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The Coming of a New Democratic Revolution
送交者: 无套裤汉 2017年08月16日20:43:56 于 [新 大 陆] 发送悄悄话

The Coming of a New Democratic Revolution


Mark Wain


March 28, 2016

                                                                        I

In the article, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/magazine/how-can-donald-trump-and-bernie-sanders-both-be-populist.html#permid=17995337  Michael Kazin quoted the Populists’ 1892 platform “The fruits of the toil of millions are boldly stolen to build up colossal fortunes for a few,” those fruits have grown over the past several hundred years by unpaid surplus labor of hundreds of millions of hard-working people to such a gigantic scale or the overwhelming material abundance that, if not being stolen or otherwise they had completely recovered the stolen goods, would have so enriched everyone of this country as to enable all become multi-millionaires. The root cause for the undemocratic status quo is capital and not its political representatives or the populists. Whenever a remedy is to be sought, one should focus on capital as a social relation that controls and abuses its privilege on the entire society.


The number of manufacturing job in the U.S. has kept falling since the late 1980s thanks to Ronald Reagan’s infamous anti-labor neo-liberal “revolution.” In their 1992 book: “America: What Went Wrong?” Donald Barlett and James Steele wrote: “During the 1950s, 33 percent of all workers were employed in manufacturing. The figure edged down to 30 percent in the 1960s, and plunged to 20 percent in the 1980s. It is now 17 percent-and falling.” In 1999, it further plunged to 10.3%, thanks to the “invisible hand” of the market as the determining force of outcomes. While one third of the plunge is attributed to manufacturing strength decline due to flat investment and trade deficit, two thirds of the plunge of manufacturing job number is due to increased labor productivity because of automated production. (See, for an example, http://www.industryweek.com/workforce/why-americas-manufacturing-job-loss-greater-other-industrialized-countries?page=3 ) In fact, increased labor productivity by means of increased fixed capital investment (or organic composition of capital assuming variable capital - wage level - is either unchanged or lowered for given rate of exploitation [ratio of surplus value extracted from labor or profit to wage]) causes decreased rate of profit, which, in turn, bolsters capital to cut investment. Underinvestment initiates not only crises but also unemployment and underemployment – low-wage and/or part-time jobs in the service sector where constant or fixed capital investment is much less than in manufacturing. De-industrialization is a feasible way for raising profitability and even for counteracting its otherwise insurmountable decline.


The flat investment and trade deficit factors imply trade-led job loss and stagnant and eventually race-to-the-bottom wage level. Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both rebuke the manufacturing industry for shipping jobs to Mexico and overseas and win over working people’s general approval, and as a result the number of their combined electorate must exceed the sum of other candidates including Hillary Clinton. To be sure, a deeper understanding of the problem should be found elsewhere. Ever-increasing forces of production are indispensable to the existence and development of capitalism. When such a stage of increase has arrived that labor productivity reaches its highest possible level, the system tends to go through with its general average rate of profit ebbing away from its more common phenomena of ebb and flow. Hasn’t such a stage arrived yet? 


For a discussion refer to https://thenextrecession.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/recessionsdepressions-and-recoveries-0712151.pdf ; https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/the-global-gdp-story/#respond , other papers and books.


The fact that capitalism has reached its late stage of declining rate of profit seems to agree on some common-sense observations, such as flat investment, unfree and unwanted investment outlet - plenty of investment objects, e.g., infrastructure, renewable energy sources, health-care facility, public education, etc. exist but they remain unattractive to capital; disposable capital to the tune of about $1 trillion to 2 trillion; insolvent debt; unemployment and underemployment rates remain far too high for the economy to recover; record low interest rates (some going negative) do not seem to spur new investment interests except on the stock market and in financial casinos, yet investment and not consumption drives a capitalist economy; manufacturing remains under pressure, for an example, durable goods orders in the U.S. drop 2.8% in February 2016; world market has run up to its expansion top,  economies of the BRICS countries either barely grow, are slowing down or in deep slumps and money is flowing out of emerging markets - so far close to $1 trillion has fled China alone. Capital looks forward for immediate return more than long-term investments as its horizon has been dimmed by the falling driving force of capitalist production, namely, the rate of profit. To gain immediate higher return, capital resorts to increased labor productivity by means of full-speed automation in production.


The price to pay for this endeavor is the increased surplus population or unemployment and underemployment of labor. Therefore, the (unpaid) surplus value or profit created by higher labor productivity has increased, while the value embedded in commodity has decreased together with its price to such an extent that price deflation becomes a reality. Capital, over-accumulated and over-idled at the same time, is about to be suffocated by its own success in making monopoly private profits.


Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, the two patriotic vanguards, certainly want to save the system, it is a pity that they may stall for time but most definitely fail to succeed unless they venture their lives for sublation or Aufheben des Werdens of the rotten line of anarchism in the capitalist production.


The much scolded and condemned hideous Donald Trump has touched off strong repercussions not only from the far left but also from the far right, especially the establishment. Is Trump a fascist who will be bound to set up a Trumpist dictatorship? Capital has monopolized the political landscape in a dictatorial manner for more than a hundred years, what could a Trumpist dictatorship gain his ends of the democratic freedoms rigged by capital? As it has bogged down in the quagmire of its own making, further digging through its life-saving democracy of sheer formality means nothing but suicide.


The current situation would call for a political revolution deeper and more radical than what Bernie Sanders has done. The hegemony, to which capital has laid claim for hundreds of years on the premises that whatever it does, it would never let the system go down the drain, is both questionable and broken. A few years ago, no one would think capital’s hegemony could ever be off the hinges, now capital faces petrified challenges that it can no longer bluff its way through business as usual, its existing authority is undermined. A true democratic revolution under the sovereignty of the people, not only in this country but also over the world, will likely break out as a successor to the American and French democratic revolutions of the late 18th century. Their enemies are no longer old monarchies, aristocrats and the clergy, the new kings are the capitalist ruling class under its dictatorship in various countries, the new aristocrats are the establishment, its apologist three-branch governing class, and the new “clergy” consists of the corporate media, mainstream think tanks, elite at colleges and universities, lobbyists and Super Pac’s.


Donald Trump already warned the establishment of riot as he is ahead of his time. Revolution against the dictatorship of capital certainly will involve not only riots but also uprisings by militant social movements against the establishment which refuse to make any change for the better of people’s interests. Its early stage – democratic revolution – will confine its scope to only repeal bad laws, force bad legislative-executive-judicial members to resign, transform the political system into a pro-people and multiparty one and save the dying system. Its later stage – socialist revolution – will expand its scope to destroy the system and replace it anew. It’s an irony that to achieve the latter goal, the former one must be taken as a dress rehearsal for the full-scale revolution; to destroy it, one has to save it.


The system’s major stumbling block to progress is capital’s absolute monopoly of production. To save the system from demise, when capital has failed miserably to solve the problems of economic as well as political crises, of living conditions of vital importance and enhance people’s political economy, all means of production will have to be nationalized either through confiscations or buy-outs. The means of subsistence will remain largely in private hands but allow of community-owned enterprises during the democratic revolution stage. The second stumbling block is capital’s monopoly on the political system of no change for the betterment of people’s immediate and long-term well-beings. Instead of a representative democracy already fatefully damaged by capital dictatorship, a direct democracy must be established and subject to changes as needed. People should not only vote for representatives but also line items in their federal and state budgets and policies by either yes or no vote or by percentage allocation of their tax return despite of the representative’s own votes by their veto power. Only after people wield political power, the system then can be saved from ruin that the undemocratic hegemony of capital brings on.

 

Any revolution will cause a crisis spawned by the anger of anti-revolution together with the indifference of looking-on neutral forces. But then, without revolution, people would have no future at all.


The Coming of a New Democratic Revolution II 


Mark Wain


April 8, 2016

                                                                             II

In https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/29/what-susan-sarandon-said-about-trump-was-out-of-this-world/  MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked whether Susan Sarandon, the Academy Award-winning actress and a Bernie Sanders’ supporter, would vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, her answer was: I don’t know.  I’m going to see what happens. She continued by saying: Some people feel Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately if he gets in then things will really, you know explode; the status quo is not working, and I think it’s dangerous to think that we can continue the way we are with the militarized police force, with privatized prisons, with the death penalty, with the low minimum wage, with threats to women’s rights and think that you can’t do something huge to turn that around.

Her answer, Mr. Hayes considered being out of this world … political purity could lead to calamity… it defies logic that a progressive would find anything redeeming about the Trump candidacy… monumentally insane to argue that a Trump in the White House would be preferable to a Clinton in the Oval Office.

Hayes is wrong. (For a more enlightening view, see http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2016/04/03/with-new-effort-group-hopes-to-show-donald-trump-has-a-multicultural-appeal/ ) Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are anti-establishment and revolution-minded candidates. Their differences lie in the fact that the former is a capitalist roader and the latter is a democratic-socialist-roader. It’s true that Donald Trump says whatever he likes to say and Bernie Sanders says only what his political revolution guidelines permit. They are the ice-breakers in a thousand-foot deep-frozen political world decaying for more than a hundred years. Besides, the masses have waited patiently for quiet long time to wake up to the political siren calls. They do not want to wait for another one-hundred-year before breaking away from the frozen planet of politics and the deafening silence. Revolution is a grand festival of the people who will get experience in practice. Also, as Lenin said: “It is far more difficult—and far more precious—to be a revolutionary when the conditions for direct, open, mass and revolutionary struggle do not yet exist,” we should positively encourage all revolutionaries move forward without delay.

The Rev. A. R. Bernard of Brooklyn, NY said: “The country was at a crossroads, socially and politically.  I never thought that an openly announced socialist would ever be on a presidential ticket. And, this is nothing against Bernie Sanders, but socialism is great in theory. But we’ve seen what it is in practice with the birth and collapse of the Soviet Union in Russia and what it left in Europe.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/nyregion/hillary-clinton-and-bernie-sanders-bring-their-battle-to-brooklyn) His approval of Bernie Sanders’ socialism is remarkable for very few think Sanders’ call upon socialism means much to the solution of the country’s problems, some may even chastise him for desecration of socialism.  

The truth of the matter is socialism, just as any other doctrine, is not stationary but progressive; its strategic development is the result of class struggle over the years involving hundreds of millions of people all over the world, whose power of recall and replacement of the leadership never materialized until China’s Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s, by then it was too late to rescue socialism from sudden change of properties. After the two major and pioneering socialist countries – the former Soviet Union of Russia in the 1950s and the People’s Republic of China in the 1980s – were defeated by their own political elite when under the besiegement of the international monopoly capitalism, socialism as viewed and taught by Karl Marx based on, among others, French socialism combined with French revolutionary doctrines has failed to sustain its viability. The working classes of both countries lost power to the elite who henceforth restored capitalism for a long time afterward without essential change. Had Marx or Lenin witnessed the battle, what could either of them do to salvage the fiasco situation?

It is a historical fact that socialism revolution led by an all-powerful vanguard of a powerless working class is problematic, if not outright futile, for capital would strangle it in its cradle by means of capturing a fort from inside; on the other hand, participatory socialism led by people is a viable doctrine, nonetheless. In (1972) The Capitalist System – A Radical Analysis of American Society, Richard Edward, Michael Reich and Thomas Weisskopf posited: “Participatory socialism requires the elimination of bureaucracies, not by new state or party bureaucracies, but by a self-governing and self-managing people with direct chosen representatives, subject to recall and replacement. Participatory socialism entails a sense of egalitarian cooperation, of solidarity of people with one another; but at the same time, it respects individual and group differences and guarantees individual rights. It affords to all individuals the freedom to exercise human rights and civil liberties that are not mere abstractions but have concrete day-to-day meaning,” (p.4) and in the footnote so cited, they wrote: “By these criteria, no country has yet achieved participatory socialism. China and Cuba, however, have tried to avoid individual, competitive material incentives by stressing social incentives for economic development; and to some extent they have also placed economic development in the proper context of overall balanced social development. Hence these countries can be contrast favorably with the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.” They might as well have added that China’s Cultural Revolution was indeed such a participatory socialist revolution. In terms of radicalization of the U.S. society, they continued: “Our vision of a radical social transformation of the United States clearly involves far more than formal changes in political and economic institutions. Such changes must be part of an ongoing process of change in social and cultural consciousness that will constitute a revolution of social relations among people.” The new democratic revolution herein proposed is just such a political-cultural-socialist revolution in its infancy.

The establishment loves Hillary Clinton for a good reason – doing their bidding faithfully. But then the masses would suffer more than their fair share. The country cannot afford another aristocrat of the Clinton dynasty to rule it because only the rich, powerful and influential will benefit from any dynasty. Even if Bernie Sanders were to be outvoted by Hillary Clinton who could then be elected the president, she would inflict heavy losses on people’s fundamental and long-term interests as capital and people’s interests are completely opposite to each other. On the other hand, revolution will not stop under her reins and may become even more violent than otherwise because her ruthless rule as a pro-establishment and anti-revolutionary hardline politician would set off great unrest among people.

Early missteps Bernie Sanders took on his campaign may hurt his bidding for nomination. Even if he were to lose the nomination, his message of a political revolution would forever and profoundly lie embedded in the minds and hearts of the masses. Hillary Clinton may win the nomination and may even take the office but she has already lost her trustworthiness and honesty among not only the Republicans but among most of the Democrats. She would have been the lame-duck president before taking over the presidency as far as the public opinion was concerned.

Revolution will be the main theme of the political arena, and neither conservativeness and establishment nor business-as-usual and politics-as-usual will ever regain power as held complete sway over the masses as in the bygone years.

What are the specific demands of the revolution that pro-establishment politicians vow to disagree?  Other than fundamentally overhauling the corrupt political system including the campaign-finance system by repealing the 2010 Citizens United Decision of the Supreme Court, the specific demands are: cleaning up Wall Street, indicting bandit-like bankers, stopping the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, D.C., abolishing or inhibiting the non-working Trans-Pacific Partnership and other trade treaties or agreements, levying much higher taxes on the wealthy (the maximum rate for individuals back in 1961 was 91 percent), doubling the statutory corporate tax rate from 35 percent (tax avoidance schemes have dropped the effective rate to about 15 percent for two-thirds of the corporations; 50  U.S. corporations including Apple, Google and Microsoft park $1.4 Trillion funds overseas to avoid tax), putting an end to Obamacare and enacting a government-run single-payer health care system, carrying out a free public higher education, fighting against: privatizations of public enterprises; cuts to social security, Medicare, Medicaid, and education, capital’s monopoly on wage levels and its refusal to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 , eliminating the world’s policeman syndrome of the government, repealing the imperialist shock and awe, foreign regime change and the perpetual warfare quagmire,  capping and cutting military budget annually, abolishing military policies that outdate their usefulness in the post-cold-war era, transforming the energy system away from fossil fuels to energy-efficient, sustainable, renewable non-radioactive energy, cleaning up environmental garbage, and making up for the deficiency among people in gaining socialist knowledge and much more.  

Why are pro-establishment anti-revolutionaries so confident about their conservative stratagems against the people? Capital is a “master of the universe” in not only using the old tried divide-and-conquer strategy but also polarizing people into partisan groups annoyed with each other and into opposing partisans with growing hostility as Lynn Vavreck described in an article: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/03/upshot/american-anger-its-not-the-economy-its-the-other-party .  An age of “party-ism” has arrived in which people should especially be aware of its danger and determined to fight hard to restore unity that has lost to capital’s manipulations behind the scenes. Solidarity of people with one another is intrinsic to their social being because they hold the same long-term and fundamental interests.

 

The Coming of a New Democratic Revolution III

                                                         III

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/09/nyregion/bernie-sanders-back-in-the-old-neighborhood-to-make-his-case.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news:

Asked what she thought of him (i.e. Bernie Sanders), Ms. Lazareva laughed with delight. “Oh, I hate him!” she said.

Ms. Lazareva, who hails from Moscow, recalled waiting in line for three hours each morning to get a jug of milk as a little girl living under communism. “If you lived under socialists, you’d hate them too,” she said. “They make everyone poor.”

Although Mr. Sanders, as a self-described democratic socialist, has a vision for America that is distinct from the economic system in the former Soviet Union, the word “socialist” was enough to provoke anxiety in Ms. Lazareva.

She was unmoved. “Everyone will be hungry, everyone will be poor,” she said. “If it will be Sanders, we will have the same here. Everybody who comes from a communist country, Russians, Eastern Europeans, even Latinos from Cuba, feel this way. When you know what will happen, when you see it — you’re Republican.”

                                                                         ***

We have so much for Soviet socialism after capitalism being restored starting from the 1950s.

The reason why she complained about and hated socialism is that the Cold War arms race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union for gaining an upper hand in world hegemony had evidently hurt the latter more than the former, causing severe shortage of means of subsistence. Socialism per se has nothing to do with making everyone poor, in fact it should have made everyone richer if it did not go astray. 

Let’s look at some other issues.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/08/upshot/how-a-tariff-on-chinese-imports-would-ripple-through-american-life.html?comments#permid=18161999:

Trade between China and the United States — which reached $598 billion in 2015 is a problem.

Donald Trump’s 45% tariff proposal on Chinese imports has different effects on different workers in the U.S. Some workers will benefit and others may not. The middle class (or white-collar) workers belong to the latter and the working poor whose income cannot afford imports will feel no impact from Chinese imports whereas those afford the imports will have to pay more after imposing tariff.

In a wide-open world market, capital moves around the globe freely in a split second while labor power dwindles down and leaves their lives on. Capital always has the upper hand of the labor no matter in what way the economy turns around. Workers’ job will become scarce even with no import, because, to boost profit, capital tends to replace labor with machinery when not importing goods or doing both at the same time.

Tariff on imports is a superficial cure of the severe wounds caused by unemployment and underemployment. The only healing art is nationalization of capital. Any surplus labor product that exchanges on the market for profit will have to be owned by the nation-state instead of private individuals. Profit-sharing and working-time-sharing among all workers will eventually lead to full employment. The state will pay interests for a long haul to those individuals whose capital has been appropriated or bought out by state.

Universal employment of machinery for production will not only alleviate burdens on human laborers but also allow them to enjoy lives as freely associated laborers and learn new knowledge on new things every day in preparation for social expanded reproduction for the whole society and never again for a few rich and powerful individuals.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/09/business/dealbook/getting-a-student-loan-with-collateral-from-a-future-job:

The idea of “pledging to pay a percentage of their future incomes in return for funds today” is not much different from the much older reverse-mortgage business model. The difference lies in the loaner to the former does not own the borrower’s property for life, rather only a portion of one’s lifetime earnings. But the trend is such that the “educational industry” is accelerating its enrichment by charging ever more tuition and other fees to workers going into education and training on a yearly basis.

