Covid-19’s unparalleled U.S. death number, this last year’s irreversible unemployment of tens of millions of U.S. residents, the proliferation of fires throughout the last decade, the extreme heat within much of the country that’s forced many to evacuate, and the other destabilizing factors in the core of global imperialism come in the context of an intensifying class war. A class war that the CIA, the corporate media, the police state, and the other instruments of counterrevolutionary warfare in U.S. borders are intent to keep their pulse on as the conditions of the masses slip ever deeper into chaos.
There are things that happen in the world that are bad, and you want to do something about them. You have a just cause. But our culture is so war prone that we immediately jump from, “This is a good cause” to “This deserves a war.”
You need to be very, very comfortable in making that jump.
Socialist political parties should work to connect rather than direct progressive struggles and organisations.
A mass uprising – one of the largest in the history of the United States – exploded after police murdered George Floyd in late May 2020. While thousands stormed the streets, some seasoned organisers mused on Twitter whether to even support the rebellion. Others were flat-footed at best, doing nothing more than issuing tone-deaf statements. Still others felt immediate solidarity, but stumbled to find a meaningful way to connect with the movement as explicit socialists.
The presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the reputation of the Democratic Party from the party of the Southern slaveholders to that of “friend of the working people”—a reputation that the Democratic Party, undeservedly, continues to enjoy.
Escalation has consequences. When a government pushes its people too far, a revolt is going to happen that the government may not be able to contain. We’ve seen this in the last year, when the latest series of murders by police following the coming of a new Great Depression resulted in the largest protest movement in U.S. history. And U.S. military experts understand that over these next several decades of ongoing living standards deterioration within the capitalist world, further unrest will come about should the government take its repressive efforts too far; a 2016 Pentagon training video implies that when the U.S. Army gets sent in to suppress internal revolts, it will need to err on the side of caution if it wants to avoid killing civilians and consequently destroying the state’s perceived legitimacy.
This essay comes with a caveat: that the process of descent into a failed state has already been very much at play. And for a long time, too. At least since the 2008 economic crash, the core of global imperialism has been transitioning into the kind of instability which its military has inflicted upon nations like Libya and Yugoslavia. And during this last year in particular, the collapse has been accelerating.
One thing this pandemic has demonstrated in stark terms is class struggle. Those people deemed essential, though often applauded in public, have been treated as expendable. In truth, they were always treated this way. But this last year has made this struggle visible for anyone paying attention.
“There is a misconception that capitalism and free markets are the same things. This is not the case. Capitalism relies heavily on state protection and state intervention. Capitalism and the state are twin pillars of control that have developed in tandem, supporting and reinforcing one another both deriving their power from private property (not to be confused with personal property).”
Within today’s capitalist world, particularly the core imperialist countries, the system is held together by a type of cultural hegemony which fits our increasingly grim conditions. This cultural hegemony goes deeper than the set of myths and propaganda narratives that the imperialist media spins to justify the U.S./NATO empire’s perpetual war operations, or the free market fundamentalist dogma that our ruling class uses to justify its cruel neoliberal economic designs. These ideological constructs remain dominant in our culture because for the average person in our society, no cohesive alternative cultural narratives are detectable. It’s due to our lack of culture and guiding ideology that the hypocritical, dishonest ideologies which our ruling class has manufactured are allowed to go unchallenged.
“The radical capitalist social revolution in which sovereignty in economic affairs passed from the community as a whole into the hands of special class of masters often remote from production, a group alien to the producers.” — Norman Ware
by Scott Noble
December 31, 2015
Plutocracy is the first documentary to comprehensively examine early American history through the lens of class. A multi-part series by filmmaker Scott Noble, Part I focuses on the the ways in which the American people have historically been divided on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex and skill level.