2016 U.S. Presidential election

Submitted by Juan Conatz on March 5, 2016

admin note: for readers interested in the discussion of the Trump victory, that begins in this thread at post 362 here

Couldn't find a thread about this so thought I'd start one.

Actual election isn't until November, obviously, but the primaries for the two major parties started last month, with the campaigning starting many months before.

For the GOP, Trump has mostly been ahead in the polls, and won the most delegates in the primaries and caucuses so far. Probably most of everyone is familiar with his racist and xenophobic statements he's made. His candidacy has caused somewhat of a mini-civil war within the Republican Party, with the more moderate establishment types and traditional conservatives trying to do anything to stop him. He has basically pissed off all elements of the party, from 'moderates' who were trying to push a less racist and xenophobic version of the party, to the fiscal conservatives who want to slash the budget and social programs.

Ted Cruz, representing the traditional conservative Tea Party types, and Marco Rubio, the 'moderate' establishment candidate are battling it out to be the Trump alternative currently.

I will say, despite Trump's worrying ascendancy, it has been great to see Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and the rest of the GOP clown car of candidates be more or less eviscerated off the national stage.

On the Democratic side, Hillary, representing more of the establishment centrist Dems, is starting to pull ahead of Bernie Sanders, the more left-wing candidate. So far, Sanders has won in most of the states that the Democrats will probably win, while Clinton has won in the states that the Democrats have little chance. Sanders could still win, but its looking more likely that Clinton will.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So, you live abroad and are schooling Americans who really do live in the US on things you've not actually personally encountered but are sure they are bad for us?

bsuok

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

*no longer interested*

Serge Forward

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyone know where I can find that Michael Jackson eating popcorn image? Seriously, can you lot knock it on the head for a minute? Call me a wishy washy bleeder from across the pond, but I've seen interesting points from all sides. And maybe it's a sign of the times (and our class weakness) that discussions seem to often get bogged down with rows over intersectionality, privilege and safe spaces.

That's all. Carry on ;)

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Actually, you said you lived abroad for a few years, returned a bit during election season before leaving again. My point isn't that you can't have opinions. My point is you've never encountered a safe space. It's never stopped you from expressing an opinion. A trigger warning has never stopped you from gaining information.All you know about the stuff is what you've read.

But you won't read the stuff communists have written to you on this thread. Or at least you won't respond if you have.

As others have said better than me, there are legit criticisms of the way safe spaces are sometimes implemented. But you aren't making them. All you're doing is repeating caricatures of what you think they are.

You still, after roughly a dozen posts on it, haven't made even a tangential connection between those things and you know, the US Presidential Election beyond some platitude about resentment.

I'm sure I'm partially at fault for engaging in a less than polite manner. I backed out once, attempting to keep the topic on point. But like someone else said, you came here clearly itching for a fight so mainly I'm at fault for giving you more oxygen. When you show up casting aspersions at people and things you clearly know nothing about, that nonsense needs to be countered.

Serge--the problem with some of this is it is a trend right now by more people than just bsouk that think the answer to this surge(!!) of right wing populism is to out populist the populists. To abandon lbgtia comrades, sex workers and stop defending migrants to focus solely on the 'legitimate concerns' of the white working class. I'm not saying bsouk is doing all of that, but some of it is there for sure.

But I'll let others take up the baton with bsouk at this point because I'd like to focus on the interesting things happening in the thread.

Serge Forward

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

No, I don't think bsouk was doing that either. There are positives around intersectionality politics but it also concerns me when any criticism of this, safer spaces and privilege theory are met with quick draw accusations of racism/misogyny/homophobia/anti-trans/conservatism. No brownie points for picking on bsouk's spelling either.

Spikymike

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Maybe I'm missing something here in the arguments between bsouk and especially S.Artesian on the issue of whether or not racist behaviour and inter-racial violence in the USA has got relatively better or worse in so far as both these posters seem to be using their own more recent experience of where they have lived in the USA and at the same time talking over very different time frames. It's pretty confusing for those of us who have never lived in the USA to get a grasp on the reality. Given that the Federal state of America could encompass the UK many times over and even in the UK experiences can vary quite a bit as between N.Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England where does that leave us?
Both Serge and I have our criticism of the way that some Intersectional theories imported from the USA have been applied by radicals in the UK and they certainly have found there way into the liberal and left press here, but it would be stretching things to suggest that they have been in any way significant factors in the advances or failures of class struggle in the UK - find it difficult to think that would be any different in the USA?

Sharkfinn

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think there's a lot of really interesting discussion on this thread, but the bum fighting has got to stop. Some of bsouk's posts are among the most interesting posts I've read on Libcom in a long while. Why does this discussion have to get into safe spaces or accusations of racism?

How's bsouk gonna anwer the "substantive points" re: safe spaces or the other "dozens of points", if he also has to "learn basic statistics", read Kimberle Crensaw, get better at spelling and "type less and think more", all while still working under capitalism?

There is a problem in activist groups and small lefty sects with how social class creates structural discrimination. It's rarely talked about, as it's based on micro level social interaction so it's both very elusive and personal. Makes it difficult to address. But on this thread I think it would help if people would refrain from the 6 or so people ganging up on one poster at the same time -behaviour, picking on someones spelling and also stop reading a whole lot of meta into everything. If someone mentions safe spaces in a negative context that doesn't mean that they are a racist or that the thread has to be derailed into another safe spaces discussion.

I think a more interesting topic is how it is difficult to organise in rural areas / rust belt and how did the left lose its social base there.

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

x

radicalgraffiti

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

el psy congroo

bsuok, do you have a blog or any method of reaching you away from the (often times toxic) discussion found on these forums? thank you

average household size in the USA is 2.54 persons. 72k/2.5 = ~28.5k per person. now look at the states that went heavy for Trump, some as low as 30k/2.5 = 12k per person. hardly even enough for food, transportation or rent.

now this that was posted earlier https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-mythology-of-trumps-working-class-support/
and contains the $72000 figure also contains household incomes of people who voted trump in primaries by state too, and the lowest is $58k, significantly more than the $44k state wide household income median, generally the gap between trump voters and the state average gets bigger as the state median goes lower

looking here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States#Income_by_state
the lowest median household income of any state for 2009 was $36,646 Mississippi, i'm not sure where you are getting $30K from
As for "states that went heavy for Trump" using this http://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president
the highest % for trump was 71% in Wyoming median household income $52,664
followed by West Virginia 68% and $37,435

i don't want to go though all the states like this, i don't think state median incomes = republican voter median incomes and the states with the biggest margins for trump probably vote for republicans every time and where trump won the election was in states with narrow margins like Michigan 47.6% trump 47.3% clinton

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I was referring to bsuok's confusing Romney for McCain when I said spelling. And his excusing it away because he was posting from a phone. That wasn't my criticism anyway, my criticism remains his fixation on insisting any mention of a rising tide of racism and reactionary attitudes with the Trump campaign must give equal time to racial attacks in the wake of Obama's victory. That's a red herring.

I come from a working class interracial family too, and family members who voted for Trump -- and who support Republicans, are pro-war, pro-police and anti-immigrant -- are usually in the mixed race generation. The native-born white side tend to be Sanders supporters, and the foreign-born immigrant side (who are mostly from Mexico and Asia) tend not to vote, while the mixed race family members tend to stridently attempt to assimilate and take the most hardcore white nationalist position.

One of my best friends (who reads libcom, but never posts -- hopefully this might get him to contribute) is from a mixed black-white family (although both his now-divorced parents are white) and his mixed half brother is a hardcore Republican supporter, who takes the most extreme far-right positions -- rejection of Black Lives Matter and denying the racial motivation in cop killings of youth, pro-war, anti-same-sex-marriage, anti-homeless, etc.

It is paradoxes like these that make an analysis of how the working class could vote Trump to victory all the more confusing. W.E.B. DuBois said in The Souls of Black Folk, "for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line,” never got resolved and remains one of the problems for class struggle in the 21st. The youth I've seen take to the streets in response to Trump's victory made Black Lives Matter clearly one of their most important concerns. Given Trump's support from cop unions, as well as border guard unions, means that the fears of youth of color -- and especially immigrants -- are genuine, in addition to women's concern about reproductive rights and queers worried about far-right homophobia. From a class perspective, Trump's victory has already emboldened bigots everywhere.

And this shit is happening on the streets of the U.S. right now. Last night there were protests across the U.S. once again, often being sparked by youth of color. And when someone comments about this from the distance of other continents and across oceans, they miss the nuance of what drives the fear and anger of working class youth of color in these volatile times.

Entdinglichung

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://gothamist.com/2016/11/16/nypd_rutgers_professor.php

A Rutgers professor who lives in Brooklyn was taken for a psychiatric evaluation by NYPD officers after he made political comments in class and on Twitter about conservatives, Trump, and gun control. Kevin Allred, an adjunct professor on the New Brunswick, NJ campus, says police came to his Greenpoint apartment on Tuesday night, and the officers told him Rutgers administrators had contacted the NYPD because of statements he made on campus and on Twitter.

fingers malone

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I appreciate that people get wound up because this isn't a debating society motion, it's real life and lots of people, especially the US posters, feel this situation is very serious so it's understandable that some reactions are pretty visceral. But folks, please, this is a very good thread and me and a lot of other ppl are getting inside info that is really important for getting a handle on the whole US situation right now. It would be really good if people could keep posting and argue in a positive way. I am learning a lot from the range of experiences expressed right now.

This is not to condemn or point the finger at anyone for getting angry, or dismiss them.

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

x

huli

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I appreciate this discussion, and especially thank my good friend H for his insightful observations, as usual. I watched the election results roll in over a spotty internet connection in a rural river valley on a small Pacific island, where I'm thankfully enjoying a long-delayed surf trip. I've peeked through my fingers now and then but largely tried to defer most serious consideration of the current state of affairs until I re-enter my normal life in the Bay Area. Having said all that, I do want to add a quick thought on the question of how we organize now. Sort of by default, I've worked as a union staffer on and off over the years. (Like any worker, I don't necessarily align ideologically with my employer.) On November 9, I found that I had been added to a newly-formed and rapidly expanding Facebook group called "Our Future: An Organizers' Roundtable" by a former colleague of mine who is a union staffer. Within 20 minutes of the group's formation, all discussions were focused on the question of how leadership of the group should be composed, who should "step up" and who should "step back," and so forth. Unfortunately, little attention was paid to the fact that nearly every active participant in the group was a professional union or non-profit staff - which to my mind fundamentally impacts the basic orientation toward organizing, since such professionals structurally impaired by the demands of the institutions for which they work. One guy asked a sincere question about whether or not we should go beyond symbolic protest for its own sake and he was totally shut down. Professional activists have a bias toward symbolism (because they can't risk their jobs by offending funders or encouraging wildcat strikes.) My hope is that non-unionized workers find the impetus to engage in work stoppages, slow-downs, etc. I'm trying hard not to feel discouraged but I guess I have some doubts about the usefulness of professional organizers, and they seem well-positioned to take the reigns at this moment. They have a strong impetus to just "do something," especially if it is photogenic and can be used in grant proposals and recruitment materials on the one hand, and as a substitute for illegal work-stoppages on the other. I'd like to see unions put more thought in how to support real strikes of non-union workers. (By "real" I mean more substantive than the limited walkouts by fast food workers, which I suspect were done mainly by union salts, though I have no proof of this.)
Further, I agree with H and Juan Conatz that the J20 "general strike" calls feel contrived, but what if all of us began from our own workplaces, whatever they might be, and found a group of co-workers, not just our friends from activist circles, to participate with us, not go to work, and go to the nearest mass street demo or whatever is happening near us?

jef costello

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bsuok

Cops spent how long killing people unimpeded in the US? Now there are mass public reactions, attempts to organize against it, people mobilizing.

You realise that the public reaction is because the police are still killing people unimpeded right? Cops rarely get sacked for racist comments, they rarely get sacked for actually murdering people of colour. And if they do then they simply get rehired.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

There are a couple of interesting stories making the rounds today. The first is a transcript of a talk Steve Bannon gave in 2014. For those unaware, Bannon was Trump's third and final campaign CEO, and is now in line for a role as a senior counselor to the President. Prior to his time in the Trump campaign, Bannon ran Brietbart, and before that he worked at Goldman Sachs.

It's a long talk, but there are several interesting things I think we can glean from it. Particularly of interest is his focus on a clash of civilizations. He compares the American Tea Party with UKIP and Front National. Again, this is from 2014—as far as I can tell, not a lot of people refer to the Tea Party much anymore. It has pretty much been absorbed by either Trumpism or the Alt-Right (if there is actually a distinction between the two).

One thing I've been struggling with for awhile now is this notion that a form of American Nationalism could be so accommodating to Russian Imperialism, given the jingoistic form of American Nationalism we're accustomed to. On the surface, their support of Putin's goals appear to be against their own interests, seemingly giving credence to the idea that Putin is pushing these far-right movements as part of his strategic goals via Hybird War. And while I think we should pay close attention to that aspect (because it is actually a thing), and I'd really like to have that conversation, it finally dawned on me the other day that it's not particularly American Nationalism or British Nationalism or French Nationalism or any other nation-state that these groups are pushing. Instead, it's quite literally a world-wide White Christian Nationalism.

