• "God invented war so Americans could learn geography" -- Mark Twain.

Monday, October 24, 2016

American Pertinax (Synopsis)

[Synopsis of Longer Article in Journal]

Bernie’s candidacy triggered an astonishing surge of populist progressive sentiment in the country, which probably surprised no one more the Bernie whose candidacy was initially intended only to “put issues on the table.”

The “issues” which were suddenly driven by the force of millions represented an existential threat to the Entrenched Powers.  The political machinery of the economic oligarchy (including its apparatchiks in the press, academia and so-called policy institutes) successfully defeated the movement by fair means and mostly foul.  

Sanders declined to run on a third party ticket and instead urged his followers to unite behind a candidate who represented everything his movement fought against. Bernie’s betrayal of his enthusiastic and hopeful supporters flows from what was the underling deceit of his message.

Upon being deprived of the nomination, the political revolution for which Bernie claimed to speak should have upped the ante and broken the back of the D.N.C. by handing it a punishing electoral defeat.  A revolutionary movement does not consist in putting issues on the table but in commanding political power.  A true revolutionary would have maintained that over-riding strategic objective, from which all other blessings flow.

Instead Bernie sought to rally his supporters to join in the Battle of the Nudge by working “within the system” to nudge the beast to the left. He never explained how or why a beast that had done everything conceivable to moot, undercut and defeat him in the primary would now suddenly become amenable to nudging.  Bernie was not defeated because he was Bernie but because the political and economic demands he was making were threatening and antithetical to the constituency Hillary represents.

No issue more paradigmaticaly illustrates the futility of betrayal than the party’s position on the so-called “trade” treaties.  

The most important and urgent issue facing the world is the environmental and ecological destruction of the planet.  Whatever other issues might be important to individuals or sub-groups, the health and maintenance of the ecosystem on which all life depends is of pre-conditional importance.  To have even to argue the point is a sign of the depravity and degradation of the so-called “rational animal.”

The next most pressing issue is the misnomered trade treaties.  These treaties have nothing to do with trade. As Obama himself admitted in private to Bernie, they have nothing to do with creating jobs.  The purpose of the treaties is to remove legal impediments to investors and corporations buying up countries and plundering resources wherever they want to.

The treaties set up a supra-national unaccountable invisible military-corporate government, GLOBCORP and GLOBCOP, to rule the world according to no standard except corporate profit.  The treaties destroy the power of national government to legislate and regulate for the common good.  They destroy democracy and, indeed, civil society themselves.  They are an end-stage political cancer.

On this most important political-economic issue on which both greater and lesser issues depend, Mr. Nudge has nudged nothing.  The Demorat Party platform did not commit to defeating the treaties but only provided a clause that any treaty would have to “provide” for environmental and labor standards, a provision Hillary’s own platform studiously omits altogether.  Bernie has correctly denounced the “insanity” of the treaties but he is oblivious to the impotence of his nudging.

Bernie’s betrayal flows from the underlying deceit of his political philosophy.  He was never a true socialist but only a revived New Dealer; that is to say, a pseudo social democrat. 

But Europe’s social-democrats and “socialists” are themselves pseudo-socialists.  Lenin called them “social chauvinists.”  What he meant was that in the end and when the chips are down they supported the national-capitalist class in each country in which they operated. 

They supported that class (and waged its wars) because the “benefits” they were seeking to obtain for the worker were obtained from a system which obtains wealth by means of exploitation. 

If redistributed wealth is not obtained from the workers to whom it is redistributed, it must be obtained elsewhere from some out-of-sight, ignored worker in a fourth world country or by means of some other form of wealth producing plunder.  The success of the “European Model” or of the Fifties-Sixties “Prosperity” in the United States, depended on displacing costs. 

The deceit of social democracy is not that it is wrong to fight for life improving social benefits in the interim.  The defect lies in the fact that benefits are obtained from an economic model which cannot sustainably support them.  There is nothing wrong in bleeding a beast while you seek to kill it; but if you forget the killing and focus only on the bleeding, the beast will turn around and kill you.

The Faustian Bargain of social democracy has a narrow edge.  In theory social democracy could be revolutionary.  In practice it never has been.  It acquiesces in political and economic system that provides the benefits and in the end, as for all Quislings, Uncle Toms and Ghetto Elders, the “revolution” gets swallowed up.