REGULAR OAN READERS are surely aware of my history-based hypothesis that revolution – whether nonviolent (as was the New Deal) or otherwise (as were the revolutions in Russia, China, Cuba and Vietnam) – has four prerequisites.
Reiterated for newcomers, these four requirements are: (1)-ideological solidarity, or at the very least a unifying statement of grievances from which such solidarity will logically evolve; (2)-leadership and its subsets, organization and organizational and ideological discipline; (3)-mastery of technology, including extant military technologies; and (4)-the assistance, both clandestine and overt, of a great foreign power (as provided by France during the USian Revolution, by Germany to the Russian Revolution and by the Soviet Union to the New Deal).
Regular readers also most likely know my argument that present-day conditions in the USian Empire effectively prohibit each of these prerequisites from ever again arising. Once more reiterating for new readers:
(1)-Ideological solidarity – or for that matter even the articulation of a unifying statement of grievances – is permanently obstructed by the reflexive anti-intellectualism in which the USian proletariat is methodically conditioned from birth. This prompts it to reject any demand for genuine analysis – witness the internal self-destruction of the Occupy Movement (2011-2012). Indeed the knee-jerk savagery of USian anti-intellectualism is repeatedly diagnosed as the pivotal element in the nation's ever-more-terrifying embrace of unabashed fascism.
(2)-The emergence of effective leadership, and therefore of its organizational and ideological subsets, is forever prohibited by the viciously self-obsessed yet maliciously conformist egotism in which the USian proletariat is also methodically conditioned from birth. This conditioning provides the mechanism by which the empire's defining anti-intellectualism and its headlong march toward fascism is enforced and perpetuated. Its workings are vividly portrayed in Joreen Freeman's essay “Trashing,” which focuses on the feminist movement but applies to the entire USian proletariat.
(3)-Mastery of extant technology is now eternally out of proletarian reach because of the increasingly esoteric nature of weaponry and the increasing exclusiveness of the training required for its operation. The resultant (unbridgeable) technology gap between proletarians and overlords is illustrated by the differences between jet-propelled aircraft and small arms. Only the USian Empire's most thoroughly vetted, therefore most trusted aristocrats or aristocrat wanna-bees are taught to fly; such knowledge is deliberately withheld from everyone else, with unauthorized disclosure punishable by imprisonment and even death. By contrast, though small arms are technically usable by anyone capable of learning proper sight picture, breathing and trigger-squeeze, they are utterly useless not just against aircraft but against a plethora of other Ruling-Class-only weapons including tanks and armored cars. Thus the proletarian seizure of arsenals (as in the Russian Revolution etc. and as might have occurred during the unrest associated with the New Deal era), is rendered irrelevant. And the very few arsenal-stored weapons that might narrow the gap are inoperable because no one in the proletariat is allowed the technical knowledge required to operate them. This implicit form of segregation is one of the (deliberate) consequences of abolishing the military draft and turning the defense of the empire over to well-paid, kill-hardened and therefore utterly reliable mercenary soldiers. Nor does the resultant technological gap prohibit only violent forms of revolution. Note how the empire's superior, indeed omnipotent powers of surveillance and electronic disruption contributed to the downfall of the avowedly non-violent Occupy Movement and are routinely employed against any peaceful demonstrators who dare question imperial policy.
(4)-The possibility of foreign support for a new USian revolution or even for resurrection of a New Deal ended forever with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the total co-optation of the Peoples Republic of China by Wall Street. But even before those counter-revolutionary victories, the potential of overseas support – so vividly displayed by France in the original USian revolution, by Germany in the Russian Revolution of 1917 and by the Soviet Union in the protection of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (scroll down to “Bankers Plot”) – had been diminished to near-zero by the anti-intellectualism that effectively stifles any such inclinations within the USian proletariat.
Note reports in the early 1990s Soviet intelligence analysts had evaluated the USian youth movements of the 1960s and concluded that – apart from the heartfelt rebelliousness of Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans, ethnic minorities (i.e., the Black Panthers, the American Indian Movement and MEChA ) and the few feminists who remained faithful to Women's Liberation's Marxian roots – the epoch's hurly-burly was little more than bourgeois faddism, the collective tantrums of a vastly over-privileged, woefully under-educated and mostly cowardly generation of whites. (Unfortunately these reports of Soviet findings, many of them originating from Canadian media, have since been flushed down the Orwell hole and hence are summarized here from memory only. I did not save the clips because I thought it too big a story to be disappeared – more the fool I.)