It’s odd, however, that business hiring people gratis undertake no obligation so far as the “human capital” is concerned. All benefits come, after all, from a price one has paid. Capital cannot have both ways – not paying anything for workers’ education. Public higher education must be made free of charge and paid for by capital transforming a major portion of the human labor power as surplus labor into profits. If it refuses to pay for taking possessions of “human capital” then it will have to invest all funds in machinery capital without hiring anyone - no living labor power will be available to produce surplus product that pays capital back, after exchange, the profit, interest, tax and rent, it has nowhere to go but demise. Only living labor power creates wealth for capital, if most laborers are squandered, so will be capital itself. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/10/us/politics/primary-process-is-seen-as-in-conflict-with-democracy:

“Both parties have used a convoluted process for picking their nominees,” to vote on behalf of capital, rather than the voters. The undemocratic election process has been practiced for very long time and the citizens could not do anything to rectify the wrong-doings of the two party and their bosses. This fact proves liberal democracy of this country is a sham. It explains, in part, why so few voters want to vote in the first place.

Another equally crucial factor smashing the electoral so-called democracy of the old state machinery is the process designed to prevent from nomination anyone who is not party-approved, i.e., capital-friendly, including Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Voters manipulated by both parties have waited until this date to wake up to fight the absolute power of capital for a participatory democracy. Its fight will be escalated from demonstrations to uprisings when capital insists on not to give in.

A new democratic revolution is poised for take-off and will become the inevitable trend of the whole era. The goals include, but by no means off-limits to others, the repeal of all undemocratic electoral regulations and rules and all-party leadership and operatives must be elected periodically to serve as well as removable.

                                                                    ***

One may want to ask oneself the question why socialism refuses to maintain its hold over the most developed capitalist societies. The answer must do with the fact that their growth of forces of production seems unlimited until very recently when they should face up to the ecological, especially the climate change, calamity and over-production-caused unemployment and underemployment.

These quagmires cannot be avoided or escaped from. Capitalism finally reaches its own destiny of greater stumbling at the early part of 21st century. Appearance of Bernie Sanders’ political revolution is never accidental; it arises from a deeply rooted crisis that the world capitalism cannot extricate itself from. No matter how pusillanimous, ineffective or superficial his revolution is, people take it to hearts and go on trying! From Democracy Spring movement and a 36,000-workers’ labor strike by the Communications Workers of America (CWA) against Verizon in this country to Nuit Debout (Standing Up at Night”) pro-labor movement in France, working people reignite revolutionary torches in response to Sanders’ political revolution as heirs of the long tradition following student-led protests of May 1968 in France, the anti-Iraq-war movement all over the world in February 2003, Occupy Wall Street movement in the U.S. and Spain’s anti-austerity Indignados movement of 2011.

Shall Marxists repudiate it and even resist its development? A few will, but the majority will not. They will participate in it and propel it forward aiming at the goal of continuous revolution.

The critical bottlenecks facing capitalism have nothing to do external forces; they are purely self-inflicted. Consequently, the system itself is responsible for removals of the stumbling blocks, or better, for removals of their root causes. The internal contradictions dictate the fate of capitalism.

The immediate one is the climate change calamity that has been in the making at least for the past several decades (the U.S. energy industry from 1957 onward knew about rising CO2 in the atmosphere causing global warming and beginning to organize against regulation of air pollution; Exxon Mobil understood the risks but funded groups into the mid-2000s that denied serious climate risks;  see http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/science/pressure-on-exxon-over-climate-change-intensifies-with-new-documents ), possibly close to two hundred years since the Industrial Revolution between 1820 and 1840 began in England.

The idea of carbon tax for solving the greenhouse gas emission problems is not going to work. The reasons are that, firstly, it is contrary to the very condition for the system to exist and survive, namely the profit-maximization principle, and secondly, it presupposes the realization of a family of renewable energy sources which can overwhelmingly defeat with higher efficiency and totally substitute the carbon-based operations. None of the two conditions exists let alone prevails.


Carbon-based energy sources are the most profitable ones hence no any other source can take their places when within the bound of the system. Profits come from the labor power mining coal, oil and gas, which are plenty and cheap; while solar, wind and hydraulic operations, once built, can last a long time with very little, if any, labor forces employed, hence much less profitable than the coal-oil-gas (C.O.G) operations. Because of the differences of profitability between these two types of operations, the global C.O.G operations account for 90% of the energy production and the renewable operations for only 10% of which 8.4% comes from the hydroelectric power and solar and wind account for the rest 1.6%.


To rectify such an intolerable situation, public investments in energy production must be called forth, but by whom? There is no hope to wait for the existing system to change in such a way that somehow all by itself the contradiction between the societal common good and the private profitability be resolved.


In a capitalist society, climate change is considered as secondary in importance to profitability if abundant labor power is healthy enough to be hired as waged slaves, markets function well, crises come and go and no greater calamity is close at hand. Capital will be aware of its need to stop burning fossil fuels when the above conditions become too difficult to maintain. By that time, it will be too late for the planet and its inhabitants to survive. 


Compulsory nationalization, on behalf of the society, of fossil mines, fuels and the carbon-based power plants and vehicle manufacturing must be done to save the earth from total ruin. Financial incentives will not work. Giving advices and preaches do not go very far toward solving the survival problems. Under national ownership of means of production, economic growth will continue and survival is no longer a problem. Economic inequality will be replaced with full development of all individuals.

 

“We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business,” Hillary Clinton said, in explaining her plan to create clean energy jobs.

My own thought about her comments is that the plan to bring clean energy jobs back to coal country neglects the fact that clean energy jobs are mostly assembly jobs, very few maintenance jobs are needed and are much fewer than coal jobs. An unemployed miner has very little chance to be retrained for the clean energy work. Her plan is an unfounded hope at the best and wishful thinking at the worst. A solid plan to solve massive miner unemployment problem must invoke changes of system-related foundation, i.e. the nation-state must own all power plants and all coal mines, or simply put, nationalization of means of production through either buy-outs or otherwise confiscations. Those who want to work within the existing system will fail to rescue the unemployed, because capital will never allow investments in and profits from coal or elsewhere to be interrupted or stopped.

Why do the Koch brothers oppose renewable energy?

The simple answer is that they would not make a profit on renewable energy. Main-stream economists think differently. For an example, Paul Krugman asserted:  it has already become a fact that falling cost of electricity generation using wind power and solar power put the cost of renewable energy into range where it’s competitive with fossil fuels… storage technology…and the issue paying consumers to cut energy use during peak periods seem to be of diminishing significance. Financial incentives will do the trick to shift from fossil fuels to renewables, a shift to sun and wind instead of fire.

 

If so, then why global coal-oil-gas or C.O.G operations account for 90% of the energy production and the renewables for only 10% of which 8.4% comes from the hydroelectric power and solar and wind account for the rest 1.6%?

 

The fact is financial incentives, short of direct state subsidies, are no match for the basic tenet of maximization of profits.

 

The renewables are energy-conversion machineries using natural sources as “fuels” to convert natural forms of energy into electricity and employing almost no living human labor power from which ordinary capital appropriates surplus value (including profit, interest, rent and tax). What this means is that these are not ordinary machineries, or rather they behave somewhat like perpetuum mobile as Marx describes those that last forever.

In the 19th Century, after the Industrial Revolution, say between 1820 and 1840, “Machinery inserts itself to replace labor only where there is an overflow of labor power… Machinery enters only where labor capacity is on hand in masses.” (Marx: “Grundrisse” translated by Martin Nicholaus, 1973, p.702) Nowadays climate change has rendered energy-conversion machinery necessary without considering replacement of labor power as the purpose. “It is easy to form the notion that machinery as such posits value, because it acts as a productive power of labor. But if machinery requires no labor, then it would be able to increase the use value; but the exchange value which it would create would never be greater than its own costs of production, its own value, the labor objectified in it. It creates value not because it replaces labor; rather, only in so far as it is a means to increase surplus labor, and only the latter itself is both the measure and the substance of the surplus value posited with the aid of the machine; hence of labor generally.” (Footnote, pp.767-768)

Now it’s clear that its circulation capital or electricity as a commodity realized after being consumed by customers (mainly the working masses as direct producers) cannot exceed the objectified labor value in machinery. The diminished exchange value due to depreciation, wear and tear of the machinery that employs no human labor power is a major drawback to the appreciation of capital. In addition, were the renewables wide-spread in use, the number of affordable direct producers (A.K. electricity consumers) would decrease because the renewables would not hire workers. As a result, the price of electricity together with its value would decrease. Capitals of the renewables could not expect capitalist expanded reproductions and they would find they had nowhere to go except bankrupt.

To sum up, in the capitalist world, only a tiny portion of the total electricity production will be of renewable nature. The Koch brothers would rather die than face up to penalty and regulations that oblige them to change their monopoly capital investment in coal to the renewables. On the other hand, in a socialist world, people would enjoy whole-heartily renewable energy because the principle of common good will supersede the principle of maximization of private profits, namely in a few words borrowed from Paul Krugman, “climate change can’t be fought without overthrowing capitalism” or in a few state-capitalist countries, climate change can’t be fought without state-subsidized investments. 

The U.S. wastes no time to block and fight against effort to combat global warming. See

(0) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/01/opinion/wind-sun-and-fire.

(1) http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-koch-brothers-dirty-war-on-solar-power-20160211

(2) http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/inside-the-koch-brothers-toxic-empire-20140924

(3) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/10/us/politics/supreme-court-blocks-obama-epa-coal-emissions-regulations.

(4) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/us/politics/carbon-emissions-paris-climate-accord.

(5) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/business/energy-environment/rooftop-solar-providers-face-a-cloudier-future.

(6) http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/after-paris-the-state-of-americas-electricity-sector-emissions. 

(7) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/26/business/energy-environment/climate-deals-first-big-hurdle-the-draw-of-cheap-oil.

The sole purpose of capitalist system is to maintain profit maximization against all odds. If renewable clean energy sources do not offer better investment return than the fossil fuel sources, there is no way for capital to change its investment from the C.O.G. (Coal-Oil-Gas) sources to the renewables.

The secret lies in the fact that value created in any commodity comes from living labor power. C.O.G. capital hires miners, truck and train drivers, and operators. A lot of manpower is spent during the production process which creates precious value of exchange between electricity, the commodity, and its users. Of the value, capital pays a small part (depending on the going rate of the job market) as wages to manpower and grabs hold of a major part for itself as, you guessed it, surplus value from which capital accumulates more capital as profit, pays tax, if any, and interest on debt.

The most significant difference between the two systems is that the renewable system provides no living labor power hence any surplus value or profit for the buyer. The old surplus values acquired in machines had been extracted as profit by the seller of the machines and left no profit for the buyer to appropriate. And this is the only factor causing capital to reject investment in the renewable system regardless of how many financial incentives it may receive.

In the editorial http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/04/opinion/a-renewable-energy-boom, NY Times states: “One formidable obstacle to the cleaner energy future is technological; second one is financial; a third one is political.”

The main obstacle is none of the above; it is the economic system!

Let’s be frank about it – capitalist system is profit-maximization-based. If renewable clean energy sources do not offer better investment return than the fossil fuel sources, there is no way for capital to change its investment from the C.O.G. (Coal-Oil-Gas) industry to the renewables. Coal has been around since the Industrial Revolution and as energy source it is dirty-cheap compared to the renewables no matter how inexpensive, handy or energy-efficient the latter may have been. Why not?

The secret lies in the fact that value created in any commodity comes from living labor power. Fossil fuels are never produced, for general discussion purposes, as perpetual ones provided by nature as wind and solar “fuels” (or feedstock).

Wind and solar “fuels” are free of charge for any labor power. Where then in the world their value comes from? Can nature create value for humans all by itself? The answer is of course a resounding no. It comes from what Marx calls dead or objectified (or materialized) labor power embedded in the machine of wind or solar power generation, i.e., those labor power spent as dead labor in R&D, design, manufacturing, assembly, testing, transport, construction, monitoring and maintenance, etc.

As “Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016”, http://www.fs-unep-centre.org Frankfurt am Main) described, “Renewable sources such as wind and solar (but also geothermal and small hydro) have lifetime costs that are heavily concentrated at the development and construction stage and, by comparison, very modest during the operating stage – because the feedstock is essentially free and the ongoing labor requirement is limited to monitoring and maintenance. Fossil fuel generation, however, has a cost profile that is much more spread-out during project life, with the upfront capital cost a much lower fraction of the total and the feedstock itself, and the transport and handling of that feedstock, a much higher fraction of the total.”

A wind turbine lifetime is at least 20 years - refurbishment or repowering can extend the wind project lifetime. Since it uses negligibly small amount of living labor power, no new value will be created. The only value lies in the machine itself, which can be extracted over a period of about 20 years. At the end of that period, all the dead value imbedded will be siphoned off to nothing. This is in distinct contrast to fossil fuel power plants – with a lifetime of about 40 years at a building cost much lower than the renewables. Its maintenance cost is also low. Furthermore, it never ceases from hiring living labor power to add new value from which generous profits are generated and kept growing by not paying the labor power for this surplus value created. Thus, The World Coal Association estimates that some 900GW of coal generation were operating in 1992, and that this had increased to around 1.9TW by 2015. [1 GW = 1 Giga Watt = 109 Watts; 1 TW = 1 Tera Watt = 1012 Watts = 103 GW.]

There is an insurmountable barrier for capital to switch its investment from fossil fuel power plants to renewables no matter how inexpensive or well-suited for generation of electricity the latter may be. The barrier to progress is capital itself. Only nationalization of all energy production can overcome the barrier of capital; the nation-state should take over from private capital all means of production or capital goods, to engage in socially oriented production that will make renewables feasible. Any effort to develop renewables as the new means of power production replacing the fossil fuel power production within the scope of capitalist system will fail.

Climate change is but one of the many problems that require radical changes of a dying system if it is to be saved for a time. Others include economic structural crises; gold worker’s productivity-based depreciations, in price and value, of commodity, means of subsistence, and means of production as labor power rather devotes its major portion of working hours to produce surplus value than create new value for the society ; decline of socio-average rate of profit; automation-driven over-production, excess production capacity, over accumulation of capital which necessarily and deliberately creates a surplus population and a long-term reserve army of unemployed labor as well as transforms economic crises into financial crises; temporal decline of capital value in commodity, real estate, debt, stock and other financial assets such as currency etc.

Since mainstream economists as an apologist opinion-leader class have been at a loss to save the system from the danger of demise, now it’s the people’s duty as well as their privilege to take the solution of these problems into their own hands.

In these days opportunity is being driven by the digital economy and a production-based economy is superseded by numbers, just like manual labor has been superseded by using machinery which never asks for a raise.

There are many reasons why it happens, but one of them is the fact that automation has not only reduced the manual labor usage but also reduced labor power value or money wage and the average rate of profit. To regain the latter, capital tends to take advantage of the social nature of the internet where it can acquire surplus labor power value without paying any wage hence boost the rate of profit extraordinarily high, if it can realize fully the unpaid surplus value. In the infotainment or the digital economy, web visitors or computer users contribute their (working) time either online or offline viewing advertisements from which infotainment “industries” exchange viewers’ viewing time as value for cash, when capital pays nothing for wages or the labor power spent during their working time.  For an example, Microsoft Corporation has gained 71,283% in stock value from 1986 to 2016 over 30 years, i.e. at an annual rate of increase of 2376%. There are on the average about 0.5 billion people using its Windows Operating System; each contributes, say, 2 hours a day working on their Windows machines to create surplus labor value at about $10 a day as profit for Microsoft and other companies gratis in addition to the cost on users acquiring the operating system and paying internet providers; the total working day contribution is about $1 billion, from which Microsoft and other digital corporations such as Facebook, acquired and shared as profits. In addition to Microsoft Windows machines, there are at least 2 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2016; each of them can access as many social networks as one wants. The theoretical profits that corporations accumulate from them are indeed phenomenal. In 2015, Facebook has 1.59 billion active users of which 1.44 billion are smartphone users. Its potential daily income obtained as profits from those smartphone users at say 0.25 hour a day per user at $0.25/hour adds up to about $0.1 billion a day. (Facebook announces that the average visiting time on Facebook is 50 minutes per user which is exceedingly high. It is possible that its user-time measure is exaggerated by counting time from user’s logon through logoff. Most users would not stay on Facebook all the time before logoff.) To realize it, Facebook would have to sell 100% of its surplus value of the “guest” workers to advertisers to realize the daily $0.1 billion or annually $36.5 billion profits. Obviously, that would be a tall order. Facebook these days can realize only about a small portion, say 1% (called the realization coefficient g of the surplus value) of the surplus value created by the “guest” workers every day as profit, i.e. $0.001 billion or its annual surplus value created by these “guest” worker is only $0.365 billion, which is insignificant compared with the total annual profit (or net income) of $3.69 billion for 2015. Other than the “guest” workers, its own internal host employees will create additional surplus value. The reason why g is small is that “guest” workers cannot be disciplined in the same way as internal host full time workers can so that for the former gg « 1 and for the latter gh ≈ 1.

In the service sector of which the infotainment industry is only a part, users of social networks, viewers of TV, listeners of radios, readers of online newspapers/webs and customers of different sorts participate in productive labor as well. They serve a dual role in the economy as both producers and buyers of products they produce. They contribute surplus labor powers as “guest” workers and purchase the infotainment products as consumers by spending money on accessing fees to the internet and subscription fees, if any. In general, in the production sector, workers and buyers of products are distinct from one another.

Other types of capital to make money the soft way include the unproductive and fictitious capital of banks, hedge funds and other financial services firms such as Charles Schwab, TIAA and Fidelity Investments. It is questionable how this type of “virtual-reality” capital can help the economy for and of the working class that loses political power and social standing for the past several decades.

The sunny side of the American economy, as always, is for and of the rich, powerful and influential brought into being by workers faithfully toiling for race-to-the-bottom wages.

The remedy for the problems remains the same - nationalization of these industries by breaking away with old forms, rules, laws and politico-economic scope of capitalist system through a new democratic revolution process. The new revolution can neither be considered as another huge revolving door where fortunes of a few change hands among themselves nor be so awkwardly situated that “the pragmatic pursuit of incremental liberal policy change” as Hillary Clinton has done carries the day. Democratic revolution means seizing major portion of the political power from, and sharing the economic power with, capital, the king, by the people. Without political power, people’s new democratic revolution is empty; with it people can subjugate capital to serve the whole society and never again only the 1%.

The are many problems that require radical changes of a dying system if it is to be saved for a time, including automation-driven over-production, excess production capacity, over accumulation of capital which necessarily and deliberately creates a surplus population and a long-term reserve army of unemployed labor.


To solve the long-term unemployment problem, the state should take over the private enterprises either by transformation of capitalist industry and commerce through the policy of redemption or expropriation, or both. Any other policies are merely futile fidgets.