I guess this probably seems kind of obvious in hindsight, but the concept of these guys subsuming American interests in favor of "White Interests" is just so completely, uh, foreign to me based on the trajectory these movements have taken in the past. I'm sure all of this is probably not an original thought, but the epiphany kind of made the puzzle pieces fit together a little bit better for me.

In his talk Bannon spends a good deal of time talking about the West vs. the 'Islamic Hordes,' at one point comparing the global situation with the turn of the 20th century and the descent into World War I. Here is an excerpt of him talking about Putin:

However, we the Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what he’s [Putin] talking about as far as traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism . . . You know, Putin’s been quite an interesting character. He’s also very, very, very intelligent. I can see this in the United States where he’s playing very strongly to social conservatives about his message about more traditional values, so I think it’s something that we have to be very much on guard of. Because at the end of the day, I think that Putin and his cronies are really a kleptocracy, that are really an imperialist power that want to expand. However, I really believe that in this current environment, where you’re facing a potential new caliphate that is very aggressive that is really a situation — I’m not saying we can put it on a back burner — but I think we have to deal with first things first.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/this-is-how-steve-bannon-sees-the-entire-world?utm_term=.lldE7edN3#.ixqloeQ4a

The second article doing the rounds is a piece in Politico describing Wall Street's excitement and surprise at the direction the Trump transition team is taking in regards to banking regulations/oversight. Several of the quotes are down-right giddy, and it's interesting when juxtaposed with what Bannon said in his talk about Wall Street. He derided what he calls “Crony Capitalism” and “Corporatism,” though reading through his talk, it doesn't take long to realize he is using these terms in a way that's quite alien to the way we use these words. The question, as it relates to Bannon and Wall Street, is was his (and Trump's campaign) discussion about Wall Street excesses just a ruse, has he changed his mind, or is this just an area of disagreement between Bannon and Trump?

Again, this is another example of pretty much no one having any idea what Trump believes in, what his plans are, and how much of what he has said in the campaign was pandering vs. how much of his rhetoric reflects his actual plans. For those arguing that Trump is not exceptional, one really needs to look no further than this point itself. Unlike every President-Elect in Amercian history, Trump has literally no public service experience, and hence, no record from which to predict his policies and philosophies.

The byline for the story is

A populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the trail is putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker's dream.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/donald-trump-wall-street-bankers-231524

Also, it seems appropriate to at least quickly address the reports flooding media outlets over the past couple of days that the Trump transition team is in complete disarray. There are stories of long-term revenge firings, serious concerns of nepotism, and questions as to how Trump will navigate his labyrinthine conflicts-of-interest. These are just a few examples of the stories over the past couple of days. In several of the stories, there are quotes from inside the Trump team that blames the disarray on the fact that no one within the campaign really, truly thought Trump would win!

wojtek

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Download Militant Anti-Fascism, Taking Sides, & Undoing Border Imperialism free through the end of this month

http://us7.campaign-archive2.com/?u=2ae0bcb71ffae1ffd724b77e2&id=556789cfac&e=[UNIQID]

Also
https://youtu.be/RDrfE9I8_hs

bsuok

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

*no longer interested*

bsuok

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

*no longer interested*

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It looks like Lt. Gen Mike Flynn will be National Security Advisor. The position has expanded pretty dramatically over the years, but since it is not a cabinet position it is not subject to Senate confirmation or oversight.

Flynn is often called virulently anti-"Islamo-fascist," as he is known to call ISIS. He is very bullish about using the US Military for anti-terrorism, and advocates for a muscular approach to foreign policy.

Flynn was the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and was highly critical of the Obama Administration. There are questions as to why he left the DIA, with critics saying he had a chaotic management style while Flynn said he believed he was forced out for disagreeing with the administration as to whether or not al-Qaeda was nearing defeat.

After leaving the DIA, he worked for RT as a military analyst. Flynn was the center of controversy while working at RT when he was photographed sitting with Vladimir Putin at an RT gala. Many intelligence professionals said it was highly inappropriate for a former senior intelligence officer to interact socially with the Russian President.

Gen. Flynn also ran a security consultancy which was recently hired by the government of Turkey. The day before the election, Flynn wrote an editorial supporting the Erodogan government, and advocating that the U.S. deport Gulen for his alleged role in the coup attempt.

Flynn's Chief of Staff was his son who is a known supporter of the alt-right. On his twitter account the junior Michael Flynn has often pushed conspiracy theories, and there are several examples of racially-charged comments on twitter.

In additions to questions about Flynn's relationship with Russia, many in the US intelligence community were upset that Flynn sat in on the Presidential Daily Briefing with Trump whilst still on the payroll of a foreign govenrment.

Flynn was an early supporter of Trump's candidacy and is the third comfirmed hiring for the Trump transition, following Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon.

NYT excerpt on Flynn

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

x

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Whelp, this didn't take long at all--filed under surprising to absolutely no one, anywhere:

Korea Herald editorial calls for Seoul to take operational control of South Korean forces, begin uranium enrichment https://t.co/Js8KYFnwFq

https://twitter.com/Max_Fisher/status/799227143246860288

petey

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bsuok

The worst part is that people invent positions out of thin air to attack, even as it's possible to go back and read what was actually written.

yyyup.

bsuok

You can take a look at your favorite leftist group or writers or leftist meeting and see how many working people you find.

i understand the frustration but this itself is a stereotype. i have no experience of activism but i did hang around for a few years with a group that produced writings and held meetings and which has a reputation as sectarian and all of them are workers, all solid politically and personally. i've read this characterization many times and it's quite true obv of some organizations but can't be generalized across communist or leftist groups.

Serge Forward

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It is a stereotype but one not totally without foundation. Someone recently said to me about the UK anarchist scene, that 30 years ago, the average anarchist in Britain probably worked in a low-paid job, possibly stocking shelves somewhere like the Iceland low-cost supermarket chain... but these days the average UK anarchist would be more likely be a graduate "professional" or post-graduate student who may go to Iceland (the actual country) for their holidays. Sure, it's a gross distortion but not without a grain of truth either. The point being, that anarchist and communist circles are pretty rarefied and we continue to ignore this tendency at our peril. While I'm not saying we should all drop into that hateful Class War style mockney patter (or whatever the American equivalent is) and go all anti-theory, we need to not lose sight of where we are and who we're talking to (or at least should be talking to). In short, we need to rise with our class, not above it.

Aaaaanyway, back to the US election...

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

bsuok, by your own admission you came on libcom -- feigning naivety about who we, as libertarian communists, are -- as a vehicle for your attack on Artesian because he critiqued Goldner (and since you know him, you could simply have taken this up privately). But your first post raised the alarm, simply because what you said was disingenuous and full of inaccuracies. Trump's election caused a massive convulsion in the U.S., a visceral reaction that can only be taken in through direct experience: in the workplace, on the streets, on buses and subways, in bars and malls, in the living room, basically through nearly every social interaction in daily life. Unless you're Skyping into the coal mining community 24/7, you're experiencing none of this. If you were honest, you would simply have said they you've been living abroad for the last several years and have been watching the Trump phenomenon develop remotely (without all these tall tales of your life of drudgery in the dark satanic mines and mills). That would have been sufficient.

And except for retirees, nearly everyone -- to a person -- here on libcom punches a clock and works. Some, like myself, at multiple jobs. And we fight the boss, organize with our fellow workers -- up to and including strikes -- and then reflect and share our experiences on forums like this. Your whole shtick, with you the sole representative of the "essential proletariat" and "regular" workers, is just macho posturing. As though only gun-totting pickup truck-driving guys with hardhats, lunch buckets and opiate addictions are the real proletariat, and the rest of us who work in shops, restaurants, hotels, offices and schools are just a bunch of sissies who sit around talking about why Hillary lost and cooking up schemes to suppress free speech with "safe spaces" in collusion all our lefty allies on the college campus. bsuok, you're living in a fantasy world that doesn't exist.

Anecdotes on life in the U.S. in the post-election world:

New York's Anti-Trump "Therapy Wall" in Subway[youtube]Z87akoLPPpk[/youtube]

This past Tuesday, one of my co-workers saw post-its all over a concrete column for a clock on a major street corner near our workplace. So he took a group of students from our adult English language school there -- and they had a blast. So much so, that my students insisted we go there too, with post-its and pens in hand. We went there, planning to stay just a few minutes, but with the spontaneous conversations we were having with strangers we ended up there for an hour. Here's a picture:

People got really exciting at the prospect of adding their own ideas. And some of them showed us photos of similar efforts elsewhere, like in Oakland, as well as showing us cellphone photos of demos they'd been at. People seemed really excited to open up and be talking with others, and it wasn't just Trump. Contemporary life under capitalism is so fucking banally atomized and boring that as a species we're just dying to be social and connected in a non-alienatated way. At it's best Occupy was a perfect forum for doing this. I remember going to the original San Francisco Occupy encampment in front of the Federal Reserve Bank and thinking I'd check it out for a few minutes, but in the end I stayed into the wee hours of the morning and had fantastic conversations with complete strangers about everything in the world. I had such a good time doing that at Occupy, that we went back during the day with a literal soapbox and organized "speakouts' where everyone had a couple minutes speaking to others. As silly as it sounds, it was so much fun and it sparked further discussions about things like our worklives, debt, and even deepened into a critique of political economy. But it also was just joking and laughing with newly-formed friends.

Tuesday evening, on my bus home, the spirit of the times seemed to be bringing down the barriers of isolation everywhere and a Yemeni guy and I sparked up a conversation. He started telling me about the devastation of his homeland and how the Saudis are bombing it to oblivion. It was a sad and pretty heavy discussion. Then he asked what I thought about Trump. I gave him my opinion of all politicians, that they're all corrupt. He kept beating around the bush, but seemed sympathetic to Trump. I brought up Trump's proposals for banning Muslims, and he mentioned the need to restrict the movement of terrorists. This man spoke English pretty well, but he lines of argument sounded like he'd been watching Fox News. When I tried to aske where he got his ideas, he evaded the question and changed the subject. Before I could return to asking again, he got off the bus with a warm thanks for our exchange. I just confirmed my suspicions of how strong the pull to assimilate and adopt the U.S. nationalist line can be.

Today (Thursday), my students and I went to another post-it display, this one at a BART Station in the Mission District. Again, it sparked spontaneous exchanges and people seemed so giddy and excited to be having conversations with strangers and expressing themselves. And here the messages were clearly more radical, anti-capitalist and suggesting further organizing. And I know the limitations of these things, but can't help feeling good being able to interact with other people so openly and freely. Here's a photo from today.

On my walk home, I passed some of the increasingly prevalent tent encampments all over California cities, a condition that began with the collapse of the housing bubble and has only intensified since then. During the election, there was a successful measure to criminal tent dwellers, but with the legal loophole that the pigs can't run them off the streets if there aren't enough shelter beds. There aren't enough shelter beds, so the homeless tent communities aren't going away. I bring this up, because I heard this song blasting out of one of the tents:

[youtube]WkZ5e94QnWk[/youtube]

But as Huli pointed out above, calls for radical direct action will only be effective if they are based on something that truly interrupts capitalist production and reproduction; stated differently, it can't be a general strike if workers don't refuse work and merely call in sick. We need to talk to our co-workers about our common conditions on the shopfloor, but also for the entire working class, whether employed or not. Whether housed or not. We can't do this symbolically or merely to feel good about ourselves (although the latter does have a role in keeping our spirits up and preventing burnout).

As Obama is a lameduck and Trump is beggining his transition, the time is ripe to strike. Here's an example of unionized skilled trades workers at University of California campuses striking for higher wages and retroactive pay increases (since they'd gone without a contract for 4 years) "Plumbers, carpenters, electricians at UCLA strike for higher wages and back pay." Although the Teamsters, one of the worst business unions are representing them, this is an example of a strike of quasi-public sector workers (UC has been privatizing for decades) that could be a spark for others workers in non-union sectors facing similar conditions. And January 20, 2017 could only really be a general strike if it came as a culmination of heightened class struggle that built up to it. This current strike, in Los Angeles where resistance to Trump by Latina/o immigrants is among the most intense in the U.S., could be one of those catalysts for more strikes and unifying social struggles around a class war position.

Chilli Sauce

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

While I'm glad this conversation seems like it might be moving on, I'd point out that very few people on libcom consider themselves leftists - and in fact most have a critique of the left. Doesn't mean that the anarchist movement doesn't sorely lack even a small presence in many sections of the working class, but I'd argue that's far more down to the overall low level of class struggle than it is about fucking safe spaces or even a retreat into academia or whatever.

Serge Forward

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, it is down to low level class struggle but some of the time we don't do ourselves any favours either.

Chilli Sauce

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Not disputing that for a second, Serge. ;-)

I do think, however, the libcom's regular posters usually represent the practically oriented and strategic wing of the anarchist movement. And when people come on here as if we don't have a critique of the activism/identity politics/subculturalism/red-and-black liberalism that passes for anarchism a lot of the time, it annoys me.

Anyway, my last post on the matter. My apologies for my part in getting this thread off-track.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

My experiences the past two weeks have been very similar to Hieronymous #627. I wasn't sure whether to share this because I wasn't sure about the utility of passing on too many personal experiences-anecdotes, but after reading H's account, decided to take the plunge.

People are actually TALKING to each other, building real, organic communities. Probably sounds hyperbolic, but in my life right now, it really isn't at all. I'm not sure how to tell this story without coming across like I'm being awfully self-congratulatory, but that's not even remotely the point.

