The classical liberal vision as exemplified by the U.S. Constitution is being rendered obsolete due to several factors, with the major historical change being the coalescence of the corporate state via the federal monetary system and the capitalist form of political economy. Innovations in information technology therefore secure the corporate form of political economy with the remnants of the classical liberal structure surviving as consultative processes. We may assert furthermore that the rhetorical character of discourse as modulated by the corporate state serves to filter information in such a way as to serve the technocratic methods of governance through which the interests of civilian categories ("workers" of various types, with their relative positions over time within the structurally defined categories of laboring and middle classes) are defined. This last point is one which has yet to be fully determined as the transcendental norm speaking in the context of the global state with its inter- and intra- dynamics of overlapping interests and conflict reinforcing the dominant trends seen at the national level where the neoliberal model has prevailed.
The success of capitalism has been to transcend the national dynamic and to defeat the "end of history" as envisioned by Marx through his analysis of the cycles of capitalism at the national level. No doubt this point has been made before but by whom I know not, that the "surplus value of labor" itself become defined in relation to ever increasing material wealth at all levels of society. ("A rising tide lifts all boats.";"Even homeless people have laptops.") Whether or not, then, the Marxist prediction of the "end of history" is necessary not due to forces understood through economic theory alone but ecological remains to be seen, as too will the form of this end, or rather transition, as the social classes cannot be defined in terms of nineteenth century Europe, if only because the functional structure of the modern economy forbids the utility of such categorization in that regard.
***
What has become clear at this juncture in world-history is that what was once an imperative of national elites has become that of the global elite. Nuclear and other forms of weaponry, technological innovation, energy, agriculture- anything which requires interdependence between nations must remain under the control of the elite class.
We may speculate as to the shifting allegiances of the various components of this class (Nigerian, Arab, Muslim, Christian, etc. etc.), but in the main what we see emerging is something like predicted by Orwell. The lack of critical analysis evident in political rhetoric which achieves an international normative standard indicates the possibility of even more complete control of mental and physical processes by the controlling classes. The differentiation of class identity thus ends in the lack of class consciousness on the part of the "working class" globally, indeed a lack of what we would call "self-awareness" at all, replaced by a sort of managed arena or staged form of life enacted for the benefit of the privileged classes in their awareness of the need to perpetuate a material condition which guarantees their benefit.
***
Faced with this possibility, the conscious civilian of the common sort must also confront the current impossibility of revolution. Every possible course of revolution, every form and strategy of revolution, revolt and defiance has been predicted and a counterstrategy prepared or enacted to prevent or contain any challenge to the elite. Strategically then, a civilian of conscience, if we may allow that term, resorts to an idea of uncertainty when refusing to renounce the eventual possibility of revolution- or, if you prefer, evolution. But whereas this possibility then implies logically the need for political action, this political action must be contextualized within what is primarilly a philosophical position which produces a perspective and attitude defined by social and cultural ideas.
Returning to Marx, we see the development of modern society as holding possibilities of personal action which recombines at the social level from the ground up- but only as long as necessary the farther "up" it goes. This anarchist tendency certainly deconstructs into many other possibilities not envisioned by the original anarchists; various forms of social democracy, libertarian communism, faith-based communities, overlapping each other at times. Even where something that can be called a "state" in some sense or another emerges from this process this result is hoped to be one where the major problems confronting civilization are obviated in some way, that is the problems of global scale disasters as a result of war, environmental damage, failure to produce or distribute sufficient wealth to meet the needs of a growing population, etc. Maybe even some of the minor problems can be solved as well.Be the change you want to see in the world, but recognize the fact that you cannot do it alone.

Comments

nimblecivet 2 years 25 weeks ago
#2

Thanks for responding rs allen, and thanks for the post. I listened to a few songs.

***

Here is something I wanted to append here cc previous thoughts I offered about re-centering the movement at a scale we can handle and where we find sympathy, the cities. It is from an article about a book called "Let Us Now Praise Great Men", following up on the lives of the very poorest of the working poor.

