[Marxism] [UCE] Fwd: Not a Revolution — Yet | Jacobin

Ralph Johansen 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 
ipsos custodes?

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 
Christian Parenti.

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