Wednesday, August 31, 2016



bruce wilder 08.31.16 at 6:14 pm

RichardM: Whatever the nature of the rulers, they rarely starve.

Still not getting it.

The operative question is whether the rulers feast because the society works or because the society fails.

Neoliberalism is the politics of controlled dismantling of the institutions of a society that formerly worked for a larger portion of its participants. Like a landlord realizing increased cash flow from a decision to forego maintenance and hire gangsters to handle rent collection, neoliberalism seeks to divert the dividends from disinvestment to the top

The cadre managing this technically and politically difficult task — it is not easy to take things apart without critical failures exemplified by system collapse prompting insurrection or revolution — are rewarded as are society’s owners, the 1/10th of 1%. Everybody else is screwed — either directly, or by the consequences of the social disintegration used to feed a parasitic elite.

The key thing is, take two neoliberal politicians, only one of whom is (unusually) corrupt. One entirely intends to deliver what you ask for, admittedly while ensuring they personally have a nice life being well-fed, warm and listened-to. The other plans to take it all and deliver nothing.

Again, you are not getting it. This isn’t about lesser evil. “Lesser evil” is a story told to herd the masses. If there are two neoliberal politicians, both are corrupt. Neither intends to deliver anything to you on net; they are competing to deliver you.

Any apparent choice offered to you is just part of the b.s. The “300 hours of reading” is available if you need a hobby or the equivalent of a frontal lobotomy.

I am not enthusiastic about this proposed distinction between “hard” and “soft” neoliberalism. Ideologically, conservative libertarians have been locked in a dialectic with the Clintonite / Blairite neoliberals — that’s an old story, maybe an obsolete story, but apparently not one those insist on seeing neoliberalism as a monolithic lump fixed in time can quite grasp, but never mind.

Good cop, bad cop. Only, the electorate is carefully divided so that one side’s good cop is the other side’s bad cop, and vice versa.

Hillary Clinton is running the Democratic Party in such a way that she wins the Presidency, but the Party continues to be excluded from power in Congress and in most of the States. This is by design. This is the neoliberal design. She cannot deliver on her corrupt promises to the Big Donors if she cannot play the game Obama has played so superbly of being hapless in the face of Republican intransigence.

In the meantime, those aspiring to be part of the credentialed managerial classes that conduct this controlled demolition while elaborating the surveillance state that is expected to hold things together in the neo-feudal future are instructed in claiming and nurturing their individual political identity against the day of transformation of consciousness, when feminism will triumph even in a world where we never got around to regulating banks.

bruce wilder 08.31.16 at 6:33 pm

Will G-R, Bob Zannelli

Actual, historical fascism required the would-be fascists to get busy, en masse.

Trump (and Clinton) will be streamed on demand so you can stay home and check Facebook. Hitler giving a two-hour 15000 word speech and Trump, Master of the Twitterverse, belong to completely different political categories, if not universes.

There are so many differences and those differences are so deep and pervasive that the conversation hardly seems worth having.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

bruce wilder 08.03.16 at 1:08 am

Layman @ 79

I am not interested in a prolonged back and forth, but I will lay out a bare outline of facts. I do not find much support for your characterization of these arrangements, which give new meaning to the fungibility of funds. I think it is fair and accurate to describe the HVF transfer arrangements as a means of circumventing campaign financing limits and using the State parties to subsidize the Clinton campaign. Court rulings have made aggregate fund raising legal and invites this means of circumventing the $2700 limit on individual Presidential campaign donations. Whether the circumvention is legal — whether it violates the law to invite nominal contributions to State Parties of $10,000 and channel those contributions wholly to operations in support of Clinton, while leaving nothing in State Party coffers is actually illegal, I couldn’t say; it certainly violates the norms of a putative joint fundraising effort. It wasn’t hard for POLITICO to find State officials who said as much. The rest of this comment quotes POLITICO reports dated July 2016.

Hillary Victory Fund, which now includes 40 state Democratic Party committees, theoretically could accept checks as large as $436,100 — based on the individual limits of $10,000 per state party, $33,400 for the DNC, and $2,700 for Clinton’s campaign.

