portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary global

economic justice | political theory

Identity Politics?

Life after capitalism
I really like this comic from the Ted Rail website.



http://22i18l42a516x0glw28vyk8x4k.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/6-10-16.jpg






Before the Great Depression of 1929 social inequality had reached the level where the 'top percent capitalists' held 29 percent of social wealth. Before the Age of Austerity began in 2008 that level was sitting at somewhere around 42 percent and since then it has now risen to about 50 percent of all global social wealth, given the consistent year upon year movement of wealth to the top. I believe that such levels of inequality are unprecedented in the history of that capitalist system, and it is also quite apparent that given the growth in this inequality by somewhere between 2.5 and 4 trillion dollars per year that the capitalist system has become seriously dysfunctional and is now on an unsustainable path which has inevitably undermined markets and must sooner or later lead to some kind of crash of that system if something is not done about it. Nevertheless it would seem that politicians remained wedded to the 'neo-liberal globalization' agenda, an economic policy package which at the end of it all has contributed to producing such a crisis in the first place. For the neo-liberal agenda states that all controls upon capitalists must be released, regulations stripped away, and taxes cut for capitalists in order to rev up the engines of the free market capitalism and foster economic growth. It goes without saying that any sort of role for the government in providing 'social security' (in various forms) and other forms of wealth redistribution are completely unacceptable, for according to this undemocratic ideology, the capitalist alone will make all the decisions about the allocation of societies productive wealth (and so we could sum up the ideology of this neo-liberal 'age of austerity' with that old biblical saying from the book of the revelations, 'a day's wages for a loaf of bread, but do not touch the olive and the vine', for that austerity is targeted at workers in that system, while at the same time wealth redistribution remains taboo).

In spite of that prohibition against touching the olive and the vine, it should be very obvious to all reasonable people that the capitalist system has become seriously dysfunctional and is on an unsustainable path. I am willing to engage in dialog concerning the root causes of the emerging paralyzing dysfunction in that capitalist. I believe that the right wing neo-liberalism was a contributing cause, but that there are deeper problems already emerging in capitalism which are related to the sudden and rapid change in technology which in the future can only render the idea of 'markets' as defined by 'capitalism' obsolete and even absurd. Here I am referring to the rise of the robots and the computer, which has already begun. We have now reached the stage where robots are 'reproducing', with robots making more robots, and consequently the cost of such automation, to the exclusion of human labor, is dropping dramatically. I once watched a documentary on China's rapid industrial development, and it was apparent that cheap Chinese peasants were, for a period of time, a cost effective bridge between the age of humans and the age of robots, and this remained true for as long as Chinese peasants could under cut the costs of robots. In one factory it was very low tech. All they had were tables lines up in long rows, with parts buckets filled with parts. The 'assembly line' consisted of one Chinese peasant worker attaching a part and then pushing the item down the table to the next person. Meanwhile some guy was riding around the facility on a bicycle making sure the buckets of parts were refilled. Very low tech stuff, but it worked, for a time, because those Chinese peasants were cheaper than Americans, as one example, and they were also cheaper than robots. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for China, and they seized the moment, but now with the rise of the robots even Chinese peasants are finding themselves out of a job.

So I see a contributing factor to this dysfunction in the capitalist system, where wealth accumulates at the top instead of being invested and recycled through the economy, as was the custom of the capitalists of the past, as being only partially a consequence of neo-liberal deregulation of the capitalist, and the main contributing factor is technological change, for robots do not supply a market for the goods that robots produce, thus undermining the capitalist system. In the same way that rise of the steam engine and the industrial revolution produced the technological impetus for a rise of the capitalists and the collapse of the old feudal landlords and the craft guilds, so now another technological revolution is rendering the capitalists obsolete, and one of the great signs of this historical irrelevance is the paralysis and dysfunction of that now historically redundant system. I am open to dialog, and if anyone can make such a powerful convincing argument that it would sway me and cause me to change my position on some such matter, then so be it. Let's just say that it hasn't happened yet.