Labor productivity of service sector should be similarly defined to that of the production sector. If service sector workers spend their working time on producing service products of use value for the society, the output per hour per worker or labor productivity is calculable.  A more meaningful measurement for labor productivity is not based on the output produced but on the surplus value that labor creates per hour for capital, called labor valuability (new value owned only by capital but not by the whole society). The surplus value is an unpaid and unearned labor power measured in terms of working hour by capital which reaps that as its only income. Its income supplies capital as profit plus interest plus rent plus tax payment, if any. Capital’s main interest is not of production per se but profit maximization hence valuability is more useful than productivity, unless one is interested in only the total output created by labor power. It might be added that labor power creates not only surplus value for capital but also paid wage or advanced money compensation by capital as exchange value for the whole society.


Users of social networks, viewers of TV, listeners of radios, readers of online newspapers, news webs and others participate in productive labor as well. They serve a dual role in the economy as both producers and buyers of products they produce. They contribute surplus labor powers as “guest” workers and purchase the infotainment products as viewing consumers by spending money on accessing fees to the internet and subscription fees, if any. In general, in the production sector, workers and buyers of products are distinct from one another. Other than those “guest” workers, internal employees of the service sector will create additional surplus value. It is useful to introduce the realization coefficient g of the surplus value, which is a measure of actual surplus value realized for a given kind of workers. If, for argument purposes, we assume that the “guest” worker are not as easily disciplined as the internal host employees, the extraction efficiency of the surplus value from the “guest” workers is much less than that of the internal host employees, we would have gg « 1 and gh ≈ 1. In the following discussion, we will neglect the contribution of the “guest” workers’ surplus value and consider only the contribution of the internal host employees, i.e., we will assume gg = 0 and gh = 1, until the assumption is found invalid and the “guest”- worker contribution to the surplus value can no longer be neglected. In general, the surplus value S = Sg + Sh = S· (gg + gh)


Let’s take Facebook as an example. In 2009, Facebook’s revenue was $777 million, its net income was $229 million and its employee number was 1,218. In 2013, its revenue was $7.87 billion; hired 6,337 full time employees and wrung a net income of $1.49 billion. In 2015 Facebook's revenue grew to $17.93 billion, squeezed a net income of $3.67 billion, and hired 12,691 full time employees.


Assume every year each worker spends 40 hours/week for 52 weeks or 2,080 working hours. The labor valuability (= net income/employee number/working hour) in 2009, 2013 and 2015 are, respectively, $90/hr., $114/hr. and $140/hr., neglecting inflation. From 2009 to 2015, the linear increase rate of labor valuability is 8.3% per year. In the two years from 2013 to 2015 it is 13% per year. The run-of-mill labor productivity (= labor valuability times the revenue-to-income ratio) in 2009, 2013 and 2015 are, respectively, $305/hr., $598/hr. and $680/hr. Either of the two measures regarding host workers’ output is unbelievably high.


According to http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/fb/financials

Facebook Annual Income Statement:

(1): 2011, (2): 2012, (3): 2013, (4): 2014, (5): 2015.

Gross Income: 2.85B (1) 3.73B (2) 6.11B (3) 10.28B (4) 15.06B (5).

Surplus value S = Net Income 668M (1) 32M (2) 1.49B (3) 2.93B (4) 3.67B (5). 

Other SG&A (Other Selling, General and Administrative) Expense: 707M (1) 1.79B (2) 1.78B (3) 2.65B (4) 4.02B (5) of which about 60% is the wage bill including bonus.

V = Variable Capital: 60% of another SG&A or 424M (1) 1.07B (2) 1.068B (3) 1.59B (4) 2.41B (5).

C = Constant Capital: Depreciation & Amortization Expense 323M (1) 649M (2) 1.01B (3) 1.24B (4) 1.95B (5).

The rate of profit R, or Marx’ formula, the exploitation rate E.R. and the organic composition of capital O.C.C. are calculated as follows:

R S/ (C + V) = 0.894 (1), 0.019 (2), 0.716 (3), 1.04(4), 0.84 (5),

E.R. S/V = 1.575 (1), 0.03(2), 1.40(3), 1.84(4), 1.52(5), and

O.C.C. C/V = 0.762(1), 0.607(2), 0.946(3), 0.78(4), 0.81(5).

The rate of profit R of Facebook is more than three times (except that in 2012 – an extraordinary year) of the U.S. social average rate of profit (projected to be about 23% during 2013-2015. See below.) The true surplus value appropriated from the labor power of the internal host employees is therefore only 23% of total invested capital or C + V (See below). In 2013, the average hourly salary including bonus at Facebook was 1.068B/6,337 *2080= $81 or $169K/year. In 2015 the average hourly salary including bonus was $91 or $190K/year. The variable capital V is only approximate as Facebook does not publish the wages and salary expenses to the public. The reason R is very high is that the unpaid “guest” workers contribution Sg = S·gg to the surplus value S has not been accounted for. The true surplus value appropriated from the labor power of the internal host employees is reduced from S to Sh = S· (1 - gg) = (C + V) ·23% since Sh /(C + V) = 23%. Hence, the realization coefficient gg = 1 – 0.23/R as a share of the surplus value to which the “guest” workers’ contribute. Thus, in 2013, gg is 68% and in 2015 it increases to 73%, both are significant amounts, indeed! “Guest” workers contribute much more labor power to Facebook than its internal host workers since gh = 1 - gg = 0.23/R it is only 32% and 27%, respectively, and the tendency of falling host contribution to the surplus value seems increasingly more significant in the future as R keeps increasing and the U.S. social average rate of profit decreasing from 0.23. When R » 0.23, gh 0.

Facebook is not a public owned company serving the well-being of the society. It is a private company for private profit whose raison d'être is to maximize people’s viewing times on it only and nowhere else. To achieve its profit-making purpose, it has to be an infotainment outlet serving the interests of all kinds of people. As interests and ideas of people differ, so must its info-contents to suit their tastes most of the time. Consequently, its news will have to be fickle and increasingly hard-to-impress. Logic, facts, reasons, truths, and justices are the casualties of manipulations under the mantle of its algorithms, just like those under advertisements.

The best way to avoid the enormous waste of the public time and resources on the infotainment industry is to enforce the requirement that internet outlets must be government-owned to serve the interests and well-being of the 99% and not the money-making interests of the 1%. The accumulated wealth by Facebook measured with its gross income: $2.85B (2011) 3.73B (2012) 6.11B (2013) 10.28B (2014) and 15.06B (2015) from unpaid viewing times of billions of viewers or “guest” workers must return to, and enrich, the public and, as an example, to fund universal health-care and free public higher-education programs because viewers create as large as 73% (i.e., $11 billion) of its net income, yet they get no compensation for their working times.

Excessively unequal distributions of “guest” workers’ surplus value have borne witness to the fact that the infotainment industry has invariably super-exploited users of social networks, viewers of TV, listeners of radios, readers of online newspapers, news webs and others participating in productive labor for the industry. To save the dying system, the internet and the infotainment industry should be nationalized. It’s not difficult to do so as the U.S. capital has heavily concentrated in a small number of corporations for more than one hundred years; for an example, “just six corporations own 90 percent of all media in the United States: most of news and information is produced in an echo chamber.” To alleviate sufferings of the system in the throes, a fresh incremental improvement is to pay the “guest” workers according to the amount of time that they spend each day before they go on strike for compensations in the short run and abolition of the wages system in the long run!

The striking “guest” workers should adopt what capital does the best – using machinery in production to reap profits – to bargain for compensations. As the media are inexorably digitized, to tune advertising out is easy not only on social media but also on commercial TV – an industry worthy of $70 billion per annum. (Television advertising revenues in the United States, according to PwC or PricewaterhouseCoopers, a multinational accounting and auditing firm headquartered in London, England, will grow from $71.1 billion in 2015 to $81 billion in 2019.) If we use 73% of Facebook as the gg of the TV industry in 2015, then TV viewers should claim $52 billion as their rightful compensations.

If “guest workers” want to get their view-time-worth compensation back, they can use ad-blocking software to block the advertisements they do not want to view or watch. The penalty, however, is that the media outlets will take away viewing or reading rights from you. Capital as a social relation has, as always until now, the upper hand of absolute control power.

Have you noticed more and more news websites putting in paywalls and begging readers not to use "adblocking" software?

That's because advertising revenue represents a large percent of the budget for most media outlets. If you don't want to pay to subscribe, or don't want to watch a bunch of autoplaying video ads pop up when you just came to read the news, then they don't want you reading their stories.

No one has figured out how to make internet journalism profitable. And in 2016, it showed. Digital advertising is robust. In 2017, 33 percent of the world’s projected $547 billion in advertising will go to digital enterprises, according to Group M, a global media investment management group. That’s 77 cents on every dollar. Television, by way of comparison, will get just 17 cents. So, there’s plenty of money going online, just not to media websites. In the first quarter of 2016, Facebook and Google snagged 85 percent of all new online advertising spending. If a pattern can be discerned from the gory remains of this year’s bloodbath of online reorganization, reinvention, acquisition, layoffs, and fiscal “misses,” which claimed the jobs and (often worthless) stock options of so many reporters and editors, it is this: Clicks don’t pay the bills.  (See https://newrepublic.com/article/139288/year-everyone-realized-digital-media-doomed)


The Coming of a New Democratic Revolution IV

                                                            IV

The mainstream media have controlled the opinions and thinking power of the country for more than 50 years and they have become an important part of the establishment and proudly so. It is small wonder that their prejudice in favor of capital and its hegemony becomes faulty enough to render a self-inflicted comeuppance.


They write and broadcast reams of praise on Hillary Clinton, the pro-establishment stewardess of Wall Street, and besmirch anyone who dare challenge the establishment and its capital backer. Bernie Sanders comes to mind but Donald Trump, an unvarnished capitalist, could not escape pundits’ impugnment because none of them is an apologetic for capital and the status quo.


The seemingly always effectual political hype of the pundits backfires this year because the gullible have suddenly been wide awake to their dismal economic status and they have started to rebel.


As a new democratic revolution has arrived, people echo their anti-status-quo candidates by speaking out against alienation from the political system of the establishment.

 “So maybe we progressives could take a brief break from attacking the other side and more broadly incorporate values that we supposedly cherish — like diversity — in our own dominions.”


In 1944, FDR said to prevent fascism in the United States and to put democracy on solid footing it was necessary to add a 'second bill of rights' to the constitution, also called an economic bill of rights. This included the right to a job at a living wage, the right to healthcare, the right to housing, the right to food, the right to education, the right to not have monopolistic firms dominate the economy, and so on.(See http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/35946-robert-mcchesney-capitalism-is-a-bad-fit-for-a-technological-revolution)


People don’t differ much in cultural, ideological and political thinking unless they are induced by the governing class to do things contrary to their own interests. Conservatives are especially vulnerable to the propaganda of their political leadership. People’s basic and long-term interests are similar – to have a steady and livable job with neither debt nor unemployment or underemployment burden; mass democracy and people’s sovereignty with no interference or repression from capital’s hegemony. But their demands had been pent up for so long by capital’s economic-status-quo superiority in private profit over labor and its political sole right of being the chief custodian of democracy. “Our voter turnouts and the integrity of our election system rank pretty much at the rock bottom of the world's nations that claim to be democratic.”


Their belated epiphanies against establishment and capital hegemony imply that party-ism, gender-ism and skin-color-ism are no longer the acceptable ideologies of voters. Party affiliation and loyalty, first of female president or first of black president is meaningless if the candidate in question is anti-revolution and pro-status-quo. Both the left and right, progressive and conservative, and moderate and radical among people should fill and level up the ideological and politico-economic chasms brought into effect of disunity by capital to divide all, conquer by a few and fulfill the demands of the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex. As the telltale signs and symptoms of capital-rigged demarcation lines for the people to rail against one another, the so-called progressive Hillary Clinton is not only wooing those Republican voters who do not support Donald Trump but also seeking endorsements from influential Republicans such as Jeb Bush and their supporters and one of the ultra-conservative Koch brothers is supporting Hillary Clinton but not Donald Trump, their fellow Republican. Wall Street Republicans are switching their supports to Clinton.


“Business interests are generally not sold on the notion that Trump will be a more business-friendly candidate; there’s a lot about Trump they don’t know...They know Hillary. And they know that she is not antibusiness.” There you have it - so much for voters’ onslaughts based on “antagonism” between the two major political parties. They are more a mutual admiration society than political organizations of conflicting interests. Party-ism has died a natural death thanks to the long economic depression we are in.


It’s a pity that Elizabeth Warren, a progressive senator from Massachusetts, should engage in brawls with Donald Trump, an anti-establishment lone hero in the Republican Party, whose political rebellion is comparable to Bernie Sanders’ political revolution, if not in essence, it is in spirit.


Elizabeth Warren’s attack object proper is not him but Hillary Clinton whose ostentatious disregard for politico-economic well-being of the working poor is contrary to what Elizabeth Warren believes in. Donald Trump is not doing Wall Street’s bidding whereas Hillary Clinton consistently is.


Hillary Clinton, the party darling, has been crew about as experienced, talented, tough and brainy and Donald Trump, the party demon, mud-slung and slut-shamed as inexperienced, crooked, and chock-full of demagogy and know-nothing loose cannon. As a matter of fact, the paragons of Hillary Clinton presidency do not benefit people; rather they renege on her promises as political capital for the fundamental and long-haul interests of the status quo and money. Political expediency, pomposity and shrewdness cannot hide from people’s sharp insights once they have come to life. To be sure, Donald Trump has learning curves to climb. He has the advantage of “not being bought and paid for,” so that his plan and policy-making process will not be biased against the working class. People rather want to elect some political fresh faces or a capitalist who truly fights for the common people’s interests than some political agent of capital with swaggering self-assurance but is disgustingly dishonest with people.


Prevailing of the presumptive capitalist nominee over his conservative rivals illustrates that people’s economic status overwhelmingly determines their political orientation, regardless of pundits’ rumpus. The conservative politics have been elbowed out of the arena of politics.  The political landscape has been forever transformed from the perennial problem of overwhelming militarism, imperialism, American Exceptionalism, regime change and self-saddling with the task of being world’s policemen that the career politician Hillary Clinton and her ilk, in both parties, who are out of touch with the working-class voters have touted for so long, into the progressive rethinking of the U.S. positions in the world and a smaller American footprint abroad. Policies of strictly limited government size, authority and ideas of privatizations of social security, Medicare and Medicaid, public educations, cutting taxes for the 1%, increasing military spending from more than $0.5 trillion a year, free trade and a hawkish foreign policy, pro-life before birth but pro-death after, denial of climate change as a survival strategy and many other so-called values and principles that the establishment cherishes are no longer plausible. The 10.7 million voters so far for Trump in Republican primaries and caucuses say no to the establishment’s positions. That of 3C’s – Command, Control and Communication as Hillary Clinton’s White House creed is likewise obsolete. Her cold war policy experience is out of date and should be abandoned. A Clinton nomination could be a “disaster simply to protect the status quo,” as Sanders’ campaign manager said.

Donald Trump should better be aware that “his supporters will have his head” if he does not fight for the working class as promised “or else keep trying.” The establishment, on the other hand, will pin its hope on wearing him down, forcing him to go along with the status quo – so called norms, and blending into the parties and powers that be. To sum up, everything including tradition, “the extraordinary uniformity in the mainstream of social and political thought” and even the establishment itself is now on the table for discussion, review and debate; the day of reckoning has finally arrived for action ever after 140 years since the close of the Reconstruction period in 1876. Struggle for political power among different social forces has unreservedly come on stage. Direct democracy through online communications and not the plutocratic representative democracy that has failed people miserably start to see its bright daylight after more than 30 years of economic stagnation, inequality, and growing social isolation - addiction and suicide, and shortened average life spans, for the working-class white majority.


History will witness beyond any doubt for a new democratic revolutionary.


If people still have any doubt as to whether Donald Trump is anti-capital, even though he was not anti-capital in words, his anti-establishment position implicitly means so, at least in part. Think of substances instead of superficialities. If he is pro-capital, why does the Washington, D.C. establishment want to stop him from being nominated? His capital-unfriendly and masses-caring tendency and outlook say a lot about why he is getting the more supports among the Republicans from the working poor than the middle class.

The two increasingly striking features of class differentiations as shown in the current election year are:  1. between the working poor and middle class, 2. between minorities and the white majority.


The working poor account for about 58% of the U.S. population and climbing and are the least likely participants in voting. Those who earn annual incomes between $100,000 and $125,000 are no capitalist class but are within the rank of upper middle class (middle class account for about 41% of the population and declining).

In some areas, the decline of the middle class raised the proportion of people in both the upper class and lower class. The hollowing out of the middle class is rooted in a mix of technological change and globalization rewarding those people whose jobs can’t be outsourced or automated: high-skilled and low-skilled workers. Nearly half of the metro areas that Pew studied have experienced growth on the low and high end. (See http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/13/upshot/falling-middle-class )

Whites on ethnocentrism remain strong after the Civil Rights Movements in the 1960s. Out of all white respondents, 57% say they have unfavorable impressions on the minorities of all kind. As to how responsible China is for American “economic problems.” Solid majorities of Democrats (70 percent), independents (72 percent) and Republicans (80 percent) said China is “very” or “somewhat” responsible. With respect to the statement “the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life.” Among all voters, 56 percent said that they agreed. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/opinion/campaign-stops/how-many-people-support-trump-but-dont-want-to-admit-it; See also https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/05/12/getting-straight-about-the-costs-of-trade/ By Jared Bernstein)


The differentiation between minorities and the white majority has clearly shown in the fact that the former favor Hillary Clinton, the status quo defender, and the latter favor either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, the two dauntless anti-establishment fighters in the face of the corrupt, rigged and dark-money democracy system. Credulity of those minorities who vote for Hillary Clinton plays a role in their voting choice, a more crucial factor is their economic standing has improved somewhat while that of the majority, especially the working poor, has not. Working-class blacks are generally better-off economically today than their parents were, working-class whites are generally worse off. Minorities are getting somewhat richer. The rich are getting much richer. The white working poor are not.  Who will be their hope-givers, other than Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders? These observations are reasonable in view of the fact that minorities pick up income from a low level whereas the white working majority slides from a relatively elevated level. The past 30 or 40 years have seen striking economic and health gains for non-white families -- in part, this is a result of the rolling back of discriminatory policies that kept minorities locked out of middle-class life. But working-class whites may look back and see no similar pattern of gains, in part because they weren't as broadly discriminated against in the first place.

(https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/06/07/the-incredible-crushing-despair-of-the-white-working-class/)


Because of the class differentiations among the working people, class polarization and conflict between capital and labor have become dulled or even marginalized at least on the surface.  It behooves us to reflect on this matter as to the main goals of the new democratic revolution.


