‘Money corrupts everything, and it is capitalism that turns everything into a commodity that is bought and sold. In capitalist regimes everything is for sale: honor, integrity, justice, truth. Everything is reduced to the filthy lucre.’
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.
‘She spoke of the young black boy who looked up at the president and asked: “Is my hair like yours?” She said: “And make no mistake about it, this November when we go to the polls, that is what we’re deciding’.
Alex wrote the following in response to ‘Cultural Revolution Part 1’:
Jul 3, 2016
I feel this questioning of democracy may be accelerated by first past the post, given that it allows the largest constituency absolute power in a way that isn’t the case for the continental European countries. In terms of the overall registered vote, the Tories only got just under a quarter of the share, once abstention is taken into account.
Do you really think it’s impossible to return to some kind of economic rationale? To be sure, compromise with the ‘1%’ is no longer on the table, but that doesn’t mean that a more radical solution couldn’t gain ground. One involving their destruction as a class.
Thank you Alex. The following is written partly as a result of your comments.
Cultural Constituency is an idea whose time has very definitely come within the Saxon Axis. This simultaneous implosion of every major political party in both Britain and America is unprecedented in centuries of Anglo Saxon politics.
In England a shock victory for Brexit should have put a cabal of Saxon Nationalist Brexiteers in the driving seat. Ex London mayor Boris Johnson looked like a shoo-in for the leadership of the Conservative Party as a consequence of his role in the Brexit campaign. But that didn’t happen. Conservative movers and shakers said: ‘Anyone but Boris!’
Not that the internal strife in Conservative ranks was of any benefit to the English Labour Party. Around the same time that Conservatives held a surprise forced leadership contest, the vast majority of the parliamentary Labour Party came out in open opposition to their nominal leader. And the cry of the opposition to the opposition was: ‘Anyone but Jeremy Corbyn!’
Over in America the Republican establishment unenthusiastically endorsed Trump amidst the roar of his supporters on the RNC convention floor and Hilary has managed to just about steal the Democrat nomination from the vast constituency of ‘Feel The Bern’ers.
What all these shenanigans have in common is that significant sections of the people who matter in each of the mainstream Saxon duopoly parties, (i.e. big money donors and party activists), absolutely hate the candidate that they have ended up with. In fact a lot of them hate their candidate more than they hate the other guy’s candidate..and this is happening in all the main parties at the same time!
So what is going on? Well in order to provide an answer to this question we will have to take a different approach to 99.9% of what has been written on the subject so far. That means relying not on pop psychology but logic and not on description but on analysis.
In part, the secret to this spiralling chaos lies in the Michelle Obama quote (unbelievable as it may seem), at the top of this article.
In order to operate in the way intended capitalist democracy requires that we reduce candidates to abstractions. In this capitalism is no different from many other forms of political/cultural organisation. But unlike other political ideology, modern capitalist democracy claims that this reduction can and should be done through the application of ‘reason’.
In ‘feudal’ political systems the individual is subsumed to the office he holds by integrated meaning. In other words the King as an individual is slotted into the position of King as structural element of society.
Whether the King is a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ person,(and by implication a good or bad king), is secondary to the justification of position of King- first and foremost we need a King, so that is that.
Give Me The Boy
As an illustration you can think of pouring liquid jelly into a metal mould. The jelly sets within the mould and takes on its shape. Remove the set jelly from the mould and it still holds that shape. So it is with the person of the King. He is made by his experience in office. He eventually becomes the office he holds. Just as ‘king’ is intrinsic to society so this individual is intrinsic to ‘king’ and ‘king’ is intrinsic to this individual.
The same is true of a carpenter, or a farmer or anyone who holds a position within a ‘feudal’ (an integrated), society. You are what you do. Hence the famous Jesuit dictum: ‘Give me the boy and I will give you the man’. People can be shaped.
Actually Not Anybody Can Be President..
‘Feudal’ societies take whoever is available by birth and make them into the leader. In this sense it is entirely irrelevant how a candidate came to be there, it matters what they are going to be made into.
But how could this understanding of humans as primarily liquid and malleable fit in with the modern Germanic conception of individuality the idea that we are all inherently and intrinsically different?
For devotees of the Germanic Cult of Capitalism this conflict in understanding necessarily creates a problem. Like any other society Germanic capitalism need to select somebody to run the show -a leader- but on what basis can we select that person?
The ideological solution was an ever changing line of temporary rulers REPRESENTING a constant never changing ideal- that of democracy, ‘free markets’ etc. So the office holder and candidate can be reconciled as an individual while still expressing an abstraction.
This solves half of the individualism problem, but there still remains: Which parts of any given politician are the ‘individual’ and unrepresentative bits and which parts are the rational ‘representative’ bits?
That answer would be provided in part by Sigmund Frauds’ idea of an ‘unconscious’ : The ‘subconscious’ bits were the individual unrepresentative bits and the reasoning, conscious bits were the representative bits. So when you clock into work in the morning you are the reasoning, rational POTUS and when you clock off at night you are the unreasoning, subconscious, individual.
And from this perspective we have a direct and illuminating insight into the two centuries long Germanic media cult of Politicians And Their Private Lives. Also ‘unconscious’ racism etc. all runs on this basis.
All Germanic political narrative, from pseudo ‘intellectual’ historical investigation to tabloid reporting, is created around this paradigm; the ‘secret sex life of a Kennedy’ or ‘what a Roosevelt ate for dinner’ etc and how this affected the major decisions he made while in office. Think about it; Isn’t this how all historical and contemporary figures are defined and explained in Germanic capitalism?