With these thoughts in mind I conclude that given the demands of the moment even so much as one more status quo political administration could prove to the be the final nail in the coffin for everyone, for as that capitalism has seized up and become dysfunctional, that whole bourgeois political system developed over the course of the history of capitalism has also seized up and become dysfunctional. Apparently there are also a lot of people out there who have not spent enough time in serious thought, and for this reason we would hear a comfortable middle class segment of the population, who feel that things are going pretty darn good, celebrating something like 'identity politics', and the marvelous historic achievement of putting a woman in the White House. They also don't want Bernie because they don't think there is much of a problem here, and don't want any changes to that neo-liberal agenda, or if there was a change it should only be some very small, pragmatic change, an inch or a centimeter at a time, for it would seem that such people think that this is what the times call for. This lack of insight into the perilous top heavy lop sided capitalist system I would blame on the narrowness of allowable discourse in a capitalist society which allows people to sleep walk over some approaching cliff, while apparently not be to worried about much of anything except what bathroom people can use or whether two lesbians can order a cake, or whether a woman can become president. On the other hand there are these other people who also do not seem to understand where they are and are found supporting the idea of trade wars because apparently they seem to think that they can hold off robots at home with just as much luck as they held off Chinese peasants abroad back in the day when those Chinese peasants were still able to sell themselves as being cheaper than a robot. So then it would seem to me that Americans are being left with the equally unpalatable choice of the status quo, a truly Utopian and unworkable idea if there ever was one, as such people would no doubt finally realize when to their shocked suprise they found themselves plunging over a cliff like some herd of lemmings out for a daily jog, and on the other hand there will be the equally ill considered idea of trade wars and retreating behind walls, which does not even demonstrate any understanding of the nature of the problem emerging here and for that reason such ignorance would then explain why such people could be convinced to do something so reckless and so off the point. About the only thing you could say about an ill founded strategy like that one is that it would be far more likely to accelerate a crisis and certainly does nothing to address the fundamental underlying problems they face.

One of the advantages of the Bernie Sanders campaign or that Occupy Wall Street movement is that is had somewhat broadened to allowable debate in a capitalist country like America (although still not broad enough for someone like me, and for that reason I would like to continue to push the boundaries, as I have done above, so as to get people thinking more realistically than appears to be the case at the present time... for as it has been said any functioning democracy requires and informed electorate).
<>BR> It is also interesting to note that even among the traditional capitalist class, there is growing unease about neo-liberalism, which means that now there are some issues on which even 'the left' and 'the right' can agree upon, even if they disagree upon the diagnosis of the root cause of the disease. There is now some agreement emerging that 'wealth redistribution' is going to be required (anathema under the ideology of neo-liberlaism) for it is becoming undeniably obvious to anyone that the current system is seriously dysfunctional, imbalanced, unsustainable, and that this could lead to a future crisis if the status quo is not overturned and something is not done about it.

One interesting example of this evolution of thinking comes from the most unlikely of sources, the IMF, always one of the biggest cheer leaders for neo-liberalism in the past. Neoliberalism: Oversold?. In the conclusion of their paper they state that 'Policymakers, and institutions like the IMF that advise them, must be guided not by faith, but by evidence of what has worked."

A few quotes from the paper:

There are aspects of the neoliberal agenda that have not delivered as expected. Our assessment of the agenda is confined to the effects of two policies: removing restrictions on the movement of capital across a country's borders (so-called capital account liberalization); and fiscal consolidation, sometimes called "austerity," which is shorthand for policies to reduce fiscal deficits and debt levels. An assessment of these specific policies (rather than the broad neoliberal agenda) reaches three disquieting conclusions:
• The benefits in terms of increased growth seem fairly difficult to establish when looking at a broad group of countries.
• The costs in terms of increased inequality are prominent. Such costs epitomize the trade-off between the growth and equity effects of some aspects of the neoliberal agenda.
• Increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth. Even if growth is the sole or main purpose of the neoliberal agenda, advocates of that agenda still need to pay attention to the distributional effects.

Both openness and austerity are associated with increasing income inequality, this distributional effect sets up an adverse feedback loop. The increase in inequality engendered by financial openness and austerity might itself undercut growth, the very thing that the neoliberal agenda is intent on boosting. There is now strong evidence that inequality can significantly lower both the level and the durability of growth (Ostry, Berg, and Tsangarides, 2014).The evidence of the economic damage from inequality suggests that policymakers should be more open to redistribution than they are. policies could be designed to mitigate some of the impacts in advance—for instance, through increased spending on education and training, which expands equality of opportunity (so-called predistribution policies). The untoward distributional consequences will have to be remedied after they occur by using taxes and government spending to redistribute income. Fortunately, the fear that such policies will themselves necessarily hurt growth is unfounded (Ostry, 2014)


homepage: homepage: http://www.awitness.org


redistribution 11.Jun.2016 12:06

Brent Herbert

One positive result of that brief 'Occupy Wall Street' phenomena is that it widen the allowable political discourse by putting 'growing income inequality' onto the table. So it is that now, as everyone is aware, in the aftermath of the economic crisis in 2008 the top percent capitalists have been increasing their share of the global wealth by trillions of dollars every year, and this during what was supposed to be a 'recession in the economy'. Already by 2008 their share of society's global wealth was around 42 percent, and given the ongoing process of accumulation this has now risen to about 50 percent. This then stifles the performance of that capitalist economic system and undermines the markets since the usual pattern of capitalist investment and recirculation of wealth through the economic loop no longer occurs. Next thing you know you find Wal Mart closing three hundred stores.

