Underneath the bluster of a Trump administration that still acts like the United States is the world hegemon, the ruling class is working to pragmatically respond to the loss of America’s status as a dominant power. In 2017 the Pentagon put out a report that admitted American global influence is rapidly declining, and now that the U.S. is sure to soon lose its superpower status, the corporatocracy has to address this issue.
Covid-19 has brought about the era of biopolitics, an era that will continue for the foreseeable future. This is because the virus is far from being defeated; a resurgence of it is likely to happen this fall, and the neoliberal world’s refusal to sacrifice business for public health is sure to perpetuate the pandemic for as long as neoliberalism exists. Biopolitics is also here to stay because we’ve reached a point in the climate crisis where global weather patterns are much more compatible with viruses than they used to be. More viruses are going to appear in the coming years with increasing ferocity, which will necessitate an irreversible series of changes to how society functions.
“The liberal co-optation is the genesis of repression not only in the state as we see it now with the police brutalizing protesters, killing black people, targeting journalists, all of the egregious human rights violations that we see occurring right now in the United States. That is one form of repression but then there’s the other ideological repression and war that is part of this struggle and we are seeing it pretty outwardly right now with the corporations and the local governments and the Democratic Party with the Kente cloth-kneeling all that as part of this ideological war, a war of placation, the attempts to really steer the movement into acceptable means of protests.” — Danny Haiphong
“Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime.” — Aristotle
It has been an extraordinary week. On the heels of a pandemic and months-long lockdown, a nationwide uprising erupted in response to the brutal killing of George Floyd. In some 75 cities across at least 16 states, and around the world, militant, multiracial gatherings of thousands of rightfully-enraged people overwhelmed police forces, prevented arrests, forced the evacuation of, and burned, a police precinct, and damaged and burned dozens of buildings. Mainstream news reporters from around the world were arrested and fired upon with rubber bullets on live television. Police SUVs drove into crowds of people. It has been the most extensive, and the most threatening, explosion of popular rage against the machine since the uprisings of 1967-8.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on May 30, 2020
On the show this week, Chris Hedges talks to John Ralston Saul, author and president emeritus of Pen International, about how the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the weakness of American society, and accelerated the decline of the American Empire.
“One of the reasons why white supremacy is such a huge lesson out of the Covid-19 pandemic is because Black workers have ultimately been the ones who have sacrificed themselves to ensure that what profits can be made here in the United States continue to be made. And they were ultimately the ones who bore the brunt of the deaths in most states across the country where Black Americans reside; two to three times the rate of deaths has been higher for Black Americans than White Americans in many cities and states across this country.” — Danny Haiphong
In 2014, the CIA-tied media outlet the Washington Post published an article titled “In the long run, wars make us safer and richer.” Its author Ian Morris reasoned that wars have been necessary to carry out what it called the “civilizing process,” wherein the European empires have grown through conquest and the United States has been created through the seizing of indigenous lands. Its argument was racist and biased in favor of Western capitalist interests, and this was the point. It acknowledged that the wars which brought the U.S. empire to power, and which the U.S. empire continues to wage, are good for “us”—the people in the imperial core who benefit from imperialist wars.
Consumer society has tried to legitimize itself by making people believe that it represents a sustainable way of living. For those in the First World, all the evidence that a meltdown is coming—the deterioration of the climate, the decline of the biosphere, the diminishing of available resources—has usually existed outside of immediate view. Commercialism and the mass media, which have gained an unprecedented presence in our lives through the digital revolution, have distracted us from these realities while the machine of global capital has continued to run.
The Democrats’ Quandary
To hear the candidates debate, you would think that their fight was over who could best beat Trump. But when Trump’s billionaire twin Mike Bloomberg throws a quarter-billion dollars into an ad campaign to bypass the candidates actually running for votes in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, it’s obvious that what really is at issue is the future of the Democrat Party. Bloomberg is banking on a brokered convention held by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in which money votes. (If “corporations are people,” so is money in today’s political world.)
Updated: Feb. 28, 2020
When you compare socialist countries like China, Cuba, Vietnam, and the DPRK with neoliberal countries like the United States and Britain, a particular factor stands out in how their developments have differed: the socialist countries have vastly more social cohesion than their counterparts do. By this, I mean they have a lack of serious political polarization and a relatively small amount of ethnic or class divides. In these countries, most people think favorably of the governing parties, racial and religious violence aren’t sanctioned by the state, and strong social safety nets and firm checks on private business keep inequality from becoming too pronounced. These places aren’t perfect, but they lack the deep rottenness that pervades neoliberal societies.
with Abby Martin
Empire Files on Feb 9, 2020
Abby Martin meets with Nithya Raman, progressive candidate for LA City Council in District 4, about her campaign to end homelessness in the nation’s epicenter and how local politicians refuse to take easy actions to eradicate the phenomenon–but refuse to in the interests of big real estate developers.
After facilitating the atrocities of the Pinochet dictatorship and helping introduce neoliberal policies around the world, Milton Friedman wrote in an essay from 1982 that “Only a crisis–actual or perceived–produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.”
Waking from the Ancient Madness of Ownership
leftymathprof on Jan 24, 2020
For thousands of years we’ve endured wars, poverty, and other cruelties, all unnecessary. And now the madness is about to kill all of us with a climate apocalypse, which is coming much bigger and faster than most people realize. These problems can all be traced to a practice that we have long accepted as normal: the practice of not sharing with our cousins. Trade increases inequality, making corruption and plutocracy inevitable. Competition makes us insane. To avoid extinction we’ll need two revolutions.