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 LappĂ©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Clinton-Trump debate: A degrading spectacle

Click here to access article by Patrick Martin from World Socialist Web Site.

Martin describes the two candidates for the highest office in the government as gangsters. This is a very apt description especially because at this advanced stage of capitalism, the ruling class's rule can most aptly be described as "organized crime". The only difference between their rule and the activities of organized crime figures is that, instead of taking control of the government, the latter are in a hurry and take short cuts by using threats of physical harm to intimate anyone who gets in their way of acquiring riches and power. They are perfectly aware how so-called legitimate capitalists have gained their power, that the latter steal from workers using threats of intimidation if they don't comply, and as a result they call themselves "wise guys"--not Mafia figures or the "mob" as described in corporate media. Hence Martin's portrayal of the two candidates as gangsters:
Trump is the personification of business gangsterism, a billionaire who built his fortune on swindles, bankruptcies, the theft of wages and deals with the Mafia. When Clinton charged him with profiteering from the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market, which touched off the 2008 financial collapse, he retorted, “That’s business.” When she accused him of paying no taxes on his vast fortune, he boasted, “That makes me smart.”

Clinton is the personification of political gangsterism, deeply implicated in the crimes of American capitalism over a quarter century, from the destruction of social welfare programs, to the criminalization of minority youth, to the launching of imperialist wars that have killed millions. At one point in the debate she declared that her strategy for defeating ISIS was focused on the assassination of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. She alluded to her role in “taking out” Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and said she would make such killings “an organizing principle” of her foreign policy.