I read this blog 6 months ago by this african american guy, right around the time where there were 3 high profile police killings in a row, and he talked about how no white person bothered to ask him how he was holding up and it really struck a chord with me. It's really an important issue for me personally because-- as I've mentioned before--I have a mixed family and so many of my loved ones are at risk being essentially extra judicially executed by state security forces simply for the crime of being black.

Since then, I've been making a concerted effort to get people at work talking about things like this, and it's gone so much better than I could've imagined. We have had some really amazing conversations on race, class, and the police and how much better work would be if we ran the show and so on. As an example, a few weeks ago, this 20 something black woman made a silly joke on a day when she was the only black person in the office about how she was the only chocolate in our chip today. Everyone laughed a lot, and while snorting she said, "you know i never thought i'd have a job where i would be able to joke like this,"and i don't think I'd felt so giddy about anything work related in my life.

So, that's kind of the culture at work right now, and on Wednesday last week, it was so natural and easy for us all to talk about Trump and the election and race and what it all means. And it's really nice that we've got that environment, cometely separate from any bullshit HR Sensitivity training or any of that crap.

And I get the sense post-election it's a bit like that all over because as another black coworker put it, we're all in the shit together now.

It's like there's this tiny window right now in which I think we can be a bit more influential than any other time in my lifetime. People in my orbit are so disgusted at Dems and the system as a whole that something like Trump could happen. I swear last Saturday a coworker who is a 65 year old african american woman said to me, "well hell--if they get to try out a goddamn Orange NAZI Reality Star, I don't see why we should ever listen to another fucking thing they ever tell us and why we shouldn't try something crazy like what you're always talking about, the real communist stuff or something." i was stunned and have to admit to tearing up a little.

There's a lot of talk at work and amongst friends who are a little lefty but not particularly radical that we're either going to end up in a police-state dictatorship, a civil war or have a revolution. I'm sure things are no where near any if those things, but everywhere I go strangers are talking. Like, actually talking. People are just pissed right now, but the most likely outcome is all of this anger and energy ends up getting funneled into the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party, but I don't remember ever hearing regular, non communist people talk like this before. Ever.

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jesuithitsquad, great post. Thanks so much for that. I think we dwell too much on abstract thoughts swirling in the space between our ears and not enough about our everyday lives -- or our emotional reactions to the events of the world.

The day after the election it started to be like that at my workplace too. People who I sensed were vaguely left-liberal were opening up, saying things ranging from "we need a revolution" (and I'm pretty sure their version wouldn't be a libcom one; probably more like social democracy), to "California ought to secede," to "there's gonna be a civil war." Others, who I'd already bonded with -- like a woman co-worker who's half Chicana/half white -- because they've got non-ideological radical instincts, were hoping that Black Lives Matter would resurrect with Trump's victory and continue taking to the streets.

A new white guy at work, who was quiet and bookish, started talking about the historical experience of Nazism in Germany and fascism around the world. Turns out he's a big fan of Walter Benjamin. He's really interesting and is married to a Chinese woman and is worried for her as she's a recent immigrant. At work, we're talking politics everyday in the lunchroom during our midday meal break. And I've only been to two post-election demos, but I saw a couple of my queer co-workers at them. They were already openly "out," but have become more outspoken out of fear of Trump's connection to far-right homophobes.

The co-workers I did the post-its with was born in Indonesia to Javanese-Chinese parents and came to the U.S. as a young child and became a naturalized citizen. He's now constantly talking about the need to "build a movement." By which I think he means something in the streets to agitate against crackdowns on immigrants. He was always pretty aware of the events of the world, but Trump's election has energized him to do something about it. This is all extremely inspiring -- and it gives me hope that we can begin to steer it to our own workplace issues.

Sure, none of this would have happened if Hillary got elected, but we shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth.

An Affirming Flame

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

These personal posts have all been really cool and it sounds like there is an interesting mood developing in parts of the country. I don't want to throw cold water on anyone, but I think I should share my experience, as it is quite different.

I'm in a small college town in the middle of rural Appalachia, not in school myself, just working at a restaurant. Here, the past 10 days since the election have felt pretty much the same as any other 10 days in the years I've been living here. Sure, people have talked a bit about Trump and Hillary, but there's always been occasional political conversations.

Two of the bosses, both young women of color, have had brief conversations with me about being shocked and dismayed by Trump's victory. Most of the white workers, young and old, barely care as they have expressed belief that we're (the "we" roughly meaning the common people, but I'd be too hopeful if I called that class consciousness) fucked no matter who is president. A few talked for a while the day after the election, mainly about being surprised that he won from a horserace perspective. One guy was concerned that Trump would make a mess of foreign policy.

Some latino college guys i work with were talking yesterday about how there's just too many protests lately. One guy said, "Granted, protests used to do something back in the day. But now everyone protests all the time about every little thing." They were completely dismissive of Black Lives Matter. Another said that people need to calm down and give Trump a chance.

And that's really been the full extent of any remotely political expression that I've seen in 10 days. I may go ahead and hazard a guess that things in huge swathes of the country outside the cities have probably been more like my experience, rather than that agitated mood other posters have described. But of course I may be wrong.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I may go ahead and hazard a guess that things in huge swathes of the country outside the cities have probably been more like my experience, rather than that agitated mood other posters have described.

I'm just guessing on this too, but I think you're probably right. I haven't spoken to my parents about political stuff since the election because I'm worried it will get too emtional, but a co-worker's mom is a teacher in rural southern Illinois and her reports match yours. Her impression is that in their small town, only her fellow teachers didn't vote for Trump.

Which brings us right back to the question of the rural-urban divide . . .

Chilli Sauce

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just to say that - for a few obvious exceptions - the posts on this thread have been great.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

If there was still any question about whether or not Trump might govern as a generic Republican, I think the Jeff Sessions pick as Attorney General should probably tell us everything we needed to know.

I'll try to write more on this tomorrow, but for those unaware, in 1986 Session was a nominee for a circuit judgeship (midlevel federal judge). The Senate refused to confirm his nomination due to several sketchy racist incidents. At the time, he was only the 2nd federal judicial nominee to be rejected in 48 years.

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Just to say briefly thanks everyone for your contributions here. I've spent a couple of hours over the last few days trying to get through the last dozen pages or so of this thread. Apart from a bit of a personal spat overall loss of it has been really informative, particularly the personal accounts.

I did have quite a lot to say in response to various comments people made, but now some of them were so many pages ago it doesn't really seem worth bringing them back, also I fear it may reignite the worst bits of this thread, so I'll leave it… (Also I will find where the discussion post-Trump victory began to add a link to the OP so people can skip straight to that bit of the discussion when they get here)

el psy congroo

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

going back to household size. even $72,000/2.5 is very modest means.

i think bsuok's right about there being overall progress in US race relations since the jim crow era. but the USA also seems to be experiencing a racist/nationalist backlash against immigrants and poc since around after 9/11. similar trends happening all over the world.

another thing that could be highlighted more is Trumps misogyny, the patriarchy and nepotism, and his blatant hostility against women in general. if he had been caught on tape bragging about immigrants or a poc in the same inflammatory and bigoted terms, perhaps dropping a racial slur of some kind, would the response be as lukewarm? what happened to the women claiming they were assaulted by Trump post-election? these questions seem to have largely been overshadowed in recent weeks.

finally theres also the question of climate change. the parts of the USA responsible for most of the commodity manufacturing and food production just made one of the worlds biggest climate denialists the POTUS. does this also reflect their views? four years of non-action or regressive policy by the Trump admin on these issues will have literal catastrophic consequences on the planet. And Trump is personally invested in the big pipelines and fracking operations.

jura

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

el psy congroo

going back to household size. even $72,000/2.5 is very modest means.

I still can't wrap my head around these figures. Say that the figure for an average Trump supporter is correct (although people have pointed out it's based on primaries' data, which tend to be higher). If that's "very modest" for a household, then what do we make of the $56,000 median? Are more than half of US households living with even worse than "very modest means"?

jaycee

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

One thing I think that hasn't been touched on yet is how the global rise in populist and nationalist movements/governments around the world expresses the declining position of 'western' power in the world. Not only are governments like China, Russia and India becoming more and more confidently nationalist and 'independent' but smaller powers around the world (Turkey, Saudi, the Phillipines etc) too are sensing that the power is shifting. The West is loosing its grip on the world and they are certainly looking to make the most of it.

This is often spoke of as the collapse/retreat of the 'Neo-Liberal' consensus/system. The international, free-trade/ 'democratic' form of globalization which was always a cover for Western Power seems to be running out of the West's control and has inadvertently brought a whole host of new competitors to the world stage. American dominance is seriously in question now; something which has been unthinkable for the last 30 years at least. This is leading to a lot more countries flexing their strength and using ideologies of ant-west/anti-'establishment' rhetoric.

This is true in America and the West more generally.trumps' whole ideology of 'Making America Great Again' is fundamentally the same as all fascistic movements in that it attempts to fight against the tide of history and against decline through 'force of will'. It is interesting how this connects with the conspiracy theorist view which sees 'globalism' as the enemy and the 'Liberal establishment' as selling out the country to 'global' organisations leading to the weakening of America/The West.

I also think any analysis of the use of blatant patriarchal, racist etc views from Trump and his ilk are also an expression of this sense of decline.

Chilli Sauce

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jura

el psy congroo

going back to household size. even $72,000/2.5 is very modest means.

I still can't wrap my head around these figures. Say that the figure for an average Trump supporter is correct (although people have pointed out it's based on primaries' data, which tend to be higher). If that's "very modest" for a household, then what do we make of the $56,000 median? Are more than half of US households living with even worse than "very modest means"?

So, I think a lot of it is geographical. $72,000 for a double-income family in New York or Los Angeles is very different from a single-income of $72,000 in Indiana or whatever.

That said, the official poverty figures in America are totally fucked. I don't have it in front of me, but it's calculated by taking the cost of food for a family of 4 and then multiplying that number by 3 or some utter nonsense like that. Accommodation, healthcare, transportation - that shit doesn't even make the calculation. So whatever the official poverty figures are, an honest assessment would place at least double the amount of people below the poverty line.

petey

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

That said, the official poverty figures in America are totally fucked. I don't have it in front of me

*ahem*

https://libcom.org/forums/north-america/2016-us-presidential-election-05032016?page=19#comment-587864

petey

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jura

el psy congroo

going back to household size. even $72,000/2.5 is very modest means.

I still can't wrap my head around these figures.

i wouldn't call it "very modest" anywhere. in some parts of the country a family of 2.5 could live like princes on it. in other parts (like where I live) it would be sufficient but no more.

petey

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

el psy congroo

another thing that could be highlighted more is Trumps misogyny

absolutely.

Donald Trump Jr. says women who “can’t handle” sexual harassment “don’t belong in the workforce”: “Go teach kindergarten”

https://www.salon.com/2016/10/14/donald-trump-jr-says-women-who-cant-handle-sexual-harassment-do-not-belong-in-the-workforce-go-teach-kindergarten/

“It will be so refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady back in the White House,” she wrote. “I’m tired of seeing a [sic] Ape in heels.”

Clay’s mayor, Beverly Whaling, reportedly commented on the post, “Just made my day Pam.”

http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/11/west-virginia-officials-called-michelle-obama-ape-in-heels.html

i've beat this drum upthread so once more and i'll leave it. the gender image presented by the trumps was a tremendous selling point. the idea of a woman who is an ivy graduate twice - you know, an elitist - and had an independent career, and is black besides, in the white house, has been intolerable to a large swath of americans who now had the opportunity to vote for a "classy" and "dignified" woman instead, one whose actions appear to conform to reactionary expectations.

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

jura

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Petey, Chilli, thanks for the responses. So if Trump's support was mostly rural, and if we stick to the $72k figure (or make it $62k to account for the primaries's bias), this would suggest most of his voters (workers or not) are doing rather fine in terms of income (and that not many are uemployed or on disability pay), right?

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Artesian, thanks for keeping the discussion on task; much like in the U.S. Civil War thread (now locked), I appreciate your honesty.

Yesterday I hung out with one of my younger comrades who lives around the corner from me. He's a pedicab driver and being that one of San Francisco's largest industries is tourism, he can seasonally make lots of money (and like pre-Uber taxis, much of it in cash and hence no taxes). We got to talking about the massive tent encampments locally, and since he is more mobile than me he told me the massive extent of them throughout the city. They are clearly growing. I don't know about elsewhere, but as I mentioned before, they exist all over the deindustrialized California, from the suburbs of Los Angeles and the Inland Empire in Southern California, all along the agribusiness heartland of the Central Valley, and in the Bay Area metropolises too.

Nationally, this is one of the many ways the working class has been decomposed. While there are many things I appreciate about Loren Goldner, he completely misses the mark when he says:

Goldner

Trump, for his part, when able to stay “on message,” has made disarmingly lucid speeches about what has happened to workers in the decimated former heartland of mass industry, the key “swing states” of the Midwest.

"Lucid"? I've watched my share of Trump speeches on YouTube and the last thing I'd say about his analysis of deindustrialization, global production, and class decomposition is "lucid." If we take him at his word that he really thinks he's going to undo 50 years of dispersed global production networks and commodity chains, not to mention automation, robotics and multiple tiers of subcontracting, we all have to admit that he's extremely ignorant. As in a complete fool when it comes to how capitalism works. Sure, he was born with a silver spoon, often failed to parlay it into anything much bigger, but hustled his way to remaining a ruling class celebrity of considerable wealth. He might know how to be a racist slumlord and scam and bully his way to staying afloat (think Trump University here), but he's not only stupid, but contradictory. All I can ask is: "What was Goldner smoking when he wrote that?" He's as stuck as Trump in debating the decline of Fordism, when its death is already a fait accompli.

