FW: The Economist: Why and when to go in

Mark Jones jones.mark at SPAMbtconnect.com
Mon Jan 8 12:15:43 MST 2001



Jose G. Perez wrote
>
>     As you may know, I was probably the one person on this list most up in
> arms about this election,

Jose, thanks for all this. It is great. Of course, Tammany Hall and worse is in the
bloodstream of US politics. US democracy is a way of legitimising gangsterism.
Criminal gangs run the country. There is the Ivy Leage Tongs, the Chase Manhattan
Snakeheads, etc etc. Voting is a way of colluding. It is how the masses are coopted.
It is a way of sacralising sin, of making greed virtuous and vile racism, invisible.
All of this is true. However, democracy is better than the alternatives. Until there
is socialism, the real meaning of democracy cannot reveal itself in history or in
everyday life. But we do not have socialism, we have capitalism. If democracy is
completely debauched, the everyday life become intolerably oppressive and burdenson,
civil society becomes a playground for ideological thuggery, and we are in the
antechamber of a whole world of terrible evil, unspeakable criminality and suffering
and genocide. The politicians, their lackeys, hangers-on, spokespersons etc, who run
public affairs and government in the United States, are among the most cynical,
ruthless, criminalised and desperate of all bourgeois elites anywhere in the world.
The principle of 'one dollar, one vote' and the complete stranglehold on political
life and civil society and all its cultural and social discourses, of the
gangsterised monopoly and finance which make up US corporate capital, has leached
all sense and meaning out of public life and made of democracy a cynical in-joke at
the expense of the masses. Yet it is also true that for capitalism to survive, there
must be a constant process of bourgeois renewal and relegitimisation, and electoral
politics is the essence of that process. They hate it, but they cannot do without
it.

They debauch it, but they need to reaffirm its purity at every election. It is a
huge carnival, a pageant of biblical sins, whose icon is the dollar and whose symbol
is the pork barrel. But it is also something America cannot do without, not only to
support and to dignify and rationalise its vainglorious, ethnocidal and exterminist
foreign policy, but also to secure social cohesion at home, to satisfice
conmflicting interst groups and elites, and to incorporate the masses. If the
winners lose, and greedy elites begin to openly work to Stalin's alleged thesis
('What matters is not who votes but who counts') then a threshold has been crossed.
And this election was a real Rubicon. When has anything like this happened before?
When has a president taken office by fraud, by fixing the electoral college and even
after losing the popular vote? Is there a precedent? And it has happened because US
democracy has been wasting away for decades. It's like when doctors try to decide
the time of death: it's not so easy as it seems, and there is no absolute moment of
death, but we know the difference between a stiff and a living person all the same.
US democracy is now a stiff. Most people still think the system's self-righting
emchanism will bring the cadaver back to life in 4 year's time, and a genuinely
elected leader will be anointed. I'm speculating about whether this will happen in 4
years or ever again. Try this for a thought experiment: instead of assuming Gore or
someone will be elected next time, assume that the Dark Forces that have now seized
power use this power and use the moment to make sure that no 'mistakes' like the
Clinton years can ever happen again. There is now a constitutional logjam, a hung
house and a mandate-free president, who can shamble thru lamefacedly for a few years
and then disappear into obscurity and obloquy. Or he and his ghouls will use the
moment to radically change the rules. Why do people suppose that this is impossible,
unthinkable?

Interesting analysis of the Miami Herald BTW: I've been posting from there on
CrashList, but you really opened the books on it. Well, until they close us down, we
are here to tell it like it is so there is no absolute monopoly on the news any
more. And I don't believe that people who stirred themselves enough to go and vote
are not secretly ot openly ashamed of what has happened; people may be in denial,
but what happened was an infamous and all-too-blatant travesty which has made US
democracy a public mockery all round the world.


>     And then there's the economy.

Thanks for contribution, too, it's really helpful. And isn't it ironic that the Bank
of America has been stricken by a combination of bad dot.com investment and bad
California utility debt? Who said that energy isn't important any more? Hah! You are
right in everything you say about capital-dilution. We shall see whether or not this
is a temporary reverse or a decade-long slump with unforeseeable outcomes.

Mark






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