But for this version of a political reality show to work in the here and now, both capitalist media and intelligentsia have to be able to demonstrate that any given politician –if he or she is to be regarded as acceptable– is reasoning and conscious while he is working in the office 9-5. And this is achieved in capitalism by demonstrating said politicians adherence to a rationale, specifically Economic Rationale.
It is important to note that Economic Rationale is not actually rational- nor does it need to be! What it is there to do is provide a rhetorical framework, a kabuki show that can convince the population that any given politician is acting in a conscious, rational way while at work. It is a means of demonstrating that a politicians’ actions are based on reason.
Economic rationale is founded on the ideological assertion that society is organised around the economic interests of groups of people generally referred to as ‘classes’. These ‘classes’ use politics as a forum to compete for power which allows access to resources.
The Germanic proponents of economic rationale claim that this is the best way to organise society because it allows for the possibility of compromise. Differing groups within a society can compromise on how much tax an individual will pay, how much welfare he will get and so on…
With any other form of social division compromise becomes much more difficult to achieve. For instance, division on a colonial, racial basis, (such as the apartheid system) found compromise impossible resulting in its destruction.
This gives you the beginnings of an insight into the mainstream attacks on Donald Trump and why proponents of economic rationale want desperately to control the nature of the debate…Not just because they hate Trump but because they genuinely fear the consequences of stepping outside economic rationale.
Obviously classes are fundamental to this narrative. But in order for classes to be credible they have to have social power which means demonstrating that they affect the way things are done.
Unfortunately that can’t happen in a planned society, (and after QE you had better believe we now live in a planned society…)
No doubt you are entirely aware of the effective demise of organised labour and of trades unions in most of the developed world. You may or may not also be aware that the destruction of ‘bosses’ took place at the same time. This is a fundamental part of the Crackernomics argument that I have written about on a number of occasions..
We now live in a society that uses the rhetoric of markets while effectively accepting the logic of Marx’s argument that the state must in the end control all economic activity. Welcome to the Free Marxet.
Since we live in a planned economy there is no way for a potential leader to demonstrate his or her commitment to economic rationale and its attendant compromise between classes anymore. There is no economic free market arena where both sides can ‘fight it out’ so there is no need for someone who can compromise. There is only The Plan.
And you can’t compromise with a plan. You either follow it or you don’t. If you don’t follow The Plan you can’t expect it to work… so you are facing a ‘take it or leave it’ situation; This is the actual meaning of the famous Monetarist mantra of TINA- There Is No Alternative.
TINA is not an expression of irrational spite or a dictatorial impulse on the part of Monetarists, no matter what the battered remnants of the liberal left would have you believe. It is simply a sober assessment of the facts as seen from a Monetarist perspective. Monetarists say: ‘All we have is this plan for the Free Marxet. You either follow it and give the remains of capitalism some chance at a future or you do not.’
There are no classes anymore..and there is no way for any candidate to present to public media and intelligentsia as one of a number of credible representatives compromising between competing classes.
Since there is no way to demonstrate that the candidate is employing economic rationale to achieve compromise, there is no way to divide a potential leader up between ‘9-5 rational’ and ‘at home irrational’.
Which brings us to the problem I described at the beginning.
Trump cannot divide himself up between rational and irrational in this situation. Taken as a whole Trump is seen as irrational and unfit by those who are against him.
Boris Johnson cannot divide himself up between rational and irrational in this situation. Taken as a whole Boris Johnson is seen as motivated by an ambitious private vendetta by those who are against him.
Jeremy Corbyn cannot divide himself up between rational and irrational in this situation.Taken as a whole Corbyn is seen as an undercover communist by those who are against him.
Hilary Clinton cannot divide herself up between rational and irrational in this situation.Taken as a whole Hillary is seen as paid for by Wall Street by those who are against her
None of this is the fault of these individuals. Neither is it the fault of those who hate them. It is the collapse of the market system and the political parties it gives rise to that has brought this about ..
No matter which individual politician follows on from what we have now, the essential problem will remain the same. Germanic ideology cannot find a way of understanding and presenting the relationship between political individuals and political offices in this post capitalist situation.
The system now has to find a way to understand any potential leader as a whole. Or at least divided up along non traditional lines. Which brings us to the way that politics is now.
How do we relate to and select individual politicians for positions of power? We cannot go back to saying he or she is moulded into the position as ‘feudal’ societies do, that would be ‘primitive’. It would also mean that we accept that a fundamental precept of capitalism; the concept of Protestant individuality, was void.
The temporary fix is the rise of the Culturally Specific politician as opposed to the Political Representative.
As I said at the beginning Capitalism, like other societies needs to reduce its leaders to a form of abstract. But unlike other societies, capitalism is additionally hamstrung by its need to hang onto the historical cultural creation of the individual.
The hybrid this produces is a new kind of individual politician who is moulded by the ‘Cultural College’ he or she originates from.
Now the politician is an individual in as far as that individuality is the expression of the cultural identity group that formed said individuality. In other words it is an attempt to graft on part of the ‘feudal’ moulding process without admitting as much!
If you accept Barrack Obama as a president, you accept the ‘African American’ middle class liberal intellectual cultural college as a valid origin point for a politician to implement The Plan.
If you accept Hilary Clinton you accept the southern lawyer cultural college as a valid origin point for a politician to implement The Plan.
(This is what the ‘glass ceiling’ spiel is really all about..).
And if you don’t accept Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump it is because you don’t trust the cultural college they come from and represent.
Back to Michelle and POTUS hair. What she is actually saying is that Obama style blacks are in now; That they are trusted to implement the Plan. Now it is time to move onto Democrat women etc..