As much as I'm loath to broach this topic, these convulsions are expressions of the culture wars that have been fought out in this current form since the 1960s, but actually go back to the origins of capitalism. Here I'll borrow definitions of culture and society from Herbert Gutman's introductory essay of the same title from his book Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America (p. 16)

Gutman

. . . culture is 'a kind of resource' and society 'a kind of arena,' the distinction being 'between sets of historically available alternatives or forms on the one hand, and the societal circumstances or setting within which these forms may be employed on the other.'

Why I quote Gutman is because I see him as an American E.P. Thompson, never losing sight of working class agency and historical contingency. The late left communist Will Barnes took a similar approach -- and applied it to the historical situation we're living through today, class-wise, in the U.S.

Here's what he said in 2011 about class composition in the present era and how casualization is the direction it's taking in the absence of class struggle. Which is what I see every day as I watch the streets outside my window becoming more and more jammed with Uber/Lyft drivers, FedEx/UPS trucks, and all the other app-based task-oriented services of the "sharing economy." At the end of this passage, he also accurately presaged the black revolt catalyzed by the killing of black and brown youth by the cops:

[quote=Will Barnes]Casualization is, on the other hand [as contrasted with lumpenization], a strictly objective process. No one chooses to be casualized, and the proof lies in the fact that the casualized exhibit a willingness to work, and do work often very, very hard (i.e., long hours with little in the way of “compensation”) in often unpleasant, licit activities that are necessary to the reproduction of capital in its current historical form.

Who are the casualized, or what is casualization? This phenomenon is best understood in terms of historical contrast.

In the era following the end of the last imperialist world war, American firms developed a system of hiring and promotion from within the firm that emphasized the internal development of the workforce. Characterized by promotion ladders and relatively clear rules and procedures governing workplace behavior and management expectations, the result was a relatively stable, "full-time" workforce, including wage earners, which could more or less take for granted job security and had guaranteed access to the firm's benefits programs, who in this context achieved a norm of a 8-hour day, 40-hour workweek (often among highly unionized industrial workers honored only in the breach).

Casualized labor, on the other hand, presupposing the end of the post-war boom and the unfolding decline of U.S. capitalism, is characterized by the absence of full-time, benefited and stable work. Casualized labor is neither stable nor benefited. It is not organized (unionized). It is paid low wages, and is part-time, seasonal or temporary. (Already by 1995, a new workforce structure had developed and characterized the contemporary firm, made up of a shrinking core of full-time workers and a periphery of contingent employees.) Casualized workers regularly labor at two and sometimes three jobs.

Now casualization has become a generalized, nay a ubiquitous, societal phenomenon. Immediately below, I’ll describe the casualized U.S. proletariat’s most recently formed layers. But here, reflect for a moment on whom first constituted the casualized: This was youth, particularly since the eighties when within the capitalist State a sub-minimum wage was first legislated, legalizing the payment of a wage below reproductive costs to young workers in the new mass entertainment “industries” (restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, game houses and similar venues of consumption, etc.). Most notable among these, the earliest of the casualized were black youth in fast food kitchens and white women employed as waitresses in restaurants. In the case of activities of the former type, however, wherever casualization has penetrated and new layers have been formed, black youth, especially males, were the first to be found. This is not fortuitous, but rooted in the racism that is a central, endemic feature of American capitalism through its history, and a premise of that very history. This history of racism, a history of oppression, both objective (structural deprivation, inaccessibility of work, homes, forms of consumption) and subjective (daily diet of humiliation, abuse and personal offenses), has found among this black layer of the casualized an entirely distinct feature, a form of awareness characterizing large numbers of casualized black youth (especially those who have not subjectively gone over fully to lumpen activities), an awareness that oscillates between a defeatist individualism and personalism assiduously cultivated by capital’s spectacle and angry revolt that can, in the right conditions, be immediately linked to open struggle against and confrontation with capital. Unlike all other casualized layers, black youth is not inherently conservative.[/quote]

And he's how he treats the shape of the decomposed working class:

Will Barnes

De-industrialization has transmogrified whole layers of the American working class and the changes in class composition have been startling, since this proletariat has undergone radical changes in makeup with a view to gender, class and local geography. Among the casualized (whom may form in excess of seventy million workers in the United States), the vast majority of the class has been recently proletarianized i.e., these workers have become proletarian within their own lifetimes (and, this assessment is, mutatis mutandis, valid for the balance of what once was the core of the class).

In other words, the majority, perhaps the vast bulk, of today’s working class is not hereditarily proletarian, and among these layers the vast overwhelming majority are, as I indicated, casualized. These layers are composed largely of the following: Formerly middle stratum youth forced to work in contingent laboring capacities (the cook, janitor, the adult paper “boy”); divorced women, most often mothers who, prior to proletarianization raised families of modest means and have sometime in the past been forced to work to support themselves (and their children); small town men and women (and here I include sons of disappearing rural farming families that have sold off to their land to make way for far, far out suburban growth) who have been attracted to the big cities (Atlanta, Nashville, Minneapolis, Denver, etc.) that, set down in large tracts of the contemporary capitalist countryside, are gigantic magnets whose higher wages, relatively speaking, and standards of living attract the rural petty bourgeoisie, the proletariat of the small towns, and rural tenant labor; and, low level managers, supervisors and foremen who have been thrown out of work by the various cyclical downturns (1981-1982, 1991-1992, 2001, and the present crisis in global capitalism beginning in 2007) since the peak of the post world war expansion. These groups have never breathed the free air of the city. They are profoundly conservative: It is here that we find a generation whose icon is Ronald Reagan, whose inclinations are individualistic and anti-union, and who identify themselves, not as workers but as Christians, Republicans, and part of the struggling “middle class.”

Significant numbers making up these new, largely “white” proletarian layers (e.g., re-situated small town casualized labor, divorced working women) have returned to the working class after a long absence (one that transcends their lifetimes): In the middle stratum expansion predicated on the boom following the last imperialist world war, their grandparents or parents, as the case may have been, “climbed out’” of the working class. While in the middle stratum contraction that has occurred in America following capital’s response, the global shift of industry to the capitalist periphery, to the last worldwide proletarian upsurge (circa 1963-1978), they have “fallen” back into a working class (i.e., their existence is again determined by the wage relation) that has at once been vastly expanded and seriously fragmented.

And finally, how this class decomposition has affected consciousness:

Will Barnes

In the absence of a clear alternative to actually existing capitalism, mutual penetration of various proletarian layers has been accompanied by the peculation upward of the forms of awareness characterizing the most backward layers of unorganized labor. This is most clearly visible in mass culture, in the diffusion of the spectacularized interests of backward, unorganized labor (in, e.g., NASCAR, country music, the “manly” romance with the pick-up truck, etc.) throughout the American proletariat. This upward peculation affects the very speech of those various layers in their forms of address (e.g., the use of term “buddy” as a verbal expression of male bonding, the ubiquitous use of its diminutive “bud” with reference to very young males by working mothers); or, again, it is expressed in the choice for provision of spectacular “information” (e.g., the immense popularity of right-wing, radio talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh among workers. Walk the streets, and listen to whom the UPS or Fed Ex driver has tuned his or her vehicle’s radio into while making deliveries.)

This upward seepage, a movement in working class awareness, is basically rooted in shared, societal assumptions of different layers of the proletariat, none of which constitute elements of a fundamentally proletarian culture, and the most important of which are the absolute unassailability of the structure of work and the refusal to mount challenges to any of capital’s prerogatives. This upward seepage is further rooted in self-defensive anti-intellectualism; in the affinity for the violent spectacle (i.e., the psychologically shared structure of repressive desublimation); and, in a psychological-emotional makeup that is authoritarian-submissive. In a “positive” sense, awareness centers on monetary conditions, on the daily struggle to make a living; and, always co-present “in” consciousness, on family concerns, and the immediate network of friendly (and hostile), often workplace-based acquaintances. It is awareness appallingly ignorant and cognitively incapable of grasping any (especially, productive or political) event, structure or locale (in its relation to the social totality) that transcends this immediacy. Simply stated, the very concept of society or totality has disappeared. Tacitly racist, largely xenophobic, often religiously fundamentalist, and openly jingoist, the conceptual mediations that permit transcendence of immediacy are spectacularly generated, provided by the likes of Fox News or based upon contemporary adaptations of biblically bastardized fantasies.

More prosaically, much of the contents and structure of awareness are consequences of having been beaten to the ground by, economically, the depression conditions in which wage earners, especially the casualized, live.

These assumptions and these psychological dispositions lead, especially under these conditions to diversions of every sort, to resentment of the wealth, consumption and perceived “relaxed” “lifestyles” of well-to-do middling groups invariably identified as “liberals”; to resentment over objections to enthusiastic commitments to the violent spectacular in every conceivable form (filmic entertainment, so-called sporting activities, jingoistic support for U.S. wars abroad, etc.), perceived as guilt tripping; similarly, to living for, as it were, spectacular enjoyments outside work and the corresponding refusal to give consideration to anything beyond entertainment as “heavy,” “depressing,” “politics” and a distraction; and, to resentment of intellectuals and cultural vanguards expressing a societally induced low self-esteem (and, more likely than not, not just societally, but also familially, induced). They lead to open support for homophobic solutions for the gay “problem,” and, to a faux humility that is inconsolably aggrieved and constantly expressed in victim’s fantasies – all of which make this personality type and its variants prime material for recruitment into the vortex of social movements of the neo-Right.

I firmly believe that Will's lucid analysis is excellent fodder for further discussion about where the Trump phenomenon arose from.

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

These attacks were "blooded" first in the attacks against African-Americans. To say that because now because the deprivation reaches deeply into the working classes, impacting working class whites, there is no racist backlash is just blindness.

word

el psy congroo

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

wanna start out by saying we should all remember capitalism dictates the actions of the politicians and not vice versa.

my mistake about the timeline i provided. agree with Artesian, the racist backlash from workers against their own class goes back much further than 15 years in the USA. i don't see anyone here trying to flatly deny its existence, it's here and that's obvious to us at the present.

what's not so obvious is how the amount of racist backlash, the material support for racist and nationalist groups, the growth of it all on the "mainstream stage", correlates with the the developments of global imperialism and the economic and ecological crises. "are we more or less racist now?", etc.

so there is a need to test this hypothesis, the idea that increasing nationalism and racism is antithetical to the development of working class identity.

one thing that's been shown to be true since at least the late 60s in the USA is the lack of "social mobility". it's estimated that less than one in ten americans change income tax brackets in their lifetime.

also i'm really not following the numbers talk. the income tax rate for $72k is 25%. puts you at $4,500 a month after tax. after rent or mortgage, transportation, child care, health and dental care (not including visits to the doctor), insurance, food, mobile phones, TV, Internet, heating and electricity...you miss just a few paychecks and you're faced with some serious setbacks. there is barely any disposable income there. the point is that $72k is firmly within what would be considered working class in the USA. nobody is stashing money in the Caymans with that kind of income.

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymus, I think that stuff Barnes wrote was good, but in terms of determining where the Trump phenomenon has come from, TBH I think some people are overanalysing it.

Okbus or whatever his name was unfortunately got sidetracked with some personal slagging and some weird hangup about "safer spaces"*, but I think the bulk of what he said in his initial posts was pretty accurate.

I know huge amounts has been written about how Trump connected so well with the white working class, and his victory was a backlash against BLM etc but looking at the actual vote numbers basically the picture seems to be that people who generally vote Republican voted Republican (although fewer of them did than previously, presumably because some were put off by Trump's sexism - and maybe a smaller number by his blatant racism), and people who generally vote Democrat, voted Democrat, but the number of Democratic voters plummeted, because Hillary Clinton was so shit, and because of incumbency.

That's not to say that it doesn't look like there has been a big increase in public racism, and that many racists have been emboldened by the campaign. And that racism simmering below the surface has always been around and has been exacerbated since 911 and the financial crisis - and by the backlash against BLM. Exactly the same thing happened here with the EU referendum.

Although I must say Artesian has done some great posts here on this thread, particularly early on about the racism related to Trump's campaign. But I did find this very strange as he seemed to be arguing the completely opposite point he was arguing during the UK EU referendum.

Over here, the Leave vote for the referendum was pretty much entirely led by racists arguing that all the problems were due to immigration, Muslims and "regulation". Just like Trump. And the Leave vote was supported by all of Britain's right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis (although Artesian thought it was outrageous and unfair when I pointed this out on the EU referendum thread). Just like Trump.

But of course the EU is also a massive free trade area. So Artesian supported a vote to Leave. So the anti-globalisation element of the Leave vote more than outweighed the racist, anti-migrant element in Artesian's book. Whereas the anti-globalisation of Trump (saying he will get rid of NAFTA, TPP, TIPP - which would be far more damaging to world capitalism than the UK leaving the EU) is trumped (if you'll forgive the pun) by his racism.

So I must admit I do not understand the logic at all.

