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View Diary: Elites Are Attempting a Controlled Demolition of the Old Social and Economic Order (285 comments)

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  •  It's been hollowed out for 30 years (8+ / 0-)

    The full and final ideological triumph, the complete hegemony of Reaganism-Thatcherism, has been achieved and the carcass of the 20th Century Synthesis (in the US, the New Deal) is being eaten by the vulture capitalists.  Now it's merely the matter of cracking the shell.  Who knew that it would be the ruling class that would take the message of the original revolutionary syndicalists and "build the new within the shell of the old"?  Now their new creation emerges.

    If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. ~Malcolm X

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 09:18:00 AM PST

    •  You liberals are as bad as conservatives (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl, bozepravde15, melo

      in terms of nostalgia. I generally agree with your points, ActivistGuy (including all the ones I've read in this thread, save this) but here's the rub:

      The US has always been a plutonomy, with occasional flirts with populism. But William Jennings lost. Eugene Debs lost. Upton Sinclair lost. FDR's bill of economic rights never came to pass: he was succeeded by a Democrat who never was interested in that agenda, and in fact took FDR's groundwork to create a government-within-the-government, the National Security State, that no longer needed Congress to declare war, and even manipulated the power of the presidency.

      Most conservatives today could pass for the liberals of yesterday.  And most liberal orthodoxy is, in fact, basic ideas from leftists (8-hour work day, child labor laws, food safety) of yesteryear, but long after the blood ran in the streets for its establishment.

      Our eyes twinkle to think of the New Deal or Medicare, but the US has always ran behind other developed countries in terms of social development and public welfare.

      "However small your audience is, however frustrating it is to get your version of the world or what you want to talk about out there, it’s part of the conversation. And if you shut up, the conversation is one-sided" -- John Sayles

      by Nulwee on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 09:52:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't call me liberal (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger, farmerchuck, Mr Robert

        because I'm much too far left for that.  I do trim my language to meet the constraints of this site, but if you think through some of the words I just used there, such as "synthesis", you might get an inkling...

        Let me put my argument in the terms I would use in another place, that would be met with absolute and immediate dismissal around here.  

        Do I believe reaction has been in ascendancy for the past 30 years?  Absolutely.  Is that some abstract metaphysical nostalgia based on some  The 20th Century Synthesis was imposed on Capital by the  burgeoning of the socialist working class movement in the first half of the last century, as manifested both within the capitalist world in its reformist, Bernsteinian social-democratic  character, and as a threat from without in its revolutionary, usually Leninist, manifestation.  As with any dialectical synthesis, the 20th Century Synthesis was imposed on the ruling order against its will by the power of this rising antithesis.

        However, in the second half of the twentieth century, changes in the organization  of the means of production,  and particularly the dispersal of the means of production, both into smaller production units and in terms of global distribution, away from the vast mass production facilities that had characterized late 19th century/early 20th century capitalism, tended to atomize and alienate the working class of the western  industrialized nations where the 20th Century Synthesis had been imposed.  At the same time, the internal contradictions of Leninist state socialism, led it into irrevocable decline, making it an ever less effective alternative, and thus ever less of a challenge, to capitalist hegemony.

        The ruling bourgeoisie recognized the realignment of concrete social forces in a way that the declining and atomized working class organizations did not.  As the workers' organizations clung ever more desperately to the 20th Century Synthesis, and no longer presented a threat to Capital that they would move beyond it, the bourgeoisie forged the ideological instruments to take advantage of this new arrangement of forces, and began the systematic gutting of  the 20th Century Synthesis, the reinstitution of the absolute political-economic power they had held before the rise of the socialist movements.  In this sense, the term "neoliberalism" is one that is absolutely correct in a historically descriptive fashion.

        This is the point of development at which we stand now.  The 21st Century Social Crisis emerges as a result of the fact that while all the social problems and conflicts that led to the emergence of socialism in the first place remain in place, and are in fact aggravated by the sheer scale of the globalized neoliberal order, the socialist movement, in fact the entire concepts of workers self-organization and social solidarity stand in ruins both concretely as organized bodies, and ideologically as ideas that no longer hold any social support.  The only possible outcome of this mismatch of conditions and forces is for an extremely extended period of the absolute hegemony of Capital, until such a point in time that the ever-increasingly dispossessed working people stop fleeing solidarity and socialism, and start reforging them into instruments of self-defense.

        Yeah, some "liberal".

        If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. ~Malcolm X

        by ActivistGuy on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 11:16:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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