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
Monday, May 16, 2016
Feminism is Bigger Than Gender: Why I’ll be Happy in Hell Without Hillary
Although she necessarily uses generalities to characterize the history of the left in the US, her historical summary is quite accurate. However her criticism of "old left Marxists" for their rather "mechanical understanding of the relationship between social class and other forms of identity" is, I believe, a little unfair. Though this was appropriate when aimed at those who clung literally to Marxist dogma especially in the lead up to WWI, she omits the history of oppression, at times brutal, of left parties and organizations that capitalists mounted after WWI, the Soviet revolution of 1917, and ever since.
After the assassination in 1963 of President John Kennedy who refused total cooperation with a CIA engineered plan to invade Cuba and his brother Robert Kennedy's (he was assassinated in 1968) aggressive campaign against capitalist corrupted labor unions, our ruling capitalist masters refused to permit any Kennedy to run again in any election. This marked the beginning of the "deep state's" complete control of the government. Since then our ruling capitalist masters have devised a variety of techniques (in addition to the usual ones--control over both parties and the use of their media corporations to support or smear candidates), one of which has been the use of left-liberal candidates.
This has consisted of entering left-liberal candidates to lure in the large number of disaffected left voters who would then ultimately vote for an approved capitalist candidate, particularly if they had a scary right-wing candidate for the Republican Party. For this purpose Senator Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota worked very well in 1968, Al Gore in 2000, and Howard Dean in 2004. Now we see the same purpose served in the candidacy of Bernie Sanders.
A more recent strategy has been added to this: catering to people on the left by advocating reforms to conservative racist and gender discrimination laws and practices (identity politics) as a method of gaining support for Democratic candidates who demonstrated that they would faithfully take orders from the "deep state". Indeed, there has been considerable progress in the past 50 years on these issues, but they have also served as a very useful distraction from imperial policies abroad and austerity policies at home. This is how the deep state managed to have Obama elected in both 2008 and 2012. Now with Hillary Clinton, they are playing to liberal views on gender discrimination.
In this article Barbara MacLean does an excellent job of exposing this ruse except she omits the background history of how the ruling class has eliminated through their control of all institutions of indoctrination and propaganda most traces of class analysis from the American populace by replacing it with identity politics.