*Going back to "safer spaces" the hysteria around this is complete bullshit on many levels. Apart from anything else, any union meeting or event I have ever been to has had the rule that there should be no racist/sexist/homophobic/discriminatory etc language or behaviour in it, and pretty much all UK unions have the same rule and have had it for years. But that wasn't specifically referred to as a "safer spaces" policy, so no one, especially no self-proclaimed anarchist or communist seemed to start having a go at unions for being overly PC or retreating into some sort of self absorbed identity politics. Because those rules are there to prevent members of the unions (and thus the working class) from attacking and turning on each other, rather than the bosses.

Cooked

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Interesting thread despite some appaling behaviour. The safer spaces outrage is clearly absurd but I do think "we" underestimate or fail to understand what the outrage is about. It's clearly very powerful and not only a right wing thing.

My mother a lefty, feministy person comes out with comments about what you are "not supposed to say anymore". She does immigration solidarity work and hangs out with LGBTQ people so it's never about that sort of thing. But nurseries have been renamed to pre-schools and various jobtitles have changed to sound more important whithout changing he actual job or conditions. These things come down from management and probably originate in some recuperation of lefty academic stuff.

Something about the social situation makes people very annoyed about that sort of thing. It's surprisingly explosive. I dont think it can be dismissed as a diver of votes.

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

Hieronymu[o]s, I think that stuff Barnes wrote was good, but in terms of determining where the Trump phenomenon has come from, TBH I think some people are overanalysing it.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this right-wing populist switch in white working class loyalties has its roots in things like Nixon's "New Majority" and George Wallace's overtly racist presidential campaigns in 1968 and 1972. But the Republican rebound started even earlier. Republican presidential candidate from Arizona Barry Goldwater lost by a landslide in the 1964 election, where incumbent Johnson garnered 61% of the popular vote -- still the all time highest. But the party began shifting of its center of gravity from Eastern liberal Republicans to those proto-neo-cons from the South and West, like Nixon and Reagan who embodied the latter.

In the Goldwater campaign, he and his supporters were likened to "Nazis, madmen, and warmongers." The cover of Fact magazine stated “1,189 Psychiatrists Say Goldwater is Unfit to be President!” Sound familiar? We have to see this trajectory in the whole post-war epoch: from Taft-Hartley to McCarthy and the Cold War, and from the rise of Civil Rights and Black Power to the racist reaction to it, we can't understand any of this historical sweep without looking at class relations in a systemic way. Steven., I respectfully disagree: many people are either under-analyzing this, or approaching it with anti-intellectual simplifications.[/quote]

Steven.

Okbus [bsuok] or whatever his name was unfortunately got sidetracked with some personal slagging and some weird hangup about "safer spaces"*, but I think the bulk of what he said in his initial posts was pretty accurate.

Again time to respectfully disagree. From his first post, many of us who live in the U.S. could easily peg him for someone who either doesn't live here or hasn't lived here in years. Which turned out to be an accurate assessment.

Case in point: in the last week before the election, the news media -- online, social media, print, radio, and TV -- were abuzz with stories about 2017 health care premiums rising. At my workplace lunchroom everyone was talking about it. I caught conversations on the street and on the bus. I had medical appointments and everyone was talking -- and pissed off -- about it. My partner and I got an announcement from our insurance carrier that week spelling out the increases in explicit details. Anyone who has the audacity to say this situation was "unreported" doesn't live in the U.S.

jesuithitsquad did an excellent job of refuting many of bsuok's other flagrant inaccuracies.

Steven., care to articulate what you found accurate with bsuok? I'm interested where your opinion diverges from that of Artesian, jesuithitsquad or myself.

Steven.

I know huge amounts has been written about how Trump connected so well with the white working class, and his victory was a backlash against BLM etc but looking at the actual vote numbers basically the picture seems to be that people who generally vote Republican voted Republican (although fewer of them did than previously, presumably because some were put off by Trump's sexism - and maybe a smaller number by his blatant racism), and people who generally vote Democrat, voted Democrat, but the number of Democratic voters plummeted, because Hillary Clinton was so shit, and because of incumbency.

No argument here.

Steven.

That's not to say that it doesn't look like there has been a big increase in public racism, and that many racists have been emboldened by the campaign. And that racism simmering below the surface has always been around and has been exacerbated since 911 and the financial crisis - and by the backlash against BLM. Exactly the same thing happened here with the EU referendum.

Although I must say Artesian has done some great posts here on this thread, particularly early on about the racism related to Trump's campaign. But I did find this very strange as he seemed to be arguing the completely opposite point he was arguing during the UK EU referendum.

Over here, the Leave vote for the referendum was pretty much entirely led by racists arguing that all the problems were due to immigration, Muslims and "regulation". Just like Trump. And the Leave vote was supported by all of Britain's right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis (although Artesian thought it was outrageous and unfair when I pointed this out on the EU referendum thread). Just like Trump.

But of course the EU is also a massive free trade area. So Artesian supported a vote to Leave. So the anti-globalisation element of the Leave vote more than outweighed the racist, anti-migrant element in Artesian's book. Whereas the anti-globalisation of Trump (saying he will get rid of NAFTA, TPP, TIPP - which would be far more damaging to world capitalism than the UK leaving the EU) is trumped (if you'll forgive the pun) by his racism.

So I must admit I do not understand the logic at all.

I never did more than skim that thread, so from what you say I don't agree with Artesian's position on Brexit.

Steven.

*Going back to "safer spaces" the hysteria around this is complete bullshit on many levels. Apart from anything else, any union meeting or event I have ever been to has had the rule that there should be no racist/sexist/homophobic/discriminatory etc language or behaviour in it, and pretty much all UK unions have the same rule and have had it for years. But that wasn't specifically referred to as a "safer spaces" policy, so no one, especially no self-proclaimed anarchist or communist seemed to start having a go at unions for being overly PC or retreating into some sort of self absorbed identity politics. Because those rules are there to prevent members of the unions (and thus the working class) from attacking and turning on each other, rather than the bosses.

The working class is not divided because it's weak, it's weak because it's divided. The bitter defeat that ended the last phase of working class shopfloor offensives in the mid-1970s, in my opinion at least, gave rise to Post Modernism, identity politics, positivism in the social sciences, a rejection of the Hegelian-Marxist tradition, dismissal of historical analysis à la E.P. Thompson in the academy, class denial, etc., etc. ad nauseam. Working class defeat is a fertile breeding ground for reactionary ideas like these.

And yes, it ran rife in college towns across the U.S., but seems to be less prevalent than it once was. But safe space policies cooked up by students at universities in Burlington, Vermont, or Boulder, Colorado, or Berkeley, California impacting the white working class in deindustrialized towns like Monessen, Pennsylvania or Gary, Indiana, or Akron, Ohio is really, really spurious. If the safe space bashers are so convinced that the machinations of college undergrads drove legions of the desperate white working class into the arms of Trump, they've done a piss poor job of being convincing. In my opinion, this is a red herring. Although there was a modicum of truth to this in the 1980s and 1990s.

As for the unions in the U.S. being ineffective because of safer spaces and identity politics, this is pure unadulterated bullshit. Unions like the CIO never abandoned class struggle because they were class collaborators from their inception (the AFL even more so). The national CIO leadership always worked to prevent working class-based independent political activity and during World War II got in bed with Democratic Party, a position they remain in today -- although right now leaders like Trumka want the opportunity to jump in bed with Trump.

Sharkfinn

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Petey, Chilli, thanks for the responses. So if Trump's support was mostly rural, and if we stick to the $72k figure (or make it $62k to account for the primaries's bias), this would suggest most of his voters (workers or not) are doing rather fine in terms of income (and that not many are uemployed or on disability pay), right?

If I understand the definition of household income correctly, we can't say anything from those figures. Having more young people (who typically have smaller income than older people) voting Hillary or having more single people voting Hillary might skew the average household income downwards. In the post-2008 housing crisis US, the 72k figure might as well mean just bigger households, a combined income of several adults sharing the same home, like two working age adults and one pensioner or a family member on benefits/disability pay. And then there's the regional difference. We just don't know.

This is exactly the kind of detail that gets lost in the media speculation. Its really hard to say anything, especially without seeing the raw data. Exit polls in general should not be taken as very accurate representations of the voter population. They are intended to calculate swing and turnout, not for analysing the respondents' social background accurately.

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Cooked

… safer spaces…

But nurseries have been renamed to pre-schools and various jobtitles have changed to sound more important whithout changing he actual job or conditions. These things come down from management and probably originate in some recuperation of lefty academic stuff.

On nurseries, don't really know what you mean but in the UK they are still called nurseries. Job title is changing is just job title inflation: it is nothing to do with safer spaces or political correctness. It is a thing employers can do to make their employees happier without paying any more money. For example recently lots of senior managers, who were either called senior managers or assistant directors have now been renamed as "directors". If they're not going to get any more money, then you can sometimes buy workers off by offering them a better job title, which will help them get promotions/get better paid jobs elsewhere as it looks better on their CV. But as some employers do this, it pressures others to do the same as it makes it harder to recruit to roles if they don't.

The ideology of "political correctness gone mad" is pretty strong, and affects people across the political spectrum, although mostly on the right, as it has been pushed heavily by the right-wing media since the 80s. The hysteria about "safer spaces" is the latest incarnation of that, which seems to bother more people on the left/ultraleft, I believe just because it's newer (although I'm sure back in the 80s many workerist types thought it was "identity politics" to not refer to women/ethnic minorities etc in derogatory ways)

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

x

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

x

jura

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Sharkfinn, thanks for that, those are good points.

Tarwater

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

Again time to respectfully disagree. From his first post, many of us who live in the U.S. could easily peg him for someone who either doesn't live here or hasn't lived here in years. Which turned out to be an accurate assessment.

Case in point: in the last week before the election, the news media -- online, social media, print, radio, and TV -- were abuzz with stories about 2017 health care premiums rising. At my workplace lunchroom everyone was talking about it. I caught conversations on the street and on the bus. I had medical appointments and everyone was talking -- and pissed off -- about it. My partner and I got an announcement from our insurance carrier that week spelling out the increases in explicit details. Anyone who has the audacity to say this situation was "unreported" doesn't live in the U.S.

I didn't hear anything about the rise in premiums. None of the people in my circle have health insurance. I live in the U.S.

I don't necessarily think this is very important, and don't want to derail. I just want to make it clear that there is a diversity of experiences in the gigantic country known as the United States of America

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Although I must say Artesian has done some great posts here on this thread, particularly early on about the racism related to Trump's campaign. But I did find this very strange as he seemed to be arguing the completely opposite point he was arguing during the UK EU referendum.

I argued that, since the EU was a union of capitalists, "all" ________(fill in the blank) should oppose that the UK remain in it. I argued for a class based opposition to it as the union of capitalists. I did not argue against "free trade" or "the loss of sovereignty" or against unrestricted immigration.

Yes, but isn't NAFTA a "union of capitalists"? Wouldn't TPP and TTIP also be?

If a class-based opposition to NAFTA emerged based not on chauvinism, but simply that NAFTA represented a union of the bourgeoisie, I would support that opposition.

Of course, and if there was class-based opposition to the EU I would support it, but there wasn't and there isn't: there is demonisation of foreigners and Muslims (and to a lesser extent "red tape"), as many of us in the UK attempted to explain to you at the time, but you did not accept it.

However, without that class based opposition, there is no reason to support Brexit. I am perfectly willing to accept that my advocacy of the leave vote was incorrect precisely because no class-based opposition had been formed-- that the whole thing was a sham in which Cameron thought he could muffle dissent, and the reactionaries thought better-- they knew they could mobilize reaction.

Okay I'm pretty surprised by this. I mean that's cool if you now think the Leave advocacy was incorrect. But I guess I am surprised because you called me all sorts of names (I don't recall specifically but it was things in the ballpark of "liberal capitalist stooge") and were extremely aggressive in your arguments both towards me and to those others who expressed concern for migrant workers in the UK. You specifically said that their worries for migrant workers in the UK was them selfishly being worried about their "mates", rather than the working class, and didn't accept people explaining that migrant workers, our friends, family etc are part of the working class (and sadly there has been a huge spike in racist attacks in the wake of the vote, up to a 59% increase on last year, with at least one murder, in addition to the murder during the campaign, people burnt out of their homes, etc).

But from your posts about Trump it does seem like you think people being concerned for migrant workers in the US is justified. Which of course is a good thing, but I just don't quite understand the massive flip-flop.

I still say Marxists or _______________(fill in the blank) oppose entry into the EU, expansion of the EU and the existence of the EU.

Of course, I would agree with that, however that is a different kettle of fish to voting to leave. Just like opposing entry to NAFTA is different to say supporting voting for a political candidate who says they will leave it.

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Tarwater

I didn't hear anything about the rise in premiums. None of the people in my circle have health insurance. I live in the U.S.

I don't necessarily think this is very important, and don't want to derail. I just want to make it clear that there is a diversity of experiences in the gigantic country known as the United States of America

I just did a random internet search and these stories hit all national wire services in early September, rose throughout October, reaching a saturation point around October 25th. Tarwater, could it be that you don't peruse the mainstream press that often?

My employer complies with a local ordinance mandating a $2.50 per hour contribution, so with that plus the federal subsidy my premiums weren't too bad and the deductible wasn't too unreasonable. Now my partner and feel much more squeezed as it cuts more deeply into our earnings.

For me and my comrades this is part of our "social wage" and is a big deal. For my co-workers too. It's obviously different in different parts of the country. And it is such a hot button issue for right-wingers and Trump supporters, who absurdly called lousy capitalist market-driven health insurance "socialism."