“Inequality reflects vastly unequal power; if we are serious about inequality, we have to address the supremacy of capital, directly and forcefully; nationalism in the United States means that gains here are bound to come at the expense of the poorest people in the world; and the proposition that a political campaign waged inside the Democratic Party can lead us toward equality and socialism is dubious,” as Michael D. Yates well said. (See http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/35841-let-s-get-serious-about-inequality-and-socialism)


The immediate task is to decrease capital’s supreme power in the political arena by repealing the Citizens United Decision. The next and long-term task is to force it out of governments completely. These are also the two main goals of the new democratic revolution. Democratic revolution is by no means a socialist one.  It is more a continued revolution from the eighteenth century anti-British-Crown and the nineteenth century anti-South-slaveholders’ revolutions than an epoch-making one. The new democratic revolution can be considered as the third one after those of 1776 and 1861. As the political culture in the U.S. has been heavily polluted by capital, it is a road sweeper than a pathfinder for a new culture revolution.

Capital is doomed to failure once and for all the ups and downs, busts and booms, golden era and great depressions over the past six hundred years. It has outlived its usefulness as a progressive force of production and a tool for the greatest creation of abundance mankind has ever known. A new democratic revolution will take over the messy remnants of the capitalist times by transforming them into rational and sustainable survival kits – states owning the whole property of the country, distributing wealth to all its working-capable citizens and abolishing the private-profit-giving wage labor. The climate change calamity will be stopped; man-made unemployment and underemployment will be replaced by full-employment for all working-capable citizens; wealth will no longer be centralized in the hands of a few.


All these boils down to one thing – success of a new people’s democratic revolution during which all undemocratic traditions are disabused of the old system and political power is restored to its rightful owner – the people. A powerless people mean nothing more than wage slaves of the ancien régime. Capital must be ousted from politics.

Only then workers will become extricable from precarious and hopeless living conditions and be able to avert the caldron of underemployment and low wages.


In http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/opinion/sunday/what-cant-tech-money-buy  Susie Cagle stated: “Tech’s elite, lauded for their originality, are influencing media, politics and society at large with a kind of venture philanthropy, much as their industrial predecessors did more than 100 years ago.”


Capital has become the new King George the III and shareholders, business owners, managers and executives of all types and sizes of capitals have become His Majesty’s ministers. There is likewise a kind of native American aristocracy just as the one before the American Revolution in the eighteenth-century due to a differentiation of social class. As it was raised, the superstructure exhibited palpable inequality. See R.R. Palmer: The Age of the Democratic Revolution, 1974, P.194. The modern-day new aristocracy possesses not only socio-economic class superiority that demand “descent respect for ranks and dignities of men; for honor and obedience from subjects to their princes, inferiors to superiors, from children to parents, and servants to masters (now called masters of the universe in Wall Street)” but also political class superiority that both the colonial aristocracy and capitalist aristocracy share, namely owing close association with government. “There were intermarried families which monopolized seats in the governors’ councils (now called the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex), in some cases, now, to the third and fourth generation. There were Americans, close to the British authorities, who regarded themselves as the natural rulers of the country…”


She continued by saying: “Whether their money came from oil, hotels, railroads or data, titans of industry have long held enough power to both influence the American political system directly and to hack it when necessary. Old money maintains the status quo, while new money openly endeavors to change it.”


Because the King, ministers and the new aristocracy form themselves into the Trinity of Reigning, people’s sovereignty has completely crumbled to the dust. Technological, economic, social and political forces co-prosper, conspire and coexist to such an extent that democracy loses its true meaning since the 1870s when laissez-faire individualism changed to social control by the state.


The robber barons of the 19th and 20th centuries were kings of infrastructure. The people with towering wealth today are kings of information. The rise of Silicon Valley is best understood as a new industrial revolution in this tradition. In many ways, it’s not at all revolutionary in the strict definition of that term.” “A public relations stunt and an enormous tax dodge.” “They have made a lot of money while most everyone else has not.” “We have allowed them not just to govern themselves, but us as well…” “Mr. Thiel told an interviewer in 2012 that he feared the result of this precipitous wealth gap. ‘In the history of the modern world, inequality has only been ended through Communist revolution, war or deflationary economic collapse,’ he said. ‘It’s a disturbing question which of these three is going to happen today, or if there’s a fourth way out.’”


The angst of Mr. Thiel, the serial tech-firm founder in Silicon Valley, about the future of capital is a common knowledge and that’s why the Trinity pours out its full strength to repress any shred of sign of disturbance along the political line of anti-establishment even as friendly and obedient to the King as Bernie Sanders’ call for political revolution and Donald Trump’ call for making America great again. There is indeed a fourth way out of the crisis that has been in the making for more than 140 years, i.e. a new democratic revolution by, of and for the people. This on-coming revolution’s main thrust is to expel capital from politics. Leave politics to people and capital to merchants, sole proprietorships, partnerships, or those that are family-owned and operated or small private businesses. The state is obligated to take over all productive activities from capital and the society to own the means of production eventually.


Universal basic income idea is not new, the late Professor Milton Friedman proposed "dropping money out of a helicopter" on people in Optimum Quantity of Money, Aldine Publishing Company. 1969. p. 4. It did not happen because it could not and cannot solve the income and wealth inequality plight. The reason for inequality to become a sword hanging over the head of capital is not that people do not make money, but that a major portion of money they have made are expropriated by capital as corporate profits, leaving them in permanent penury of money. If capital were to return the expropriated money called the “social surplus product” to their rightful owners under the management of the state, they would not only become the well-to-do but also live happily ever after.


The system does not allow that to happen because capital is the new George III. His Majesty cares not his subjects. Not only he himself, his ministers and the new aristocracy are likewise adamant in their repression against such an unspeakable bleak future. The dilemma is capital has finally become its own enemy rampant unemployment and underemployment, long-term slump, unmanageable climate change calamity, inadequate investment, over-production by automationdeclining value created, falling social and average rate of profit, ineffectual economic and socio-political policies as well as precarious assertion that the rising tide is on its way, etc.  


Adjusted corporate profits fell 3.2% for all of 2015 to $7 trillion [after tax (without IVA or Inventory Valuation Adjustment and CCAdj or Capital Consumption Adjustment)]. By contrast they rose 1.7% in 2014, 1.9% in 2013 and 9.1% in 2012. In 2015 a check of $23,342 can be theoretically returned to each of 300 million Americans without causing any problem of deficits, debts or expenses of welfare or social safety net in general. For a family of four that means it will have $93,368 extra money to spend whichever way the family wants to. A system of universal health care and free education at all levels will no longer be a pie in the sky. Automation caused unemployment problem will be overcome by reducing working hours and work in rotation. Wage labor in which income inequality and competitions for work originate will be abolished; labor power will be no longer a commodity sold to earn sustenance; rather it will become an accomplishment of the individual for the society. The longer you look at these ideas, the more enthusiastic you become.


To be sure, the new democratic revolution can reach its goal and win only if it gives rise to and maintain a sustainable and productive economy for people’s long-term interests. The social surplus product should, therefore, be retained in part for reproduction and expanded reproduction. Moreover, the climate change catastrophe calls forth urgent, immediate and worldwide massive production of the renewable and safe energy to substitute the C.O.G. or fossil fuels. To maintain and support a rationally planned and sustainable economy, retaining 50 percent of the surplus product as the state reproduction funds is needed for sustainable growth of the society’s economy.


Capital’s great historic tasks of whittling away of scarcity and producing abundance have finished up. Its future lies in relenting towards a new democratic revolution that will replace its hegemony with the sovereignty of people who will wipe the slate clean of past mistakes committed by capital if it would be wise enough not to offend them. Nationalization of productive capital and its non-productive bedfellows on Wall Street with redemption is the quid pro quo that capital had better not refuse.

___________________________________

Discussions

Todd Kenneth Dwyer

Santa Clara, California 45 minutes ago

My father had an 11th grade education, no college. 20-years in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer, he had four children (I was the youngest born in 1961 -- the same year Barack Obama was born). As a postal worker, he owned a 3-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a swimming pool. We had a refrigerator-freezer in the kitchen as well as another in the garage. We were a 6-car family, and Dad bought us kids brand new Ford Mavericks on each of our 16th birthdays. Everybody else I went to school with had a Dad just like mine: high school educated, no college, WWII veteran. Union plumber, union machinist, UAW auto-worker. They were Archie Bunker guys who had pensions -- not 401Ks. But that was back in the 20th Century, in an industrial America, with an economy that provided millions of manufacturing jobs to ordinary, average Americans who got average grades in high school -- "C"s, 2.0 GPA -- and those were paid living wages that made for a broad and prosperous middle-class economy.

Well, those days are gone. We now live in a post-industrial, post-manufacturing economy, where the social contract has been abandoned, along with labor unions and economic security for ordinary Americans. Even college educated Americans like myself (teacher with a master’s degree) lives check-to-check with nowhere near the discretionary income that my father had when he was my age. We are now an info/techno/servant society, where one's economic security depends more upon luck than it does merit.

——————————————

Is Tyranny Around the Corner?


http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/05/12/is-tyranny-around-the-corner?

A Washington Post piece claimed that a sizable number of Americans are supposedly wary about democracy, and Andrew Sullivan has written that Trump’s rise shows that we’re ripe for tyranny. Others have spoken of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders as dual demagogues. But are Americans looking for an autocrat to take charge or simply a government that gets things done, works in their interest and truly represents them? Is America tired of democracy, or yearning for more of it?

A History of Unwarranted Fears of Tyranny

Jim Sleeper, a lecturer in political science at Yale University, teaches a seminar on "Journalism, Liberalism and Democracy" and is writing about the election on AlterNet and Salon. He is the author of "The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York."

Updated May 12, 2016, 3:21 AM

Might Americans abandon the rigors of democracy for the seductions of tyranny? Our national prophets often predicted as much, but their warnings always roused effective rescue efforts, as I believe they will again now.

Americans see a crisis not of too much democracy but of too much of the kind of economic growth that degrades democracy by fostering inequality and rampant consumerism.

In 1787, Ben Franklin warned that the Constitution “can only end in despotism as other forms have done" at a time when "the people shall have become so corrupted as to need despotic government.” In 1835, Tocqueville anticipated a “tyranny of democracy” itself. In 1920, Walter Lippmann proposed rule by experts in what the philosopher John Dewey called “perhaps the most effective indictment of democracy ever penned."


Now, social scientists report that we’re losing democratic faith. More likely, Americans see a crisis not of too much democracy, but of too much of the kind of economic growth that degrades democracy by fostering inequality and rampant consumerism.


Those who insist that government is the problem and who disenfranchise voters under the pretense of preventing fraud have hobbled democracy enough to make Donald Trump’s empty promises attractive.


Yet Trump’s 10.6 million primary voters as of last week, don't exceed Bernie Sanders’ 9.3 million by much or match Hillary Clinton’s 12.4 million. That hardly suggests that the majority of a probable 130 million general-election voters will choose “despotic government.”


Democratic aspirations are always irrepressible, because elites always prove they can’t govern even themselves, let alone others, unless power that’s organized by citizens acting in concert instructs and inspires leaders to help us accomplish things together what we couldn't accomplish only as consumers.


Insurgent Sanders and Trump voters alike are rejecting neoliberal models of economic growth for growth’s sake that, beneath the high metrics and bright tinsel, are “growing” too much inequality and heartache and damaging the environment. Voters’ rejections have been fitful and sometimes counterproductive. But America can be better than it ever has been — not just “great again” — if citizens can produce more of what the founders called “disinterested” leadership, well-trained to govern independently of private interests in wealth and power and well-disposed to respond to and rouse us as citizens, not manipulate us as consumers.


The early Progressive, labor, feminist and civil-rights movements accomplished that — even amid their own times’ global and technological disruptions — through disciplined confrontations with abusive concentrations of wealth and power. They made mistakes but ennobled millions. Demagogues such as Huey Long and Joseph McCarthy always rush in when such efforts falter, but they vanish as democrats recover their footing in shifting terrain. Americans can do that again now with broader-based organizing whose leaders tell more of the truth.

Rodrian Roadeye

Pottsville,PA 1 hour ago

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson
We shall see.

MRS

Little Rock, Arkansas 1 hour ago

If Obama didn't become an obvious tyrant, though he certainly was in his refusal to attempt to reach consensus with republicans, over the citizenry Trump won't. Our republic (not democracy) is not easily overcome by a single individual.


 Disregarding the Constitution completely is a strong desire of progressives but it will take longer than the length of time they have assaulted it to date.


 The comments regarding Franklin and Tocqueville are certainly true. The founders of our country abhorred democracy. Read Federalist 10 if you want to prove it to yourself. That is why they settled on a republic with a federation of states.


 It's not questioned that Hillary is a liar and flip flopper, same with Trump and every other politician. Telling the truth in Washington is not gonna happen. Our leaders and our political system is riddled with corruption due to greediness. No one there is interested in doing what's right for the country. It's not profitable. Democrats and republicans alike, up and down the line, including presidents, are guilty. Anyone who doesn't believe Wall Street owns Hillary, Obama and most every other top party official is just dreaming.


 Just as Franklin warned our society is corrupt, just not enough to throw out the Constitution.....yet.

The Lure of Populism Weakens the Republic

Linda Chavez was the director of public liaison in the Reagan White House and the G.O.P. Senate nominee from Maryland in 1986. She is the president of the Becoming American Institute, a nonprofit making the conservative case for immigration reform.

Updated May 12, 2016, 3:21 AM

The populist appeals of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders diverge in their directions but share the same roots in human nature.

Trump preys on the fear of many whites that people who do not share their ethnicity, culture, religion, language and values are displacing them, taking their jobs and jeopardizing their future. He promises to reverse this demographic shift by building walls to keep people out and imposing outright bans on all Muslims, who, he claims, threaten our very security.

Madison warned that 'reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights' does not equalize 'their possessions, their passions.'

Sanders offers different solutions to the same anxieties. Rather than blaming the foreign-born, Sanders claims our problems stem from the unequal distribution of wealth. He promises to take from the rich to give to the poor and middle class by redistributing wealth in the form of more benefits.

Both men’s platforms rely on populist anger to stoke fear, envy and retribution among supposed democratic majorities against minorities — racial and religious in Trump’s case, class-based in Sanders’.

And both men represent the dangers of majoritarian democracy.

Our founders wisely chose a republican form of government in crafting our Constitution rather than a direct democracy. With the adoption of the Bill of Rights, majoritarian rule was tempered by protection for minority rights.

As James Madison wrote in Federalist 10: “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions."

Madison’s words are worth remembering this election cycle. Americans may seem to be clamoring for more democracy this election, but may really be undermining it.


Topics: Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Politics, democracy, elections

A History of Unwarranted Fears of Tyranny

Jim Sleeper Next

Trump's Rise Represents Democracy in Action

Geoff Blades

53 Comments

                                             

Andrew

Not You? Log Out

Colesville, MD

Jon W

Portland 1 hour ago

This is not about economic equality. This is about corporations who have paid for legislation that favors only their agenda(s). This is not against a democratic majority over a minority. This is not about equality in the sense of just a monetary gain, but a system rigged in favor of a certain group with total disregard for the rest.The money is a secondary issue. Since you worked in the Reagan Administration you must remember the Iran Contra Affair and the Savings and Loan debacle (Neil Bush and friends and many, many others). You feel this is a 'populist' issue? No this is about a system that no longer is working or acceptable (esp to younger adults) to the rest of us.Business as usual in DC and what are our options? HRC?

Lady Scorpio

Mother Earth 1 hour ago

Ms. Chavez,
Who do you think you're kidding?

Andrew Smith

New York, NY 1 hour ago

Wow, I never knew what a despicable person Linda Chavez was. So she believes that White people deserve to be dispossessed in their own country, and that any democratic protest in opposition should be overturned by a wise, multicultural and internationalist elite.

Karen

Boston 1 hour ago

Bernie Sanders and his supporters prove your point. The majority are being treated like a minority. If minority rights are upheld in the Bill of Rights, how about the minority of wealth? Madison said "Democracies .. have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property." Exactly! 1% of the citizens are NOT guaranteed security or all the property. They have just stolen it. We need to take it back.

Mark Kessinger

New uork, NY 1 hour ago

Ms. Chavez's romanticizing of Madison and the other founders is so thoroughgoing, I'm surprised she doesn't have a job writing high school history books for the state of Texas! But the truth about Madison and our other founding fathers -- and indeed about the American Revolution itself -- is not nearly as neat and tidy, nor as noble, as Ms. Chavez seems to believe.

The Revolution was really an insurgency by a group of colonial aristocrats against the English crown and nobility. Th lofty words of Jeffeson, Madison, et al. were not intended to extend to anyone other than the white, male landed gentry of which they themselves were members. The Bill of Rights was not a protection of minority rights, but rather of the prerogatives of an individual aristocrat against the collective will of his fellow aristocrats. These rights did not apply to the female half of the population, nor to African Americans, nor to non-land-owning whites. Madison was seeking to craft an American Magna Carta of sorts, which would protect the property and position of him and members of his class from an overweening chief executive, much as the Magna Carta had done for English noblemen under King John.

The extension of individual rights to those previously not considered to be covered by such protections came not from the words of Madison, but ultimately from the wisdom of Congress and the courts.

JRC

Salem OR 6 hours ago

James Madison pronounces lofty sentiments from his perch above the masses. He was a lifelong member of the slave-owning Southern elite. Hardly a disinterested observer. Most of America's vaunted Founding Fathers were either slave-owners or wealthy merchants. Both groups were busy protecting their own class interests when they wrote the Constitution and set up the government. That's how we ended up with indirect election of the President and Senators elected by state legislatures (direct election of Senators didn't occur until the 20th Century). That's also how we got language counting slaves as 3/5s of a human being when setting up the House of Representatives.

carolinajoe

North Carolina 6 hours ago

You are so wrong on so many levels.

"As James Madison wrote in Federalist 10: “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention"

This was over 200 years ago and a lot (almost everything) had changed since. Now we have direct democracies all over Europe that are very stable. In fact, they are more stable, citizens are more prosperous and happy, than ours.

"Americans may seem to be clamoring for more democracy this election, but may really be undermining it."

No, Americans want money out of the governing system, that's it! Our democracy is already undermined, if not broken. If that is of any threat to the Republic than maybe the Republic is not worth keeping.

Yoandel

Boston, Mass. 7 hours ago

"Americans may seem to be clamoring for more democracy this election, but may really be undermining it."

Perhaps, but can we ever rightfully say that democracy was alive and well in the last decades? Clearly a bumbling elite took hold --an elite that killed young Americans in Vietnam for nothing, and then in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the elite that legislated a tax code that made it cheaper to export jobs than to continue them here. This is the elite that preferred to keep their supporters ignorant and baited with religious right mumbo-jumbo that was just talk, while aiding and abetting racist dog whistles.

Madison's words ring true, but only when those governing honestly look to improve the nation, the lot of all citizens, and step up to their responsibilities by creating a great Republic that requires sufficient levels of taxation and true capitalism, not oligopolies and aristocracies built on inherited wealth.