Neoliberalism, the currently prevailing economic model, would tell us that the only way to run a capitalist system is to deregulate the capitalists and just let them go. There should be no troublesome government interference in the smooth operations of 'self correcting markets' so as to maximize the market efficiencies and accelerate growth. At the same time this insistence on restricting the government to hiring cops and running the military, while leaving the capitalist deregulated to run their businesses, also undermines democracy for only the capitalist alone will be making all the decisions concerning the allocation of global social wealth, and no one else can say anything because that would be more of that troublesome government interference in the privatized affairs of the capitalist.

To borrow Newton's phrase, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Neoliberalism was clearly a counter reaction against Franklin D. Roosevelt. I can still remember the time of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher who were the principle leaders of the counter attack on the previously prevailing ideology left behind by FDR, and I recall thinking at the time that 'this would not turn out well.' It is only a matter of time, I told myself, and I just could not believe that people would allow themselves to get talked into going along with a reckless sounding experiment like that one. The history of capitalism teaches us that free wheeling gun slinging capitalism always and periodically jumps over a cliff, gets involved in a head on collision with a speeding bus, and given the intractable contradictions of that 'free market capitalism' that such nose dives and collisions are inevitable and unavoidable for that capitalist system, which is why our ancestors got sick and tired of the social misery and disasters of that repeating boom and bust cycle, and decided to get the government to do something, anything to put a stop to it. Apparently given a generation or two the human race then developes amnesia such that when some Reagan or some Thatcher tells them to throw off the surly bonds of earth and fly, it was actually possible to convince them that something so recklessly stupid might actually be a great idea. Perhaps we can blame this level of ignorance on the narrowness of the allowable discourse in a capitalist social order, which then leaves us with this malformed and misinformed electorate who are constantly prone to making ruinous judgments for the simple reason that a well functioning democracy requires an informed electorate, which they are not.



TRADE


Among those intractable contradictions of capitalism are trade imbalances, such that if one set of capitalists competes and becomes very successful this then leads to a current account deficit for some other set of capitalists, which is not sustainable forever over the long term. Eventually a country running a long trade deficit then experiences a liquidity crisis or a debt overhang crisis and this then threatens to bring down the capitalist running the surplus, thus proving to be the ruin of both of them.

You can see a dynamic something like that in operation between China and the United States (most notably) where for a period of time China would boom until the inevitable limits were reached and China began to slide, having been dragged down by her trading partners, causing China's current account surplus to shrink along with her exports. That would be like selling someone something, and banking a surplus right up until the time they either stopped purchasing altogether or started writing rubber checks.

No one has ever proposed a reasonable workable solution to that trade imbalance problem in that system of highly competitive 'free market capitalism', which is why periodically you would have the crisis. The classic dogmatic Neoliberal treatment is to first suggest that markets are 'self correcting' and for that reason it cannot be said that there is no solution for the market is the solution. Although we cannot have government's meddling in markets, which would be wrong, it turns out that the classic neoliberal spoon full of medicine for fixing the troublesome countries that were running the current account deficits in that trade deal doesw involve government intervention in the form of severe growth choking austerity, budget slashing, mass layoffs, wage cuts, and higher national payments, in otherwords the full Greek style treatment.

Such a round of economic chemotherapy has the added benefit, from the point of view of neoliberal dogma, of paring down the size and influence of governments so they won't bother capitalists anymore. Seen in this way given that such crises are inevitable they are also a golden opportunity to spread the one true gospel. At the same time everyone will then blame a sorry country, such as Greece, for not having been competitive and thus getting their asses kicked out in the arena, thus proving how they deserved what they got when the clock ran out and they could no longer carry on as the country running those dreadful current account trade deficits. The many sins of such a country will then be listed off in order, and since, clearly, they were getting pounded in the competitive boxing ring, they must have done something wrong, in this way everyone else can relax and calm their shaky nerves. Surely they themselves are immune from the effects of such harsh retributions. ISjould they be worrying about whether or not the contagion of such a sick patient will spread thus causing other countries who were doing just fine with that trade surplus to suddenly become nauseated with cramps, such as we can see happening again and again, China just being the latest country running a trade surplus that is now experiencing such cramps.

