Thursday, May 20, 2010

The New Boss- He's Still A Boss

" A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and therefore, once capital has gained control... of this very best shell, it establishes its power so securely, so firmly that no change, either of persons, or institutions, or parties in the bourgeois republic can shake it." - V.I. Lenin, State And Revolution
Holy balls... the more things change, the more they stay the same, right? The incestuous relationship between big business ( capital) and bourgeois government is an unbreakable bond. Lenin pointed that out ninety- three years ago and more than ever it holds true.
If one just digs down a little under the pretty Hope-n- Change Garden that the Obama administration has planted one will find the nasty shit that keeps it fertilized. Take a closer look and you will find the same corporate manure that kept the Compassionate Conservative Pumpkin Patch of George W. Bush growing.
Favors for big oil companies? You bet! Its not like BP just waltzed into the Gulf of Mexico and said, " We are drilling here, with fucked up safety equipment, and there isn't fuckall you can do about it America." They needed exemptions, and passed inspections from the federal government to set up shop on TransOcean's Deepwater Horizon rig. And basically the O- Team gave BP a pass, despite their crappy track record on safety.Hand- in- hand with BP and other oil firms walks the Department Of The Interior, run by one Ken Salazar. Salazar has proven himself rather friendly to big oil in the past, when as a Colorado senator he voted not to repeal tax breaks for Exxon- Mobil and voted in favor of ending the offshore drilling moratorium in 2005. Naturally when he was appointed Interior Secretary, he began to hand out leases like candy to eager oil company execs. Shit, he continued to hand them out, less than 24 hours after declaring a moratorium on offshore drilling after the April 20 explosion.Twenty- seven exemptions to the latest moratorium, including two to BP, and counting.
The great myth that the Democrats are the shield of working people against the evil Plutocratic Republicans is one that dies hard. The assumption of that mantle by FDR during the Great Depression was one of the greatest benefits the Democrats pulled out of that mess. Mass pressure from the working class forced some concessions from the bosses, but mainly it forced the bosses to come up with more subtle forms of control other than having the cops beat the shit out of people who stood up for their rights. Or having the U.S. Army shoot at them. The Democrats were happy to oblige.
True back then the ruling class still had a sense of nationalism and during the Second World War the sons of the ruling class still went to war- a Kennedy and a Roosevelt died in the European Theater while in uniform. So they could still somewhat get on board with the idea that " We Are All In This Together". That rapidly changed when in the Fifties and Sixties when the sons of the rich figured there was no glory in fighting vicious " little" wars for empire in the far- flung corners of the world. As the world's elites began to be globalized nationalism became more and more a middle and working class phenomenon. To be sure, the elites in today's ruling class make sure to wear those stupid little flag pins in the lapels of their Armani suits, or deck themselves out in ridiculous Star Spangled get- ups ( yeah, that's Don Blankenship, murderer of twenty- nine miners), but how many of their kids are fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan? The plutocrats of both parties make grand speeches about how great America is and how much they love it while destroying the livelihoods of their countrymen by selling their jobs overseas or selling its natural resources to a polluting, transnational company like BP. Last time I checked the definition of patriotism was working for the common good of your fellow citizens, not fucking over your people to get a percentage.
The attachment of the Democrats for labor fell in direct proportion to the amount of pressure organized labor could bring to bear on them. In some ways liberal democrats are just as delusional as their conservative opponents. Whereas the conservative pines for a Beaver Cleaver version of the 1950s the liberal thinks every time a Democrat is elected president FDR has been re-born. The liberal progressive clings to a vision every bit as destructive as that as the reactionary conservative- namely that capitalism can be reformed and the rich men who are Democrats will put aside their class interests and work for the common good.
The problem with that vision is that democratic politicians, or any politicians who hold office in a capitalist republic for that matter, have absolutely no incentive to do that. The first and foremost responsibility of a bourgeois republic is to safeguard the accumulation and ownership of capital. In this sense the free- market advocates in the Republican Party are quite correct. The capitalist state owes you nothing. It was not designed to serve many, only a select few. If you don't own it, than you will work for it. Or fight for it. If you cannot do either, then you will starve. If you refuse, you will be exiled, imprisoned or put to death.
The modern Democratic Party is not a party of the Left. It never has been, in the sense of promoting workers' interests over capital's interests. Even the few concessions won by labor, through years of bitter and bloody struggle are being dropped. In the current recession how many times have you heard these shepherds of the people that workers have to " get real" and sacrifices must be made to maintain our nation's economy? You sacrifice- they still collect their bonuses, buy their yachts,send their kids to Ivy League schools while yours have to join the army just to have a shot at higher education. This is the essence of class warfare. Those who are rich and powerful never let up. They will wring every last drop of profit from working people's labor. They will fight endless wars over resources to the last working class soldier. There is no truce in class war, no peace can be called- either the ruling class continues it's relentless drive to subjugate the workers absolutely, or the workers will break the ruling class absolutely.

1 comment:

Dresden Scott said...

You really drew out the Lenin quote nicely. This is one instance in particular where we can really see the counterposed interest of workers and business. As a kid I always wondered why we didn't have plumbers and taxi cab drivers running for office. After all, anybody could be president, right? It only makes sense that if you have a bunch of rich kids who go to a fancy college, then work a while as the captains of industry or as corporate lawyers - if you have these people getting into office, well whose damn interests are they really going to serve?