We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Ruling Class Games and Qualifications: on and Beyond the Bernie-Hillary Spat

Click here to access article by Paul Street from CounterPunch

I like to ignore the foreground of American style "politics" in order to focus on the politics of the "deep state" where the action really is. But in this piece Street takes ordinary Americans by the hand and leads them from their quadrennial habit of becoming interested in presidential elections to an understanding of how professionally managed these events are. The purpose of these election circuses are to distract us from any real understanding of the hidden deep state or the politics of the real "deciders". On the way in this journey to real politics, Street offers a number of insightful gems such as the following:
One Democrat at a top Wall Street firm even told Politico that Hillary’s politically unavoidable populist rhetoric was “a Rorschach test for how politically sophisticated [rich] people are…If someone is upset by this it’s because they have no idea how populist the mood of the country still is. The fact is, if she didn’t say this stuff now she would be open to massive attacks from the left, and would have to say even more dramatic stuff later.”

These reflections from “liberal” elites atop the “unelected dictatorship” speak volumes about the nation’s descent into abject plutocracy and the limits of progressive change permitted under elections and through parties subject to “the hidden primary of the ruling class.” 
If you would like to understand the origins of the management of popular politics, you need an understanding of the real history of politics in America. I have found such an article. It's quite lengthy, but it really covers the origins of the transformation of something that passed somewhat as real politics in America (1934) to what it is today: a controlled and professionally managed election process to select puppet-people to offices that will serve the real deciders in the ruling capitalist class. The article is entitled "The Lie Factory" by Jill Lepore from The New Yorker. In this piece you will learn about Clem Whitaker, the owner of the first political consultant/management firm in the 1930s. Here he expresses his cynical ruling class view of ordinary Americans:
“The average American doesn’t want to be educated; he doesn’t want to improve his mind; he doesn’t even want to work, consciously, at being a good citizen,” Whitaker advised. “But there are two ways you can interest him in a campaign, and only two that we have ever found successful.” You can put on a fight (“he likes a good hot battle, with no punches pulled”), or you can put on a show (“he likes the movies; he likes mysteries; he likes fireworks and parades”): “So if you can’t fight, PUT ON A SHOW! And if you put on a good show, Mr. and Mrs. America will turn out to see it.” 

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