Right now if the pitchforks come bursting with a demagogue as their captain, nobody will really shed much tears for our feckless, lobby-addled elites.

William Case

Texas 7 hours ago

Most of Donald Trump’s proposals aren’t as extreme as his rhetoric makes them sound. For example, people react in horror when Trumps says he plans to deport all illegal immigrants. But both the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 call for the removal of all persons whose presence in the country is unlawful. What if Trump had simply said he intends to enforce U.S. immigration laws? Trump says he plans to build a border wall, but the wall has already been built. He actually plans to strengthen and extend the existing wall. But the proposed Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, which is much praised by President Obama and Democrats, provides for the strengthening and extension of the border wall. What if Trump had said he plans to strengthen and extend the border wall as proposed in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act?

Lady Scorpio

Mother Earth 1 hour ago

@William Case,
I just returned to Trump's website, having been there some months ago. I looked at the video for his purported plan on education. You can keep it. He talks about unifying the country? That, coming from him, is funny.

Trump’s Rise Represents Democracy in Action

Geoff Blades, an adviser to chief executives and a former investment banker at Goldman Sachs, is the author of "The Trump Presidential Playbook, a Wizard’s Path to the White House." He is on Twitter (@geoffblades).

Updated May 12, 2016, 3:21 AM

Andrew Sullivan says that “democracies end when they are too democratic,” claiming that voters want a Vladimir Putin-style autocrat. But the truth is that we are in the midst of a truly democratic moment in this country.

Voters perceive that the establishment is not working for them. Trump supporters feel heard. They feel understood.

Voters have been given stark choices. In the simplest terms, it is Donald Trump versus the establishment on the Republican side, and Bernie Sanders versus the establishment on the Democratic side. The result, as we have seen, is that primary voters have opted in droves against the establishment.

Why? Because they perceive that the establishment is not working for them. They don’t feel heard. They don’t feel understood. They don't feel like they are winning. And all of those feelings are true. We are not winning any more. Economic growth numbers are weak. Wages are stagnant. The American dream seems lost to most Americans.

Trump, Sanders and President Obama before them, have captured voters’ hearts and minds by providing optimism and hope. Sullivan misunderstands Trump’s strength when he writes, “As I watched frenzied Trump rallies on C-SPAN in the spring, and saw him lay waste to far more qualified political peers in the debates by simply calling them names, the nausea turned to dread.”

By belittling Trump supporters, Sullivan misses the obvious fact. Voters perceive that these supposedly more qualified candidates, like so many other politicians, have failed to deliver for them.

I have worked at Goldman Sachs and on factory floors, and I can assure you, we are all the 100 percent. We are all looking for the same thing: jobs, gross domestic product and wage growth, and an ever-increasing standard of living. While Trump and Sanders’ platforms both aim at getting more money in voters’ pockets, Trump is the only candidate who stands for the 100 percent.

Trump is not inspiring tyranny. He is inspiring voters to vote and, in particular, vote in historic numbers for a Republican candidate. Trump supporters feel heard. They feel understood. Perhaps the real reason they like him is that they are desperately hoping for someone in Washington who represents them and their interests.

Isn’t that what democracy is all about?


Join Opinion on Facebook and follow updates on twitter.com/roomfordebate.

Topics: Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Politics, democracy, elections

The Lure of Populism Weakens the Republic

Linda Chavez Next

Some Are Fed Up With Democracy; Most Want More of It

Richard Thompson Ford

43 Comments

Andrew

Not You? Log Out

Colesville, MD

Jon W

Portland 1 hour ago

Like 99% of what you wrote-except the lose of the American Dream.

People want to be respected by the government we elect on our behalves.

Karen

Boston 1 hour ago

I disagree with your support of Trump, but applaud your analysis of this election. When will the political parties "get it"? We don't want Hillary or any of the Establishment Politicians. We have seen how they are destroying our Democracy, and we want -- on both sides -- the candidates that would bring change.

Chris

Minneapolis 1 hour ago

If working class voters think Trump represents their best interests, they need to think again. Hard. Trump is backing a package of wildly improbable claims, including tax cuts for the rich, increased military spending - and, oh yes, eliminating the national debt. Essentially. it's trickle down deja vu in all it's preposterous glory.

Susan H

SC 1 hour ago

Trump, unfortunately, only represents himself and his ambitions. Today in meeting with Ryan and talking about how they are coming together he is already starting the process of reneging on his promises to his followers. Before you know it, if he gets elected, he will be right in bed with the Republican establishment, cutting taxes for the rich, and keeping his H1B employees at his casinos and golf clubs. He's already promising to appoint very conservative thinkers to the Supreme Court so they can overturn Roe v Wade! Remember he has also promised to bring back the draft and to draft women as well. One way to lower the population of low income people, because the wealthy kids will all get medical excuses!

Steve Dowler

Colorado 1 hour ago

If a large number of voters wish to direct the path we take but it doesn't approach a majority (Trump's 10M supporters out of 130M total), isn't that treason? If the number is a majority, then does that make it revolution not treason? Where is that line, at a few hundred at Waco and in Oregon? At many thousands in the Civil War? At one lone angry man in the Federal building bombing in Oklahoma? The numbers sometimes lie. In 2004 a majority voted for Gore but a decision by 9 Justices elected Bush. When no majority emerges, confusion reigns and we get a confused government as well. We each must vote as we see fit. And we must accept the risk and bear the burden of our ill-advised choices.

Some Are Fed Up With Democracy; Most Want More of It

Richard Thompson Ford is a professor of law at Stanford University and the author of "Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality," and "The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse." He is on Twitter (@our_ford).

Updated May 12, 2016, 3:21 AM

Donald Trump’s astonishing success demonstrates that the failures of our current political system have led some people to yearn for an autocratic leader, mistakenly believing that democratic deliberation can’t address the challenges of the 21st century. But the real problem is a lack of democracy.

Voters who have rejected conventional politicians want reform of a political system that's been manipulated by the powerful.

Gerrymandered electoral districts lock in partisan advantage and promote extremism. The undue influence of money corrupts politics (Trump’s low-budget campaign does not prove otherwise — money matters, even when it doesn’t determine specific outcomes because it buys access and shapes the debate.)

In our corrupt democracy, it seems that the only way anything useful happens is through relatively nondemocratic means: executive orders, administrative agencies and the courts. It's no surprise that desperate voters gamble on a stubborn and belligerent leader, like Trump as an antidote to the wishy-washy politicians who compromise their principles once in office. But the problem in American politics has not been too much democracy or too much compromise. Quite the opposite: Congressional gridlock is the result of zealots — kept in office by gerrymandered safe districts and big spending plutocrats – who won’t compromise and instead let the perfect become the enemy of the good.

The voters who have rejected conventional politicians — whether in favor of Trump or Bernie Sanders — aren’t giving up on democracy. They want democratic reform, even if they don’t always know exactly what is wrong with the current system. They share a legitimate frustration with a broken political system and an understandable distrust of career politicians.

Voters want elected officials who will work with each other for the common good, rather than craven careerists who chase campaign contributions and vote accordingly or zealots who prize ideological purity over results. Voters want an end to the blatantly partisan redistricting that rigs elections in advance, effectively disenfranchising millions. Voters want reforms to encourage citizens to participate in the political process — not discriminatory voter ID laws that close the polls to interested voters. Voters want reasonable controls on money in politics to ensure that access to government is not up for auction — not the Supreme Court’s money-equals-speech absolutism that threatens to turn our democracy into a plutocracy.


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Topics: Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Politics, democracy, elections

Trump's Rise Represents Democracy in Action

Geoff Blades Next

Right and Left Are Expecting Too Much From Government

Paul D. Miller

38 Comments

Andrew

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Colesville, MD

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Jenifer Wolf

New York 1 hour ago

All true, Mr. Thompson, and very depressing.

Jon W

Portland 1 hour ago

One cannot add/say more -share it with the the Nation!

Ervin Harris

Washington, D.C. 1 hour ago

What a concept! Politicians who come together for the good of their districts and nation, rather than their donors and party. Too bad it will never happen...

This is hands down the best opinion article I've read this year.

O

Brooklyn 1 hour ago

Mr. Ford is right. Unfortunately, getting the reforms we need can't happen when we are reliant on the very middlemen that are benefitting from our disempowerment. Without a directly democratic process, where we are obliged to deal with opposing views, extremism will continue to flourish, since it benefits powerholders reliant on the vilification of the opposition.
For an examination of one possible multifaceted solution, check out the documentary It's Time We Talked.
http://timewetalk.org
Let's figure this out people! Time is short.

Jan Carroll

Sydney, Australia 1 hour ago

It seems Americans have forgotten what democracy looks like, because clearly you haven't had it for years. It was hijacked by Pres. George W. Bush after 9/11 and has been held for ransom ever since. On the very night of Obama's first victory (according to US correspondent, Nick O'Malley: "That very night - according to PBS Frontline - the Republican group, which included Republican heavyweights Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor and Jim De Mint, agreed on a simple strategy - ruthless, disciplined opposition to everything and anything Obama proposed." Nothing has changed in spite of the fact that Americans voted for Obama again. And Republicans wonder where Trump has come from! Republicans gave the world Afghanistan, Iraq and the rest of the appalling mess that is the Middle East today in the name of spreading democracy! Yet Republicans fought tooth and nail to prevent Americans from having a decent health policy. Americans seem to have no idea how they are perceived in the rest of the world.

Robin's Nest

Portland, Oregon 6 hours ago

Well said. We also need to reform the delegate system; Linda Chavez is wrong. The fact that some who have identified themselves as super delegates are responding in the NYT comments in other articles on Bernie saying they will not change their vote from Hillary regardless of what the voters want, is worrisome at best.

JRC

Salem OR 6 hours ago

Mr. Ford, you hit the nail squarely on the head. Keep up the good work!

Right and Left Are Expecting Too Much from Government

Paul D. Miller teaches public policy at the University of Texas at Austin and is a research fellow with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

Updated May 12, 2016, 3:21 AM

Self-government is more than voting, majority rule and the freedoms of speech, association and press. Self-government is, at root, a culture of public responsibility, civic engagement and rational debate. People must believe that they have the right, duty and ability to govern themselves. If we lose faith, self-government is dead even as we ritualistically cast votes.

Over the past century, the gradual loss of a culture of responsibility accustomed Americans to look to the state to provide their needs.

Today, Americans are losing faith and candidates across the political spectrum are ready to exploit our apostasy. The easiest demagogue to recognize is, of course, Donald Trump. His brand of proto-fascism — his xenophobia, irrationalism, admiration of “strength” and violence and his cult of personality — is openly hostile to the norms of a free and open society. But it is also what millions of Americans want.

They want it, in part, as a guard against the encroaching tyranny from the left. The intelligentsia — still overwhelmingly liberal and insular — have been late to see it, but even they have started to admit that progressivism has become an illiberal movement to impose campus speech codes,
blacklist celebrities with unpopular opinions and force corporate executives to resign for their political beliefs.

But the Trumpist and progressive challenges to democracy would not be possible were it not for a third form of tyranny that paved the way: the tyranny of the nanny state. For decades, Americans have voted for an ever-larger state to provide an ever-more expensive menu of social services to them. Such programs cushion the blow of poverty for some Americans at the cost of inuring all Americans to the all-powerful administrative state.

Alexis de Tocqueville warned in the 1830s of the dangers of “administrative despotism.” The overbearing state “would degrade men rather than torment them,” keep them in “perpetual childhood” because it “hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies so much that in the end [the] nation is no more than a flock of timid and hardworking animals with the government as its shepherd.” Bernie Sanders’ socialist movement would be the apotheosis of the nanny state.

Self-government is hard. Some want to be relieved of the burden of governing themselves. Like the people in Dostoevsky’s tale of "The Grand Inquisitor," some Americans are ready to say, “Make us your slaves, but feed us!”

Over the past century, the gradual loss of a culture of responsibility accustomed Americans to look to the state to provide their needs. The right believes it needs a fascist demagogue to “make American great again,” the progressive left believes it needs “safe spaces,” and socialism. America no longer has a party of self-government, civic responsibility and human dignity.


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Topics: Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Politics, democracy, elections

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Some Are Fed Up With Democracy; Most Want More of It

Richard Thompson Ford Next

Racism Is the Central Hindrance to Democratization

Paula Ioanide

58 Comments

Andrew

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Colesville, MD

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Jon W

Portland 1 hour ago

Taking a culture of responsibility has become lost in today's culture but one has to ask why and when this happened and most importantly who decided this should be the way to go?This issue is not just about the right vs. the left. This is about a system that is terribly broken today and those who make this system work one way or another.It is not you or I, but those in Washington and who gets to to buy.

Chris

Minneapolis 1 hour ago

Well, there certainly is a nanny state, but it clearly serves the interests of the richest. And that's just fine for groups like Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), yet another right wing think tank which hasn't got a clue what it takes to run and maintain an advanced industrial liberal democracy.

Citixen

NYC 1 hour ago

Are you kidding me? We, more than any other industrialized nation, use the phrase "culture of responsibility" as a club to beat down any notions of shared communitarian values or expectations. This in spite of the reality that, in a capitalist economy where 90% of working age people have no recourse to feed their families or put a roof over their heads WITHOUT a job. If we're asking generations of Americans to participate in a system where virtually all are cut off from the land, then that system-necessarily-needs to accommodate for the possibility that at some point in a workers' life there may not BE a job forthcoming, or its a job on the other side of the country, or that accepting a job in one's area requires additional educational services. If the "culture of responsibility" is simply used to absolve government and corporations from assuming any responsibilities towards its citizen/workers, then that is not a welcoming culture, or an understanding culture. It becomes an adversarial culture which sets up a dynamic of pitting basic human rights, required for survival, against a perverse ideology that seeks to deny the community any ability to reduce the effect of the same capitalism that requires 'creative destruction' to maintain innovation. Workers are not incidental to a functional capitalism, they are indispensable to it. As in most things, American conservatives hate what they call free-loaders, while shutting down every other alternative to exercise responsibility.

Racism Is the Central Hindrance to Democratization

Paula Ioanide is an associate professor at the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity at Ithaca College and the author of "The Emotional Politics of Racism: How Feelings Trump Facts in an Era of Colorblindness."

Updated May 12, 2016, 5:38 PM

Trump has masterfully channeled and capitalized on the collective anger of a conservative white popular base who feels abandoned by the G.O.P. Their anger is partially rooted in the significant economic losses they have suffered for the last 40 years (which they erroneously blame on liberals). But these pale in comparison to the psychological losses they experience when they see a black family living in the White House, Black Lives Matter organizers standing up to unjust police violence, Latino/a immigrants fighting for family reunification and an end to deportations, and Muslim-Americans building mosques in America.

Trump uses race-baiting to create populist unity. Sanders’ supporters fail to see racism as the problem that will sever a populist labor movement.

Trump’s supporters use metaphors like “brown tide,” “dangerous waters” and “war” to describe America’s cultural and demographic shifts. They see Trump as the commander who will help them restore America to their preferred order, a leader who will rebuild their sense of security and superiority.

It does not matter that these ideas and sentiments are factually baseless. As Donald Trump understands all too well, feelings trump facts. The candidate rides this populist anger, proliferates it and politically profits from it. In return, that white popular base wins some psychological wages, compensating for their acute sense of abandonment by a nation that was once theirs. Trump is not unique for the race-baiting strategies he has used to create a populist unity predicated on nationalist and racist sentiments; he is unique only in the fact that he has been unflinchingly transparent about his strategy.

Bernie Sanders’ popular base also feels a deep sense of rage and abandonment by national leaders. This rage is rightly directed toward wealthy elites and multinational corporations who have robbed middle-class Americans of their faith in the dream and starved poor Americans into destitution. Sanders’ base dreams of democratizing resources, restoring the health of our emaciated public goods, ending wars and shrinking the prison industrial complex. Yet they too carefully evade America’s Achilles heel. Every working-class, labor movement in the U.S. has been neutralized because whites have chosen to defend their racial interests over collective economic interests that would also benefit people of color. Sanders’ supporters see racism as a problem, but not the problem that will once again sever the potential of a populist labor movement. This evasion sets them up to repeat history.

There is a way to move people and resources toward America’s democratic ideals. But this requires a confrontation with racism as the central hindrance to American democratization.


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Topics: Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Politics, democracy, elections

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Right and Left Are Expecting Too Much From Government

Paul D. Miller Next

A History of Unwarranted Fears of Tyranny

Jim Sleeper

70 Comments

Andrew

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Joy Schulman

New York, NY 1 hour ago

I think this article is right on target. Virtually all reform movements in the US from unionism to the Suffragettes were narrower and less transformative than they could have been had the leaders not downplayed the importance of racism. It is, as the author says, the greatest threat to democracy in the United States. Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders, for all this progressivism has continued in that tradition, simply saying the African-Americans will benefit from his fight against the 1%. We know that US history has shown that African-Americans have been consistently left out of even good policies. They fought in WW2 but received less than 1% of the veteran's mortgages, the glorious fifties were not glorious for Black families. Their families were not making it on one bread winner; wives were working as domestics. Its not clear whether Sanders does not understand the mentality of race to US history, or just thought downplaying it was a better strategy. Well it certainly has not worked. Hilary, with less progressive politics, has captured the bulk of the African American vote.
Trump's only consistent position is "racism". You can fight him without calling it out.

Bhaskar

Dallas, TX 1 hour ago

The real problem in America is not racism -- it is poverty.

Poverty is the root cause of issues like crime, incarceration, voting rights, health, life expectancy, literacy, opportunity etc. The correlation between poverty and race, makes you wrongly attribute the cause to the race and racism. When your diagnosis is wrong, you cure the wrong disease, and the patient (our country) continues to be ill.

Sanders is correct -- he calls the disease "the 1%" syndrome.

San Fernando Curt

Los Angeles, CA 1 hour ago

Regardless whether you believe it or not - that no longer matters - white Americans don't yearn for the bestial, racist, violent America that lurks in your perfervid imagination. We want an America in which we're not required to despise ourselves. That America is in its rebirth. That this process scares you isn't surprising. But for us, it's a good thing.

Jp

Michigan 1 hour ago

Michigan ran into the following from the judge (a Nixon appointee) in the NAACP's suite calling for integration of public schools by busing in the early 1970's:
"Transportation of kindergarten children for upwards of forty-five minutes, one-way, does not appear unreasonable, harmful, or unsafe in any way."

Now is someone speaking out against this atrocity playing "divide and conquer"? It would have been reasonable for a Democrat who purported to represent working class Americans to make a case against such an argument. But the only voices from either of the political parties were from the Republicans. George Wallace won the 1972 Democratic primary based on this issue. And yes, many African-Americans were against this ruling (which was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court). So the desegregation plan only included Detroit.

This is but one example of the race based politics campaigned by the Democrats. One of the most convoluted gerrymandered congressional districts was designed to keep John Conyers in office.

