It certainly looks like a winning hand. Ronald Reagan found it to be, that potent combination of populism, racism, and nationalism that made him so popular, and that continued to undermine wages, civil liberties and peace right through the three administrations that followed.
The approach has a hidden agenda, that of corporate domination and special privileges for the very wealthy. That is why the Reagan formula is continuing its way through Europe in Italy, England and now France with the victory of Sarkozy It can be applied wherever there is identifiably different race or religion that can be blamed for society’s shortcomings. By getting the people to vent their economic frustration on the few, they are quite willing to give up their rights to fair wages, civil liberties, and any other benefits that democratic societies should provide.
The origin of such tactics has not been right wing economic thought from the University of Chicago. These theories merely make palatable what was the genius of the Third Reich, the use of fear and nationalism to mask the totalitarianism at the heart of corporate dominance. Perhaps the Twenty-First Century will be seen as merely a continuation of the bloodshed and inhumanity of the Twentieth, only to be interrupted by depressions and world wars.
To survive, we need another model. One freed from the profit motive, the current religion of our economic elite. Perhaps our salvation will spring one day from the ashes of the millions sacrificed to this false god.