Archive for August, 2008

More on imperial benefits and the imperial left

August 31, 2008

This is a reply to Tennessee-Socialist on Dissident Voice. His words are in italics.

“Brian Koontz: Americans recieve benefits if you are a conformist american. But most american workers can only eat and drive a car in America. But american workers cannot go to a university for example to study law, political science or philosophy, or cannot go to an endocrinologist doctor if they want to lose weight, because doctors are so expensive in America. So it is evident that the majority of americans are not well and *don’t* receive benefits at all.”

Education and healing should be universal rights, but there’s a massive difference between the welfare of “poor” Americans and the welfare of the global poor.

Take one huge difference – the minimum wage. Regardless of gender or race at least, most Americans can get a low-paying job. It’s not too difficult once American citizenship is attained for anyone to be a “poor” American. The federal minimum wage is currently $6.55 per hour and will be going up to $7.25 per hour next summer. The concept of a “living” wage in America* is sheer nonsense and political opportunism – it’s easy to live on the minimum wage in America.

According to even the World Bank (not exactly an unbiased organization), in 2001 1.1 billion people “lived” on less than $1 a day, and 2.7 billion “lived” on less than $2 a day. In other words, nearly half the global population makes less than a third in an entire day what a “poor” American makes in an hour. This was *before* the Bush Administration took it’s toll on the world.

The minimum wage in America is an *imperial* benefit. It resulted not (just) from “democratic movement”, as Chomsky claims, but from imperial theft and redistribution of that theft. The redistribution from Mob Boss to Mob Underling is what Chomsky calls “democracy”. Third-worlders perhaps have another name for it.

Life for a poor American is not peaches and cream. But at least a poor American knows what peaches and cream *are*.

“The only folks who are benefiting from Imperialist USA is Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, the yuppie middle libertarian right wing bourgoeise elitist classes, but the majority of american employees and workers are not doing well at all. That’s why there is a need of socialism in USA so that wealth could trickle down to the masses”

The American poor are *not* the masses! The masses are the GLOBAL poor, the truly poor, those 1.1 billion “living” in sheer desperation and the 2.7 billion “living” in dire straits and the other billion+ mildly less exploited. The American poor are the Mob Underlings, exploited for sure but with a highly privileged and highly exploitive place in the global system.

A problem with Americans is that they always compare themselves to other (richer) Americans. Your examples of Tom Cruise and Jennifer Lopez are tragically typical. The American poor consume American media that shows opulence and the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and cry out “exploitation!” For the Mob Underling to compare himself to the Mob Boss and ignore the victims of the mob, the *true* victims, is to be blind and to not live in reality.

The American left is hardly less racist and monstrous than the right, but they have 1000 times the self-righteousness. They are the ones who “know about” Imperialism without actually knowing about it.

Don’t you think that one point of American media showing the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” is so that poor Americans will focus on that instead of on attaining solidarity with the global poor? Don’t you think that you yourself have fallen into a capitalist trap, Mr. Socialist?

“Socialism in the USA” is nothing more than the Mob Underling trying to get more imperial benefits from the Mob Boss.

* I support a “living wage” in America as well as all other transfers from the Mob Boss to the Mob Underling only insofar as they do not distract the American left away from solutions to the world’s problems. It seems for most of the Imperial left that being distracted by those transfers is the point of their existence.

Advertisements

Cuba and the Struggle for Survival

August 30, 2008

Link

Police trap peaceful protesters in Denver

August 28, 2008

Link

Defense Intelligence Agency Seeking "Mind Control" Weapons

August 26, 2008

Link

The white middle-class intelligentsia “discovers” imperialism

August 24, 2008

This is a reply to Paul Street on Dissident Voice.

“Our current corporate-totalitarian political order doesn’t “work” for any but the Few. It is a grave threat to human survival and peace, justice, and democracy at home and abroad.”

That’s false. Poor Americans are far richer than the world’s poor, a testament to the results of successful imperialism and the corporate-totalitarian political order. The Mob Underlings reap the benefits of Mob successes, however disproportionately in relation to the Mob Boss.

Whether it’s a “grave threat to human survival” is dependent upon the degree of success of the American-led multinational-corporate empire in perpetuating worldwide slavery. If it’s successful the world will become enslaved rather than killed – if things get out of control a worldwide or small-scale holocaust may occur.

