Democratic Party, Politics, Socialism, Uncategorized

The Sanders “Revolution” Is a Blind Alley

“The working class will acquire the sense of the new discipline, the freely assumed self-discipline of the Social Democracy, not as a result of the discipline imposed on it by the capitalist state, but by extirpating, to the last root, its old habits of obedience and servility.”–Rosa Luxemburg

Bernie Sanders’ reformist welfare state capitalism is not, in any way, shape, or form socialist, let alone Marxist. His way is just a prettier repackaging of neoliberalism for desperate Millennials emeeging from the warm nest of the post-WWII capitalist bubble into the cold reality of late-stage capitalism in crisis.

Sanders & his ilk seek to improve the material conditions of the middle, and to a much lesser extent, working classes WITHOUT addressing the system which creates and will continue to create the conditions seeking to be reformed.

Sanders’ kabuki theater “revolution” is a essentially a morphine drip for the petty bourgeois Millennials who are the first generation in the advnced post-industrial west to experiance the full savagry of late stage-capitalism in crisis. His policies would make the current generation more comfortable with their misery under the current system, and would have as a consequence the INTENSIFICATION AND PROLONGATION of the crisis and its’ attendent woes & brutalities. Only the overthrow of the capitalist system and its replacement with communism will ameliorate the condition of the working classes & disintegrate the class barriers that stratify society. Sanders is a new coat of paint on the walls of the same old reformist blind alley.

 

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2016 Election, Activism, Uncategorized

Thesis For Post-United States Systems

red

The Democratic Party & many mainstream (especially white upper middle class) liberals will roll over like a dog for Trump & the GOP in hopes of getting some legislative & policy table scraps. This whole “civil war” narrative for the Democratic Party, this whole Clinton/Schumer corporate elites vs. populist working class allies Sanders/Warren/Ellison is just that: a narrative meant to divert effort & energy away from the protests, art, writing, civil disobedience, grass roots & communal organizing & self-governance that is the ONLY real antidote to the sort of incipient fascism/nationalist populism being embraced by the ruling & media elites.

DO NOT BUY INTO IT.

Ignore the Democratic Party “get out the vote” shaming & its mirror image “third party” utopianisms, ignore the “we need to reach out to the white working classes” bullshit: organize, speak out & act out in any way you can. The system is broken, it does not deserve to be put back together. We must create a new one from the ideas & imaginations within ourselves. We must abandon the party system entirely. We must eventually even abandon the discursive & self-justifying system of nationalism. There is no hope for the US. There is only hope if we create, together, Post-US narratives & systems.

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Politics, Uncategorized

Why I Am Not “Feeling The Bern”

Ok, it’s been a LONG ASS TIME since I have posted anything on here, so of course I have to break my radio silence by posting something that will most likely make 75% of my readers hate me forever…but I don’t care so enjoy!
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I will say, up front, that what I am writing is from my OWN perspective. I am not writing this as someone who thinks he understand “the black point of view” because A. I do not, and B. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A UNIFIED BLACK PERSPECTIVE ON ANYTHING, just like there is no unified woman, LGBTQ or even white male perspective. We are all shaped by our experiences to one degree or another, and no community is a monolith. That being said, let’s get into this thing:
I have been told by my liberal friends, liberal sparring partners, liberal family members etc etc that I MUST vote for and support Bernie Sanders for president of the US. The reasons why are myriad: he is the “only one” who gets “it” (whatever IT means), he is the only one who can beat Trump (I doubt Trump even makes it to the general, but I digress…), that he alone can bring about a “political revolution” in the U.S. just by being elected (didn’t we go through this before, in ’08?) and that not voting for him is tantamount to personally ushering a Republican into the Oval Office.
 