Now is there a reasonable solution to this persistent problem of imbalances in trade, which of course are unsustainable, and which are inevitable, and which always periodically cause a trip to the porcelain altar of the toilet bowl so that capitalist system can puke its guts out as that 'market self corrects.' I would suggest that the only realistic solution to that problem that has one hope in hell of ever working is the most Utopian solution of them all, this being a good example of how a Utopian solution is actually the sensible solution, simply by a process of elimination, since there is no other solution. Only under a system of democracy and cooperation would such things as lop sided trade imbalances ever disappear since these things are manufactured products of capitalism, and given that they are inherent in the capitalist mode of production they will always remain so long as capitalism remains. Therefore the only solution that capitalism has to offer is the self correcting market, no matter how ruinous that might be to society forced to swallow that spoon full of medicine (with no sugar allowed to make the medicine go down, because that waste a golden opportunity to bring the truth of the one true gospel to some country that conveniently took their turn and came up on the doctor's list). So then the real solution to period trade crises of capitalism consists of replacing that capitalist system of beggar thy neighbour and war like economic competition with a system of democratic cooperation, or, in short, the true solution is the revolution. Short of that there is no real solution that anyone has ever found which would then leave us to quarrel about the relative merits and demerits of those half assed solutions and perhaps then we could choose the lesser of two evils, or we could just do next to nothing and as the neoliberal preachers would demand we could force all sinners to repent of their sins, once and for all, and use government intervention once and for all and for the very last time to give that troubled country a really good shave.

One of the problems that emerges in that neoliberal barber shop is that you wind up with out of control insurgencies as the patient refuses those outrageous demands to sit still in the barber's chair while the barber bleeds them with leaches. This then leads me to consider all of the various half ass solutions that might be implemented when in an act of defiant direct democracy those proto-revolutionaries rise up and throw aside their status quo politicians and then start to implement their own potentially reckless policies. I say this not because I am a snob, and thinking that politicking is for the elitists from Harvard or Yale, but rather because I am concerned about that malformed and misinformed electorate. It has been said that a well functioning democracy requires an informed electorate, and for that reason who knows what they might do. At the same time it has been said that a well functioning democracy requires an informed electorate, but that idea turns out to be false, for as Reagan and Thatcher, those apostles of neoliberalism, had preached from the altar, government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem, which is similar to saying that you can take your 'democracy' and shove it up your arse, because those capitalist will be getting deregulated and then they will be calling the shots and running the show by themselves and you can kindly keep your nose out of their affairs as they decide how to allocate all the world's social wealth by themselves, privately, perhaps in some smoke filled boardroom. Democracy is not the solution to their problem, democracy is the problem, and fortunately they have been able to make great progress in getting that fixed, as people soon discover when they find out that democracy is only for deciding in which bathroom people can take a pee, but aside from that the electorate can just kindly keep their noses out of the business of that capitalists business.

Now when the insurgency finally begins picking up a full head of steam, and that mob of increasingly pissed off voters show up on the scene to seize the reigns of power, the results can be unpredictable, and about the only thing that is certain is that whatever they deal it certainly will not be consistent with that orthodox neoliberal gospel. That is for damn sure. It'll be some other thing they will try, perhaps some damnable thing. They feel reckless now. They are willing to experiment. Things are bad enough already. How much worse can it get. One thing that is for sure, more of that soured neoliberal milk is the only certainty in the future, and they will not be cooperating.