"What I found in my travels this year is a stark contrast to the top-down approach of the 1930's and the go-it-alone 1980's. This time the energy is coming not from city governments, local philanthropies and a new generation of non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses with social missions." -"American Ballad" by Dale Maharidge photographs by Matt Black, Smithsonian 12/16

***

http://www.selfhelpenterprises.org/programs/build-your-own-home/

"

Self-Help Enterprises can make the dream of becoming a homeowner a reality for low-income families in the San Joaquin Valley. Through our program, eight to twelve families are grouped together and agree to help each other build their houses with skilled onsite supervision and guidance of Self-Help Enterprises construction staff.

The homes are built under the mutual self-help method of construction where each family is required to contribute a minimum of 40 hours a week working on all the homes for a period of 9 to 12 months. Family hours can be provided by the owners-to-be, any household member 16 years of age or older and approved helpers. Together, families pour foundations, frame homes, install electrical wiring, hang doors and windows and even lay tile and paint.

These labor hours, or “sweat equity”, are used as the down payment on their new home, reducing costs for a new home they could otherwise not afford. Self-Help Enterprises also assists each applicant with securing the loans needed to build their home. Special financing from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the State of California makes these homes affordable."

rs allen 2 years 25 weeks ago
#3

Your post deserved a much more considered response than I gave it Nimble. Sorry that was the best I could come up with at the moment. Anything else I may add would involve a rant about the monied interests and how much is enough because I think it must be some kind of crime that someone with multiple millions unto even 1,000's of millions still demands a positive plus return on $'s put in, ie. not to just break even but to make ever more money.

nimblecivet 2 years 25 weeks ago
#4

rs allen, I am fully with you on that! Capitalism is wealth redistribution controlled by the capitalists. Ok I'll stop short of calling them "parasitic" though the type of "work" involved in maintaining the system often has little other value than maintaining the system. That is, a rent-extraction system in some kind of loose sense. And if "rent" isn't the right word, then you know what I mean anyway. It is because the wealthy see profit as the lynchpin of a system that induces artificial scarcity for the purpose of coercing unnecessary work that they see it as a necessity to maintain their own relative position.

I have to admit that I think Thom is a little unrealistic when he says that getting involved with the Democratic Party is what a person should do right now. A person really needs to be very knowledgeable to play a functional role there. For example, making the best of the situation means 1) knowing what infrastructure needs are demanded by movement politics campaigns (bicycle paths, wildlife corridors, etc.). Here in Lake County we have people who would be more enthusiastic about forest restoration than paving roads. In any other place paving dirt roads would be uncontroversial but we're still counting votes here on precisely that subject. So, a person who wants to get involved with the Democratic Party has to be thoroughly knowledgeable on issues which involve all levels of government. I don't know where that kind of grassroots think-tank directed movement will come from, I certainly don't have the social connections to bring it together. Someone like some of the people Thom hobnobs with might.

***

​I missed seeing my blog on the community page for a couple of days, and I understand that the themes of this one might not conform to the new ethos of the site. I will make some effort to alter my participation on this site to conform to the new direction the administrators want to take it. Toward that end, commenting on my post is a good thing because it does not bump up the blog on the list. However, let me append this little essay which I posted elsewhere while waiting for my blog to post, just sin​ce I am so enamored of my eloquence, and then I'll add a few thought about the effort of some police organizations to get Wal-Mart to stop selling Black Lives Matter t-shirts, thoughts I hope will distill some of this into the most relevant points for bridging some of the divides among the left-progressive pseudo-factions.

Left militancy, following the ideological principles established within the tradition, should if anything follow the pattern of political action directed from a revolutionary sector of society employing a range of tactics including civil disobedience. The idea of a "war" is fallacious as no violent contest between factions could possibly produce a tactical result which is comprised of an alteration in the course of events speaking of the actions or behavior of the government. Tactically, the left remains vulnerable to criminal/terrorist acts. However, reprisals simply open up the movement to retaliation and policing by the state. Where the justice system works we can allow the state to act according to the principles of even-handed justice as in the case of Dylan Roof. Where it does not, we must continue to organize with movements such as Black Lives Matter to bring about the changes necessary to make sure that the state applies the law to all equally.
To avoid confusion, "militancy" does not mean an endorsement of physical violence with the intent to incur casualties. Where the prevention of a legal action, such as a foreclosure, harassment of the homeless, pollution, etc. requires organized resistance with the end of political action any militancy must be guided by the principles of non-violence. The end result of political action may fall short of revolution, and indeed has since the failure of left movements in the early part of the twentieth century, but a concrete goal must be the end result, generally in the form of necessary legislation.
Just my opinion. It seems to me, although I wouldn't really know, that this kind of organization doesn't exist. But I am starting to think that creating such an organization would be easier than tackling the problem of our election system having been hacked. However, the real point is that a total reconceptualization of the problem of political activity is needed. I posted a blog on this at the Thom Hartmann site but the site administrators have yet to approve it. I would suggest that instead of forming networks of people who will work with the National Lawyers Guild, ACLU, Amnesty International, etc. to make sure that individuals can act politically in the new context while dealing with the repercussions of their acts/statements, people focus on organizing at the local level (city, county, state) to create a robust social movement that frustrates the attempt of the now-captive federal state to isolate individuals. This social movement must be comprised of other aspects besides the political such as various forms of community-help (strike-debt, etc.), community gardening, alternative energy production systems, etc.