Enough is enough. I will vote for Bernie Sanders for one reason, and one reason only: he is not Trump, Ted Cruz, or Hillary Clinton. That is it. I am not impressed by Sanders having “marched w/ MLK”, especially not the way that this fact has been used by my fellows on the left to shame anyone, especially black folks, who DARE to question whether or not he is the best thing to happen to Civil Rights since the aforementioned Rev. Dr. King, Jr. Anyone can march, anyone can stage a sit in or hold a sign. Sanders is a well meaning, old, civil rights era liberal, he is not some sort of revolutionary racial savior. And to tell our fellow Americans, who happen to be black, that they should “know who their friends are” or “stop making trouble” is to show that we are still quite racist in our attitudes. Sanders boggled his first response to BLM, though he has engaged them since then, and he continues to put his foot in his mouth when it comes to issues of racial justice. Just the other day he said he did not believe that reparations for slavery was a viable option for making the US a more fair and just place because the issue would be “divisive” and have a hard time “getting through Congress”. As Ta-Nehisi Coates puts it in his piece analyzing this very issue (and which I link to at the bottom of this piece):
“The spectacle of a socialist candidate opposing reparations as “divisive” (there are few political labels more divisive in the minds of Americans than socialist) is only rivaled by the implausibility of Sanders posing as a pragmatist”. I find his sudden concern for Congressional feasibility rich given that most of his platform has no chance in hell of passing through anything less than a Democratic Super Majority in both Houses of Congress. Why is it that issues that matter the most to black people and that could have a real impact on the lives of black folks and strike a real blow against institutional racism are always considered “divisive” or “not proper” or “a non-starter”? Sanders seems to think that a blanket approach to economic injustice i.e. a few basic tweaks and overhauls to the economic and regulatory systems, would have in the end benefit all Americans, regardless of race. This, to put it politely, is complete and utter bullshit.
Again, as Ta-Nehisi Coates has showed, many times and in much more beautiful language than I can ever muster, that the best liberal programs in the world will do nothing to lessen the burden on African Americans if it is not coupled with an understanding that every system in the US is tainted, corrupted, by racism. Housing aid after WWII, Welfare Reform in the 90s, the New Deal in the 30s, all these things were meant to lift “the masses” out of poverty, but were designed, intentionally and not, to exclude or to marginalize black folks. Unless Sanders wakes up to the fact that you must first attack the ROOTS of racism in this country, inequality at ALL levels of civil society, then his policy pledges and kind words mean nothing. It also bothers me, as someone who has took the time to study and read up on the issues, that Sanders and his supporters INSIST that the Senator is a “democratic socialist”. This is not true. A democratic socialist would be in favor of the workers taking control of the means of production, abolishing wage labor, and allowing for direct democratic control over all aspects of the economy and government. I see nothing of the sort suggested by the Sanders camp. He pays lip service to true revolutionary ideas and to the radical streak in many young people, but he does not have policies to back up his very strong assertions. His platform does nothing to undermine capitalism, to attack the imperialist tendencies of our government systems, or to remove our military from the many bases we have all over the world imposing our will and whims on everyone else.
He is a New Deal/War On Poverty style liberal Democrat, which is, I admit, better than the Democrats have put forward for years, but a socialist this does not make. Do I think that Bernie Sanders is some sort of closet racist? Absolutely not. Do I think he is an old white man who thinks he has the answers to why black people are suffering? Abso-fucking-lutely. He is no different than many other “liberal white saviors” who seem to come and go with such frequency in American Democratic Party Politics. I even wrote about this issue once before on this blog
So, to sum up, yes, I will be voting for Sanders, NO, I do not think he is the most “revolutionary political figure” in recent U.S. political history, and no, he is NOT a Democratic Socialist, or any kind of socialist. He is a white liberal Democrat from the east coast running for President, the same sort the Democrats have been putting forward for a generation or more. Nothing more, nothing less. And one more thing about those white liberal Bernie Sanders supports who like to lecture everyone about everything race, radicalism, or revolutionary: shut up, now. As my brilliantly political minded wife put it to me, they come off less like Che Guevara and more like Brian Griffin from Family Guy. 
Ta-Nehisi Coates’ piece on Sen. Sanders and Reparations: Why Precisely is Bernie Sanders Against Reparations?
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history, Immigration, Politics

The Great Wall of Trump

great-wall

There has been a lot of blabber lately, from the far right in general and Donald Trump worshipers in particular, about building an enormous wall between Mexico and the United States so as to “stem the invasion of the ‘illegals'”. The Great Wall of China is often named dropped as an example, or rather, THE example of how a wall can be used successfully to maintain the supposed integrity and security of a large nation. You see, there is just one little problem w/ using the example of the Great Wall this way: It didn’t work, or at least not the way people have been led to believe.

