[Marxism] Glen Ford vs. Michael Eric Dyson on Obama Presidency, Louis Proyect

Ralph Johansen mdriscollrj at charter.net
Sun Sep 9 00:10:09 MDT 2012

Louis Proyect wrote

On the prospect of getting back on the four-year electoral carousel; 
thoughts on reconstructing our fragmented reality in the silly season...

By now it should be becoming apparent to everyone who's paying attention 
that Obama was anointed by the power-brokering-corporate-politicos, 
doing so because it was evident to them, in the context of a probable 
protracted economic downturn and at a time when the gutting of 
entitlements and imperial dirty work were in need of further extension 
and greater camouflage, that a young, charismatic, intelligent, eloquent 
black shill for capital, fresh from grooming at Harvard Law School, with 
a few years on the public-service hustings and a perfect 
corporate-lawyer spouse, was exactly what was needed to gull the masses 
this time around. No great mystery that it was perceived as a marketing 
miracle. It was a model of use to them not only here at home, but globally.

The purpose of all this conniving is of course profit and expansion for 
the shrinking few in a system that is centralizing and concentrating 
year by year. As a system based on capital accumulation it must expand 
or die, and the centrifugal counter-tendencies of global opposing forces 
must be contained at any cost. That includes repression, war and 
destruction as and when and wherever called for.

This system is not at all, anymore, responsive to US voters and their 
real interests, or anyone anywhere who doesn't serve the purposes of 
capital accumulation. If necessary, it's feasible: they will smash 
popular opposition ruthlessly. They're doing it now. Look at the 
incremental wars, the scarcely hidden use of rendition and torture, 
intended as deterrence, the attempted cooptation and curtailment of 
movements toward democracy; the assassination or banishing of 
recalcitrant, out of favor nationalist rulers, the concealed coercion 
and predation in contention for control of resources and cheap labor, 
all further proliferating during Obama's tenure, in Pakistan, Yemen, 
Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Bahrain, Libya, Syria, on the Asian 
and African continents, soon to resume in South America as well, in the 
melting, oil-bearing arctic circle, and counting; the repressive 
apparatus of surveillance, drones, preventive detention without trial 
and special ops that they're rapidly setting in place through 
legislation and CIA- and State Department-executive fiat; the gutting of 
international law, treaties and compacts, the international anarchy of 
imperial rule; the spectacle of obscene "security" at their rigged and 
colorless conventions, pointedly held in southern right-to-work states. 
Note the difference as
David Harvey points out between the massive police crackdown on the 
Occupy forces and the virtual absence of police (except as participants) 
at Tea Party rallies. They have set upon the ruled; they're largely 
succeeding in confusing, decimating and fracturing the domestic 
constituency and its painfully preserved historical bulwark of workers' 
protections, civil rights and liberties; they've virtually destroyed 
organized worker-power; and they're bankrolling, cozening and 
publicizing the far right.

The king-makers know what they're doing; this is by no means conspiracy 
theory, or some kind of historical accident - although it is certainly a 
response to accidents of history. They, those in charge of shaping the 
contours of our manufactured reality, have had years and years of 
experience as high-priced manipulators of the economic, political, 
cultural and geopolitical apparatus. It's becoming possible, even 
probable, that they'll make a one-term president of Obama by shoveling a 
preponderance of funding in the next two months to his openly 
pro-corporate opponent; because Obama may well be seen by them as having 
spent his political capital as a faux "compromiser", and as consequently 
no longer interest-bearing, having used up their capital investment in 
him; at a time of protracted stagnation and unemployment, with 
astronomical deficits and Keynesian, debt-financed solutions 
impracticable, it's increasingly likely that their interests lie with 
more onerous tactics; and for the time being, while they have lost focus 
on a concerted game-plan, the gloves are off. In the uncertain years 
ahead, at least if and until stabilization of accumulation is again in 
place, a no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners, 
"business-discipline-deficit-reduction-austerity" model in the 
embodiment of the Romney, most probably will better suit that need, to 
bottom out the economy, as prevailing establishment economists counsel, 
to maximize their gains and minimize their losses, by any means 
necessary, in a narrowing, rapidly shifting politico-economic context. A 
model replicated globally, in Europe and elsewhere.

That's the name of the game, and take it from there - not from some 
outmoded, liberal "democratic" dream of a more perfect union through 
bourgeois-parliamentary channels, a rigged four-year plebiscite, 
non-participatory rule and better news ahead, being sold by ossified 
political hacks who are rapidly losing their credentials with working 
people apprehensive about their future prospects.

So, recalling the helpless drift of capital in the lead-up to the last 
two global wars, our interests do not lie with the maddened, predatory 
eagle with two right wings, flapping haplessly in a down-rush of 
unstable, incalculable calamity. It's no longer hyperbole to forecast 
that if we continue on that chaotic route, opposing global forces, of 
whatever provenance and credentials, genuinely social-democratic, 
populist or autocratic-oligarchic, will find further blowback and the 
means to counter, leading to the probability of a reaction of massive 
destruction, of imponderable severity this time, and to the prospect of 
our mutual oblivion.

Elections-schmelections. The lesser evil camp can't even make people 
tremble over a Romney Supreme Court anymore; the tripartite bourgeois 
mechanism of "checks and balances" in purported service to a democratic 
polity is virtually in total bankruptcy.

We either find the means to organize, find our common ground and 
resolutely move toward a system that will serve us, or we see increased 
savage brutality and ravaging of people and environment all over the 
planet, imposed by those who serve capital. Here's where for us there's 
no facile prescription and no certainty; but based on experience during 
the 30s Depression and in preceding crises, when mass organizing started 
virtually from nothing, based on the imperative of sheer survival in a 
world of people as expendable surplus, the history of other struggles 
elsewhere, the legacy of entitlement to equal rights and the capacity we 
have uniquely been given to learn from the evidence of our senses and 
from our history, both of failures and successes; and looking forward, 
as illusion concerning our prospects under the prevailing system 
inevitably wears thin, and as incremental planet-wide resurgence gathers 
force and produces multiplier effects, my conviction is that we can look 
for an unstoppable movement toward this outcome to continue from its 
present flickering beginnings in the next half dozen years.

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