Which brings us to the present moment and the evolution of a profoundly disappointing conclusion about Bernie Sanders and his campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination:
The beginning of this process was correspondence with a young friend whose intellect and Marxian ideological discipline is such any serious dialogue with her compels me to refine (and sometimes even radically revise) my thinking on any given topic. She sent me, without comment, a Washington Post piece reporting “Sanders’s predominately white backers are targeting black activists and journalists who dare question the candidate’s civil rights record.” Here is my response, edited only for typos and clarity:
Apropos the WaPo piece, four thoughts:
Firstly, ask yourself: how many of those Sanders supporters are Hillary's clandestine operatives – or, more likely, federal secret police agents so assigned?
Secondly, it's especially necessary to distinguish between manifest Communophobia – specifically as manifest in identity politics and its fanatical refusal to acknowledge class struggle – and actual racism. (In which context note how identity politics is a standard Ruling Class tactic for perpetuating the divisions within the Working Class.) Indeed it is my experience – the unanimous experience of about 60 years I might add – that trying to educate a believer in identity politics about class struggle is like trying to teach an Abrahamic fundamentalist about the sacredness of Nature – in other words, utterly impossible.
Thirdly, based on post-Katrina polling, about 75 percent of the white citizenry is definitively racist – not merely indifferent to racism, but actually (albeit often clandestinely) supportive of it. Moreover, the 75 percent figure applies across the entire spectrum of U.S. politics (one of the surprises in the post-Katrina polling). In other words, racists – which is to say (usually closeted) white believers in identity politics – are undoubtedly as common in the white U.S. Left as in the Right. (The Right is merely more vocal about its racism.) Which, by the way, not only explains the lily-white (and hopelessly bourgeois) nature of U.S. feminism and the oppressive whiteness of Occupy, but also why I believe and am terrified Trump will be the next president.
The point here is that given this identity-politics reality, Sanders' best course of action may well be to remain silent until some Hillary disclosure or blunder gives him the opportunity to focus on the fact that, unless one is part of the Ruling Class, and regardless of one's race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality, a vote for Hillary is a vote for oppression.
Fourthly, there is the anti-Sanders media bias – remember the media is owned by the same aristocrats who own the government – that has, for example, almost totally suppressed the fact what Black Lives Matter silenced at Westlake Park in Seattle was not just a protest on behalf Social Security and Medicare but Sanders' intended announcement his new press secretary and campaign spokesperson – literally, apart from himself, the public face of his campaign – is a black woman named Symone Sanders. Sanders did make the announcement at his campaign rally in Seattle that night, but it was (deliberately?) obscured by the controversy generated by the Westlake Park event.
The relevant historical precedent in all of this is again a Russian one: specifically Father Gapon's role as an agent of the Okhrana in leading the Petrograd proletariat into the Bloody Sunday massacre on 22 January 1905 (9 January Old Style). USian protestors are no longer typically led into massacres by secret police agents, but the same tactics prevail: note in particular the CIA/FBI infiltration of the second wave feminist movement, its subsequent and total divorcement from its original Marxian roots and its re-emergence not just as identity politics but as a movement that, because of its fanatical support for capitalism, should properly be termed “Ayn Rand feminism.” I have no doubt the same strategy and tactics are at work through Black Lives Matter, which by every strategic and tactical principle known to humankind – from Sun Tzu through Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao Ze Dong, Che Guevara and Ho Chi Minh – should be building a united front against racism (fascism) rather than methodically alienating legions of potential supporters by its continuing attacks on the Sanders campaign.
Alas, there is – as Cornel West freely admits – a long history of black political ignorance that is parallel to and in fact co-equal with white political ignorance. As does its white counterpart, it results in the election and re-election of known oppressors. Note that black support for Obama remains at about 85 percent despite his now-innumerable betrayals. Note too that Hillary was a prime mover in both welfare “reform” (which flung millions of USians of all races into inescapable poverty) and in the Clinton crime legislation that is filling the prisons with blacks and Hispanics and has in effect resurrected slavery. Part of this problem is brainwashing by media which – I say again – is owned by the same people who own the government. The other parts are the economic blinders implicit in identity politics and the relentlessly conditioned anti-intellectualism that renders these paralyzing conditions permanently inescapable.
