[Marxism] [UCE] Fwd: Not a Revolution — Yet | Jacobin
mdriscollrj at charter.net
Fri Nov 25 11:55:07 MST 2016
On 22 Nov 2016 16:06:15 -0500 (EST) Louis Proyect wrote
Mike Davis, wtf? This softness on the DP has become an epidemic.
"But Trumpism, however it evolves, cannot unify millennial economic
distress with that of older white workers, while Sanders showed that
heartland discontent can be brought under the umbrella of a
“democratic socialism” that reignites New Deal hopes for a Economic
Bill of Rights. With the Democratic establishment in temporary
disarray, the real opportunity for transformational political change
(“critical realignment” in a now-archaic vocabulary) belongs to
Sanders and Warren. We must hurry."
Yes, in an otherwise helpful article.
Christian Parenti, in another thoughtful article, is in the same box.
Parenti writes, "Perhaps, the Clinton- DNC cabal can be broken up and
run off and the Democratic Party can re-launch on the basis of a
neo-Rooseveltian/Sanders style set of programs." (Listening to Trump
This ignores among other things and first of all the often-acknowledged
conclusion that FDR with his New Deal sop was softening the effects of
Depression to avoid chaos and communism, which he thought better of as a
strategy later on, and Bernie was nothing more than a one-off, who was
inadvertently let inside the Democratic candidate tent on poking his
nose in with his declared intention to run and expose class interest.
Never did they suspect. And never again. One of a raft of inconvenient
errors made by the Dem honchos in their rotted-out strategies, which
ignore almost completely, given their comfortable, blinkered perception
of their obligations to capital, the interests of their
working-class-at-election-time-only-constituency. Mark Blyth says, "I
don't know what the Democratic Party is. I know there's a bunch of
people making very, very nice six-figure incomes bouncing from agency to
agency, starting wars, getting promoted, never having to pay the price
for it, waiting for the next administration to give them another pay hike."
Not only is the capitalist system stagnant, maxed out, hollowed out at
its place of residence in the wealthy countries as elsewhere, but the
trend obviously is to go with even more of the goods and resources to be
processed where the wages are lowest, dividing and thereby controlling
labor even more, automating and downsizing and asset-stripping, to
render jobs both in the advanced regions and the poor regions even more
inhumanely precarious and onerous, with labor organization stymied by,
among other things, oligopsonies' threats to move out and their interim
success at lock down of labor mobility, globally, precluding (for how
long?) the clamant urgency, as a matter of survival, for global working
class solidarity. And their host countries' privileged constituents live
in what could be characterized as gated national communities with
bordering walls and heightened security and surveillance and the media
amplifying nationalist, anti-immigrant sentiment.
While transnational capital, rentier monopolies such as Apple and Nike
and Wal-Mart, dictate, if at a safe remove from responsibility, the
price, pay scale and other terms of production to the producers in the
poor countries, keeping them in relative terms ever poorer.
Transnational capital roams the globe at will, along with the almost
complete lock on labor mobility; therefore, gaping wage disparity, along
with glaring vertical wealth disparity, has no answer, for the time being.
There's an expression for another dominant trend: the "downward
equalization of the global wage rate," which capsulizes a lot for me. Do
we have to await equalization of the wage rate before we see workers in
the richer countries let go of their illusions about the inferior,
lesser immigrants and join the majority of the human race in solidarity?
Anti-immigrant status, of course, has a long pedigree everywhere, from
Ben Franklin despising the Germans, to the Alienation and Sedition Acts,
to the Chinese exclusion acts just to name a few in the US; we're on a
long course as bigots in thrall to capital. The explanation of course is
the historical specter of cheaper labor, and the cause is capitalism,
which divides labor to capital's continuing benefit.
Meanwhile, the US state like other states, wholly in tow to
transnational corporate interests, has no more clout when it comes to
corporate profits being taxed ever less in terms relative to its
enormous revenue, with contrived loopholes, lobbyists and corporate
lawyers writing the tax code, profit obscured by the plethora of
components, parts and allied service producers sharing overhead and
profit offshore, scattering book-keeping portraits of profits all over
the globe, as well as other means for profits being hidden out,
value-transferred, tucked into tax havens and frittered on criminal
financial speculation; and the revenue stream stagnates further while
the distended debt grows ever larger. Meantime, the US is committing one
senseless, savage military disaster after another, ever more costly in
terms of lives and wasted resources beyond calculating. And what more
can be said about the collapsing environment, information about which
capital mutes to our peril?
Mark Blyth at the Watson Institute at Brown University predicts that the
era of neoliberalism is over; the era of neonationalism has begun - a
chilling prospect that Trump seems to be catching on the fly, and that
reflects the benefits to transnational capital of a low-wage majority
resolutely kept from the doors of corporate resident headquarters in the
wealthy countries https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWMmBG3Z4DI. "The
Wall" is another example of neonationalism, how the richer nations are
becoming gated communities against the overwhelming majority in the rest
of the world.
Half of those surveyed in 22 countries by Ipsos Mori’s Social Research
Institute, reported in August, express anti-immigrant sentiments. In all
the countries surveyed, not one had a majority with a positive
impression of immigration
And how soon will we see a renewed wave of tariffs, import quotas and
the prospects of inadvertent war between major armed powers, Russia,
China, even Germany or eventually Japan again, that have followed on in
the past? We might think 'never,' since the US currently holds such an
indomitable lock on military capability. Let's not hold our breath for
too long. Tariffs are very toxic, technology is ever more sophisticated,
depreciating and transferable, and this is an egregiously unstable
system. Think of the ways in which cheapening technology can be used by
"terrorists" with no identifiable venue. And if they depend on the
praetorian guards to protect them with heightened security measures, how
many will it take, and there's the usual question about the
ever-expanding need for conscript armies and praetorians: Quis custodiet
And worst of all for now, neonationalism accompanies the fact that
there's no left left, especially if you see as I do the Bernie
phenomenon as hardly "the left" and nothing more than a wistful look
back at reformist/capitalist FDR or at LBJ's poverty program, which
won't happen again under any existing form of capital accumulation since
production is going elsewhere - but which somehow in the minds of some
is the "true" character of the Democratic Party.
I don't like to think that this includes in the minds of Mike Davis and
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