According to the ACA (Obamacare) website, only 11% of adults aren't covered. Tarwater, what do you and others do if you have serious health problems?

EDIT: Tarwater wasn't it you who had an accident and had to rely on relatives to coalesce? Guess that answers the question.

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

Chilli Sauce

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

According to the ACA (Obamacare) website, only 11% of adults aren't covered. Tarwater, what do you and others do if you have serious health problems?

Just, FWIW, one of the problems of Obamacare is the institutionalization of the under-insured. Young people, those on low wages, or those who don't get healthcare from their employer often opt for the lowest monthly premium with the highest deductible - which provides a disincentive for people to seek medical attention.

The upshot is that you get a weird situation where with the least coverage and don't use their coverage end up subsidizing those with better, more expensive plans.

And, even then, in a lot of states (especially those that didn't opt to expand Medicaid), it's cheaper for people to eat the tax penalty than to buy shitty, high-deductible insurance they'll most likely not use. That's what me and my partner did.

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That sucks. Thanks for clarifying.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jesus you guys--I feel like a broken record, but this thread just keeps getting better and better. I thought I'd responded earlier today, but for some reason it didn't post. So apologies if I push the conversation back a bit. There are a lot of other interesting comments I'd like to come back to later, but for now I would just quickly like to commend Artesian--it takes a certain kind of bravery, I think, to acknowledge when we've gotten the wrong end of the stick. A lot of times it's really easy to dig in our heels, and I think it's important to recognize it when someone gives a mea culpa.

el psy congroo

USA also seems to be experiencing a racist/nationalist backlash against immigrants and poc since around after 9/11. similar trends happening all over the world.

For sure on the Islamaphobia, but it did feel a bit like this faded somewhat until maybe the Boston Marathon bombing and then the more recent, ISIS inspired attacks in the West--at which point it came back with a vengeance.

As far as the resurgence of white nationalism in general, it's always kind of been there, just under the surface. It definitely moved up a bit after Obama's election, particularly with the Birther movement. Interestingly, it was both coincidental and in many cases, coexistent with the Tea Party movement. Then, as has been mentioned before, open displays of racism just exploded following Ferguson and BLM. Here's another personal anecdote:

I visited a fairly normalish seeming relative the day after the 1st night of the Ferguson protests. The St Louis area is a roughly 3.5 to 4 hour drive from where I live. The guy is an avid gun collector and as I walked into his house he had all 4 of his assault rifles sitting out. When I asked him if he was heading out to the range, he got a real serious look on his face and told me he was cleaning them so he would be ready for when 'they' get here.

I was genuinely confused and it honestly didn't occur to me that he could have been talking about Ferguson since it is so far away. When he clarified I was legitimately speechless for a bit. Finally I was able to muster a response, saying something about it being like 250 some odd miles from here to there and I was pretty sure he needn't worry. But he brushed that aside by talking about how he was 'surrounded' in his neighborhood.

Seeing as the man had 3AK's & an AR-15 within arm's reach, relative or not, I dropped the subject  and decided against mentioning that I was scheduled to carpool to Ferguson the next morning.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

ugh--sorry for the broken-up post...el psy congroo

finally theres also the question of climate change. the parts of the USA responsible for most of the commodity manufacturing and food production just made one of the worlds biggest climate denialists the POTUS. does this also reflect their views? four years of non-action or regressive policy by the Trump admin on these issues will have literal catastrophic consequences on the planet. And Trump is personally invested in the big pipelines and fracking operations.

As terrible as all of the open racism is, I wonder if this won't end up being the most consequential aspect of the next four years. To be fair though, Trump is--more or less--pretty much in the mainstream of the Republican Party on climate change.

For instance, Mike Pence is virulently anti-EPA, pro-Coal, anti-net metering, and sued the EPA in attempt to avoid the provisions of the Clean Power Plan. In his last legislative session as governor, he originally supported a "No More Stringent Than" law that would have made it statuarily impossible for the state or individual localities to have environmental standards higher than the EPA's. Environmental groups were able to get it amended, effectively neutering the bill. In conjunction with the Flint water crisis being front-page news at the time, and since the law was no longer the version the utilities wanted, Pence ultimately vetoed the ammended version of the law. (He is nothing if not very politically savvy.)

I've already mentioned how beholden Pence is to investor-owned utilities and the Koch Brothers, and told the story of how he replaced an energy efficiency program with programs written and implemented by the individual utilities. Given how vocally pro-coal both he and Trump are and the outsized role Pence will likely play on energy issues there is very little hope for mitigating climate change issues for the foreseeable future.

The only silver-lining I can see is that the market fundamentals are completely lined up against coal. (The absurdity of a communist pinning hope on free-market capitalism!) Unless the Trump administration ends up massively subsidizing the coal industry these trends may continue, perhaps even exponentially. As far as fracking/natural gas is concerned, my well-considered opinion and analysis is that we are all fucked.

Cooked

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

The ideology of "political correctness gone mad" is pretty strong, and affects people across the political spectrum, although mostly on the right, as it has been pushed heavily by the right-wing media since the 80s.

It has developed in different ways across the world. I grew up in the very north of Sweden where there is a very strong culture of dissing Stockholm and the extraction of natural resources. Compared to the rugged individualism of USA there is perhaps a comparable rugged collectivism. Language and attitudes are I guess a bit terse and sort of macho but compared to everywhere else I've lived free from misogyny and racism. The complaints about (usually not refered to as PC as it's a term owned by the right, although this is changing) language control is more about this scepticism of the center than any wish to continue being a bigot. The fluctuations in correct words to use for minorities is an actual problem for people, they feel embarrassed and insecure despite having good intentions. The source of this embarrassement can quite correctly be located in a small group of academics doing fringe stuff att universities not mass movements. It does filter though in a twisted recuperated way.

The point of my previous post and this one is the rural/urban divide and a failure of some posters to understand their position in all this as that of an educated up to date urban person.

Several arguments were made against bsuok that were divorced from his arguments and triggered by details of language and ways of expression supposedly owned by the right. To keep language clean takes huge effort. The narrative that what a few people do on campuses is irrelevant for working people in the periphery is just not true. Yes the media is exaggerating, yes safe spaces are a good idea. However some perverse interpretation of safe spaces will be implemented in workplaces if it hasn't already. The correct minority ultraleft version won't be implemented as it won't serve capital and it no one will get to hear about it. I'm only using safer spaces as it's the current source of idiotic discussions.

Libcom posters could use more intersectionalism as a certain axis seem ivisible around here. The urban educaded perspective (like my own) is way to dominant. We see it all the time with new posters.

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

Stephen,

I argued pretty aggressively, as I always do. I did not call you a "liberal capitalist stooge."

you're right, I remember now it was "contortionist libertarian communo-market capitalis[t]"

I think my argument as harshly presented as it was, was not dismissive of the protection of migrant workers, but that it was pretty much impossible to support an "abstain" argument, or sympathy for a "remain" argument based on the special status afforded to EU country citizens when the EU member countries were so committed to a) supporting military actions that dispossessed hundreds of thousands if not millions and then b) placing those refugees and migrants in camps; hiring Turkey to suppress migration, etc. etc.

Yeah, I get that like we tried to explain we weren't even just talking about EU migrants, as the Leave campaign was primarily based on attacking all migrants, as well as Muslims, ethnic minorities and regulation (which includes things like human rights protections, workers' rights protections, environmental and consumer protections et cetera). Here is a sample of what we were seeing throughout the campaign:

(click for larger version)

This was the kind of thing that led otherwise principled communists and anarchists to vote Remain, as a protest against this sort of demonisation and the likely state repression of migrants in the aftermath.

Anyway I appreciate your clarification now, I won't derail this discussion anymore. I did think the parallels with Brexit were worth touching on though.

In the US, I've been arguing for ten years that the key to class struggle in the US; to developing class consciousness is unconditional defense of migrants; no worker is illegal; no child is illegal; no ICE raids on workplaces; stop the deportations.

ditto, and that's good to hear. Although in a UK setting it is important for us to defend EU migrants as well as those from elsewhere.

Red Marriott

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jesuithitsquad

el psy congroo

finally theres also the question of climate change. the parts of the USA responsible for most of the commodity manufacturing and food production just made one of the worlds biggest climate denialists the POTUS. does this also reflect their views? four years of non-action or regressive policy by the Trump admin on these issues will have literal catastrophic consequences on the planet. And Trump is personally invested in the big pipelines and fracking operations.

As terrible as all of the open racism is, I wonder if this won't end up being the most consequential aspect of the next four years. To be fair though, Trump is--more or less--pretty much in the mainstream of the Republican Party on climate change.

Chomsky discusses this (and other topics) in a recent interview;

Trump has already taken steps to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by placing in charge of the EPA transition a notorious (and proud) climate change denier, Myron Ebell. Trump's top adviser on energy, billionaire oil executive Harold Hamm, announced his expectations, which were predictable: dismantling regulations, tax cuts for the industry (and the wealthy and corporate sector generally), more fossil fuel production, lifting Obama's temporary block on the Dakota Access pipeline. The market reacted quickly. Shares in energy corporations boomed, including the world's largest coal miner, Peabody Energy, which had filed for bankruptcy, but after Trump's victory, registered a 50 percent gain.

He also points out another aspect of the weird diversity of the USA;

One of the difficulties in raising public concern over the very severe threats of global warming is that 40 percent of the US population does not see why it is a problem, since Christ is returning in a few decades. About the same percentage believe that the world was created a few thousand years ago. If science conflicts with the Bible, so much the worse for science. It would be hard to find an analogue in other societies. http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/38360-trump-in-the-white-house-an-interview-with-noam-chomsky

Khawaga

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Now I know that there are a few evangelicals in the US, but that 40% believe in the second coming seems a bit too high. I am also skeptical because I find Chomsky's use of evidence a bit fast and loose at times.

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Khawaga

Now I know that there are a few evangelicals in the US, but that 40% believe in the second coming seems a bit too high. I am also skeptical because I find Chomsky's use of evidence a bit fast and loose at times.

that figure is from a survey by Pew Research in 2010. http://www.people-press.org/2010/06/22/section-3-war-terrorism-and-global-trends/

(edited because I have now had a look at the methodology and sample size, they called about 1000 people on home phones and 600 on cell phones, supposedly weighted for geography and demographics. Still I can see how they could lead people to give that sort of answer by questioning, so I doubt it's very accurate)

petey

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

One of the difficulties in raising public concern over the very severe threats of global warming is that 40 percent of the US population does not see why it is a problem, since Christ is returning in a few decades.

trump's policies about energy production and the seeming public apathy about it are of course horrifying but this claim is quite overblown. i've never heard eschatology connected with climate denialism. and i just don't believe that 40% of americans expect jesus to return by 2050. (btw if you're a christian of any stripe you're supposed to believe in a second coming. the question is about the possibility of predicting the date.)

Khawaga

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks Steven

Chilli Sauce

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

i've never heard eschatology connected with climate denialism.

While I'd say this is generally true, we shouldn't forget that madness from Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

Now I know that there are a few evangelicals in the US, but that 40% believe in the second coming seems a bit too high.

I'd back up Petey on this one, as, in theory, all Christians believe in the second coming, this 40% figure doesn't surprise.

That said, I don't actually believe America is as religious as this may suggest. In my experience, while there certainly is a hard-core religious core, most people are only religious when push comes to shove. So, yeah, they'll say they believe in the second coming, but for most those religious beliefs only become relevant when they're asked about them (or, sometimes, when they need justification for some prejudiced belief).

Joseph Kay

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

Now I know that there are a few evangelicals in the US, but that 40% believe in the second coming seems a bit too high.

I'd back up Petey on this one, as, in theory, all Christians believe in the second coming, this 40% figure doesn't surprise.

By 2050 though?!

Steven.

Khawaga

Now I know that there are a few evangelicals in the US, but that 40% believe in the second coming seems a bit too high. I am also skeptical because I find Chomsky's use of evidence a bit fast and loose at times.

that figure is from a survey by Pew Research in 2010. Haven't looked into the methodology or the sample size… http://www.people-press.org/2010/06/22/section-3-war-terrorism-and-global-trends/

Fwiw the full report (p.17) says they sampled 1,546 adults by selecting random telephone numbers (1,006 landlines and 540 cellphones), then weighted the results by gender/age/race/other demographics to match a census for the general population, giving a +/-3% margin of error. (There's more info on their sampling methods here. It says only about 3% of the population don't have access to a landline or cellphone, so in the extreme case the margin of error could double to +/-6% I guess.)

I'm not an expert at this stuff, but it seems like they've controlled for a lot of common pitfalls. One thing that could skew it might be response rate - if people with e.g. evangelical religious beliefs are more inclined to talk about their beliefs to a cold caller, but atheists hang up, or something like that. That might introduce a sampling bias that isn't controlled for by the census weighting. They also didn't seem to control for employment status, so maybe people who are able to take a call are disproportionately not in employment - i don't know if that's a group who'd disproportionately believe in a near-term second coming though.

On the climate stuff generally, it's pretty bad. 2020 is meant to be the window to ratchet up the (non-binding) commitments under Paris Agreement, which currently fall significantly short of what's needed to limit warming to 2 degrees. Even if other countries stick to it, it's unlikely they'll ratchet up commitments much with a such major polluter as the US ramping up it's emissions. Eric Holthaus has counselled against despair, fwiw:

Holthaus

That’s because the pollution that leads to climate change is a zero-sum game. Every ton of carbon emitted stays there for hundreds of years, effectively permanently from a civilizational perspective. But that also means every pipeline we block, every coal plant we shut down, every solar panel we build, is a net win. We have agency; we are powerful.

