspapers as reasons to present The Gits as “alternative” voices.
Gits can emerge from other professions. There is a subgroup of Barrister Gits. Some barristers make a packet out of prosecuting on behalf of people seeking to silence others. Censorship of left-wing politics is a lucrative business. Both in court and elsewhere the barristers who seek to benefit from the funders of the censorship indulge in verbose gittery.
The existence of The Gits and their methodology is an admittance of fear of the resurgence of support for socialism, particularly among younger people. Lee Rowley expressed this fear in Next Generation Capitalism:
“Put simply, youth – when asked in polls commissioned by those favourable, unfavourable, and agnostic towards capitalism or market solutions – are clearly sceptical about what is on offer. Lower taxes, less spending, and smaller government polls badly. Support for the removal of red tape is shockingly low. Even on straight favourability/unfavorability ratios, capitalism is in the red and socialism scores better.”
Gittery is the last knockings of verbal and written challenge to socialism. Bereft of content, logic and truth it is the wail of cornered prey. A crooked smirk beneath dead eyes. Merely by their emergence The Gits have signalled their demise and the end of what they stand for.
feigndignation n. Fake indignation, used to alter the direction of an argument (c. David Whittam)
Screaming heads and professional trolls
Toby Young likes being the victim
Institute of Economic Affairs
Analysis of Lee Rowley’s ‘Next Generation Capitalism’
Andrew Neil versus Ben Shapiro