China (or more accurately, the areas of China populated and controlled by the Han ethnic and cultural group) was invaded successfully by the Mongols, the Hsi Hsia (Tanguts), the Tibetans, and the Manchu. The wall, or rather serious of walls (made variously of stone, wood, and earth at different places along its length) and border forts linked by trade and communication networks and manned by pickets and conscripted militias along with the Imperial military, was basically a giant propaganda tool and a way to martial large amounts of labor resources and maintain control of frontier regions, protect against bandits, and control import/export trade. So, long story short, walls don’t work as ways of keeping large amounts of people out of large nations and they are almost never effective at “controlling” the flow of migrants. People are like water; they will always find a way through even the most tough and powerful looking barrier.

Also (talking to you here Mr. Trump and your supporters) China never made the other nations that were meant to be kept out by the wall pay for the wall. China tried the whole bravado/middle finger technique against the Mongols, and, well, the Mongols invaded China, killed 20 Million people, burned many of its largest cities to the ground, and ruled it as conquerors for 150 years. So there’s that. Unless we are willing to post tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of armed to the teeth soldiers on and around the 2000 mile border permanently (like the Israelis in Palestine, the Soviets in East Germany and North & South Korea on the DMZ) said wall is not going to solve the “problem” of unregulated immigration into the United States from Mexico and Central America. And even THEN, as the China examples shows, it wouldn’t work. Only a “giant loser” would think otherwise. 

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2nd Amendment

American Violence: God, Guns, and Gore

gun control

I saw this story today on one of my favorite news sites http://www.rawstory.com/2015/04/fake-georgia-cop-yells-fcking-nrs-pulls-shotgun-on-skateboarders-for-being-in-the-street/ 

I could not help but thing…How, HOW is it legal to buy a Kalashnikov in this country? So because some criminal could “theoretically” have “any” weapon, we should be allowed to buy any weapon to “protect” ourselves? Theoretically, a criminal (who could be ANYONE…gun nuts act as though criminals have a certain physical trait that shows who they are…oh, wait…) could get their hands on any sort of weapon. Should we be allowed to by a tank or a anti-tank weapon? Where does the insanity end? The article really captures the key themes of US worship of guns and violence: racialized attitudes about “protecting property” and self-defense, gun fetishization, a macho attitude and delusions of authority. These themes come up again and again and again but STILL gun “rights” advocates try to divorce the social ills that plague US society from the US obsession with firearms and with crime. It has gotten to the point where I cannot even have a discussion about guns IN SCHOOLS without being called a “gun grabbing fascist” or a gay/sexist slur (it seems to be assumed by ammo-sexuals that one who does not believe in the power of the gun is by default a gay man or a woman). There also seems to be a real religious, especially Christian, obsession with arming oneself against the threat that is the “other” in the world. The Conservative Christian mind in this nation is a mind that is always fearful. It is an issue I am working on in my writing lately…it is a real cause that I am fascinated in and devoted to.

We to make the case, as a civil society, that guns are not the answer to all of our problems and that unlimited gun ownership is NOT a right, it never has been. It is a PRIVILAGE and can be taken away or restricted if you show yourself to be a danger to your family or your community. Even in TEXAS of all places Dallas County is finally going to start confiscating the guns of people convicted of domestic violence. This is also a Federal statute, but many states do not have enforceable laws on the books that protect people from domestic gun violence. We are always told that a gun is “just a tool”, as though this is some sort of argument AGAINST restrictions or of understanding gun violence as a social disease. According to the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics guns were responsible for the deaths of more than half of all women killed by their partners between 2001 and 2012. So guns are used as the weapon of choice for those who terrorize their partners. That should give unlimited gun rights activists pause.

More education and dialogue is needed on the issue of human violence and obsession with “security” and “purity”. If you want to understand human violence, obsession with “rights” and “liberties”, and mythic tendencies, I suggest reading the books Sapiens and Blood and Soil. Two of the best books I have ever read. Both talk about what makes human beings tick as an animal, what causes them to seek out violent solutions to complex problems and, in the latter especially, how societies and groups go about the ugly business of doing and justifying violence. I worry that a genocidal sort of fury may be coming from the Right in this country…so much misguided fear and hate directed towards immigrants (this obsession with “legality” is just a new of articulating the “purity” aspects of xenophobic nationalism that existed in the past regarding immigrants), towards LGBT people, towards atheists, towards Muslims. When the majority group, Christians, feels as thought IT is the one being persecuted, they start getting paranoid, and violent, and start arming themselves and convincing themselves that the “others”, “Those People” and “their culture” are to blame and that something needs to be done about it for the good of the nation. That is how genocide happens, that is how you get armed racist bands in the streets, and how you get Muslims being herded into pens…I am trying to be more aware of the hate and fear in this country. The gun/2nd Amendent cult obsession and the persecution complex of conservative christians worry me the most

