Category Archives: Politics

Campaign 2016: America passes into new hands

Summary: Campaign 2016 has achieved what many thought impossible, unifying America’s ruling class — behind Hillary Clinton. If Clinton manages this skillfully, it will mark the end of political polarization among our elites and begin a new era of bipartisanship (while America’s citizens remain weak and fragmented). The effects could be huge. She and the Democrats will owe it all to Trump.

Hands holding America

This election has become a carnival sideshow, behind our rulers are arranging a new government for America. There is no screen concealing these things. We just prefer to watch the entertaining follies up front, while our rulers take of business on the back of the stage.

There are three hundred thousand entries on Google for “political polarization”, mostly whining about its awfulness and pining for the bipartisanship of the days of yore. Worry no more! America’s ruling class has unified behind Hillary Clinton. Now she has to just build it into an enduring coalition, as FDR did.

Clinton’s coalition is a broad one, built by betraying some the Left’s core beliefs (just as the GOP came to power in 1964-1982 by adding racism to its platform). Bold foreign wars and aggressive domestic surveillance won support of the neocons and military-industrial-complex. Goldman, as usual, got in early and built Clinton’s support from Wall Street. The coy Clinton-Kaine will-they-won’t-they act prepares for their eventual support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (hence her support by big business).

Slowly people are seeing the truth. Such as Aran Gupta at CounterPunch

Continue reading

What to expect from Team Hillary in the White House

Summary: It’s time to tear ourselves from laughing at the dramatic self-destruction of Trump and consider what we will see in the Hillary Administration. Here are three predictions. Imagine the tendencies of the Obama Administration, but far more aggressive. Note: I’ve been accurate so far (a year ago predicting Trump’s strength, and in March predicting his crushing defeat).

Queen Hillary Clinton

 

Contents

  1. Our mad wars continue, with more assassinations.
  2. Aggressive enforcement of political correctness.
  3. Scouring of the climate skeptics.
  4. For More Information.

 

(1)  The long mad war continues, with more assassinations

This week former CIA Director Michael Morell endorsed Hillary in the NYT; she proudly tweeted about it. He has a scary record as a supporter of the failed tactics in our mad wars.

“After leaving the CIA in 2013, Morell authored a memoir entitled The Great War of Our Time: The CIA’s Fight Against Terrorism–From al Qa’ida to ISIS. The book was widely criticized for defending detainee torture in the post-9/11 era. Morell was also a co-author of a “rebuttal” to the Senate Intelligence Committee torture report.” {From The Intercept.}

He works for Beacon Global Strategies (a small firm) with another top-level Hillary operative. He was interviewed by Charlie Rose and said something that deserves our attention.

Morell: “The Iranians were making us pay a price. We need to make the Iranians pay a price in Syria. We need to make the Russians pay a price.”

Rose: “You make them pay the price by killing Russians? And killing Iranians?”

Morell: “Yes. Yes. Covertly. You don’t tell the world about it, right? You don’t stand up at the Pentagon and say we did this. Right? But you make sure they know it in Moscow and Tehran.”

This lunatic doesn’t mention how the Russians will respond to America’s assassination of their people (it won’t be pretty). The full interview is worse.

Continue reading

An anthropologist looks at the empty identity politics of America’s left

Summary: Here is the last chapter of anthropologist Maximilian Forte’s series about America’s New Victorianism. It explains many of the otherwise baffling aspects of Campaign 2016. This essay is worth a ton of journalists’ reporting about the sound bite circus that dominates the news.

Queen Victoria and family by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1846)

Queen Victoria and family by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1846). It could be a modern campaign portrait.

The Working Class, Identity Politics and New Victorian History

Against the Labouring Classes: Identity Politics in the New Victorian Age.
By Maximilian C. Forte. Part 4 of 4.
From Zero Anthropology.
Reposted with his generous permission.

The New Victorianism serves to not only divert politics into issues of morality and identity, it works to obfuscate the bases of increasing inequality. Focusing on the Democratic Party, and its abandonment of the working class over the past forty years, Adolph Reed Jr. (professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania) would appear to have seen from early on how these issues are linked — though he does not use the phrase “New Victorianism,” he describes it in other words. Speaking of Democrats and liberals in general, he wrote of,

“their capacity for high-minded fervor for the emptiest and sappiest platitudes; their tendencies to make a fetish of procedure over substance and to look for technical fixes to political problems; their ability to screen out the mounting carnage in the cities they inhabit as they seek pleasant venues for ingesting good coffee and scones; their propensity for aestheticizing other people’s oppression and calling that activism; their reflex to wring their hands and look constipated in the face of conflict; and, most of all, their spinelessness and undependability in crises”.

— “Liberals, I Do Despise” by Adolph Reed, Jr. in The Village Voice, 12 November 1996.

Twenty years ago he criticized “their refusal to face up to the class realities of American politics” and how liberals “avoid any linkage of inequality with corporations’ use of public policy to drive down living standards and enhance their plunder”. Instead, when it comes to the marginalized within the US they opt for a maudlin “save-the-babies politics” that demonizes working-class parents, much the same way that the right-wing has done. He concluded that liberal politics are “motivated by the desire for proximity to the ruling class and a belief in the basic legitimacy of its power and prerogative. It is a politics which, despite all its idealist puffery and feigned nobility, will sell out any allies or egalitarian objectives in pursuit of gaining the Prince’s ear” (Reed, 1996).

Reed’s critique later expanded beyond the confines of the Democratic party, moving to include left activists and the labour movement, raising an issue that I recently touched upon when I wrote that, “it now seems clear that every single sector and shade of the US left has made some sort of peace with neoliberalism, with the basic structure of the status quo, from which their hopes hang even if by the thinnest of humanitarian, cosmopolitan and reformist threads”. This is how Reed argued the point…

Continue reading