Bernie Sanders and the Socialism Question

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      Bernie Sanders and the Socialism Question

      Through the implied establishment worldview, culpability for environmental destruction and responsibility for resolving it aren’t as self-evident as current politics suggest. Environmental ills began accumulating in the aftermath of WWII as the American industrial model was distributed around the world. The cause of environmental ills was / is industrial production, not political maladministration per se. With representative democracy premised on constituent service, the relevant political question is: which constituents get served? Several decades of Supreme Court decisions equating wealth with political speech have answered this question unequivocally.

      Without something akin to class analysis, resulting social divisions are inexplicable, hence the centrist canard that billionaires are people too. Under liberal theories of the state, elected officials have a duty to protect citizens from grievous harm, but not necessarily when those harms are caused by the ordinary business of other citizens and the state. This is the long held view that busted unions for bosses, launched wars for arms merchants, undertook foreign coups for business interests and negotiated environmental agreements that leave polluters in charge of Western political economy.

      The question of what socialism might look like in this political moment more likely than not means looking forward to where we must go, not back to the struggles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By broadening the concept of capitalist exploitation to include the natural world, the oligarchs and the PMC can be understood to be a murder-suicide cult determined to trade the future of humanity for a thirteenth flat-screen television and a ninth vacation home. Who, precisely, is victimizing the rich with environmental calamity?

      Lest this be less than evident, this is still a history of the bosses— of the oligarchs and their professional managers. Most of the human beings caught up in this process have lived as scientific subjects, inputs into industrial processes to be optimized. The gig economy is the answer to the optimization problem: how does capital get workers to work more for less pay? Surveillance is the quest for total control. It provides the data needed for micro-optimization, exploitation down to the number of breaths per minute and heartbeats per hour to be allotted.

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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