Blue Louisa: A blog Covering Central Virginia & national politics from a progressive perspective
An earlier Blue Louisa piece discussed some of the ways Republican’s exploit emotional issues to distract from their hidden economic agendas, and here's how it works in Louisa County
Most of the CV’s readers would have little reason to recall their in-depth 2016-17 coverage of the James River Water Project. Stories which clearly indicated that the intake for the pipeline would be built on top of a known archeological site, presumably information the Board of Supervisor’s took into consideration in their subsequent decisions about projects depending on this pipeline.
So how did they fail to anticipate the Monican Nations concerns, knowing that until they were resolved, any work on the pipeline was unlike to start, and that it would cause significant delays and likely cost overruns? The short answer — such absent mindedness, including their most recent proposed “fix” of taking even more water from the Green Springs aquifer for a residential development behind the Wal-Mart has always been a feature of their economic plans, not a bug.
Unlike the attitudes of the James River Water Authority, it appears that the reasons for the Board’s deeds are rooted in Virginia’s peculiar mythology. From my transplanted Yankee perspective, the “Virginia Way” can best be described as a deep-seated cultural acquiescence to authority, one little removed from the thinking of the plantation era.
Bland acceptance, accompanied by it’s hypocritical cousin, “get along to go along,” where maintaining the appearance of genteel collegiality regardless of any legitimate differences becomes more important than effective government.
Considering that Virginia started as a “royal charter,” where the investors profits took precedence over everything else, it should come as little surprise to discover that this mindset has dominated the Commonwealth’s politics at every level since the 1600’s. Where “the business of government has always been business,” no matter who’s running things.
A unique form of American capitalism centered around slavery, where their harsh treatment was a daily reminder for everyone else to stay in line. Where in a time when land prices were low, financial products like mortgage-backed securities were written against the indirect value of the enslaved.
Where most of the southern banking industry backed the slaves value, and the banks in the north and especially Europe made lots of money from their misery. Where accounting concepts like depreciation and hierarchical management structures were first developed for the plantation, not the railroads and industry of the later industrial age.
A set of practices, which University of Wisconsin-Madison sociologist Joel Rogers has termed: Low-road capitalism A mindset which lives on today, with local county officials and Supervisors praising today’s version of prosperity gospel with all the evangelical fervor they can muster.
Promises of a glorious future/past indifferently mixed with antediluvian notions like; Segregation… ahem …“economic growth now, economic growth tomorrow, economic growth forever.” Pointedly ignoring realities like the availability of water, particularly ground water sets the upper limit for any growth.
Such emotional misdirection’s and false promises are how Republican’s have operated since the day’s of Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” hiding behind a veneer of hypocritical civility, calls for law and order, using coded emotional appeals while governing with tax cuts for the rich and regulatory rollbacks.
Considering what has happened in adjacent counties where the Tea Publicans have taken over, the Boards plans are more likely to entrench ideological … I mean economic [and racial] segregation now, tomorrow and forever.
A land where local officials apparently are only familiar with one tune, Virginia's oldest cultural earworm " I wish I was in the land of cotton, corruption there is soon forgotten, steal away, steal away, dixieland .... ." A realm where inequality reigns and poverty remains endemic just as it has for decades.
Nor does it matter if it’s due to an overly deferential and incurious mindset, typified by the Boards three biggest sclerotics … I mean … get along’s, Barlow, Barnes and Gentry; who consistently fail to exercise any due diligence or oversight, convinced if there’s no conflict there’s no problem. Or because of the closed doors schemes of radical ideologists [aka Replican’ts ] like Wade, Adams and Williams and others.
The results will be the same; a rigged game where only a select few reap the economic benefits.
Until the people of Louisa demand accountability from the Board for their actions, and make a concerted effort to change who sits on the Board, they will continue to ignore the advice of their committees; from the Planning Commission to the Broadband Authority.
And they will continue to ignore common sense proposals; like putting a roof over, and heating the County pool for year round use, calling it government waste and socialism. And they will continue to do everything possible to ensure that the profits of these economic ventures are privatized while the losses are socialized
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.