Now when it comes to half assed capitalistic solutions is the idea of having trade wars with countries like China or Mexico to be considered a reasonable idea as far as half assed solutions go. Or could there be some other half assed idea that, while equally ruinous, might still be slightly less harmful that strategy. I ask the question because of the need to be pragmatic, and not Utopian, for it is most probable over the short term that people are going to be demanding and then attempting to implement some half assed idea or another, and if that is the case it seems good to me that they should not be reckless and just try the first risky sounding idea that pops into their heads. Therefore what is required here is dialog, and lots of dialog. I know sure would like to hear a few ideas myself, because when it comes to that trade policy I feel trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea, the rock and the hard place, the status quo and the insurgency. About the only thing that I can say for sure is that I really don't like that reckless sounding trade war idea, and there must be something better than that. Capitalism is a form of warfare. It is economics organized around the principles of waging war. This is always true even at the best of times as capitalists plot to bomb the market places of the competition. A trade represents an escalation of this economic warfare, and is the last and final step countries take before actual world war breaks out. As the history of capitalism proves time and time again, when the competition heats up and those capitalists find themselves cornered by intractable contradictions and insoluble problems, it is the characteristic of those capitalists to escalate to actual war. There were the two 'world wars' as Germany, a country without imperialists countries that had been invaded and conquered, first attempted to steal colonies from the imperial empire of France in the first World War, and then since that problem of uncompetitive German capitalism still remained unresolved, Hitler tried to bargain with Great Britain, such that Britain could keep her empire (one quarter of the planet which had been invaded and conquered by Britain) if only Britain would then agree to allow Hitler to invade Russia and turn that place into a big colony as well. These are classic examples of those capitalists finding their system in crisis and then responding by taking the gloves off and escalating up to full scale war and eliminating the competition by carpet bombing the bastards. Other examples would be England sinking the Spanish fleet, Napolean and England getting into a big feud at Waterloo, and various other examples of the escalations to war by capitalists, this form of conflict and competition just being a more extreme example of warfare that takes place among capitalists on a daily basis, since capitalism is economics organized as warfare.

Which is one more reason to be opposed to trade wars, because in the history of capitalism a trade war represents an escalation and the next step which follows trade wars is shooting wars, carpet bombing and real violence, thus settling that dispute once and for all by having those capitalists either killing each other off and eliminating the competition that way, or fighting themselves to a bloody stalement, if only for long enough to catch their breath and lick their wounds, only to come back later and pick up where they left off the last time.

There are probably still those people around who are not as concerned as they should be about the possibility of the escalation of trade wars to full wars, thus making them less gun shy than they should be, and thus more likely to be found doing such things as starting trade wars, because they were not losing much sleep at night worrying about it. Someone might say that somehow capitalists have modernized, they are more sophisticated than ever before, and that they don't do things like that anymore. And besides, how could they, with the nuclear retaliation holding them in check. I would remind people that they have been working for decades on what is known as 'the missile shield', and once that thing gets finished then the gloves can come off. There are claims that such a missile shield is up and running and it has now been parked right on the doorstep of Putin in Russia, and the question that comes to mind is 'are they bluffing'? We also need to ask what would be an 'acceptable loss', assuming that such a missile shield might spring a leak here and there no matter how much they work on making it perfect. Therefore the Americans might lose Denver, Colorado, but that was an acceptable loss when you consider that Russia lost Moscow, St. Petersburg, and a bunch of other places.

To summarize here, our trade policy is that the only truly acceptable policy is the Utopian policy, consistent with a new form of economic organization based upon democracy and cooperation. Short of that, what remains are a variety of half assed policies, of which trade wars are the worst possible choice. There must be something better than that, which, while not being perfect, as someone is sure to point out, no matter what might be proposed, would still be better than an escalation towards bloody war, which is what a trade war represents. Therefore what is required here is dialog with the goal being to find some sort of solution that is not a trade war.


The Ultra Left


I go around 'gathering intelligence'. Sometimes it is found in what people say. Sometimes it is found in what they don't say. Sometimes it is found by ignoring what they say and instead pay attention to how they say it. One impression that I have been getting is that it might be possible that capitalists are unconcious actors. For some reason capitalists are just refusing to invest, and so the income inequality continues to grow, udermining the market below, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that this paralyzing dysfunction of that capitalist system in unsustainable, this being one of those things that both 'the left' and 'the right' can agree upon. One surprising statistic that I have found is that at the present time, in an attempt to force capitalists to start investing, there is now ten trillion dollars globally that is recieving 'negative interest rates'. This is the current policy of applying the thumb screws to those capitalists, for if they don't want to invest then they can lose their money year by year by paying those negative interest rates. And that, so the thinking seems to go, should be enough to force them to start investing in something, because even if they were not generating the returns a capitalist might think is required, anything would be better than those negative interest rates. This policy does not directly address any fundamental underlying cause, for we could ask why it is that capitalist are just refusing to invest, thus causing the pile of that unequal income to keep growing by trillions of dollars every year, while the complications caused by that stagnation are increasing.

