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

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trump vs. the CIA

Click here to access article by Paul Craig Roberts from his blog. 

Traditional conservative capitalists like Roberts, Pat Buchanan, and Ron Paul often get exposure in the abundant liberal websites because of their criticisms of the reigning neoliberal capitalists. I, too, have posted some of Roberts's articles also because some of them really expose the contradictions, weaknesses, and immorality of the current neoliberal ruling class. So I would like to take time today to expose what these traditional critics are all about, and they are definitely not all about any kind of social justice that followers of this website believe in. 

These people had their day in the ruling class that runs our country roughly from the Gilded Age of robber barons to the end of WWII. After that they were gradually replaced by imperial minded power seekers which combined the interests of major capitalists who had foreign holdings, imperialist-oriented military generals, and the many secret and unaccountable secrets services like the CIA, NSA, etc. This was referred to as the "military-industrial complex" that drew most attention (frequently by liberals) after President Eisenhower uttered a few sentences in his departing speech.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. 
I think Ike said these things because he had a lot of guilt about the rapid growth of the military-industrial complex and associated secret services during his years as president. My reading of his background suggests that he grew up in very ordinary circumstances where religion and respect for authority was pronounced. His military career reinforced this respect for authorities, and when he became president he loved to hobnob (hang out) with major power figures from Wall Street. Frequently this occurred on golf courses which is a favorite ruling class sport. Thus I think he was so much in awe of these authority figures that he failed to check the growth of their anti-democratic institutions.

After the disaster of the Vietnam War a more globalized and sophisticated capitalist ruling class took power under the Reagan administration which combined elements of imperial minded power seekers, transnational capitalists, and Zionists. Their ideology became known as neoliberalism--the advanced form of classic liberalism which was the original ideology of capitalism. The concentration of capital brought about by the earlier nation-based industrialism under private ownership gave way after WWII to a more international ruling class composed primarily of capitalists from the old British Empire and US capitalists, and secondarily of those who grew rich and powerful in other NATO countries. I identify this group as "neoconservatives". They and traditional liberals have combined to be the main force behind the project (neoliberalism) of a US-led Empire which sought (and seeks) to eliminate national barriers to international commerce to facilitate their exploitation of labor and raw materials throughout the world. Traditional conservatives like Roberts, Pat Buchanan, and Ron Paul (aka "old fashioned conservatives") have resented the takeover by this new international capitalist class.

Thus, we should not be deceived by their criticisms of this new neoliberal capitalist class and think that they have the interests of ordinary people at heart. They often tend to be racist, opposed to any kind of social serves, anti-union, and pro-corporate. Notice in this article by Roberts that he takes much umbrage at Lazare's criticism of Trump
Trump is a rightwing blowhard whose absurd babblings about Saudi Arabia, Iran and Yemen reveal a man who is dangerously ignorant about how the world works. But he has managed to seize on one or two semi-good ideas over the years. One is that Obama administration’s confrontational policies toward Russia are a recipe for disaster, while another is that toppling Syria’s Bashar al-Assad with Al Qaeda and ISIS still up and about will only hasten their march on Damascus.
Roberts's attack on Lazare's article is a rather subtle indication that Roberts sees Trump as an ally, a "fellow (capitalist) traveler". That is precisely why Roberts attacks his views in this post. The reason why his defense of Trump is rather subtle is because he has been posing as a critic of the actions of the current ruling capitalist class, and as such, has enjoyed a wide following among liberal-left circles who hate Trump. 

The best explanation of this old fashioned capitalist political faction is one provided by Shamus Cooke in article entitled "The Danger of Right-Wing Populism". Thus, I urge you to read Cooke's article so that you are not deceived by these "right wing populists" who are essentially old-fashioned capitalists.

Thus I think you can dismiss these "right wing populists"--they are "has-beens". Instead concentrate on the bigger, important picture as argued by F. William Engdahl whose analysis gives a much sounder explanation of the current antagonisms between the neoliberals led by the CIA and media (that combination is not coincidental) and those capitalists allied with Trump. With Trump's cabinet so full of Goldman Sachs people, I don't think that neoliberals have much to worry about. To paraphrase a quote attributed to Lenin, I think Trump is merely a very useful idiot for one faction of the ruling class. The current split appears to be merely conflicts over strategy to promote the US-led Empire's domination of the world. The CIA faction wants to continue with their hostile actions against Russia, while the Trump faction see his administration as a useful vehicle to split Russia from China. 

However, during the Trump administration we should be concerned with, and oppose, the administration's likely efforts to privatize education, to favor cutbacks to social and medical services, and to promote attacks on minorities. Non of these administration efforts will ever be seriously attacked by Paul Craig Roberts and associates.