So save the "workers unite to smash racism" rhetoric. When it comes to racial politics the Democratic Party has no peer.

Rich Turyn

NYNY 1 hour ago

One Melissa Click ("I need some muscle over here!") is a bad joke, but Paula Ioanide's advertorial for her niche-specialty has no place in a serious discussion about our future as a free nation. The irrelevant villages and hollows of Marxist and Mao-steeped Higher Education are our ridiculous and worthless inheritance from the 1960s, when the true hustler-segment of millions of students heard opportunity (to hide from the outer world and exist without the need to do any real work) knocking. Paula's need to convince us of the allegedly key factor of racism in a possible slide into tyranny is a transparent excuse for her paychecks to never stop. There is plenty of white racism in the world at the moment, but it will be a thing of the past within several generations due to rising inter-marriage. As FDR well knew, the overriding problem of history has been (and still is) the sick needs of a few people to hold power over the many.

Jenifer Wolf

New York 6 hours ago

Yes Paula. You've hit the nail on the head.

William Case

Texas 6 hours ago

It is astonishing that Paula Ioanide would dare use the term "race baiting." It's how she makes her living. She also need to update her demographic data. . According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States was 77.4 percent white in 2014, up three percentage points from 74.4 percent in 2012. The United States will continue to grow whiter as long as current immigration and fertility trends continue.

https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00

abolland

Lincoln, NE 1 hour ago

Please note that in the statistics on the linked page, race and Hispanic/Latino origin are treated as different categories. The percentage of those who identify as "white alone, not Hispanic or Latino" is 62.1%, down from 63.7% in 2010. Since the essay addresses diversity of the population in broader terms than "whiteness"/non-"whitness" (e.g. ethnic origin/identity, religion), the census statistics don't really seem to contradict its premise.

David Cornell

Miami Beach, FL 1 hour ago

William Case, you are misinterpreting the Census data. The category you are looking at -- "White alone" -- includes both non-Hispanic and Hispanic whites, provided that they do not check another racial box as well (as is now possible to reflect multiracial background). The category that includes *only* non-Hispanic whites is several line items below on the chart, and is called "White alone, not Hispanic or Latino." From 2010 to 2014, that category dropped from 63.7% to 62.1% (and is continuing to drop). The white increase you point to over that same period reflects an increase in the number of *Hispanic* whites (as part of an overall increase in the Hispanic population's percentage within the total population), outweighing what was in fact a *decrease* in the percentage of *non-Hispanic* whites. And the trends all are in the direction of continuing decrease in the numbers of non-Hispanic whites.

________________

The Opinion Pages

Why Are the Highly Educated So Liberal?

Gray Matter

By NEIL GROSS MAY 13, 2016

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/15/opinion/why-are-the-highly-educated-so-liberal 

 

Credit Oscar Bolton Green

IN 1979, in a short book called “The Future of Intellectuals and the Rise of the New Class,” the sociologist Alvin Gouldner took up a question then being vigorously debated by social analysts: Did the student movements of the 1960s signal that the highly educated were on their way to becoming a major political force in American society?


Dr. Gouldner’s answer was yes. As a man of the left, he had mixed feelings about this development, since he thought the intelligentsia might be tempted to put its own interests ahead of the marginalized groups for whom it often claimed to speak.


Today, with an ideological gap widening along educational lines in the United States, Dr. Gouldner’s arguments are worth revisiting. Now that so many people go to college, Americans with bachelor’s degrees no longer constitute educational elite. But the most highly educated Americans — those who have attended graduate or professional school — are starting to come together as a political bloc.


Last month, the Pew Research Center released a study showing that nearly a third of those who went to graduate or professional school have “down the line” liberal views on social, economic and environmental matters, whereas this is true for just one in 10 Americans generally. An additional quarter of postgrads have mostly liberal views. These numbers reflect drastic change: While professionals have been in the Democratic column for a while, in 1994 only 7 percent of postgrads held consistently liberal political opinions.


Dr. Gouldner’s “new class” wasn’t exactly the contemporary intelligentsia, with its Washington policy analysts, New York editors and Bay Area biotech researchers. But it was close. Dr. Gouldner observed changes in the American occupational structure that he thought were altering the balance of power among social classes. As he saw it, beginning in the early 20th century, increasing complexity in science, technology, economic affairs and government meant that the “old” moneyed class no longer had the expertise to directly manage the work process or steer the ship of state.


Members of the old class turned to scientists, engineers, managers, human relations specialists, economists and other professionals for help. As these experts multiplied, they realized the extent of their collective power. They demanded fitting levels of pay and status and insisted on professional autonomy. A “new class” was born, neither owner nor worker.


A distinguishing feature of this new class, according to Dr. Gouldner, was the way it spoke and argued. Steeped in science and expert knowledge, it embraced a “culture of critical discourse.” Evidence and logic were valued; appeals to traditional sources of authority were not. Members of the new class raised their children in such a culture. And it was these children, allergic to authoritarian values, who as young adults were at the center of the student revolts, finding common ground with disaffected “humanistic” intellectuals bent on changing the world.


Dr. Gouldner assumed that as the student radicals aged and entered the work force, they would retain their leftist sympathies. But he conceded that they might also work to shore up their privileges. He characterized the new class as the great hope of the left in a period when the American labor movement was in decline, yet also as flawed.


The Pew study doesn’t necessarily vindicate Dr. Gouldner’s entire theory. But it does indicate that the most highly educated professionals are coming to form, if not a new class, at least a reliably liberal political grouping.


While there’s ample evidence of the professional class using its economic and educational capital to preserve its advantages — think of the clustering of professionals into exclusive neighborhoods, or the early immersion of professional-class children into a world of literacy, art and science — its move left is evident even on questions of economic redistribution. My own analysis of data from the General Social Survey shows that in recent decades, as class inequality has increased, Americans who hold advanced degrees have grown more supportive of government efforts to reduce income differences, whether through changes to taxes or strengthening the welfare system.


On this issue, the views of the highly educated are now similar to those of groups with much lower levels of education, who have a real material stake in reducing inequalities. Even higher-income advanced degree holders have become more redistributionist, if less so than others.


What explains the consolidation of the highly educated into a liberal bloc? The growing number of women with advanced degrees is part of it, as well-educated women tend to be especially left-leaning. Equally important is the Republican Party’s move to the right since the 1980s — at odds with the social liberalism that has long characterized the well-educated — alongside the perception that conservatives are anti-intellectual, hostile to science and at war with the university.


This phenomenon is mostly a boon for the Democratic Party. While only 10 percent of American adults hold advanced degrees, that number is expected to rise. The group is active politically and influential.


But Dr. Gouldner’s new-class theory should alert Democrats to a lurking danger. It is probably right that something like a culture of critical discourse can be found in the workplaces and households and in the publications read by Americans who have attended graduate or professional school. The challenge for the Democrats moving forward will be to develop appeals to voters that resonate not just with this important constituency, but also with other crucial groups in the Democratic coalition. Some of the draw of Donald Trump for white working-class male voters, for example, is that he does not speak in a culture of critical discourse. Indeed, he mocks that culture, tapping into class resentments.


The Democrats may find they need to give up a little of their wonkiness if they want resounding victories. It’s not in their long-term interest to be too much what Pat Buchanan once referred to as “the party of the Ph.D.s.”

Neil Gross, a professor of sociology at Colby College, is the author of “Why Are Professors Liberal and Why Do Conservatives Care?”

_________________________

================================================

[pen-l] Break Free from Fossil Fuels!  Sat 5/14/2016

 In support of the

"Break Free from Fossil Fuels" protests

pen-l@mail.csuchico.edu

================================================ 

(From a leaflet by the Seattle Communist Study Group for this weekend's environmental actions) 

This May thousands of people are participating in Break Free from fossil fuels protests all over the world. There is no wonder why. Last year had the highest global temperatures ever recorded and this year that trend continues.

And if the main cause of this warming--burning fossil fuels--is not quickly stopped the majority of Earth's people face hell. 

But it is not being stopped rapidly enough, and the reason for this is a question of class struggle:

 

*On one side* the capitalists are making untold profits by either extracting carbon fuels, running industries directly dependent on these fuels (like auto), or running industries dependent on these two; and it is the capitalists and state-capitalists (as in China) who control the governments of the world.  What's more, despite the corporate-paid deniers, the capitalist governments know the great crisis global warming is bringing humanity. Indeed, many of their politicians have been warning of it all this century. But capitalist political opinion remains stuck in neo-liberalism.

The result is a vain search for market solutions to carbon emissions, such as "cap and trade." But market solutions have failed, or will fail (see the article below), and often cause major ecological fiascoes of their own. (1)

 

On the other side are the working and poor people of the world. Every year hundreds of thousands of them are already dying or becoming climate refugees, with the masses in the poor countries, indigenous peoples, and national minorities most severely affected.

 

But they are not just victims, they are fighting back.  And it is from this movement that the solutions to climate change are going to come. Its leading edge is saying: Carbon extracting and refining operations must be shut down.

There must be a rapid transition to renewables and false solutions like nuclear power opposed. Workers laid off from fossil fuel industries must be given jobs with equal or better pay elsewhere. Indigenous rights must be protected and national-minority communities not slighted.

 

But to accomplish this means the movement must stand up with *political

demands!*  Central in these must be the call for direct *environmental regulations*, including banning certain activities, and the call for *economic planning*, e.g., where will laid off coal and oil workers to go?

Moreover, formulating and enforcing regulations and plans cannot be left up to government bureaucrats and the captains of industry meeting in closed rooms. There must be demands for openness and mass inclusion in everything, and continued protests and struggles when, in spite of everything, regulations or plans go against the interests of the working people, national minority communities, and indigenous peoples.

 

We can build a political movement that does this, and wins!  With only presently-existing technology, it is possible to drastically cut the use of carbon fuels, protect the environment, and still maintain or raise the masses' standard of living.(2)

 

(1) See for example, http://www.communistvoice.org/41cAlGore.html

 

(2) See for example, http://www.nohairshirts.com/

 

 ================================================

The carbon tax is another false solution, and the IMF and World Bank are pushing it!

================================================ 

(The second article on the leaflet) 

The carbon tax is the latest fad in the search for market solutions to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions, i.e., it lets the polluters decide what to do when taxed, while the masses of workers and poor bear its burden.

Mainstream environmentalism supports it, but some of the most active and best Climate Justice organizers support refined versions of it too. We think they should ask themselves why the neo-liberal advisor to Reagan and Thatcher, economist Milton Friedman, expressed support for the idea of a carbon tax way back in 1979, and why the imperialist International Monetary Fund and World Bank support it today. The following is a greatly shortened and edited version of the post at http://communistvoice.org/DWV-160429.html, which gives many references.

 

Workers around the world are being devastated by the market fundamentalism of the so-called "Washington Consensus", which is identified with such institutions as the IMF and the World Bank. These institutions are helping submerge the world in wave after wave of privatization, wage-cutting, elimination of entitlements, and "structural readjustment". They promised that market measures would bring economic development and prosperity, but the result has been misery on a mass scale, with entire countries devastated one after another.

 

So it should cause people to think twice that the IMF and the World Bank are now pushing hard for "carbon pricing" as the solution to the threat of global warming. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF, talks about how the carbon tax is a replacement for direct government action on the environment, which she regards as impractical. She supports the carbon tax as part of seeking to slow down other actions, e.g.,  "Myth number two is that a plethora of complex and cumbersome government policy interventions is the best way to reduce emissions, carbon dioxide being the most important-- (a long list of subsidies and regulations) I would push back somewhat on this approach as it is inefficient for climate policy and administratively complex."

 

The World Bank, through the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, also wants to use carbon pricing  in place of direct governmental measures to prevent greenhouse emissions. It says that "Instead of dictating who should reduce emissions where and how, a carbon price gives an economic signal and polluters decide for themselves whether to discontinue their polluting activity, reduce emissions, or continue polluting and pay for it."

 

The IMF and World Bank assure us that the carbon tax is supposed to fall on the polluters, and imagines that the pain it causes these polluters is supposed to cause them to abandon fossil fuels. The World Bank says "A price on carbon helps shift the burden for the damage back to those who are responsible for it, and who can reduce it."

 

But this is a lie. Carbon pricing is not a tax on the profits of the fossil fuel companies, and it doesn't directly effect their profits; the tax is imposed on the consumers of energy, or it is passed on to the consumer by the energy companies. These consumers include large-scale manufacturing firms, which will in turn pass on the tax to their customers. Workers, however, can't pass on the tax. Small truckers, fisher people, and others generally can't pass on the tax either. But the energy companies and other large corporate polluters can and will make their customers pay.

 

Meanwhile the IMF is demanding the removal of fuel and other subsidies from the mass of the population. Lagarde claims to be concerned about what this will do to the poor. She writes that "Targeted measures (e.g., adjustments to the tax system, stronger social safety nets) are generally a much better way to help the poor."  But in practice, these other measures just never seem to appear; indeed, the whole point of IMF structural adjustment is tear up the safety net. A real alternative to the present system of subsidies in various countries would have to include serious economic planning for mass welfare, and guarantees for the people's welfare, combined with government programs that ensure there are alternatives to environmentally harmful fuels and products; but the IMF and World Bank are opponents of such planning and of such a government role.

 

The IMF and the World Bank are advising governments about how to plan their systems of carbon pricing. So the working class and the militant environmental movement need to pay attention to the IMF and the World Bank, and decide their attitude to the market measures backed by the IMF and World Bank. Should we believe the sugared words of the IMF and World Bank, or look at the real results of the "Washington Consensus", privatization, and neo-liberalization?

 

Today part of the bourgeoisie still denies that human activity is causing global warming. Another part of the bourgeoisie talks about global warming and even claims to be taking measures against it. But it's not taking effective measures. It talks and talks, and signs one solemn pledge after another, and greenhouse emissions get higher and higher. Some measures the bourgeoisie has taken in the name of environmentalism [have] actually made things worse, such as the promotion of natural gas and fracking, or the World Bank financing the building of the huge Medupi coal power station in South Africa. We need to consider whether the emphasis on carbon pricing is another fiasco of world neo-liberalism, which sabotages the environment for the sake of providing many profitable opportunities for large corporations and the rich. Do we really want to bet the fate of our planet on the supposed wisdom of the IMF and the World Bank?

 

For more on the carbon tax see

http://www.communistvoice.org/42cCarbonTax.html 

For a list of environmental books and other materials see http://communistvoice.org/DWV-160422.html 

The Seattle Communist Study Group can be reached at seattle.com.sg@gmail.com!

 

The PDF form of the leaflet is available at http://communistvoice.org/Sea160514.pdf

 

-- Joseph Green

_____________

[pen-l] More on voguish "helicopter money"  Sat 5/14/2016

 pen-l@mail.csuchico.edu

Faced with prolonged economic stagnation and widening inequality which is politically destabilizing, central banks and governments are considering direct money transfers to their citizens - conservative icon Milton Friedman’s “helicopter money”, a measure of last resort when all other efforts to revive economic growth have failed.

 

Interest rate cuts, the customary favoured option, have failed to stem the decline. So too has the turn to more unconventional “quantitative easing”, which has mainly benefited banks and wealthy investors speculating in stocks and real estate. Now much discussion centres around bypassing bank intermediation and electronically crediting individual accounts to boost consumer spending and modestly reflate the economy.

 

The fact that the scheme is associated with Friedman and his disciple Ben Bernanke makes it a more palatable political alternative to the right than public spending on infrastructure and other forms of fiscal stimulus which imply more state intervention in the economy.

 

It also converges with the economic thought of left-wing Keynesians, notably the adherents of the Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) school, who have long argued that unlimited “money printing” is non-inflationary so long as the economy is not operating at full capacity.

 

If states do implement the policy, however, you can be sure it will fall well short, like other reforms, of what MMT’ers and others on the left have in mind.

 

https://www.project-syndicate.org/onpoint/central-bankings-final-frontier-by-anatole-kaletsky-2016-05

___________________________________

[Select Below for use later]

In fact, ADH (economists David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson) take advantage of this dynamic by tapping what they call the “China shock”: the fact that import penetration from a large, low-wage country (China) to a large, higher-wage country (the United States) a) increased sharply over the 1990s and 2000s, and b) hit different places with different intensities, giving them the statistical variation they need to tease out the impacts. Their examination of the job and wage impacts of these imports in communities across the country found that, for every 1 percent increase in net Chinese import penetration, employment in affected industries fell by 1.3 percent. According to their estimates, 17 percent of the manufacturing job losses from 1991 to 2011 were due to this effect. They find significant “negative local demand spillovers” outside of manufacturing as well, with job and wage losses among non-manufacturing workers at least comparable to those in manufacturing.  I found insightful and important: one reason why so many people are angry about trade is that “nobody gets to vote on technology. There are a lot of forces other than global trade suppressing the earnings and opportunities of large swaths of workers, but trade is often the most visible one. Most economists think the lion’s share of wage inequality and stagnation is because of changes in technology that have increasingly tilted against non-college educated workers. In fact, there’s less in the way of solid, ADH-style evidence that technology is a lead culprit here. The decline of unions, eroding minimum wages, the rise of non-productive finance, and especially the persistent absence of full employment labor markets all reduce worker bargaining power, and that is the fundamental force driving wage stagnation amid growth. But Froman’s point that trade bears a disproportionate share of the public’s anger is a good one. Economic platitudes about how trade is always worthwhile as long as the winners can compensate the losers are an insult in the age of inequality, where the winners increasingly use their political power to claim ever more winnings. (See https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/05/12/getting-straight-about-the-costs-of-trade/ By Jared Bernstein)


Andrew

Colesville, MD 18 hours ago

“China added about $1 trillion in new liquidity in the first quarter of 2016” in anticipating that developed countries will take its exports in due time. But these countries are having problems of their own and therefore powerless to help. The globalization-driven world economy is deep in a Long Depression due to falling profitability according to Michael Roberts.

“China risks adding to its already fast-growing pile of debt, which by some estimates is nearly 300 percent of gross domestic product.” China’s growth cannot be sustainable by lending.  As an example, in 2015, Americans bought $64 billion worth of cellphones but Apple’s cellphone sale in the world has ratchet down precipitously. Apple sold 16 percent fewer iPhones in the first quarter this year compared with the same quarter last year. The Chinese smartphone market will grow only 4.7 percent in 2016. As recently as 2013, it was growing 50 percent annually. This does not bode well to China’s economy.

wsmrer

chengbu 16 hours ago

Except that Apple’s loss was due to domestic competition as consumers shifted to two Chinese products; as the consumer sector grows we will see more of this. With a population of 1.4 billion China will not need exports as before, just need to change saving rate to the big C in C+I+G+(E-I).

