Monday, January 21, 2013

Obama's bankrupt words make the inaugral address meaningless.

Here's my response to this article in Salon from a Democratic Party apologist,.

What Obama should say in his second inaugural


  • Wonderwheel
  • Monday, Jan 21, 2013 11:37 AM PST

  • My laughing started with this subtitle:

    "Now is the time to articulate a vision of capitalism that explicitly rejects the notion of 'job creators'."

    The very idea of such a species of "capitalism" is a fairytale for children. Capital-ism means making money from capital. What is capital? It is money and tangible assets. Making money from capital means having other people do work with “your” capital and then giving you the lion’s share of the profits and they get the leftovers. There is no variety of so-called compassionate capitalism in which the owners of capital don’t assert their possession of the capital as god-given or hard-earned, even though it is only by sleight of hand and the force of arms that they are able acquire and maintain that capital.

    For example, the raw materials of the land should belong to everyone and not to someone who has a paper title drawn on a map. Individual title to a home is one thing, and its not capitalism because the home is not used by laborers to get a profit for the home owner. But title to oil deep in the earth being held by an individual is ridiculous and only reasonable under the chicanery of capitalism’s style of three card monte. As for Wall Street’s stock “exchanges,” they are nothing more or less than the exchanges occurring every day in gambling casinos.

    When private property is properly restricted to the amount that a person can physically pick up and hold and manage on their own, without additional servants or hired hands to care for it, then we will have an economic system that has to look at the remaining capital as the capital of the commons to be used in a system of economic democracy for the good of the nation, and not for the good of the corporate lords of the American Brand of Fascism.

    *****

    I would just add that Mr. Rollert's notion of a ideal "common capitalism" is just as much an oxymoron as Schumpeter’s "Creative Destruction." 

    Rollert ends with the hopeful fairy story of "a vision of economic development that doesn’t see us waiting on the deliverance of an enlightened few, but one in which there is dignity and place for everyone to lend a hand."  But what does that really mean? He hasn't described a single instance of practical difference to the current system of economic injustice.  Stripped of the finery, Rollert's vision of "everyone lending a hand" means exactly what we have now under capitalism, everyone lending a hand and the capitalists determining how much trickles down to the hands.

    It really is silly to imagine "what Obama should say" in his inaugral, because whatever he says will have absolutely no currency in the market place of real politics, anymore than the many campaign promises of his first term that have been broken.

    2 comments:

    A. Kirilov said...

    I agree completely. What I find even more strange and absurd about our political landscape is the degree to which American citizens are amnesiacs, regarding everything from the financial instability and exploitation of capitalism to the perpetual re-election of presidents.

    I suppose our project should be to create a politics or a discourse "at a distance from the state."

    I don't think it is acceptable to choose a third party position, because the same structural problems driven by bureaucratic self interest and economic power will appear in the modern nation state (regardless of whether or not our president is Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, or Red).

    Alan Gregory Wonderwheel said...

    So, how does discourse "at a distance from the state" have any actual effect on the state?

    In other words, if we don't take the opportunity to vote in an alternative manner to the two-party duopoly then aren't we just abdicating our responsibility in the same way as Nero fiddling while watching Rome burn.

    For better or worse, democracy gives each of us a small percentage of the responsibility and makes each of us one small part of the governing body and if our small part just goes along then we are responsible to that degree with what is going on.