Thursday, March 25, 2010

Battling Fascists

The arguments between Democrats and Republicans are noisy and hostile. Both sides attack each other's morals, intelligence and sanity. You might be forgiven for thinking that they are on different sides.

Progressives point out that the "debates" are Kabuki theater, designed to keep the masses entertained and diverted, while the business of looting them continues unabated. In reality, they are on the same side. The side of the ruling class. And picking a favorite and rooting for it is like watching WWF and rooting for your favorite wrestler.

It's like a gang of thieves. Two of them stage a fight, and while the crowd watches, the third picks their pockets.

The Health Insurance Enrichment Act was the latest installment of the show. Now we will see the Financial Services Freedom Act and the Social Security Looting Act start.

And the "liberal" pundits carry out their part beautifully. After the Insurance Enrichment Act passed, Michael Moore, Thom Hartman, even Amy Goodman repeated the mantra, "It's not what we wanted, but it's a start".

No. It's not. It's a step in the wrong direction, and they should know it.

Yesterday I told my contractor, Fred, as it became clear that the Dumpster we hired would not fit all the old shingles that we had to dump. "Well, ideally we would like to put the shingles into the dumpster. But that's not feasible. Why don't we pick them all up and put them into another part of the yard? It's not want we want, but it's a step in the right direction".

He didn't want to do that. He insisted that we either put them in the Dumpster, or leave them on the ground where they were.

How disruptive to the process is that? Sure, the part of the yard I pointed to was further away from where any future Dumpster would be, but let's not let the perfect be the enemy of the good, shall we?

Listening to my friends repeat "At least it's a step in the right direction", I was eerily reminded of my Republican co-workers during the Bush years "We have to fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them here".

Neither soundbite makes any logical sense, but almost every camp follower repeats them as if they were received wisdom. Creepy.

Even creepier is that they think they thought of it all by themselves. They'll say, "Wait. Listen. Did you think of this?" And then they say it as if they were coining the phrase as we speak.

It reminds me of Christians, who have been trying to convert me my entire life. Inevitably inarticulate and slow, they get angry when I become impatient when they are trying to get out their well thought argument, and answer it before they actually finish. It's almost always this- (which I considered and rejected as inadequate in the third grade, and don't want to humor any longer)- "Look at this big, involved world. How could it just happen? It couldn't. Someone had to make it".

Yes. They think that they invented that argument, just like liberals think that they invented the "It's a first step" argument.



Pangolin said...

But that's so much easier to say than "we just gave 15% of your income to corporatists." Good luck getting any services out of that.

The GOP alternative was allowing insurers to sell across state lines. That would mean policies sold in California would exclusively be sold by Delaware companies and policies sold in Delaware would be written in Idaho. Good luck trying to litigate a complaint with a corporation halfway across the country.

NOT LOOTING the people was off the table from the start.

wagelaborer said...

Well, yeah.
Why bother producing this elaborate a show if there wasn't enormous profits to be made?

engineer said...

It is all a charade. 99 percent R's and D' would vote for the Corp/Gov give-a-way, but in the back room they arrange to make it look like a democracy.

"You propose that, we will propose this".

Amy Goodman pumps old Chomsky, notwithstanding that he speaks like football player.

"I mean, if the goal of the war was to isolate al-Qaeda, eliminate terror, there were straightforward ways to proceed. I mean, if you go back to that time, the jihadi movement itself was highly critical of the 9/11 attack."

engineer said...


"I mean, Afghanistan was sold here as a war to retaliate—a just—it’s always called a “just” war—to prevent terror, you know, retaliate against a terrorist attack."

The 19 Araber done it. So we can trust the Gov.

If they want a new form of torture, it would be to force the suspect to read a Chomsky book.


PC Roberts
"It is pointless to complain of war and a police state when one accepts the premise upon which they are based."

Hope Wage is not a big Noam fan.

wagelaborer said...

I am a Chomsky fan, but I'll admit that that was funny.

And why he won't admit the obvious - that the Kennedy assassination and
9-11 were both inside jobs - I don't know.

Pangolin said...

Chomsky has always walked the fine line of calling out the corporate agenda while burying it in extended and elaborate language. He never calls a spade a spade but rather "the long handled, digging implement with a rounded blade commonly used by english gardeners."

In short, he knows he gets sidelined if he speaks plainly.

wagelaborer said...

That reminds me of an old joke.

A nun complains to a construction crew boss that his men are cussing too much.

He says, "Well, ma'm, my men call a spade a spade."

The nun replies, "No, they don't. They call it a fucking shovel"

Anonymous said...

Good joke, Wageslave.

Mike B) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike B) said...

Looking at the history of reforming the capitalist system, one can say that our rulers wouldn't have Social Security to loot, if reform hadn't happened and we wouldn't have Social Security to live on, if it hadn't happened. Same with Medicare, passed in '65.

The question is, "Why did they 'happen'?"

At least three reasons come to mind. One is that they happened because enough workers wanted them, agitated and organised for them to happen and that made our rulers anxious. Some of our rulers, in turn, thought, if we grant them access to this small bit of their surplus value, they'll go away and watch TV. But, not all our rulers wanted to give workers these pieces of the surplus value. So, there was a fight in Congress where our rulers' polytricksters roost. The Democrats represented the rulers who wanted to co:opt workers and the Republicans represented rulers who wanted to tell workers to go jump in the lake or face police repression, if they dared direct action to get the things they want.

The class struggle is between the workers and our rulers over control and ownership of the socially produced wealth, wealth produced by the working class in conjunction with Nature. We win some of these battles and we lose some. Even when we win, we lose in terms of liberal co:optation.

So, what to do?

Please the liberals and go watch TV?

Anger the conservatives and go burn a flag?


We got some control and ownership over our surplus value with Social Security and Medicare. We got it by being conscious that we needed it and organising, agitating and educating to get it. The historical lesson is to organise and the class conscious lesson is to organise to take it ALL. After all, we produce the wealth, we should control and socially own it all.

Now, some will say that we're incapable of organising as a class. I assure you that those who say that aren't our rulers because our rulers in the employing class have got us organised as a class--to work for them, to produce wealth for them. We need to organise as a class for ourselves. To the degree that we are organised class consciously (even if that consciousness is dim-witted leftism), to that degree we will have the power to get what we deserve, EVERYTHING!

My advice: Keep your eyes on the prize, workers and you'll never be steered off course.