One possible contributing factor is that asking a capitalist to invest today is similar to asking a capitalist to please cooperate by beginning the process of becoming their own grave diggers. Six feet down, three feet wide. For a capitalist to invest in robots and the emerging high technology is for a capitalist to undermine the market, because robots are not consumers. Perhaps on an unconcious level those capitalists are beginning to see light and they understand that the future does no belong to capitalism, and that this second industrial revolution has not made capitalists obsolete just like the first one made the feudal landlords and the craft guilds obsolete. So for this reason you would find the world arriving at the cusp of another one of those world changing technological transformations, and then instead of seeing the world rapidly transformed, the whole process would suddenly stall because the reigns of economic power were found to be in the hands of capitalists, and it turned out they were not interested in commiting suicide. The alternative, which would be to simply 'let the market self correct' can only result in capitalists sitting on their hands as the wealth inequality grows from the current level of 50 percent to who knows what, thus causing Wal Mart to close at least five hundred more underperfoming stores, since Wal Mart needs to feed upon whatever is left of that sliced pie that wasn't accumulating in the hands of capitalists, since capitalists are not known to shop at Wal Mart at least ten thousand times a week so as to make up the difference.

So I would suggest here that there are two things that should be very obvious to everyone, and the first is that this paralysis of the capitalist system is not sustainable, and the second is that common sense would tell is that capitalism itself is not sustainable, and therefore we are moving into a future of profound social reorganization where 'the market' is rendered an irrational concept and capitalism as we have known it is undermined.

If the time of the revolution has come, then that means that this process is unstoppable. No one can stop it. Nor is it required that a bunch of people get shot in yet another one of those murderous human revolutions of the past, since guns and bullets were redundant and as we have seen, since the means should match the end, the end in that case is always the formation of a ruinous police state such as that Stalinism in Russia. A true revolution is unavoidable and the compelling logic is so powerful that even the most powerful backwards reaction is rendered null and void. It was time. It was inevitable.

It is for this reason that I am opposed to what I would call the 'ultra left', these being those demoralized revolutionaries who believe that the end can only come by burning capitalism on the flaming funeral pyre of Gotterdammerung. Therefore we eagerly await the ruinous disaster of capitalism so as to raise to power the stirred up and enraged proletariat, who, up until that time were found to be docile and quite unfit for a true revolution. Revolutions are best done in the midst of ruinous chaos and destruction, for that is when people are most likely to become revolutionaries and overthrow a system such as capitalism. Unfortunately ruinous chaos is also the time when become Nazis and run off with Adolph, but I suppose we will just cross that bridge when we come to it. And we will triumph. For sure. Well then again maybe not, but if we go down in flames and get sent to Auschwitz, at least it could be said that we put a noble struggle to the death against Adolph, thus leaving behind a heroic example, if nothing else.

It would seem to me that common sense would indicate that it would be best to do everything possible to skip the redundant step of being forced to fight Hitler and that the best way to do that would to be constantly search for ways to stabilize an unstable situation long enough for the naturally occuring forces to continue to bring forth the inevitable and naturally occuring revolution. This would be a lot better than waiting for the conditions to become perfect for Hitler and then cross our fingers for luck and hope to stop Hitler after he already showed up. Best that he was barricaded at the pass. That would be one less thing to be worried about.

Now because I am a self confident revolutionary and I am not much worried about anything (except being forced to fight some redundant battle with Adolph) I am always willing to commit heresy against the ultra left, and would be found carrying a water bucket (whenever I can find one) so that I can pour waters onto those flickering coals of Gotterdammerung, before the whole damned funeral pyre explodes into flames, thus causing that burning system to produce a phoenix from the ashes in the form of that Hitler.

With these thoughts in mind the real revolution is found to be in the form of dialog, for a revolution is a propaganda war, and such a war guns and bullets are redundant.

So then my modus operandi would be to look for a bucket of water while simultaneously thinking long term which means I would be involved in 'revolutionary dialog', all of this in the hope of having the most peaceful revolutionary transition possible. This then requires that the polarizing rhetoric be toned down. It is also required that the issues not be defined as 'moral values' since the rhetoric of morality is the rhetoric of a violent revolution, for in such a revolution we must only gun down the evil bastards. Later we will need to send out the police state to watch out for immoral bastards that might still be lingering around after the revolution, and would either need to be shot or sent to Siberia before they could wreck the place with their evil plots. (This is not to say that there might always be a psychopath somewhere hatching evil plots. However the best way to deal with someone like that is to make damn sure they stand out in a crowd, thus causing them to withdraw their pointed tail and hide down the leg of their pants. This is best done by being on our best behavior thus setting a really good example for everyone else, since it is unlikely that anyone wants to be the one go around setting a real bad example, for appearances are so very important. It is also important to have reasonable dialog, and avoid hatred and hostility, for if anyone wants to brainwash someone or spin doctor their brains, it is always a lot easier to sucker someone when they are pissed off and in the mood for a feud with those Hatfields or McCoys, whereas if people are having civilized discussions the uncivilized wind up looking like assholes and liars who refuse to lose an argument only for nefarious ends).