1  Recommend

_____________

https://groups.google.com/a/mail.csuchico.edu/forum/#!topic/pen-l/mapq7B_K0VI

Governments should not negotiate with arsonists by saying more fires cost you more because fire and water are good servants, but bad masters.

Carbon tax is an idea suitable only to the establishment’s delay tactics. Governments should start to ration electricity use and, at the same time, close first coal and later on gas/oil power plants. Constructions of renewable clean energy sources should also be accelerated and expanded on a much larger scale. If shareholders of fossil fuel power plants refuse to accept governments’ offer of close-down, they must be brought to justice. A reasonable way out of the predicament is to resort to a policy of partial redemption.

Andrew

Colesville, MD 14 hours ago

People complain that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are too different from Hillary Clinton regarding how one conducts oneself with respect to the establishment that has governed the country for several decades without any interruption. Even today they fail to feel either the trump or the bern, because they wish things that the status quo has been in complete control of would never fail to be the same for the next several decades once again. They are wrong because time has changed to the favor of the political revolution against which they have nowhere to go but the blind alley.

The moment of awakening to their true democratic rights has never faded away; the informed and thought-active get it right on. Be open-minded for the new revolutionary era that draws near silently.

16 Recommend

John Mead

Pennsylvania 5 hours ago

The only quibble I have with your comment is the word "silently." It certainly doesn't seem to be happening silently. It seems very noisy to me.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 4 hours ago


In these days opportunity is being driven by the digital economy and a production-based economy is superseded by numbers, just like manual labor has been superseded by using machinery which never asks for a raise.

In order to regain probability, capital tends to take advantage of the social nature of the internet where it can acquire surplus labor power value without paying any wage, if it can realize fully the unpaid surplus value.

In the infotainment or the digital economy, web visitors or computer users contribute their (working) time either online or offline viewing advertisements from which infotainment “industries” exchange viewers’ viewing time as value for cash.

The theoretical profits that corporations accumulate from them are indeed phenomenal. In 2015, Facebook has 1.59 billion active users of which 1.44 billion are smartphone users. Its potential daily income obtained as profits from those smartphone users at say 0.25 hour a day per user at $0.25/hour adds up to about $0.1 billion a day. In order to realize it, Facebook would have to sell 100% of its surplus value of the “guest” workers to advertisers to realize the daily $0.1 billion or annually $36.5 billion profits. Obviously that would be a tall order. Facebook these days can realize only about a small portion, say 1% (called the realization coefficient g of the surplus value) of the surplus value created by the “guest” workers every day as profit, i.e. $0.001 billion.

1Recommend


Peter Nelson

Chelmsford MA 1 hour ago

Andrew has pointed out one of the key, and most often overlooked aspects of this. Facebook, YouTube (which I'm guilty of contributing to), Twitter, Wikipedia, Cheezburger, and many other web institutions are making BILLIONS of dollars for their founders and creators because we ordinary people supply vast quantities of FREE labor creating content, and vast hours of work viewing the content created by others.

1 Recommended


Andrew

Colesville, MD 15 hours ago

Other than the “guest” workers, its own internal host employees will create additional surplus value. We will discuss the internal surplus value in the sequel. The reason why g is small is that “guest” workers cannot be disciplined in the same way as internal host full time workers can so that for the former g << 1 and for the latter g ~ 1.

In the service sector of which the infotainment industry is only a part, users of social networks, viewers of TV, listeners of radios, readers of online newspapers/webs and customers of different sorts participate in productive labor as well. They serve a dual role in the economy as both producers and buyers of products they produce. They contribute surplus labor powers as “guest” workers and purchase the infotainment products as consumers by spending money on accessing fees to the internet and subscription fees, if any. In general, in the production sector, workers and buyers of products are distinct from one another.

3 Recommend


NYHUGUENOT

Charlotte, NC 1 hour ago

Now Youtube is something I like. I've watched some really great old forgotten movies I'd never seen. I had no idea James Mason and his wife had made movies together. I've also watched tons of TV shows from the UK. And there's lots of Do It Yourself videos as well.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 5 hours ago


Two candidates’ debate who is the more suitable one than the other, well then everyone has different ideas. When the issue is who cares more about the interests of the majority than about Wall Street and its money, the majority cannot have too many different ideas from the fact that Hillary Clinton is the one that the majority cast severe doubt on her trustworthiness, honesty and unfair use of the gender advantage to secure an upper hand. She has already used her comparative advantage to gain votes at the expense of Bernie Sanders. The majority loses sights of the future, becomes content with an instant melody hectoring them into support and confuses gender with substance.


Donald Trump, while not ideal in any way, remains true to his distinctive character unwavering by political ambition. The establishment and its behind-the-scenes backers have set an ambush for him to end up on the losing side. Hillary Clinton herself as part of the establishment is doing her best to crash him as they have so wished from her.

Party-ism is obsolete and so is gender-ism.

4 Recommend

________________

Labor productivity of service sector should be similarly defined to that of the production sector. If service sector workers spend their working time on producing service products of use value for the society, the output per hour per worker or labor productivity is calculable.  A more meaningful measurement for labor productivity is not based on the output produced but on the surplus value that labor creates per hour for capital, called labor valuability (new value owned only by capital). The surplus value is an unpaid and unearned labor power measured in terms of working hour by capital which reaps surplus value as its only income. Its income supplies capital as profit plus interest plus rent plus tax payment, if any. Capital’s main interest is not of production per se but profit maximization hence valuability is more useful than productivity, unless one is interested in only the total output created by labor power. It might be added that labor power creates not only surplus value for capital but also paid wage or advanced money compensation by capital as exchange value.


Users of social networks, viewers of TV, listeners of radios, readers of online newspapers, news webs and others participate in productive labor as well. They serve a dual role in the economy as both producers and buyers of products they produce. They contribute surplus labor powers as “guest” workers and purchase the infotainment products as consumers by spending money on accessing fees to the internet and subscription fees, if any. In general, in the production sector, workers and buyers of products are distinct from one another. Other than those “guest” workers, internal employees of the service sector will create additional surplus value. It is useful to introduce the realization coefficient g of the surplus value, which is a measure of actual surplus value realized for a given kind of workers. Since the “guest” worker is not as easily disciplined as the internal host employees, the extraction efficiency of the surplus value from the “guest” workers is much less than that of the internal ones, hence we have gg « 1 and gh ≈ 1. In the following discussion, we will neglect the contribution of the “guest” workers’ surplus value and consider only the contribution of the internal host employees, i.e., we will assume gg = 0 and gh = 1.


Let’s take Facebook as an example. In 2009, Facebook’s revenue was $777 million, its net income was $229 million and its employee number was 1,218. In 2013, its revenue was $7.87 billion; hired 6,337 full time employees and wrung a net income of $1.50 billion. In 2015 Facebook's revenue grew to $17.93 billion, squeezed a net income of $3.69 billion, and hired 12,691 full time employees.


Assume every year each worker spends 40 hours/week for 52 weeks or 2,080 working hours. The labor valuability (= net income/employee number/working hour) in 2009, 2013 and 2015 are, respectively, $90/hr., $114/hr. and $140/hr., neglecting inflation. From 2009 to 2015, the linear increase rate of labor valuability is 8.3% per year. In the two years from 2013 to 2015 it is 13% per year. The run-of-mill labor productivity (= labor valuability times the revenue-to-income ratio) in 2009, 2013 and 2015 are, respectively, $305/hr., $598/hr. and $680/hr.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 7 hours ago


When compared with Hillary Clinton’s hawkish foreign and military policies and her role-model’ s support of the danger of rising to higher level the already volatile situations and relations with Russia and China, Donald Trump’s foreign policy is less belligerent in tone and more open-minded. Cold war has been over for 25 years, the establishment and the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex do not seem willing to wean from it as bellicosity means obtaining promotion, financial gain and political correctness, even though at the costs on the public of deaths, injuries, losses of economic benefits and future, not mentioning inflationary personal and national debts, slower growth, twisted investments.

Her wrong-headed world’s policeman syndrome must not be received without pointed criticism. Her pet project of regime changes anywhere in the world and diehard American Exceptionalism are two of the most dangerous foreign policies as the specter haunting people of the world. Donald Trump has cast off these burdens that emerged since WWI as the U.S. entered the world scene as a great power.


Overall speaking, his foreign policy briefing is positive. In fact, both his and Bernie Sanders’ are of higher quality, originality and people-first. Hillary Clinton’s, on the other hand, is business-as-usual serving only the interests of the establishment and its paymasters and is cast aside by the people When compared with Hillary Clinton’s hawkish foreign and military policies and her role-model’s support of the danger of rising to higher level the already volatile situations and relations with Russia and China, Donald Trump’s foreign policy is less belligerent in tone and more open-minded. Cold war has been over for 25 years, the establishment and the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex do not seem willing to wean from it as bellicosity means obtaining promotion, financial gain and political correctness, even though at the costs on the public of deaths, injuries, losses of economic benefits and future, not mentioning inflationary personal and national debts, slower growth, twisted investments.


Her wrong-headed world’s policeman syndrome must not be received without pointed criticism. Her pet project of regime changes anywhere in the world and diehard American Exceptionalism are two of the most dangerous foreign policies as the specter haunting people of the world. Donald Trump has cast off these burdens that emerged since WWI as the U.S. entered the world scene as a great power.


Overall speaking, his foreign policy briefing is positive. In fact, both his and Bernie Sanders’ are of higher quality, originality and people-first. Hillary Clinton’s, on the other hand, is business-as-usual serving only the interests of the establishment and its paymasters and is cast aside by the people as it should be.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 20 hours ago


The principle of maximization of private profit has ruled the world as a shimmering infallible dogma to be reckoned with by all. China’s today is other developing countries’ tomorrow. That destruction in the name of constructions is one of the necessarily true consequences until the whole country is exhausted in constructions. By then, over-production and unemployment/underemployment cause great depression which goes into the destruction stage. Sustainable capitalism is no longer plausible because scientific theses have time and again indicted its contrary is true.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 21 hours ago


Donald Trump should keep railing against hypocrisy and greed of the establishment, Wall Street and the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex if he wants to remain appealing to electorate. He should not accommodate the establishment with shibboleths “more acceptable to decent society” or else he will turn people off. He should criticize Hillary Clinton’s ultra-negativism on a political revolution bound to break out irrespectively of establishment’s control, rejection and disparagement.


Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have correctly complained about the establishment’s rigging election and other nominally democratic projects. They should join hands with each other to condemn Hillary Clinton’s hawkish foreign and military policies and the danger of rising to higher level the already volatile situations and relations with Russia and China. Her wrong-headed world’s policeman syndrome must not be received without pointed criticism. Her lack of placing emphasis on overturning the 2010 Citizens United decision of decision of the Supreme Court, on indicting the Wall Street executives for wrong-doings causing the 2007-2008 crises and on others should be severely criticized by both.  


5 Recommend


Andrew

Colesville, MD 23 minutes ago


“Mrs. Clinton isn’t just the most knowledgeable, well-informed candidate in this election; she’s arguably the best-prepared candidate on matters economic ever to run for president.”

Well then if the world’s best mainstream economists are at a loss what to do to save the world economy, what can a candidate-turned president do better? Answer: none whatsoever.


The economy has gone south not because China and oil have gone bad but because of something much deeper than that – over-production about falling rate of profit, lack of profitable new investment outlets, unemployment and underemployment and last but not the least, growth of automated production compared to wages.


The way out is obvious but capital knowingly refuses to move, and that’s the question. Economists aren’t doing better than their patrons as they should wean themselves off the principle of private profit maximization before courting others to do something meaningful.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 5 hours ago


Bernie Sanders will be immortal, spiritually speaking, for his courageous and pioneering political revolution banner under the brilliant democratic socialist rainbow. This country has been controlled by capital for too long to break through its shackles until now. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have contributed to the revolutionary cause but Sanders provides more insights and shared vision than Donald Trump. Criticisms and denunciations of both by the establishment clearly show it has shamelessly bartered away its honor for patronage of capital.


Hillary Clinton will be regarded as a temporary cog coming on the political scene and the judgment of history in the future will not forgive her sellout to the counter-revolutionary status quo. Her two role models – George W. Bush and Barack Obama – likewise will not be able to evade the moral judgement of the people. Sanders supporters’ votes in November are not ascribed to Hillary Clinton or her establishment paymasters. Cross-voting will be popular especially this year because of the revolutionary, progressive and ideological trend.

12 Recommend


Andrew

Colesville, MD 1 hour ago


When you decide to vote for her, have you had WWIII on mind? If not, be prepared for such a chilling feel. She is as hawkish as a megalomaniac person can be. In this anxious and angry world of severe economic and political inequality, sabre rattling can no longer prevail as in the good old days of WWI and WWII, because people of the world have awakened to such a degree that dying for the rich and powerful of the motherland is as stupid as dying for nothing.


A new democratic revolution against bigotry, war fanaticism, and political scam, at a minimum, has come.


She has gotten supports from all the rich, powerful and influential including the Koch brothers who finance the establishment bosses of either of the two parties for seemingly ulterior but obvious motive or reasons. One can be sure that she has gotten strong backing from or paid for by the moneyed and plutocratic capital in exchange for something obscene as Mr. Clooney, the movie star, has said.


Wars, large and small, will be near us before our unwary eyes.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 18 hours ago

As the money interest rate is close to zero, the 1% do not want to hoard cash or choose saving and abstinence as a way of managing money. In addition to low interest rate, they find less profitable investment outlets available to them hence spending income as though there would be no tomorrow carries the day. When they stop doing the extravaganza, something is going to happen to the laboring masses – unemployment and underemployment either as usual or more. They maintain a money-based caste system where enhancement of the bottom line is their no. 1 priority and anything else is secondary or non-existent. For such an exchange economy, the more luxury commodities are produced for the 1%, the means of subsistence for the masses tend to be squeezed from the high end in profitability and less competitive. People may have to pay more.   

___________________

Andrew

Colesville, MD 19 hours ago

With Mrs. Clinton’s high un-favorability numbers and facing the angry, anxious political crosscurrents in the electorate, she thinks most of supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders would ultimately vote for her, an assertion backed up by polling.

These are interesting visions on her campaign.

Elizabeth Warren may or not be her eventual running mate, but the problem is her own – pro-establishment rather than anti-establishment. Once falling into the vortices of the political revolution of the electorate, one either calls for help or go with the mainstream – this time the revolutionary masses. Any other approach such as hers cannot last for long in the angry and anxious crosscurrents. Her opportunistic political prejudices against revolution and progressivism often will lead her to defeat.

Pro-establishment is doomed to failure.

7 Recommend [Copied the above to the Coming article for use and editing on 5/12/16]

Their belated epiphanies against establishment and capital hegemony imply that party-ism, gender-ism and skin-color-ism are no longer the acceptable ideologies of voters. Party affiliation and loyalty, first of female president or first of black president is meaningless if the candidate in question is anti-revolution and pro-status-quo. Both the left and right, progressive and conservative, and moderate and radical among people should fill and level up the ideological and politico-economic chasms brought into effect of disunity by capital to divide all, conquer by a few and fulfill the demands of the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex. As the telltale signs and symptoms of capital-rigged demarcation lines for the people to rail against one another, the so-called progressive Hillary Clinton is not only wooing those Republican voters who do not support Donald Trump but also seeking endorsements from influential Republicans such as Jeb Bush and their supporters and one of the ultra-conservative Koch brothers is supporting Hillary Clinton but not Donald Trump, their fellow Republican. Wall Street Republicans are switching their supports to Clinton.


“Business interests are generally not sold on the notion that Trump will be a more business-friendly candidate; there’s a lot about Trump they don’t know...They know Hillary. And they know that she is not antibusiness.” There you have it - so much for voters’ onslaughts based on “antagonism” between the two major political parties. They are more a mutual admiration society than political organizations of conflicting interests. Party-ism has died a natural death thanks to the long economic depression we are in.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 4 hours ago


Hillary Clinton, the party darling, has been crew about as experienced, talented, tough and brainy and Donald Trump, the party demon, mud-slung and slut-shamed as inexperienced, crooked, chock-full of demagogy and know-nothing loose cannon. As a matter of fact, the paragons of Hillary Clinton presidency do not benefit people; rather they renege on her promises as political capital for the fundamental and long-haul interests of the status quo and money. Political expediency, pomposity and shrewdness cannot hide from people’s sharp insights once they have come to life. To be sure, Donald Trump has learning curves to climb. He has the advantage of “not being bought and paid for,” so that his plan and policy-making process will not be biased against the working class. People rather want to elect some political fresh faces or a capitalist who truly fights for the common people’s interests than some political agent of capital with swaggering self-assurance but is disgustingly dishonest with people.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 4 hours ago


Prevailing of the presumptive capitalist nominee over his conservative rivals illustrates that people’s economic status overwhelmingly determines their political orientation, regardless of pundits’ rumpus. The conservative politics have been elbowed out of the arena of politics.  The political landscape has been forever transformed from the perennial problem of overwhelming militarism, imperialism, American Exceptionalism, regime change and self-saddling with the task of being world’s policemen that the career politician Hillary Clinton and her ilk, in both parties, who are out of touch with the working-class voters have touted for so long into the progressive rethinking of the U.S. positions in the world and a smaller American footprint abroad. Policies of strictly limited government size, authority and ideas of privatizations of social security, Medicare and Medicaid, public educations, cutting taxes for the 1%, increasing military spending from more than $0.6 trillion a year, free trade and a hawkish foreign policy, pro-life before birth but pro-death after, denial of climate change as a survival strategy and many other so-called values and principles that the establishment cherishes are no longer plausible. The 10.7 million voters for Trump in Republican primaries and caucuses say no to the establishment’s positions. That of 3C’s – Command, Control and Communication as Hillary Clinton’s White House creed is likewise obsolete. Her cold war policy experience is out of date and should be abandoned. A Clinton nomination could be a “disaster simply to protect the status quo,” as Sanders’s campaign manager said.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 4 hours ago


Donald Trump should better be aware that “his supporters will have his head” if he does not fight for the working class as promised “or else keep trying.” The establishment, on the other hand, will pin its hope on wearing him down, forcing him to go along with the status quo – so called norms, and blending into the parties and powers that be. To sum up, everything including tradition, “the extraordinary uniformity in the mainstream of social and political thought” and even the establishment itself is now on the table for review and debate; the day of reckoning has finally arrived for action ever after 140 years since the close of the Reconstruction period in 1876. Struggle for political power among different social forces has unreservedly come on stage. Direct democracy through online communications and not the plutocratic representative democracy that has failed people miserably start to see its bright daylight after more than 30 years of economic stagnation, inequality, and growing social isolation - addiction and suicide, and shortened average life spans, for the working-class white majority.


History will witness beyond any doubt for the new democratic revolutionary.


7 Recommend


If Donald Trump is not anti-capital in words, his anti-establishment position implicitly means so, at least in part. Think of substances instead of superficialities. If he is pro-capital, why does the Washington, D.C. establishment want to stop him from being nominated? His capital-unfriendly and masses-caring tendency and outlook say a lot about why he is getting the most supports among the Republicans.