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Politics

My (FAR too early) 2016 Presidential Election Prediction

An accurate depiction of what the 2016 election will look like

An accurate depiction of what the 2016 election will look like

Yes. I will predict the results! I am that omniscient! I AM YOUR POLITICAL GOD—Never mind. Here are my predictions based on my near constant observation of politics for the past, um, 18 years (I was a weird 10 year old what can I say…autism is a hell of a drug). If they are not true then, well, then, I don’t know, Mitt Romney ends up winning it in a landslide. KARMA…or something. Rmoney for all!

Anyway. Sorry. I am overly caffeinated at the moment. The predictions:

PREDICTIONS…FOR REAL THIS TIME!

Prediction for ’16 #’s: Clinton 52%, Cruz 43%, As Yet Unknown Right Winger <5%, Senate goes to Dems, House of Reps firmly gerrymandered GOP

The election will be a functional, if not demographic and ideological, repeat of the ’94 election, with another Clinton winning

Someone from the FAR right will emerge to represent the “right is never right enough” crowd who scarily keep getting more vocal.

Cruz will survive a tough GOP primary race because I’m convinced that he is a somehow a Latino Richard Nixon clone & Nixon was basically the political version of the Terminator.

There will be a violent bludgeoning of Clinton in primaries from Left, which will leave her “reformed” enough to garner left/center/moderate votes (and hence why I will be writing in Bernie Sanders…)

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GOP, Science

Why Does the GOP Hate Science?

GOPSCIENCE

I have been stunned lately by the ridiculous and regressive things major GOP figures have been saying about medicine and science lately. It is old news that the GOP wants to repeal Obamacare (a law I think did not go nearly far enough but has at least brought insurance to millions who did not have it before) and does not give a shit about the lives and liberty of women when it comes to their own reproductive health, but this week the GOP may have gone, in the words of the great comedy Tropic Thunder, “Full Retard”.

A little background: Disneyland and a few other areas in California have suffered a measles outbreak stemming from the anti-vaccine movement. Thousands of “parents” have decided that they will not vaccinate their children against deadly and easily spread diseases because some quack Doctors and terrible actress Jenny McCarthy told them it would cause autism and other “terrible afflictions”. I am not even going to go into how insulting this is to people like me who actually have autism. It is bad enough that these idiot parents want to bring health standards back to the level of pre-industrial Europe. Anyone with a half of a brain knows that vaccines are safe and effective and save millions of lives. So of course Chris Christie and play-Doctor Rand Paul came out against vaccinating children. Professional Charlatan Rand Paul (hail Aqua-Buddha) went so far as to say that vaccines caused “profound” mental and intellectual problems in children. Rand Paul is a board certified Doctor…of course the “board” in question was pulled out of his Ayn Rand worshiping ass. This man puts wandering wild west snake oil salesmen to shame. Chris Christie, the fattest man on earth–I mean the governor of New Jersey, weighed in and said that parents should have a “choice” in whether to vaccinates their children. I guess the GOP is pro-choice only when it comes to deciding whether you want your child to die the death of a 15th century German peasant.

But wait, there is more! North Carolina GOP Sen. Thom “My first name needed an extra “H” for some reason” Tillis has decided that it is too much of a “regulatory” burden to make restaurants force their employees wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Let me repeat that: A US Senator wants to fight liberal economic tyranny by allowing your Denny’s waitress to serve you your grand slam with shit stained fingers. ‘Murica, Fuck Yeah.

The GOP has gotten to the point where they view science itself as a liberal conspiracy to impose socialist “medicine” to prevent Marxist “diseases” from taking our communist “lives”. It is difficult to pin down exactly why this is; is it to appease the religious fools who make up their base, to appease their corporate overlords, or is it just plain old, Scopes Monkey Trial level American anti-intellectualism? We may never know for sure, but one thing is certain: these idiots should not be let anywhere near the levers of power.

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