Between the creation of the victory fund in September and the end of [June], the fund had brought in $142 million, . . . 44 percent [to] DNC ($24.4 million) and Hillary for America ($37.6 million), . . . state parties have kept less than $800,000 of all the cash brought in by the committee — or only 0.56 percent.

. . . state parties have received $7.7 million in transfers, but within a few days of most transfers, almost all of the cash — $6.9 million — was transferred to the DNC . . .

The only date on which most state parties received money from the victory fund and didn’t pass any of it on to the DNC was May 2, the same day that POLITICO published an article exposing the arrangement.

Beyond the transfers, much of the fund’s $42 million in direct spending also appears to have been done to directly benefit the Clinton campaign, as opposed to the state parties.

The fund has paid $4.1 million to the Clinton campaign for “salary and overhead expenses” to reimburse it for fundraising efforts. And it has directed $38 million to vendors such as direct marketing company Chapman Cubine Adams + Hussey and digital consultant Bully Pulpit Interactive — both of which also serve the Clinton campaign — for mailings and online ads that sometimes closely resemble Clinton campaign materials.

bruce wilder 08.02.16 at 7:41 pm

RP @ 40:

I think it’s useful for analysis to distinguish each Party’s Presidential Party from the Party’s Congressional Parties and numerous State Parties.

The Democrats have a strong Presidential Party in the long-standing Clinton organization and because Obama, a Democrat with whom the Clintonites are politically and ideologically congenial, has been President successfully for nearly 8 years, with all that implies for patronage, fundraising and so on.

The Republicans have a weak Presidential Party, the weakest since Wendall Willkie. People talk as if Trump is causing that weakness, when he is the product of that weakness. The singular failure of the Bush organization, with more money than they knew what to do with, deserves more attention.

I am sure fear of the down ballot consequences of Trump is real among Republicans, but we ought to notice that the Republican Party at the Congressional and State levels is not at all weak, generally. (Very weak in my own State, where it was once a powerhouse — Reagan and Nixon were Californians.)

The Democratic Party is weak in much of the country, including some States where Clinton is very competitive. The Congressional party is suffering under unusual degrees of gerrymandering and voter suppression precisely because of state level weakness. 31 States have Republican Governors — the Party is in no danger of confining itself to one region. 68 out of 98 partisan state legislative chambers are Republican, the most ever.

Clinton won’t be turning toward a campaign to win control of Congress or the States, because her politics depends on keeping the Republicans near enough to power so that she does not have to contend with left demands. She needs practical considerations to “dictate” her neoliberal course. She wants to have to choose “moderate” Supreme Court Justices, for example, so that she can be seen fighting to get them thru the Senate, just as Obama will need solid Republican support to get TPP thru in the lame duck.

No 50-state strategy from the Clinton Kaine crowd. To keep the breadth of the Democratic coalition at the Presidential level, she needs to keep the leftish trapped by lesser evilism even while she caters to the neocons and “moderate” Republicans drifting in from the Trump debacle. Which means she needs the “incompetence” of the likes of Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the Congressional and State levels of Party organizing.

It is a tricky thing. The Dems are coming to their demographic turnover several years later than the Republicans. Pelosi and Reid will be gone at last. Sanders, at 75, won’t persist. The under 35 millennials have very different economic experiences and interests, a radically different experience of social class, in contrast to the boomers and early gen-X.

Clinton’s pretend and extend status quo politics are heading into rough policy waters and that is another consideration: whether her politics is ready to adapt over the next 4 years when policies that kinda worked in the past run out of road. I am thinking of zero interest rate macro or superpower middle east politics of bully bombing and drone strikes. We are in a period of escalating violence with political overtones that is likely to continue to 2020. And, a weather disaster or three are going to bring all the contradictions of climate policy to a head. She is coming into power with high negatives and Trump will attack her legitimacy hard.

It is just possible I think, that the Dems collapse at the state level (to loose the dead hand of a Clinton DNC) and come back at the state level as a very young Party, with boy and girl wonder governors and the like.

bruce wilder 08.02.16 at 8:02 pm

I think the U.S. Party system, in the political science sense, shifted to a new state during George W Bush’s administration as, in Kevin Phillip’s terms the Republican Party was taken over by Theocrats and Bad Money.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?