The working poor account for about 58% of the U.S. population and climbing and are the least likely participants in voting. One who earns an annual income of $100,000 is no capitalist class but is within the rank of upper middle class (middle class account for about 41% of the population and declining).

In some areas, the decline of the middle class raised the proportion of people in both the upper class and lower class. The hollowing out of the middle class is rooted in a mix of technological change and globalization rewarding those people whose jobs can’t be outsourced or automated: high-skilled and low-skilled workers. Nearly half of the metro areas that Pew studied have experienced growth on the low and high end. (See http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/05/13/upshot/falling-middle-class )

Whites on ethnocentrism remain strong after the Civil Rights Movements in the 1960s. Out of all white respondents, 57% say they have unfavorable impressions on the minorities of all kind. As to how responsible China is for American “economic problems.” Solid majorities of Democrats (70 percent), independents (72 percent) and Republicans (80 percent) said China is “very” or “somewhat” responsible. With respect to the statement “the values of Islam are at odds with American values and way of life.” Among all voters, 56 percent said that they agreed. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/11/opinion/campaign-stops/how-many-people-support-trump-but-dont-want-to-admit-it)


In fact, ADH (economists David Autor, David Dorn and Gordon Hanson) take advantage of this dynamic by tapping what they call the “China shock”: the fact that import penetration from a large, low-wage country (China) to a large, higher-wage country (the United States) a) increased sharply over the 1990s and 2000s, and b) hit various places with different intensities, giving them the statistical variation they need to tease out the impacts. Their examination of the job and wage impacts of these imports in communities across the country found that, for every 1 percent increase in net Chinese import penetration, employment in affected industries fell by 1.3 percent. According to their estimates, 17 percent of the manufacturing job losses from 1991 to 2011 were due to this effect. They find significant “negative local demand spillovers” outside of manufacturing as well, with job and wage losses among non-manufacturing workers at least comparable to those in manufacturing.  I found insightful and important: one reason why so many people are angry about trade is that “nobody gets to vote on technology. There are a lot of forces other than global trade suppressing the earnings and opportunities of large swaths of workers, but trade is often the most visible one. Most economists think the lion’s share of wage inequality and stagnation is because of changes in technology that have increasingly tilted against non-college educated workers. In fact, there’s less in the way of solid, ADH-style evidence that technology is a lead culprit here. The decline of unions, eroding minimum wages, the rise of non-productive finance, and especially the persistent absence of full employment labor markets all reduce worker bargaining power, and that is the fundamental force driving wage stagnation amid growth. But Forman’s point that trade bears a disproportionate share of the public’s anger is a good one. Economic platitudes about how trade is always worthwhile if the winners can compensate the losers are an insult in the age of inequality, where the winners increasingly use their political power to claim ever more winnings. (See https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/05/12/getting-straight-about-the-costs-of-trade/ By Jared Bernstein)


Andrew

Colesville, MD 18 hours ago

“China added about $1 trillion in new liquidity in the first quarter of 2016” in anticipating that developed countries will take its exports in due time. But these countries are having problems of their own and therefore powerless to help. The globalization-driven world economy is deep in a Long Depression due to falling profitability according to Michael Roberts.

“China risks adding to its already fast-growing pile of debt, which by some estimates is nearly 300 percent of gross domestic product.” China’s growth cannot be sustainable by lending.  As an example, in 2015, Americans bought $64 billion worth of cellphones but Apple’s cellphone sale in the world has ratchet down precipitously. Apple sold 16 percent fewer iPhones in the first quarter this year compared with the same quarter last year. The Chinese smartphone market will grow only 4.7 percent in 2016. As recently as 2013, it was growing 50 percent annually. This does not bode well to China’s economy.

wsmrer

chengbu 16 hours ago

Except that Apple’s loss was due to domestic competition as consumers shifted to two Chinese products; as the consumer sector grows we will see more of this. With a population of 1.4 billion China will not need exports as before, just need to change saving rate to the big C in C+I+G+(E-I).

1 Recommend

_____________

https://groups.google.com/a/mail.csuchico.edu/forum/#!topic/pen-l/mapq7B_K0VI

Governments should not negotiate with arsonists by saying more fires cost you more because fire and water are good servants, but bad masters.

Carbon tax is an idea suitable only to the establishment’s delay tactics. Governments should start to ration electricity use and, at the same time, close first coal and later on gas/oil power plants. Constructions of renewable clean energy sources should also be accelerated and expanded on a much larger scale. If shareholders of fossil fuel power plants refuse to accept governments’ offer of close-down, they must be brought to justice. A reasonable way out of the predicament is to resort to a policy of partial redemption.

Andrew

Colesville, MD 14 hours ago

People complain that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are too different from Hillary Clinton regarding how one conducts oneself with respect to the establishment that has governed the country for several decades without any interruption. Even today they fail to feel either the trump or the bern, because they wish things that the status quo has been in complete control of would never fail to be the same for the next several decades once again. They are wrong because time has changed to the favor of the political revolution against which they have nowhere to go but the blind alley.

The moment of awakening to their true democratic rights has never faded away; the informed and thought-active get it right on. Be open-minded for the new revolutionary era that draws near silently.

16 Recommend

John Mead

Pennsylvania 5 hours ago

The only quibble I have with your comment is the word "silently." It certainly doesn't seem to be happening silently. It seems very noisy to me.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 4 hours ago


In these days opportunity is being driven by the digital economy and a production-based economy is superseded by numbers, just like manual labor has been superseded by using machinery which never asks for a raise.

To regain probability, capital tends to take advantage of the social nature of the internet where it can acquire surplus labor power value without paying any wage, if it can realize fully the unpaid surplus value.

In the infotainment or the digital economy, web visitors or computer users contribute their (working) time either online or offline viewing advertisements from which infotainment “industries” exchange viewers’ viewing time as value for cash.

The theoretical profits that corporations accumulate from them are indeed phenomenal. In 2015, Facebook has 1.59 billion active users of which 1.44 billion are smartphone users. Its potential daily income obtained as profits from those smartphone users at say 0.25 hour a day per user at $0.25/hour adds up to about $0.1 billion a day. To realize it, Facebook would have to sell 100% of its surplus value of the “guest” workers to advertisers to realize the daily $0.1 billion or annually $36.5 billion profits. Obviously, that would be a tall order. Facebook these days can realize only about a small portion, say 1% (called the realization coefficient g of the surplus value) of the surplus value created by the “guest” workers every day as profit, i.e. $0.001 billion.

1Recommend


Peter Nelson

Chelmsford MA 1 hour ago

Andrew has pointed out one of the key, and most often overlooked aspects of this. Facebook, YouTube (which I'm guilty of contributing to), Twitter, Wikipedia, Cheezburger, and many other web institutions are making BILLIONS of dollars for their founders and creators because we ordinary people supply vast quantities of FREE labor creating content, and vast hours of work viewing the content created by others.

1 Recommended


Andrew

Colesville, MD 15 hours ago

Other than the “guest” workers, its own internal host employees will create additional surplus value. We will discuss the internal surplus value in the sequel. The reason why g is small is that “guest” workers cannot be disciplined in the same way as internal host full time workers can so that for the former g << 1 and for the latter g ~ 1.

In the service sector of which the infotainment industry is only a part, users of social networks, viewers of TV, listeners of radios, readers of online newspapers/webs and customers of different sorts participate in productive labor as well. They serve a dual role in the economy as both producers and buyers of products they produce. They contribute surplus labor powers as “guest” workers and purchase the infotainment products as consumers by spending money on accessing fees to the internet and subscription fees, if any. In general, in the production sector, workers and buyers of products are distinct from one another.

3 Recommend


NYHUGUENOT

Charlotte, NC 1 hour ago

Now YouTube is something I like. I've watched some great old forgotten movies I'd never seen. I had no idea James Mason and his wife had made movies together. I've also watched tons of TV shows from the UK. And there's lots of Do It Yourself videos as well.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 5 hours ago


Two candidates’ debate who is the more suitable one than the other, well then everyone has different ideas. When the issue is who cares more about the interests of the majority than about Wall Street and its money, the majority cannot have too many different ideas from the fact that Hillary Clinton is the one that the majority cast severe doubt on her trustworthiness, honesty and unfair use of the gender advantage to secure an upper hand. She has already used her comparative advantage to gain votes at the expense of Bernie Sanders. The majority loses sights of the future, becomes content with an instant melody hectoring them into support and confuses gender with substance.

Donald Trump, while not ideal in any way, remains true to his distinctive character unwavering by political ambition. The establishment and its behind-the-scenes backers have set an ambush for him to end up on the losing side. Hillary Clinton herself as part of the establishment is doing her best to crash him as they have so wished from her.

Party-ism is obsolete and so is gender-ism.

4 Recommend

________________

Labor productivity of service sector should be similarly defined to that of the production sector. If service sector workers spend their working time on producing service products of use value for the society, the output per hour per worker or labor productivity is calculable.  A more meaningful measurement for labor productivity is not based on the output produced but on the surplus value that labor creates per hour for capital, called labor valuability (new value owned only by capital). The surplus value is an unpaid and unearned labor power measured in terms of working hour by capital which reaps surplus value as its only income. Its income supplies capital as profit plus interest plus rent plus tax payment, if any. Capital’s main interest is not of production per se but profit maximization hence valuability is more useful than productivity, unless one is interested in only the total output created by labor power. It might be added that labor power creates not only surplus value for capital but also paid wage or advanced money compensation by capital as exchange value.


Users of social networks, viewers of TV, listeners of radios, readers of online newspapers, news webs and others participate in productive labor as well. They serve a dual role in the economy as both producers and buyers of products they produce. They contribute surplus labor powers as “guest” workers and purchase the infotainment products as consumers by spending money on accessing fees to the internet and subscription fees, if any. In general, in the production sector, workers and buyers of products are distinct from one another. Other than those “guest” workers, internal employees of the service sector will create additional surplus value. It is useful to introduce the realization coefficient g of the surplus value, which is a measure of actual surplus value realized for a given kind of workers. Since the “guest” worker are not as easily disciplined as the internal host employees, the extraction efficiency of the surplus value from the “guest” workers is much less than that of the internal ones, hence we have gg « 1 and gh ≈ 1. In the following discussion, we will neglect the contribution of the “guest” workers’ surplus value and consider only the contribution of the internal host employees, i.e., we will assume gg = 0 and gh = 1.


Let’s take Facebook as an example. In 2009, Facebook’s revenue was $777 million, its net income was $229 million and its employee number was 1,218. In 2013, its revenue was $7.87 billion; hired 6,337 full time employees and wrung a net income of $1.50 billion. In 2015 Facebook's revenue grew to $17.93 billion, squeezed a net income of $3.69 billion, and hired 12,691 full time employees.


Assume every year each worker spends 40 hours/week for 52 weeks or 2,080 working hours. The labor valuability (= net income/employee number/working hour) in 2009, 2013 and 2015 are, respectively, $90/hr., $114/hr. and $140/hr., neglecting inflation. From 2009 to 2015, the linear increase rate of labor valuability is 8.3% per year. In the two years from 2013 to 2015 it is 13% per year. The run-of-mill labor productivity (= labor valuability times the revenue-to-income ratio) in 2009, 2013 and 2015 are, respectively, $305/hr., $598/hr. and $680/hr. [Cited in III]


Andrew

Colesville, MD 7 hours ago


When compared with Hillary Clinton’s hawkish foreign and military policies and her role-model’ s support of the danger of rising to higher level the already volatile situations and relations with Russia and China, Donald Trump’s foreign policy is less belligerent in tone and more open-minded. Cold war has been over for 25 years, the establishment and the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex do not seem willing to wean from it as bellicosity means obtaining promotion, financial gain and political correctness, even though at the costs on the public of deaths, injuries, losses of economic benefits and future, not mentioning inflationary personal and national debts, slower growth, twisted investments.

Her wrong-headed world’s policeman syndrome must not be received without pointed criticism. Her pet project of regime changes anywhere in the world and diehard American Exceptionalism are two of the most dangerous foreign policies as the specter haunting people of the world. Donald Trump has cast off these burdens that emerged since WWI as the U.S. entered the world scene as a great power.


Overall speaking, his foreign policy briefing is positive. In fact, both his and Bernie Sanders’ are of higher quality, originality and people-first. Hillary Clinton’s, on the other hand, is business-as-usual serving only the interests of the establishment and its paymasters and is cast aside by the people When compared with Hillary Clinton’s hawkish foreign and military policies and her role-model’s support of the danger of rising to higher level the already volatile situations and relations with Russia and China, Donald Trump’s foreign policy is less belligerent in tone and more open-minded. Cold war has been over for 25 years, the establishment and the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex do not seem willing to wean from it as bellicosity means obtaining promotion, financial gain and political correctness, even though at the costs on the public of deaths, injuries, losses of economic benefits and future, not mentioning inflationary personal and national debts, slower growth, twisted investments.


Her wrong-headed world’s policeman syndrome must not be received without pointed criticism. Her pet project of regime changes anywhere in the world and diehard American Exceptionalism are two of the most dangerous foreign policies as the specter haunting people of the world. Donald Trump has cast off these burdens that emerged since WWI as the U.S. entered the world scene as a great power.

Overall speaking, his foreign policy briefing is positive. In fact, both his and Bernie Sanders’ are of higher quality, originality and people-first. Hillary Clinton’s, on the other hand, is business-as-usual serving only the interests of the establishment and its paymasters and is cast aside by the people as it should be.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 20 hours ago


The principle of maximization of private profit has ruled the world as a shimmering infallible dogma to be reckoned with by all. China’s today is other developing countries’ tomorrow. That destruction in the name of constructions is one of the necessarily true consequences until the whole country is exhausted in constructions. By then, over-production and unemployment/underemployment cause great depression which goes into the destruction stage. Sustainable capitalism is no longer plausible because scientific theses have time and again indicted its contrary is true.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 21 hours ago


Donald Trump should keep railing against hypocrisy and greed of the establishment, Wall Street and the Congressional-Military-Industrial Complex if he wants to remain appealing to electorate. He should not accommodate the establishment with shibboleths “more acceptable to decent society” or else he will turn people off. He should criticize Hillary Clinton’s ultra-negativism on a political revolution bound to break out irrespectively of establishment’s control, rejection and disparagement.


Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have correctly complained about the establishment’s rigging election and other nominally democratic projects. They should join hands with each other to condemn Hillary Clinton’s hawkish foreign and military policies and the danger of rising to higher level the already volatile situations and relations with Russia and China. Her wrong-headed world’s policeman syndrome must not be received without pointed criticism. Her lack of placing emphasis on overturning the 2010 Citizens United decision of decision of the Supreme Court, on indicting the Wall Street executives for wrong-doings causing the 2007-2008 crises and on others should be severely criticized by both.  

5 Recommend


Andrew

Colesville, MD 23 minutes ago


“Mrs. Clinton isn’t just the most knowledgeable, well-informed candidate in this election; she’s arguably the best-prepared candidate on matters economic ever to run for president.”

Well then if the world’s best mainstream economists are at a loss what to do to save the world economy, what can a candidate-turned president do better? Answer: none whatsoever.


The economy has gone south not because China and oil have gone bad but because of something much deeper than that – over-production about falling rate of profit, lack of profitable new investment outlets, unemployment and underemployment and last but not the least, growth of automated production compared to wages.

The way out is obvious but capital knowingly refuses to move, and that’s the question. Economists aren’t doing better than their patrons as they must wean themselves off the principle of private profit maximization before courting others to do something meaningful.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 5 hours ago


Bernie Sanders will be immortal, spiritually speaking, for his courageous and pioneering political revolution banner under the brilliant democratic socialist rainbow. This country has been controlled by capital for too long to break through its shackles until now. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have contributed to the revolutionary cause but Sanders provides more insights and shared vision than Donald Trump. Criticisms and denunciations of both by the establishment clearly show it has shamelessly bartered away its honor for patronage of capital.


Hillary Clinton will be regarded as a temporary cog coming on the political scene and the judgment of history in the future will not forgive her sellout to the counter-revolutionary status quo. Her two role models – George W. Bush and Barack Obama – likewise will not be able to evade the moral judgement of the people. Sanders supporters’ votes in November are not ascribed to Hillary Clinton or her establishment paymasters. Cross-voting will be popular especially this year because of the revolutionary, progressive and ideological trend.

12 Recommend [Copied above]


Andrew

Colesville, MD 1 hour ago


When you decide to vote for her, have you had WWIII on mind? If not, be prepared for such a chilling feel. She is as hawkish as a megalomaniac person can be. In this anxious and angry world of severe economic and political inequality, sabre rattling can no longer prevail as in the good old days of WWI and WWII, because people of the world have awakened to such a degree that dying for the rich and powerful of the motherland is as stupid as dying for nothing.


A new democratic revolution against bigotry, war fanaticism, and political scam, at a minimum, has come.


She has gotten supports from all the rich, powerful and influential including the Koch brothers who finance the establishment bosses of either of the two parties for seemingly ulterior but actually obvious motive or reasons. One can be sure that she has gotten strong backing from or paid for by the moneyed and plutocratic capital in exchange for something obscene as Mr. Clooney, the movie star, has said.


Wars, large and small, will be near us before our unwary eyes.


Andrew

Colesville, MD 18 hours ago

As the money interest rate is close to zero, the 1% do not want to hoard cash or choose saving and abstinence as a way of managing money. In addition to low interest rate, they find less profitable investment outlets available to them hence spending income as though there would be no tomorrow carries the day. When they stop doing the extravaganza, something is going to happen to the laboring masses – unemployment and underemployment either as usual or more. They maintain a money-based caste system where enhancement of the bottom line is their no. 1 priority and anything else is secondary or non-existent. For such an exchange economy, the more luxury commodities are produced for the 1%, the means of subsistence for the masses tend to be squeezed from the high end in profitability and less competitive. People may have to pay more.   

___________________

Andrew

Colesville, MD 19 hours ago

With Mrs. Clinton’s high un-favorability numbers and facing the angry, anxious political crosscurrents in the electorate, she thinks most of supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders would ultimately vote for her, an assertion backed up by polling.

These are interesting visions on her campaign.

Elizabeth Warren may or not be her eventual running mate, but the problem is her own – pro-establishment rather than anti-establishment. Once falling into the vortices of the political revolution of the electorate, one either calls for help or go with the mainstream – this time the revolutionary masses. Any other approach such as hers cannot last for long in the angry and anxious crosscurrents. Her opportunistic political prejudices against revolution and progressivism more often than not will lead her to defeat.

Pro-establishment is doomed to failure.

7 Recommend [Copied the above to the Coming article for use and editing on 5/12/16]

End of the article: "The Coming of a New Democratic Revolution"

 

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