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

Friday, April 28, 2017

The U.S. Political Scene: Whiteness and the Legitimacy Crisis of Global Capitalism

Click here to access article by Salvador Rangel and Jeb Sprague-Silgado from TeleSur. (There is one obvious error in the article: Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders is referred to as Delaware's senator.)

The two sociology professors from the University of California clarify the methods that our masters in the capitalist ruling class have used in recent decades to fool the people into supporting the ruling class's global agendas. 
Within the U.S. political scene into [In the political scene of] the 1990s conservative and liberal establishments together developed new mechanisms of capital accumulation while chipping away at the power of labor, such as NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement). On the conservative side: xenophobic candidates like Pat Buchanan and anti-NAFTA business leaders such as Ross Perot were sidelined. On the liberal side, the remnants of strong labor voices were silenced. A grand bargain was struck between a conservative militaristic establishment and a liberal establishment espousing a sort of anti-worker multiculturalism (with its growing identitarian acceptance of peoples from different ethnicities and sexual orientations, alongside viewing workers as cogs to be seamlessly integrated into a new globalized economy). Under these circumstances, profits grew tremendously for transnational capital (aided especially by new-fangled financial mechanisms). Meanwhile, workers faced stagnation, dispossession, and heightened job insecurity. [my suggested editing]
The sociology professors also recognize that Trump was not the first choice of the ruling class, but they have managed to turn him to support their neoliberal and imperial agendas.
Relying upon recycled mantras of xenophobia and nationalism, the Trumpian right seeks to head off the legitimacy crisis of transnational capital. However rather than propose an alternative to transnational capital, they propose an alternative strategy for reproducing it. Also disconcerting are the growing threats of war, as neo-conservative groups (so heavily involved in the U.S. war crimes of recent decades) appear to have reasserted their influence over the white house. 
Their last languid paragraph, I think, is illustrative of a desire to preserve their careers at the university. (Who can blame them?)
Progressive, left, and social movement forces in the U.S. need to build on successes of the past as well as move beyond them, taking on, for instance, a more pro-active position against militarism and a deeper critique of capitalism.
What we really need is a dedicated revolutionary movement to overturn the ruling capitalist class and its system; and not only to replace it with a sustainable system that serves the vast majority, but to enable humans as a species to survive.