My guess is the environment movement will double down under President Trump, ramp up protests, ramp up legal action, and gets in the way. That task will become increasingly physically dangerous for those involved. That’s frightening. But it’s a fight worth continuing. The momentum on climate is depressingly slow, but it’s in the right direction. Trump is a big setback, but it’s not game over.

But locking in dangerous levels of climate change that could make large parts of the Earth uninhabitable is certainly looking pretty likely. That's not end times stuff, but we could be talking hundreds of millions of displaced people towards the end of the century, desertification in the Mediterranean, increased agricultural and water stresses, that kind of thing. That was already quite likely before Trump though.

petey

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Chilli Sauce

i've never heard eschatology connected with climate denialism.

While I'd say this is generally true, we shouldn't forget that madness from Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.

yyyikes

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Going back to something Hieronymus asked me:
Hieronymous

Steven.

Hieronymu[o]s, I think that stuff Barnes wrote was good, but in terms of determining where the Trump phenomenon has come from, TBH I think some people are overanalysing it.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, this right-wing populist switch in white working class loyalties has its roots in things like Nixon's "New Majority" and George Wallace's overtly racist presidential campaigns in 1968 and 1972. But the Republican rebound started even earlier…

Yes I totally get that, and I agree that a proper understanding of why workers vote for such anti-worker candidates is important. I also agree with what you say here. My point was more directed at those who don't see Trump as pretty much a continuation of quite standard Republican (and Democratic, to a lesser extent) racism and populism, and see him is something uniquely terrible, and uniquely supported by the working class.

Steven.

Okbus [bsuok] or whatever his name was unfortunately got sidetracked with some personal slagging and some weird hangup about "safer spaces"*, but I think the bulk of what he said in his initial posts was pretty accurate.

Again time to respectfully disagree. From his first post, many of us who live in the U.S. could easily peg him for someone who either doesn't live here or hasn't lived here in years. Which turned out to be an accurate assessment.
jesuithitsquad did an excellent job of refuting many of bsuok's other flagrant inaccuracies.

Steven., care to articulate what you found accurate with bsuok?

TBH I thought that the talk about him not being based in the country for some time totally ad hominem and unfair. In terms of the inaccuracies, yes there were a couple of minor ones (like confusing McCain with Romney), but in general I thought the bulk of his 12 numbered points were a useful summary of some key facets of the election and its result. However that is not to say that it is not also true that the vote for Trump, while it may not have been exclusively driven by racism, it was obviously an important factor, as people who were actively anti-racist would not have been able to stomach a vote for him. That said, I don't really see how an active anti-racist could stomach a vote for Hillary, who not only has said racist things like Trump (super predators), but has also done massively racist things, like support the mass incarceration of black males, and help kill hundreds of thousands of people of colour around the world.

I'm interested where your opinion diverges from that of Artesian, jesuithitsquad or myself.

I don't really think that it does. TBH I'm not really sure what the opinion difference is between you guys and bsuok is either, ultimately, as the debate you got into didn't seem to be around anything that substantial, it seemed to revolve around quite peripheral issues (like people's individual circumstances/jobs, spelling/grammar, safer spaces etc)

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Since everything in the U.S. pivots around race, I'd suggest everyone read Walter Benn Michael's The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality. His analysis demonstrates how in the U.S., at all levels of society, race trumps class. His basic premise is that across the political spectrum, from right to left, people prefer culture war over class war. And this plays out in diversity for its own sake, where it actually masks economic equality -- and hence, obfuscates that we live in a class-divided society. He critiques activists who uncritically call it a step forward when more of the "underrepresented" (i.e. people of color, women, queers, etc.) are admitted to elite universities and corporate board rooms, while downplaying -- and deliberately ignoring -- poverty and the needs of the working class.

He lucidly articulates how anti-racism plays a conservative role in U.S. politics and the universities, which he calls "the diversity avant-garde," reproduce these conservative ideas. Which creates this tautology:

for someone painted into a corner as a racist, then racism becomes the only solution

for the anti-racist stuck in their ideological cul-de-sac, racism as the only problem

Class gets denied or relegated to another oppression, and "it reassures us that the problem of poverty is like the problem of race and that the way to solve it is by appreciating rather than minimizing our differences" (p. 89)

This spells the final death knell for the last remnants of New Deal social programs that attempted to -- with varying degrees of success -- more equally distribute wealth, through social safety nets and welfare programs to alleviate poverty. But these ideas are confused and contradictory: remember the Tea Party signs saying "Keep Government Out of Medicare!"?

Then the terms of debate begin with "entitlements" being something to eliminate to reign in the excesses of the "nanny state," rather than contested class terrain and part of the social wage to be fought for.

This gave rise to the Tea Party and its challenge to the Republican establishment. And when entitlements are removed, things like education gets further and further commodified, which gave rise to many indebted youth being drawn to Occupy.

And here were come to the rise of Donald Trump. At first many evangelicals were horrified by his infidelities, his mocking of the disabled, and his hawkish rhetoric. But his attraction went much, much deeper, tapping into emotions and white working class aspirations to the American Dream.

I've read in several places a pretty accurate metaphor that goes something like this: you're waiting in line and at the end -- your ultimate goal -- is the American Dream. But the line isn't moving, although you've done everything that you're supposed to, everything society expects of you.

Then you watch as people are cutting into line ahead of you and they're black, women, immigrants, queers, who are occupying jobs that had been exclusively for white men. Barack Obama, the line supervisor, is actually signaling to the line-cutters to keep moving ahead of you. He's endorsing all this; he's actually a line-cutter himself.

Soon the realization sets in that the U.S. is being run by these people, the line-cutters are running the show themselves. And Obama is one of them, and he's supporting and enabling all the other line-cutters. He's responsible for your own marginalization, and he's not only holding you back in line, he's pushing you backwards. To add insult to injury, someone ahead of you in line looks back and call you "____________" [insert smears like: a redneck, privileged, a racist, white trash, a white supremacist, uneducated, a cis male, etc., etc.]

Being a hardworking white worker, your self-esteem plummets. You're also mourning a better day, a lost identity and way of life, when you had good-paying unionized industrial jobs and life was pretty decent. But no one is listening. No one hears your pain and your cries of distress. You've been in line for a long time and each of the line-cutters seems to say, through affirmative action, entitlements, or identity politics, "Poor me, oh, poor suffering me!"

You live by the Protestant work ethic and never ask for a handout, sympathy, or -- the worst -- the pity of others. You've always worked hard and played by the rules. You'd never say "I'm a white man and I'm waiting in line too." There's something dishonorable about that. You would never use your identity to cut in line.

Yet the crux of your conflict is that you do feel like a forgotten minority group, a stranger if your own land. Even though you don't believe in the culture of victimhood, you feel like a victim. Along comes Donald Trump, saying "Hey, you are a victim, and it's O.K. You've been displaced from your own land, I'm your guy, and we're going to take our country back." This speaks to something very deep within you.

The subtext of Trump's campaign were super racially charged attitudes about Obama. It dated back to Trump's delusional Birther challenges to Obama's legitimacy. And his three signature racially coded themes were immigration, terrorism, and crime. Many Trump voters felt "objectified" by being branded as racists for their choice, often making the claim that it's much more complex -- which is true -- and they don't agree with everything he's saying. In the South, there's a reluctance of conservative whites to talk about the black-white divide for fear of moralists from the North pointing their accusatory finger at them and calling them "deplorables," "racists," "backward," and "uneducated." And they're not all racists and prejudiced, but they did buy into the trope that "I'm deserving, and those others aren't." Which is a deeply bigoted idea.

What's also lacking in so many of the discussions I've seen are the changes in global capitalism and transformations in its methods and locations of production. Chinese Foxconn workers didn't steal jobs from American workers because they're making products that were never produced in the U.S. (i.e., iPhone, tablets, etc.). Those kinds of electronic assembly jobs were offshored decades ago to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, before being displaced from those countries to China -- and elsewhere. If you have a big-screen TV, look at the label on the back because if you bought it in North America it's most likely assembled in the massive electronic assembly cluster in Tijuana, Mexico -- and big-screen TV capital of the world (having been offshored there from Asia).

Should jobs ever get reshored to the U.S., they're not going to bring thousands of jobs, they are going to bring robots and automated assembly lines. The programming jobs will probably remain in Bengaluru, and the profits will continue to flow through offices in New York or Silicon Valley, but not many jobs will be needed in modern high-tech factories.

Lastly, some of us have friends, family, and co-workers who voted for Trump for the conflicted reason that they're part of the disaffected, marginalized working class. As working class militants ourselves -- whether anarchist, communists or anti-capitalists of various tendencies -- it's our responsibility to not only listen to these sisters and brothers and hear their pain and fears, but also to remember that they're our proletarian brethren and our struggles are dependent on them -- and their success in class struggle is dependent on us. Some of them are against us because they think we're on the side of the line-cutters. We've got to make clear to them we don't advocate eliminating lines, we want to abolish the whole system that requires lines. And our fortunes are their fortunes, which are inextricably tied up with all workers the world over, regardless of where they come from or what they look like.

Sorry for such a long rant. I'll take a break from this thread for a while. But thanks for all the thoughtful comments by everyone.

petey

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

Since everything in the U.S. pivots around race, I'd suggest everyone read Walter Benn Michael's The Trouble with Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality.

i can recommend this also

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The primary issue when it comes to evangelical climate skepticism has less to do with The Rapture, and is more closely connected to the notion that Earth was created for 'man's' use. And while at first blush this can appear to be incredibly ego driven, there is also another side of it that they would describe as humility--in that there is the idea that it is impossible for humans to impact god's massive creation.

This aspect of religious-based climate skepticism also falls firmly into the rural-urban divide. While there has been an upsurge in the past decade or two of the urban, evangelical mega-church, these churches are typically much more ecumenical than the fundamentalism you're likely to find in small towns.

I grew up in a very small apostolic-pentecostal church. Without going into too many details, the bottom-line with this world-view is that they literally believe that only people who accept exactly their tiny denomination's doctrine will go to heaven--in The Rapture. At various points in my childhood we studied multiple predictions/prophecies by different 'theologians' claiming The Rapture would occur THIS year. With each failed prediction, there really was no self-awareness amongst any of us that the last 5 predictions had been wrong, and if it registered at all, only encouraged the notion that it was right around the corner.

I think part of the problem is when you combine this worldview with the physical perspective of rural areas. In rural towns, it's just difficult to imagine the scale required for enough carbon to be released to make an impact. (Even though, as I mentioned before, four of the US's 22 super-polluters occupy a 30 mile radius of a relatively rural portion of my state, an area that produces more pollution annually than all of Sweden.
--highly recommend reading this investigation).

*It is important to make a distinction between The Rapture and the 2nd Coming. As petey said, technically all christians believe in the latter, whereas The Rapture is a concept specific to many evangelical groups.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yo, H # 677-- that ABSOLUTELY should be plastered all over the front page of libcom.

jef costello

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I think what Hieronymous is saying is very important. Few peple see their privilege, especially if you're a blue-colar worker whose privilege amounted to a better union job than a black guy (when they existed). I agree completely about the use of culture wars, and I think it's an extension of the idea of religion as the opiate of the masses. Ideologies tend to exist to make us swallow capitalism and then get dropped when the tail starts wagging the dog and they encourage people to do anti-capitalist things. It's hard to tell someone who feels like what they're owed is slipping away from them that they're privileged and don't even deserve the place in line that they currently have. Obviously we realise the whole point of the line is that you don't get to the front, but for most people, who probably haven't even thought of it in that way it just comes out as "why should they get what I have, I worked hard for it" or "they complain about discrimination, they should try and get hired around here."

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yeah, that's a great post by Hieronymus.

But I do think it's worth holding in mind on the other hand that actually Trump didn't get that many votes, and did lose the popular vote by at least 1.3 million (although now it looks like he did get slightly more votes than Romney and McCain, now more have been counted), but just won the election because rural votes count for more than urban ones in broad terms.

Edited to add: something which hasn't come up yet in this discussion is the Green party. Don't really have the inclination to look through the results fully, and they are not all done yet, but it certainly looks like some states Trump won because the Greens increased their vote share and probably took votes from Clinton, like Wisconsin.

(By suppose to a bigger extent the Libertarians took even more votes from Trump, so that would probably more than cancel that out)

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

just quickly wanted to share the link to the post-election bannon interview. i've quoted a few choice bits, but it's definitely worth reading the whole thing.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/steve-bannon-trump-tower-interview-trumps-strategist-plots-new-political-movement-948747

He absolutely — mockingly — rejects the idea that this is a racial line. "I'm not a white nationalist, I'm a nationalist. I'm an economic nationalist," he tells me. "The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver" — by "we" he means the Trump White House — "we'll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we'll govern for 50 years."

"Like [Andrew] Jackson's populism, we're going to build an entirely new political movement," he says. "It's everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I'm the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it's the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We're just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement."

"I am," he says, with relish, "Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors."

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

"It will be as exciting as the 1930s", Jesus Christ that is actually unbelievable!