As for “peace, justice, and democracy” – there have never been any of those things in the United States. The state was founded on a war to secure power for the domestic elite, it proceeded by capitalist logic, including the internal colonization of the genocided native population, perpetual war against both them and the imported Africans, repression of women, perpetual exploitation of non-Americans, and theft and exploitation of the domestic poor by the rich. “Peace”, “justice”, and “democracy” are words in a dictionary, as well as words that sometimes are reflected in other places or in small-scale incidents.

By “grave threat” you can only mean that it threatens a demographic previously unthreatened – privileged (middle-class) whites. When the Neocons and their neoliberal doctrine came to power middle class whites panicked – they were no longer safe and would have to join (in a far muted form of exploitation) the ranks of so many other victims of the American state. It’s only been with the rise of neoliberalism that the white bourgeois intelligentsia has “discovered the horrors of imperialism” – where were these horrors during the supposed “Golden Age of American Democracy” – the Bretton-Woods post-WWII period?

An alien, observing this, cannot be blamed for having little sympathy for the suddenly fearful bourgeois whites, who write treatises on the horrors of neoliberalism.

“Peace, justice, and democracy”? Those concepts cannot have true meaning until such time as the “good” people of the world operate by something other than selfishness, greed, and fear.

The mantra of the modern Western left is “neoliberalism is going too far” – summed up in Naomi Klein’s ideology. This left, which complains so much about the “narrow political spectrum in America” might want to explore the narrow ideological spectrum they themselves exist in.

The Imperial Left exists within an imperial society. For all their knowledge of imperialism, they don’t know themselves.

Totalitarianism: It Can Happen Here

August 24, 2008

Link

David Harvey: Exit the neocon global project, enter competing capitalist blocks

August 20, 2008

Link

Naomi Klein on disaster capitalism

August 20, 2008

Link

Operation Sentinel: The High-Tech Police State Takes Shape

August 18, 2008

Link

US missile deals enrages Russia

August 16, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

License to steal – privatization in Serbia

August 16, 2008

Link

Don’t Cage Dissent

August 16, 2008

Link

The geopolitics of Georgia

August 16, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Fatherhood and men and women in capitalist societies

August 14, 2008

Here’s a general example taken from all capitalist societies, the prototypical one from which all hierarchies are derived – fatherhood. There are different levels of socially accepted ways to “feed the family”. One way that is socially accepted is to take a position in a corporation that exploits the third world. Due to the constraints of “fatherhood” (as the father views the constraints) he must take part in exploiting the third world because the alternative (not exploiting the third world and therefore making less money) makes him a bad father.

But even that might not be enough, and he may need to undertake actions that offend his own country’s ruling elite to make even more money. Again, all due to the institutional constraints (as he views them) of fatherhood.

In capitalist societies men want to become fathers precisely so that they can become dominative. That is to say, men recognize their own desire for power and the positive impact that fatherhood has on their quest for power (social status, sexual value, etc.) insofar as it places conditional constraints on them that individually, they desire. So men (and women, to the extent that they too “feed the family” and that they desire to couple with men who do) want to become dominative, they want to extort, coerce, and exploit. These might even be called “family values” within a capitalist society.

I’ll pass over the example of Brad Will for the sake of brevity, but look into it for some insight. Or Eugene Debs.

I want to cover one more issue in my time in this post – wife beating. The left is a joke on this issue, precisely because the left is imperialist as well (most of the left including Naomi Klein is capitalist) and not committed to socialism.

The American people, like all other people, strain for socialism. There is constant tension against capitalism, even in the corrupt American society (corruption itself implies a tension, a two-fold identity). Capitalism requires a husband to be dominative and a wife at the very least to be complicit. To the extent that that husband desires to not be dominative, often for socialist reasons, animosity is generated by the situation he finds himself in. That is to say, dislike for capitalism directly leads to bad marriages, and abuse of wives. Yet I’ve never heard the left even mention this primary aspect of wife beating, preferring to treat it as a personal problem (a kind of moral failing of men). The left apparently fails to note that in non-capitalist societies, such as that of indigenous Americans for example, there is very little if any wife beating. Women in America know very well that capitalism and imperialism produce wife beating as an inevitable side effect, which is one reason why the issue receives so little serious examination. American women have decided that imperialism is more important than their own bruises.

Colonization or Globalization

August 14, 2008

Link

CIFA Closes, Pentagon Opens New Spy Shop

August 12, 2008

Link

A Dirty Adventure – an imperial war over South Ossetia

August 11, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Naomi Klein on China and the Olympics

August 10, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Militarizing the Social Sciences

August 9, 2008

Link

Erroneous CNN footage angers Serbs

August 3, 2008

Link