Aided by Madison Avenue, the U.S. Ruling Class has applied the principles of Josef Goebbels to an extent and with a magnitude of success not even Hitler himself could have imagined. That's why the black electorate is, in its own way, every bit as ignorant (and every bit as self-defeating), as the white electorate. In terms of real intellectuals – people who somehow manage to transcend the conditioning and thus see through the capitalist Big Lies and the charade of democracy and all its attendant bullshit – the number is pretty much the same regardless of race or ethnicity: about 10 percent. And the Ruling Class does everything in its (considerable) power to make certain all of us – black, white, Hispanic, First Nations, whatever – go unheard. Such is life in the Fourth Reich.
The real challenge for all of us is therefore to devise a genuinely memorable rebuttal to the Big Lies and a genuinely effective antidote to the toxins of conditioned anti-intellectualism. This is a challenge in which all races, ethnicities and genders have an absolutely vital role, but it won't be met unless and until we acquire enough ideological discipline to stop fighting amongst ourselves. And I frankly doubt – in a nation that is so methodically conditioned in Ayn Rand selfishness and egotism – such discipline is attainable.
Next was correspondence with a fellow geezer occasioned by Elizabeth Warren's endorsement of BLM, which was accompanied by a blistering and long-overdue denunciation of racism. Again with editing only for typos and clarity:
Thank you. Too bad WaPo's link to her speech is (deliberately?) nonfunctional. Will have to wait until it's up on YouTube. But thanks again. It's about time somebody said these words even if it's mere lip service, which coming from Warren – an avowed Hillary supporter – it undoubtedly is. Remember even the Nazis promised “justice.”
Dunno why Sanders didn't do this weeks ago. Since Warren is in the Hillary camp, Sanders' failure in this matter (1)-could ensure Sanders will never have any significant black support and (2)-probably therefore ensures Hillary of the nomination which (3)-probably also ensures a Trump presidency since no real Leftist will ever vote for (former Goldwater Girl/present-day fascist) Hillary.
All of which suggests the Sanders candidacy is of no more real substance than the biggest Big Lie in U.S. presidential history, Obama's “change we can believe in.”
Ok, Katie, I'm convinced. BLM is right to disrupt any Sanders appearance – even at a Save-Social-Security rally – because the fact he left the BLM endorsement to Hillary-operative Warren proves his campaign is merely a charade – the newest variant of the “change-we-can-believe-in” strategy perfected by Barack the Betrayer. To which my comment-thread rejoinder to Robert Reich's most recent regurgitation of the Horatio Alger myth is a relevant postscript:
While Mr. Reich's indictment of the U.S. economy is indeed truthful, his increasingly frantic (and demonstrably false) insistence that capitalism can somehow magically be made to benefit “the many, not the few” is among the most destructively seductive Big Lies in human history.
Indeed Mr. Reich backhanded defense of capitalism provides a classic example of the foremost USian Empire disinformation tactic: concealment of a monstrous falsehood within a smokescreen of smaller truths – rather like a deadly spider or serpent hidden within a compellingly attractive bowl of fruit.
But when one recognizes the true nature of capitalism – the morally imbecilic rejection of every humanitarian precept our species has ever articulated, the replacement of those (often sacred) principles with unabashed greed and the elevation of that greed to the apex of virtue – one realizes capitalism is in fact cancer. And like cancer, it is either surgically eliminated or it kills the patient – in this instance not just our species but most life on this planet.
In this context, Mr. Reich's incessant efforts to disguise and defend the indefensible are not just obnoxious but irrelevant – the final verbal flatulence of an USian Empire propagandist who, had he even one scintilla of self-honesty, would have retired years ago in shame.
And as to the prospects of another USian revolution – or even a humanitarian renaissance within USian governance – note how my comment is thumbed-down.
Such is life in a land in which the proletarian majority remains so benightedly ignorant it stubbornly clings to capitalism and the Horatio-Alger/Ayn-Rand credo of “yeah if I play my cards right – and really if I fuck over enough other people – I can still get rich enough to be a Wall Street hero.”
LB/16-29 September 2015