But let me get to the Black Lives Matter question. It is simply a statement of fact that the Black Lives Matter movement is not in any way responsible for acts of violence against police. Nor are they responsible for encouraging them in any way.

There has always been this problem of ideology and material interest as contending forces in people's lives. The lack of a coherent progressive movement in the U.S. is why we have this problem of understanding this issue properly. But it can actually be compared to another issue even though they seem unrelated. That issue is prostitution, especially child prostitution. In both cases is comes down to the relationship between reparations/repair and rehabilitation.

When Martin Luther King was killed, one of the first results was that blacks started shooting at each other in the projects. This perception that a lack of a political movement meant that the material confict within the community would come to the fore was predictably followed by an immediate commencement of hostilities. Where hostilities are directed outward they are still incoherent. This problem is being tackled and we don't really worry about large-scale riots, but you can see how the right has perceived this problem by sending down militias to patrol protests to prevent property damage.

The state has simply failed to protect individuals and communities and justice has not been served in most of the cases where victimization has occured. A corresponding deterioration of civil society has resulted.

The failure of the right to perceive leaders such as those found in the Black Lives Matters movement as legitimate complainants with valid visions and intellectual analyses is a bad thing. We as a society must be consistent in that insofar as the left promotes the aspect of rehabilitation we do so not to excuse certain behaviors and patterns which are produced by the system but as part and parcel of undoing and replacing that system.

The state wants either one of two things, practically speaking it wants both coordinated with each other: it wants imposed hardship and submission. It may be that in their view this submission is warranted. It may be that police have the respect of a significant part of the communities we on the left identify as "oppressed". It may be that a distinction is necessary to make more clear among the left: the police are not the mechanism of oppression, the system is.

By the same token we cannot expect police unions to take an issue on political questions such as the form of wealth redistribution our industrialized society will take. So, let me get to my analogy.

In the populist movement there is a debate over prostitution. Should the state forbid it? Is it good or bad or nobody's business?, etc. The debate then comes down to whether operations like Operation Cross Country are good or not. Why not just give poor people everything they want so they keep having even more kids and spending all there money on drugs until they either end up in the hospital or dead? Then the kids can go to foster care!

Seriously though, while the irony may be that the state must continue to use force and thus engender counter-reactions among those it wants to help, and this irony continues to manifest in tensions of who controls the programming who themselves must command men who abreact against power (but not all the time ;) ), with possible drug use involved which always prevents further spiritual enlightenment except in some cases but because it only invokes repressed elements of the mind that have to be contextualized in learning experiences with the ultimate goal of clarity (no more drug use) or just the achievement of a certain relative position (with maybe some drug use but probably only should be marijuana) of a given individual where the total set of positions is "good", it has been scientifically proven that INCENTIVE is the way to promote good-category outcomes. Incentives may need to be guided and controlled, but not too much. Learning should be balanced with ample free time and resources for recreation which are healthy such as bowling, hiking, bicycle riding, cooking classes, etc.

The reason reparations are important is that historically the black community has not fully received their due as far as past injustices. Other communities may never have but their inclusion in the "white" category makes their claim fall under the "class" category. We are not responsible for the sins of the past, just the current situation. However, by that principle in my opinion "who gets what" should be determined by an equal baseline. These problems of prioritization may be obviated by replacing the conflict-oriented form of individualism with a humanist form of individualism, where co-operation is equally valid as competition which enables the use of currently available resources in ways which open up value-producing opportunities.

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