Saturday, November 15, 2014

The People Are Stupid

The people are stupid is the mantra of every Trotskyist's analysis of this (or any other) election campaign. The recently infamous Jonathan Gruber, a chief architect of Obamacare, has nothing on my Marxist friends when it comes to dissing the intelligence of Americans.

The leader of the effort for this cycle is Socialist Action's Jeff Mackler. Not only are voters all stupid, but so must be his readers. Mr. Mackler never misses a chance for utterly incredible exaggeration--completely unconvincing to anybody besides a complete idiot. Here are just a couple of examples (emphases mine).
The Democrats and Republicans spent an unprecedented mid-term, if not all-time, election total of $4 billion, roughly $2 billion each. The giant corporations that footed the bills for their chosen candidates undoubtedly will get trillions of dollars in return, as is always the case in capitalist elections.
Trillions? Recall that US GDP is about $18 trillion annually, and so for a paltry of $4 billion the ruling class will stuff their pockets with a major fraction of all the wealth in the country. Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, is worth about $80 billion. He's famously apolitical and probably donated peanuts to the election campaign, but by Mr. Mackler's account he'll surely at least double his net worth.

If you believe that, you're as dumb as Mr. Mackler thinks you are.

He gets more specific about the amount.
Obama gifted only $30 trillion or so to the corporate elite in bailouts of every sort. During 2012-13 he granted the great banks through the Federal Reserve’s “Quantitative Easing” or “economic stimuli to the rich” policy only $89 billion per month. The same crooked banks, the largest in the country, sold the government essentially worthless mortgages. They were eventually fined several billion, a mere “slap on the wrist” fraction of what they stole. No jail for anyone! In contrast, George Bush only granted the corporate elite a mere $1 trillion or two during his reign.
Again, it boggles the imagination to think anybody believes this. Mr. Mackler asserts that Obama stole 30 trillion dollars out of the economy and gave it to his cronies. Not even the folks at ZeroHedge will sign on to that--they who are unfailing critics of crony capitalism.

That's the funny part about Mr. Mackler's claim--he's the only person in the world who understands the depths of corruption in our society. Nobody else has a clue. We're all worried about theft on the order of millions, or maybe even hundreds of millions. But Mr. Mackler knows the truth--it's really trillions being swept under the table.

Where is all this money going? So far it's disappeared without a trace. Perhaps there's some Bat Cave somewhere where the Banksters hide their gold coins? (Oddly, there's been no shortage of gold coins recently.) Since Mr. Mackler is such an expert on the world economy, perhaps he can explain to us how this massive disappearance of money doesn't show up in any tabulation of global statistics.

No Trotskyist conspiracy theory would be complete without mentioning quantitative easing. In Mr. Mackler's theory, $89 billion per month were being shoveled into the pockets of Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankenfein. (There is a whiff of antisemitism in ZeroHedge's account of the same vile plot.) Believing this requires that you ignore some important facts about banking. Banks accept deposits and make loans. The money in a bank is not the personal property of the CEO, and QE is not primarily a gift to the banks. It's mostly a guarantee for depositors.

Sure enough--there is plenty of room for fraud. They can cheat on the fees, or skim off the top. That might add up to millions or tens of millions. But the assertion that the banks made off wholesale with the entire QE effort, undetected by anybody except Jeff Mackler, is simply fantastic. Only your Trotskyist knows.

If Socialist Action's election account is stupid, then The Militant's is pathetic. Their summary article follows Dan Fein around on his quixotic campaign for governor of Illinois (won, I am happy to say, by the Republican, Bruce Rauner). Mr. Fein wasn't on the ballot, so no surprise he didn't win the election. He ran for governor of New York in 2010--if memory serves he was on the ballot for that election. Not that it made any difference.

For the first time in many decades the Socialist Workers Party candidates were not on the ballot in any state. The Party is shrinking off the radar screen.

Mr. Fein spent the campaign season walking picket lines across Chicagoland. He marched with the teachers' union in Waukegan (they settled the next day). He picketed with the Teamsters in Skokie, trying to organize a moving & storage company. And finally, he stood with the nine members of the Machinists' union in East Dundee, who have been standing outside a Chevrolet dealership since July!

So much for the turn to basic industry. How far they have fallen.

Mr. Fein, while more humble and honest than his comrades over at Socialist Action, nevertheless promulgates a fundamental myth of Trotskyism.
“... I’m for a labor party that mobilizes the working class to fight,” Fein said. “Change doesn’t come through elections, but in the course of class battles against the bosses and their government, through which we can transform our unions, ourselves and society.”
“Lesser-evil politics is a trap for working people,” Fein said. “We need to organize against the capitalist Democratic, Republican and Green parties. A fighting Labor Party is needed.”
In the Trotskyist imagination, there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans. Sarah Palin and Al Sharpton both share bourgeois politics. They're identical under the skin. Again, only your Trotskyist knows.

Louis Proyect, in an article written before the election, illustrates this point well. It's an expletive-laden tirade against Bernie Sanders, whom he accuses of being a fake socialist. Maybe, though Mr. Sanders is enough of a socialist that I'll never vote for him. Mr. Proyect's beef is that Mr. Sanders has supported other Democrats--may the heavens forfend. Specifically, he supported Mark Begich, Kay Hagan, and Mary Landrieu.

Now I'm overjoyed that none of those worthies won reelection--they're all too socialist for my taste. But Mr. Proyect dings them for perfectly reasonable positions.

Mr. Begich gets knocked for supporting oil and gas drilling on the North Slope, and for supporting the Keystone pipeline.

Ms. Landrieu is slammed for supporting the oil and gas industry in Louisiana, and also for supporting the Keystone pipeline.

Ms. Hagan is vilified for supporting the tobacco industry.

All of these candidates are working to defend the livelihoods of citizens in their states. Oil and gas supports hundreds of thousands of people in this country. The growth of the business has kept gasoline prices low, despite turmoil in the Middle East. Yet Mr. Proyect (who lives in Manhattan) thinks all those people should be summarily thrown out of work. Further, Americans should be required to pay $5 or $10 or more per gallon, just so Mr. Proyect (who likely doesn't own a car) can be happy.

What a selfish jerk!

That's the problem with socialists of all stripes: they are pro-poverty. In their view, the only legitimate role for citizens is to be on the welfare dole. Nobody is allowed to earn an honest living. That's why they like places like Cuba and Venezuela and North Korea. In those countries poverty is progressing by leaps and bounds. That's why they're called progressive.

I say Down With Poverty.

That's why I'm a Republican.

Further Reading:

No comments:

Post a Comment