Now having said all this I would then go so far as to say that out the available options at the time that Bernie Sanders would be the better choice, not because he is 'leading the revolution' but rather because he best resembles a bucket of ice cold water on the smouldering coals of Gotterdammerung. There is this partisan rhetoric which refers to him as 'crazy Bernie'. Actually, if you listen to the IMF proposing the same policies as Bernie Sanders (government intervention in the Education system, opennes to redistribution to deal with the unsustainble income inequality crisis) then you realize that Bernie Sanders is actually in the mainstream of capitalist thought at the moment. Or perhaps it would be better said that the capitalists would be split between neoliberal dogmatists and conerned and more far seeing capitalists of which Bernie Sanders is one representative, since it is not only citizens of the country who are concerned, there are concerned capitalists as well. It would also seem apparent to me that it is the concerned capitalists who will be gaining the upper hand around this place, much as they did during the time of FDR, for it is very obvious that capitalism has entered into a dysfunctional crisis which is not sustainable, and such blunt tools as 'negative interest rates' represent pretty much the last arrow in the quiver of that discredited neoliberal counter reaction to capitalist liberalism that characterized most of the 20th century.

In short, I would support anyone who looked to me like a bucket of ice cold water, and I would also try and think up some ideas of my own, and I am unconcerned about being a heretical traitor to the ultra left, because I am a confident revolutionary, and I also know how to chew gum and rub my belly both at the same time.



REDISTRIBUTIOM


It seems to me that while strugling to come up with some kind of 'trade policy' (so as to counter act that dangerous sounding trade war idea) and having come up short, that perhaps the best way to deal with that intractable contradiction of competition capitalism might be to engage in dialog on the issue, while simultaneously working on putting out any potential fires by adopting a more wholistic approach to the problem. For, really, people don't give a damn about trade policy, just as long as they don't find it hurting them.

So then the best way to deal with trade controversy, and work to avoid the flames of a trade war, would be to kill two birds with one stone, and work on resolving the capitalist investment crisis and the unsustainable income inequality through redistribution policies, thus calming down tempers by improving people's lives. The question then becomes where best to target this income redistribution. And of course we would also be forced to answer the objections of the neoliberals, who will say that we have not created 'genuine growth' and instead we just threw some money at the problem for a short amount of time. Sure, it put out a fire, but what good did it do over the long term?

In answer to the second question I would first point out that really, if you show some common sense, you would see that there really is no 'long term' to be concerned about. Similarly we must ask, given the degredation of our environment if eternal everlasting growth is really an appropriate idea when sustainability would work just fine, just so long as we no longer have capitalism, and thus are expected to produce growing returns before a capitalist would agree to invest (sustainability and capitalism have always been incompatible, which is why despite all the activism, you just done get much to show for it, and even when you do, it soon enough gets forgotten in such things as the mad gold rush for drilling into shale, as just one example). It would be suggested that such a strategy of redistribution is a poor investment, but an even poorer investment strategy would be to leave the markets to neoliberalism and continue to follow the same unsustainable path until the flames of Gotterdammerun burst forth, and then there are riots or perhaps even people running around shooting each other. Out of all of the unreasonable unworkable solutions I can consider that neoliberal status quo is one of the worst options. Neoliberalism is clearly unsustainable and it is obvious that something must be done, and clearly the thumb screws of negative interest rates is pretty much the last best idea that ideology can come up with at the moment. I would suggest that there is not a set of thumbscrews big enough or painful enough to cajole and force capitalists to start working on digging that grave, so we really have to start considering our options now, since the do nothing policy of 'market self correction' is illogical.

Now when it comes to turning back the clock to before neoliberalism, and returning to redistribution and democracy we need to consider just how to target such redistribution in order to maintain transitional stability. For to contradict Reagan, democracy is not the cause of our problems, it is the solution to our problems, and of course democracy, as expressed under capitalism, takes the form of government, which will have to be the solution to the problem. And despite what neoliberals would say about small, and therefore powerless governments and the free markets that result, government intervention has always been there, whether in the form of imposing severe austerity agendas or providing critical emergency bailouts.

