My birthday went well, and renewed thanks to all expressing good wishes, but to be honest any thoughts of my fine day Saturday are tempered with sadness and frustration over the two mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.
As such it’s important to understand what too few of us care to consider, that this American system we blindly tout as “best ever, blah blah” is functioning exactly as designed, albeit not as we delude ourselves into believing it is designed, because the point of capitalism at this amok stage of its development is for violence to be fed into the machine and compounded violence to come gushing right back out the other side.
Follow the money, people.
Oligarchic government for the sake of obscene capital accumulation among the few can persist only by dividing and conquering the many, so that we fight each other and not the cancer itself, and accordingly, most of what I read on a daily basis represents little more than nitpicking over symptoms, dividing us even further.
Capitalism is diseased, and the disease mocks us as we kill time by debating the plot lines of the most recent comic book film.
From Trump to Johnson, nationalists are on the rise – backed by billionaire oligarchs, by George Monbiot (The Guardian)
The ultra-rich are benefitting from disaster capitalism as institutions, rules and democratic oversight implode
… the oligarchs want is not the same as what the old corporations wanted. In the words of their favoured theorist, Steve Bannon, they seek the “deconstruction of the administrative state”. Chaos is the profit multiplier for the disaster capitalism on which the new billionaires thrive. Every rupture is used to seize more of the assets on which our lives depend. The chaos of an undeliverable Brexit, the repeated meltdowns and shutdowns of government under Trump: these are the kind of deconstructions Bannon foresaw. As institutions, rules and democratic oversight implode, the oligarchs extend their wealth and power at our expense.
The killer clowns offer the oligarchs something else too: distraction and deflection. While the kleptocrats fleece us, we are urged to look elsewhere. We are mesmerised by buffoons who encourage us to channel the anger that should be reserved for billionaires towards immigrants, women, Jews, Muslims, people of colour and other imaginary enemies and customary scapegoats. Just as it was in the 1930s, the new demagoguery is a con, a revolt against the impacts of capital, financed by capitalists.
Followed by advice for the “centrist” Democrats; in the UK, as in the USA.
Being Anti-Boris Is Not Enough, by Ronan Burtenshaw (Jacobite)
Attacks on character and legal issues didn’t stop Berlusconi and Trump, and they won’t stop Boris Johnson. Sticking to Corbyn’s strong democratic socialist message is the way to beat him.
… Compare his barren offering with Labour’s: introducing a real living wage, nationalizing rail, mail, energy, and water, building 100,000 council houses per year, banning zero-hour contracts, introducing free childcare, abolishing tuition fees, ending punitive benefit sanctions, stopping the privatization of the National Health Service, a transition to green energy producing thousands of jobs. No wonder the Tories want a culture war.
Boris Johnson will soon face a defining moment of his premiership. On October 31, he will either have to abandon a substantial portion of his base or drag the country into an unpopular no-deal Brexit. No amount of “Churchillian” spirit — and his attempts to invoke this during his speech were almost comically weak — will overcome this political reality.
But for Labour the coming weeks are also important. There will be considerable pressure to join an anti-Boris campaign, abandoning the party’s transformational program to coalesce with whatever establishment ghoul finds the Prime Minister’s latest scandal too unseemly.
The price of such an alliance has already been made clear by Jo Swinson, newly elected leader of the Lib Dems: ditch Jeremy Corbyn. Take Boris on not with a plan to improve millions of people’s lives but with vagaries about “progressive values,” outrage over his transgressions against established politics, and a nostalgia for the recent past.
It’s easy to see the appeal of uniting all those who oppose Boris Johnson. But diluting Labour’s politics is exactly the wrong way to beat him. The only way to stop the political and moral void Johnson brings to Downing Street consuming the entire political horizon is to make it confront day-to-day hardships. Hardships his party and his class have forced on so many for so long.