The Blob Fought the Squad, and the Squad Won
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by ROB URIE
For students of political history, a cottage industry has grown in recent years around identifying the historical circumstances and intellectual origins of neoliberalism. While the initial conditions have been identified in the post-WWII effort to cleave German fascism from its American roots, what hasn’t been explained is the hold it has over a broad range of Western political ideology.
This background has bearing on the current effort by the American political establishment to crush ‘the squad’ of left House Democrats whose apparent trespass was to mean what they said about representing the interests of the American public. Establishment incredulity centers on the question: why enact policies when signaling shared beliefs (‘virtue’) has maintained the social order for this long?
The problem that AOC and company created was to put forward popular programs like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal and a Job Guarantee in concert with plausible explanations of how to pay for them. Each of these represent well-considered responses to profound market failures. What their establishment colleagues have yet to come to terms with is that neoliberalism has left a plurality of Americans living in a ‘shithole country.’
Party leaders joining forces to charge ‘the squad’ and their supporters with being un-American is to assert an imagined community. In legal, institutional and historical terms, ‘the squad’ is as American as any of their establishment accusers. What is meant by the charge is that the American ‘community’ is defined by a set of beliefs, not citizenship, geography or institutional affiliations.
"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime" - Aristotle "The more I see of the moneyed peoples, the more I understand the guillotine" - George Bernard Shaw "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, will make violent revolution inevitable" - JFK "If wars can be started by lies, they can be stopped by truth." ~ Julian Assange #SurviveAndRevolt
July 19, 2019 at 5:37 PM #88801Ohio BarbarianModerator
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Superb piece. Of course, any that cite Noam Chomsky usually are. Thanks for sharing.
It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs
You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton
July 19, 2019 at 5:39 PM #88802Ransom StoddardBlocked
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Trump channeling Archie Bunker and a zillion bumper stickers from the early 1970s ordering all people in America to Love It Or Leave It is the Crisis of the Moment. It will last maybe another week before it gets replaced by some other symbolic gesture triggering the National Indignation Reflex Cycle.
While it lasts, this hysteria du jour is getting sillier by the hour as the apocalyptic prophesies of a race war led by Donald Trump thunder across the internet. Jeesh. This is just like the uproar over Charlottesville in 2017. I was posting here under another nick when those Beergut Nazis brandished their Hawaiian torches in the backwaters of Virginia. Three hundred or so strong, this vanguard of the Fourth Reich generated a torrent of pearl clutching and angry demands that this shit must be STOPPED! Without, of course ever explaining how they would be STOPPED!
Well, they weren’t doing anything but making asses of themselves, but the Id Pol idiots insisted that Hitler would be reincarnated unless we “called out” those Nazis. I would add to the points made in the linked article that this silly term, “calling out,” is the perfect non-action for faux protest of the Neoliberal Regime that is destroying civilization as we speak. Yes, call them out. Shame them. Maybe even click your tongue at these Nazis who will slaughter millions of non-aryans unless we call them out.
The linked article is worth checking out. As in the Vietnam War when Nixon was conducting his Southern Strategy to take votes away from George Wallace, he and Agnew simultaneously ran the Patriotism Means Supporting Whatever the Government Does campaign. It worked then to peal tens of millions of white folk from the Democratic Party. That, and ending the draft, created the Nixon landslide of 1972, also creating the dominance of “conservative” policies that continue to this day.
Since the crash of 2008, polling shows that the electorate is no longer so enamored with “conservative” policies. For that reason, what people on this board call Vichy Democrats insist on avoiding any discussion of policy, while pitching one hysterical fit after another over personalities and tweets. That is why The Squad is such a problem for Nancy Pelosi, her faction, and their financial backers.
July 19, 2019 at 7:11 PM #88832MistaPParticipant
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2017 was also far more on-edge–Syria airstrikes, NK faceoff, a new and unproven WH full of the sort of people who want a NAAWP, talk of a massive Russian conspiracy about to topple everything; by 2018 he’d become more of a festering sore or anal cramp and the press started backing off on ICE because it was quickly pointed out some of the photos were literally from the Obama era; now Willem van Spronsen comes at the terminus of that line of activism
what’s really important is that all of this is taking place during an epochal shift in two-party politics unseen since 1980 and, if Sanders makes it next year, even bigger than that: I’m not saying the current groups of today will rearrange into new coalitions, but that there will be new groups and new ideologies used to make sense of politics
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