Both Bernie Sanders and those people at the IMF who resemble Bernie Sanders, believe in policies of 'prevention', such as government redistribution in the form of spending on education, and especially on higher education, which at one time was subsidized to the point of being close to free, and now that neoliberalism has decided to change every thing into a highly efficient market, has become unaffordable. Later on you will hear some capitalist complaining about the lack of people will degrees thus forcing them to import someone from India by getting them a green card.

According the American engineers, fixing America's crumbling and aging infrastructure would cost about a trillion or a trillion and a half, so there is another ideal option for targeting redistribution, for while it could be said that such an investment was not generating a profit in some market, it still represented an investment in the future, and people wouldn't have a future in a modern society without infrastructure to support it, which then means they wouldn't have a market either.

Let us not forget the homeless, a perpetual feature of capitalism, for capitalism must maintain the 'ideal rate of unemployment' so as to 'fight inflation' for otherwise we would find capitalists chasing workers (full employment) rather than having workers begging capitalists, and that would cause an inflationary spiral of wages and benefits. For this reason capitalism has always maintained just the right number of slums and homelessness and prowling leopards looking for a gazelle to devour and so on. It was said that FDR built thousands of schools and hospitals as part of the works progress administration program, and I can see a pressing need for the building of thousands of homeless shelters. (What I don't see is the need for preaching to the homeless so as to help them fix whatever was wrong with them, for this blame the victim ideology and the Horatio Alger stories it produces, are ignoring the truth about the fundamental causes of poverty, in that poverty is just one more manufactured product of capitalism...for as it was said, the poor are always with you, and capitalism as a system will make sure that they are so as to prevent that unstable system from collapse).

It is quite obvious that we need to reinstate those food stamp programs. This is not an investment, which will really piss off the remaining neoliberals, for under neoliberalism if you need to starve people even for twenty or forty years in order to get a functioning market based solution, then that is what you do. Sure it's ruthless, but it is a dog eat dog world out there in the jungles of capitalism, and hard it is, but hard it must be, otherwise we wind up distorting markets.

As far as I know we do not need thousands of new schools right now, but the budget cutting at the ones we have now must stop. This is a form of investment, even though it does not generate immediate profits.

There are people who are just getting gouged by landlords, including really poor people who are being forced to spend as one half or even three quarters of their income on rent. Obviously there is a need for public housing projects, since there are a lot of people living in slum landlord buildings while being overcharged for the privelege. We do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past, where neighborhoods were destroyed and the connections of generations destoyed, while people were then cut adrift from their support systems that had evolved over generations, only to then find themselves warehoused in sterile conrete blocks, thus leading to a social crisis in those communities caused by the total breakdown of their traditional support systems.

It is also worth noting that people must unite so as to form a global movement, for capitalists are now global, and no strategy can succeed which is local, for what will then happen is that rogue capitalists will have no problem isolating single small nations using the strategy of divide and conquer to turn nation against nation, while leaving the political system ham strung and grid locked by means of such threats as capital flight to fairer isles. This paralysis of the nation state would then just leave in place an unsustainable system that must head towards crisis, and then perhaps even war of Hitler or who knows what might emerge out of the chaos of the flames of Gotterdammerung.

In this manner I would hope to deal with the issue of trade wars using a more wholistic approach. It should also be obvious that the issue of the destruction of the environment or the great extinction event and the destruction of what lasted for ages of time, these are both crises that require a wholistic approach, for it is impossible to deal with the environmental issues in isolation. If it was true that people were burning down rain forests or destroying environments, they did see because they were faced chronic hunger. Similarly the 'terrorist problem' is the result of having every door closed, leaving nothing and no way out, thus giving rise to that infuriated and misanthropic character the terrorist, and in our time this so typically takes the form of the 'religious terrorist' (which is to say that they are 'super power' terrorists, which is the only psychological mechanism the suicidal can employ when fighting against high technology super powers). Soft religion also plays a role in the formation of religious terrorist extremists, for the answer they got from religion was that everyone should be nice and join together in a big group hug, and that sort of thing, if it is left to go on long enough, results in the end in the production of a particularly foul breed of religious terrorists, who are convinced that religion is completely full of shit and therefore, hypothetically speaking, the best way forward would be to go back the books and do every evil damned thing in those books exactly the evil way it was writen down in the holy books. Call it an experiment, for people need to construct a rational narrative that makes sense, and those religious terrorists have constructed a narrative wherein God did not save them but left them to be crushed and down trodden only because those really nice religious people were disloyal to all of God's most evil words, something they plan to correct, to the great pleasure of God, thus finally bringing down the Mahdi so they can really become super powers and start super kicking some ass.