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

Friday, July 15, 2011

Barack Obama: America's First Tea Party President

Click here to access article by Marshall Auerback from New Economic Perspectives. 
Marshall Auerback has over 28 years’ experience in investment management.
This writer is no anti-capitalist radical, but he is astute enough to realize what Keynesian capitalists have long realized that in order to rescue the system from its own contradictions then...
Cutting public spending at this juncture is the last thing the US government should be doing. Yet this President is pushing for the largest possible cuts that he can on the Federal government debt. He is out-Hoovering the GOP on this issue. He is providing “leadership” of the sort which is infuriating his base, but should endear him to the Tea Party. This is “the big thing” for Barack Obama, as opposed to maximizing the potential of his fellow Americans by seeking to eliminate the scourge of unemployment. Instead, his big idea is to become the president who did what George Bush could not, or did not, dare to do: cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. What more could the Tea Party possibly want?
So, how can we understand the ruling class political operative's pursuit of what, at first glance, appears to be a self-destructive course of action? I think it is due to a combination of factors. 

I think that these people have gotten away with so much since WWII that they are filled with the arrogance of power. They have nearly eliminated the power of unions, they have engaged in one foreign adventure after another and now have a world empire in their grasp, they have subverted and concentrated the media into a few, well-controlled hands, they have wiped away most opposition to their foreign wars by using a "war on terror" following what many knowledgeable people believe was largely a staged 9/11 event to shock Americans into compliance with imperialist policies.

They now occupy or control most important areas of the world in terms of resources and markets through bribery, collusion, threats, military occupation, military bases all over the world, and their control of financial institutions .

What we now have are global capitalists who recognize few national boundaries--they were mostly eliminated for capitalists by the "free trade" policies they have managed to impose on most of the world. Thus, they view Americans only as consumers, not as a society. In fact, they view most people in the world this way. Given that this class largely "owns" the means of production and distribution in the world, they no longer feel concern about any particular region of the world, unless, of course, it directly affects their profits. The US society means no more to them than does the Republic of Botswana. In fact, they prefer workers from Botswana because they will work for less wages and benefits.

Given all these accomplishments on behalf of the owning class, the political operatives are now ready and eager to dismantle the expensive social spending measures created by the New Deal that have sustained US working people through all the booms and busts of a capitalist casino economy. They have cleverly selected a "change" candidate who came wrapped in "minority" clothing to spearhead this effort. They have bamboozled the American public through their control over every significant societal institution and thereby produced a public that is mostly too dazed to think straight.  

And, in case Americans should wake up and take action, the Empire's political operatives have in place very sophisticated surveillance systems, well-equipped police forces, stacked judiciaries, and an elaborate prison system to handle any opposition. This, I believe, is how they see the world and informs their policies accordingly. 

They largely do not see the rot of doubt, questioning, and defiance that is taking hold in many populations all over the world. Or, they don't take these symptoms seriously; and finally, the dynamics of a capitalist system forces them to keep moving ahead because they instinctively know that if they stop, the system that lays their golden eggs of power and wealth will die.