Monday, December 19, 2016

Ringing out the neo, Ringing in the neo

1. It has been going on a long time, hasn't it? The bourgeoisie have been on an offensive; the offensive was triggered by a decline in the rate of profitability; the offensive has not been able to systematically overcome the decline in the rate of profit; the offensive was kick-started with the overthrow of Allende in Chile, and the OPEC price spike of 1973. Both represent the attack on labor, on the class of laborers; on the living and the living standards of the workers; one using the hammer of military force, the other using the anvil of market force.  Behind every free market, there stands a death squad. Said that 43 years ago; said it yesterday. Will say it tomorrow.  Maybe from a secure, undisclosed location.

Called it  "neo-liberalism," "deregulation," "privatization," "laissez-faire," call it anything.  It does not matter.  Not that free trade, open markets,  neo-liberalism, monetarism, deregulation-ism, Laffer-ism, are merely bullshit, but that all of the above are bullshit with a purpose; bullshit serving a specific class interest; bullshit designed to obscure, veil, misdirect.  All of the above are ideology, embodying denial, a disavowal of the reality of reducing living standards, driving down wages, increasing poverty, transferring wealth up the social ladder.

That disavowal is what ideology and pathology have in common; disavowal is the conjuncture, the secular trend, uniting capital with social psychosis, David Cameron with Ted Bundy, Donald Trump with Rupert Murdoch with  Steve Bannon with Jim Crow II with Richard Spencer with Newt Gingrich with the Cato Institute with the Koch Brothers with Goldman Sachs, a regular daisy chain, cluster-fuck, group grope of rippers and liquidators and oh yes, entrepreneurs.

That disavowal of reality makes it so easy for the bourgeoisie, and their smaller versions, the petty partisans of capital,  to  disavow those above iterations of ideology, of property over life, and adopt and adapt apparently contradicting ideologies, embracing punitive tariffs, border walls, government intervention, trade and currency wars, because like all of the above, they too are a disavowal of reality.

Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations?  That's so yesterday, so 20th century.  Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, that's the ticket, that's the guidebook to post-modern capitalism.

Wealth and poverty?  Wealth is the enhancement, development, embellishment of social time. Capital is the destruction, through expropriation, of the time belonging to others.  Value is poverty.  All economics, all "laws of economics" are "laws" of property. The law of value exists as a "law" only to the degree that the particular class relation of capital to labor, the particular classes of capital, bourgeois and proletariat, owners of the means of production and sellers of labor power as a commodity, exist.  Impaired accumulation precipitates more intense class struggle. Certainly on the part of the bourgeoisie.  On the part of the proletariat......answer the phone, would you?  Before it goes dead.

2. The alliances, networks, arrangements  administering to the accumulation of capital are brittle amalgams, some more brittle than others.  Any one or all of them can only stand so much pressure, that pressure being the result of impaired accumulation.  A lot more pressure has been applied since 2008.  It takes a toll, doesn't it?  Rebellions are launched and suppressed, governments get dismissed; presidents impeached; parties collapsed.  Some amalgams are more brittle than other, and some tolls taken are more severe than others. Italy-- the government resigns; Europe--Britain votes out;  Brazil--a president falls; Venezuela--food disappears; Syria--cities and populations are uprooted, destroyed, dispersed.

The whole world, more or less, more and less, become itinerant-- migratory.  Camps, camp followers; the drowned, and the burned-- that's the price exacted by impaired accumulation.  That's the price rung up in the defeat of........the striking workers in Madison, Wisconsin in 2011; by the capitulation of Syriza; by the monstrosity called the "war on drugs;" in the failure of workers' organizations to oppose voter suppression in the United States; hell, in the failure of the UAW at the Flint truck assembly plant to take direct action against the poisoning of the population of Flint, Michigan by the government of the state of Michigan.

(Somebody tell me again how the 2016 election results, the election of Donald Trump, represent some sort of proto-class consciousness on the part of "working class whites"?  On the part of the small town "working class whites" "left-behind" by the non-recovery?  Somebody tell me again how those results are a repudiation, a "gigantic middle finger" flipped at the "elites," when the same counties that voted for Snyder in 2014 voted for Trump in 2016?)

One amalgam breaks, another amalgam is formed. Place your neo here, and voila, we have a new amalgam.

The bourgeoisie have been on the offensive.  The bourgeoisie remain on the offensive.  Let's not pretend that there is even a shred of class consciousness in the supposed "flipping" of working class whites to Trump; no more than there was a bit of class consciousness in the previous flip to Obama.

The defeats of the working class have to be acknowledged as defeats before they can be reversed.

Oh yeah, and before I forget, Happy New Year.

S. Artesian
December 19, 2016