Wednesday, September 14, 2016
bruce wilder 09.13.16 at 6:14 pm
Layman: globalization is more or less like a force of nature
Certainly, it is remarkably convenient to the powers-that-be if you think that.
Racism, historically, has been mobilized as an organizing principle, a rationalization for the institution of slavery, the institution of Jim Crow segregation, conquest and genocide of Native Americans and so on. In its details, racism often had as a feature a political consolation prize for the lower rungs of the economic hierarchy: e.g., in the plantation South you might be poor white trash, your interests neglected by the state, but you were better than the negro; all your resentments could be vented on someone a couple rungs down the social and economic ladder.
So, now we have the spectacle of both a tribalist racism and a pseudo-tribalist anti-racism and they both organize their thoughts to enable expression of their passionate if petty and irrational resentments while ignoring the increasing parasitism of elite power and wealth.
The narratives may differ across the divide. The racists are told a simpler story: the system is rigged, the Chinese are stealing your jobs, the stupid liberals think they are better than you, those people are taking advantage of the secret welfare system, things would be fairer if they were simpler — flat tax!, and so on.
The anti-racists are trained in a more abstract narrative. Cosmopolitans like us are better humans. Globalization and technology are impersonal forces; the key to a better future is more education. The racist tribalists must be opposed in all things and they will block all the good things our good leaders want to do so we have to settle for the politically practical.
The extremities of political polarization are associated with extremities of economic inequality for a variety of reasons that come down to, because it works to reinforce economic domination by elite predators or parasites as the case may be.