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

Spikymike

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Try this link for Insurgent notes:
http://www.insurgentnotes.com/

teh

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

"It will be as exciting as the 1930s", Jesus Christ that is actually unbelievable!

Its what 95% of the US political left and the political wing of the labor movement have been demanding (at least rhetorically) for the past generation or two. You reap what you sow.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

teh,

That image is stunning--do you have a link? Your comment is spot-on.

On that 1930's quote, it really is a great example of the trolling mentality behind Breitbart et al. If called out on it, I have no doubt Bannon would've responded with something about the New Deal and feigning victimhood for the 'misinterpretation.'

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Since nothing bad at all came from giving Donald Trump an open mic for a year and a half, most american news outlets have spent the day showing footage of Richard Spencer giving a speech at a white nationalist conference in praise of Trump. What could go wrong?!

Spikymike

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

A short 'Post Trump' response from 'Internationalist Perspective' adds to some of the common points made elsewhere on this thread with some historical comparisons perhaps better judged by other USA comrades and some informed guesswork about the future:
http://internationalist-perspective.org/blog/2016/11/22/this-is-what-democracy-looks-like/

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

It's probably worth quickly mentioning that there is a group of computer scientists/mathematicians urging Clinton campaign to challenge the results in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan due to alleged anomalies between votes taken on machines vs. paper ballots.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2016/11/activists-urge-hillary-clinton-to-challenge-election-results.html

Most are regarding it as wishful thinking/a conspiracy theory, and Nate Silver and others have done a quick analysis saying that the differences likely can be explained by demographics. That said, there are some serious people involved, but in fairness, there were also serious people talking about 'anomalies' in the Ohio tallies in 2004.

AndrewF

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

I've read in several places a pretty accurate metaphor that goes something like this: you're waiting in line and at the end -- your ultimate goal -- is the American Dream. But the line isn't moving, although you've done everything that you're supposed to, everything society expects of you.

The line cutting metaphor is interesting and it has been widely used and reported on in a very uncritical way. What did the line look like historically in America? Who was at the top of the line, who was in the middle and who was down back or not even allowed join? Who for that matter used to live on the land that the que heads to - literally in the sense of the land rushes as the west was 'opened up'.

It's really not a metaphor that can be used without centering how white supremacy was used historically and once that is done the complaints about line cutters are complaints about the white man no longer getting what was promised, a place at the front of the line.

Joseph Kay

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AndrewF

It's really not a metaphor that can be used without centering how white supremacy was used historically and once that is done the complaints about line cutters are complaints about the white man no longer getting what was promised, a place at the front of the line.

This piece quotes Arlie Hochschild's Strangers in their own land on the 'line cutting' metaphor, and makes a similar criticism:

Gurminder Bhambra

I do not dispute the grievances that are felt by those that Hochschild represents, what I contest is the claim that these are ‘legitimate’. What is being described is a relative loss of privilege rather than any real account of serious and systemic economic decline that is uniquely affecting white citizens in the United States. Hochschild herself implicitly acknowledges the segregated history of the US by pointing to the fact that previously there had been all-white jobs – jobs that were not available to African Americans and others because they were not white.

(...)

A class analysis focusing on white workers (rather than all workers) effectively argues for the resumption of racialized privileges. There can be no legitimacy in the latter claim. The test of good faith that class analysis would need to pass is precisely that it begins from the racialized histories that configure our present and is willing to include workers who have been left out as well as those who perceive themselves as left behind.

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

When I used the "cut-in-line" metaphor, I did borrow from Hochschild's Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right. But I also used ideas from J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, Nancy Isenberg's White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Maria Kefalas' Working-Class Heroes: Protecting Home, Community, and Nation in a Chicago Neighborhood, just watching the film Winter's Bone, and many other sources. But I mostly drew on personal experience.

My critique of the excerpt in the post above is that sociologist Bhambra is pointing out the sociological limitations of sociologist Hochschild's field work. The latter intentionally went to one of the most segregated parts of Louisiana for her research. She was not writing a labor history of the entire working class of that region. But she's a sociologist and never went beyond the limitations of that discipline.

Not being a sociologist, I'm loath to cast about the word "privilege" so loosely. I'd prefer white supremacy to define the attitude of working class whites in the examples above. I'd also add that Bhambra does make the germane point that deindustrialization not only affects white workers. Many unions enforced Jim Crow rules in hiring and in many cases the color line was only broken by civil rights struggles. But by then, deindustrializaation had already began -- I'd say the process began in the late 1950s. So blacks, being the last hired became the first fired.

Resistance to this engendered new forms of struggle. When the Black Panther Party formed in Oakland in 1966, deindustrialization in that part of the East Bay was already a fait accompli. Whatever limitations they had, one of the Panther's goals was a classless society. In Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newtonw, Bobby Seale writes:

Seale

We do not fight racism with racism. We fight racism with solidarity. We do not fight exploitative capitalism with black capitalism. We fight capitalism with basic socialism. And we do not fight imperialism with more imperialism. We fight imperialism with proletarian internationalism (p. 71).

When Chevrolet closed its East Oakland plant to suburbanize production 40 miles away in then-rural Fremont in 1962, blacks followed and fought for jobs in the factory (that plant later became the GM-Toyota joint venture NUMMI in 1984; it closed in 2010 and then became Tesla). The Panthers created a black caucus within the UAW in Fremont in the late 1960s, one of the most inspiring -- and most historically underrepresented -- events of the era. The Panther Caucus fomented shopfloor struggles, sometimes in solidarity with whites and workers of other ethnicities.

I bring up this example because neither Bhambra nor Hochschild look for evidence of class struggle or other examples of collective resistance, being limited within the narrow scope of sociology. Hochschild's sociological field research was neither trying to "legitimate" working class racism nor was she attempting a class analysis of working class whites. Bhambra's critique clearly misses the mark because of her own sociological blinders.
_____________________________________________________________________________

I have my own personal example of the cutting-in-line metaphor.

I once had a white co-worker who was born and raised in California's Central Valley, in a town that due to the crisis starting in 2008 was soon in the top 3 cities in the U.S. for not only the number of foreclosures but also for its unemployment rate (I'll call her SM). Just prior its agricultural hinterlands were booming with housing developments. It's also just over 50% Latina/o, about 40% white, and 10% Asian -- mostly Hmong.

SM and I used to try to organize meetings with other workers to fight against conditions at our workplace. As a teenager, she had worked at a national grocery chain and had benefited from relatively good UFCW wages during the 1990s. But she moved away to study at university and ended up working in our city upon graduation. SM drew on the high wages and generous benefits as a unionized grocery clerk as a motivation to attempt to organize with our fellow workers and we often talked about this during breaks in the staff lunchroom. She even found that management's enforced lunchtime meetings were flagrantly in violation of labor law and, with the help of a sympathetic labor lawyer, showed the law to our boss. In the end, all of us got retroactive penalty payments for our lost lunch time, in my case it was several hundred dollars.

Our work is seasonal and although management claims there's no seniority, to maintain morale it is maintained as a de facto policy. So when we hit the low period, there's a lot of stress about who's hours will be cut. Our immediate supervisor is pretty fair about distributing cuts evenly, and only laying people off when absolutely necessary. But it creates a lot of tension -- and when we should stick together, it causes serious fractions among us.

A Latina worker was the last hired, and about a year ago the cuts were about to come down (I'll call her AB). She wasn't exactly "out," but if anyone asked she identified as lesbian. She is also a heavyset woman. Her and I hit if off because she grew up in the Los Angeles exurb where my mixed race cousins currently live. She also worked really hard and took any extra hours she could get because she was barely getting by.

On day SM confided in me, saying that AB was trying to "get ahead." She literally said that. I was flabbergasted and she sensed that I wasn't getting it. So she explained, "that fucking bitch is using three things: being Hispanic, being gay, and being fat to get more work." My jaw dropped. Here was my closest fellow workplace agitator dissing on my new friend at work. SM identifies as a "rocker" and says she's a "flower child born into the wrong generation." She's also capable of saying really fucked up racist, homophobic and shape-ist shit. I began to argue back, thinking I'll be gentle at first and maybe she's just having a bad day -- and this was just her venting. But she remained steadfast in defending her position, even implying that I was kowtowing to political correctness for defending AB. SM's views are a perfect embodiment of the cutting-in-line argument.

In the end, AB just got a few hours shaved off but kept her job. My relationship with SM soured and got even worse. Soon after, she complained to our boss -- who is a white woman -- about me cutting some corners around our work duties. It is common practice and something that even that SM often did. There was no proof, so I just got a slight admonishment to follow all the rules. But SM and I never talked again. She left a few months later for another job, which was a relief. At the end, I tried to broach the silence and diplomatically bring up her fucked up attitudes, but she stonewalled me and after she left I found out that she'd gossiped about me being some kind of moralistic PC doormat.

Where did SM get these fucked up ideas? And how could she have such awareness of workplace concerns -- even having once been willing to fight the boss -- while maintaining deeply bigoted ideas? I attribute some of it to where she's originally from: a bottomed out, post-industrial region rife with methamphetamine abuse and sizeable tent cities of the newly homeless. Her hometown is a small city that recently became majority Latina/o, the unemployment rate remains around 15%, and racial tensions are in full bloom; I fully believe that despite no longer living there, her present closeness to family members there is the crucible where her ideas developed.

The important question is how to draw out people like SM's innate ability to see some things in class terms, while showing her how divisive her prejudices about others -- especially her fellow workers -- can be. This is the challenge for all of us: how do we deal with working class whites who buy into the racist cutting-in-line myth?

Joseph Kay

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

(Fwiw Hieronymous I wasn't aiming Bhambra's critique at you - I think your posts are an example of 'good faith class analysis that begins from the racialized histories...'.)

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Joseph Kay

(Fwiw Hieronymous I wasn't aiming Bhambra's critique at you - I think your posts are an example of 'good faith class analysis that begins from the racialized histories...'.)

Thanks for clarifying, but I assumed as much. I began by responding to AndrewF's post, then threw Bhambra's piece into the mix while writing it. Thanks for posting it, because it's more fodder to explore this from all different angles.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that my all-time favorite in the genre mentioned in my previous post is Joe Bageant's Deer Hunting with Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War. It is he account of moving back to his deindustrialized hometown of Winchester, Virginia and detailing how class relations have changed. I also learned the history of the Scots-Irish in the U.S.

jesuithitsquad

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Law enforcement in New York City, which voted heavily against Mr Trump, itself has reported a 400 per cent rise in hate crimes in the two weeks after Mr Trump’s election victory.

https://www.ft.com/content/61e34e7a-b0d6-11e6-9c37-5787335499a0

jaycee

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Does anyone think that Donald Trump's policy of getting 'allies' to foot the bill for their defence, i.e Japan, Nato etc is not a typical expression of a declining Empire? It seems like the classic result of the situation of overstretch which all empires eventually reach.

gram negative

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jaycee

Does anyone think that Donald Trump's policy of getting 'allies' to foot the bill for their defence, i.e Japan, Nato etc is not a typical expression of a declining Empire? It seems like the classic result of the situation of overstretch which all empires eventually reach.

while that may seem like the case, does it seem realistic anymore that that is what will happen?

Hieronymous

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I spent the morning of Black Friday hiking in the redwoods an hour north of my home. I stopped for lunch on the way back in Petaluma, a town of 60,000 with a fascinating history. It once called itself "America's Egg Basket" and from the 1920s through the 1950s most of these chicken farmers were Jews who self-identified as "socialists." Today it's 80% white, but has such a WASPY, Americana feel that in 1973 was the location for filming American Graffiti.

Around noon anti-Trump protestors started streaming down the sidewalk of the main street. I counted about a hundred and thought that it was impressive for such a small town. But the procession didn't stop for almost 20 minutes, where there were five times as many as I initially tallied; so it was a demonstration of over 500 people that included lots of families with kids. I also noticed many were wearing buttons with Stars of David with a peace sign at the center. It was nice that many are probably descendants of leftist chicken farmers.

The best slogans were in solidarity with immigrants, other tolerable ones were simply anti-Trump, but a few were doing call-and-response chants of "What does democracy look like?: this is what democracy looks like," which were trite and too liberal for my taste. Yet I was impressed that 2 1/2 weeks after the election people are still out in the streets -- as meek as they might be.

So I asked how long this has been going on in the area and found out that a week after the election, on Monday November 14, thousands of kids in that part of Sonoma County had walked out of their high schools in protest. In the nearby county seat of Santa Rosa, students walked out of all 5 high schools, joined by kids from 7 other high schools in the surrounding towns of Petaluma, Windsor, Sebastopol, Healdsburg and Rohnert Park. Now these are affluent blue suburbs and exurbs in the perhaps the bluest region in the country, but the youth did their action on November 14th in coordination with their peers in Oakland, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, and Denver.

As I said before, the kids are alright. And I am impressed that the liberals are still out in the streets too. Parents would be radicalized if they walked out of work themselves, an escalation that would put them on par with their kids. We can only wish.

el psy congroo

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Thanks Hieronymus for investing your time in these, well basically essays, although I wish there was a different outlet for sharing them. I also wish there were a lot more of them.

However, I have some confusions regarding this comment:

"a few were doing call-and-response chants of "What does democracy look like?: this is what democracy looks like," which were trite and too liberal for my taste."

This is actually quite the interesting example. Democracy is looking pretty bad, right now. So what's wrong with this chant?

PS - I cannot respond to direct messages for some reason. Forgive any lack of my communication due to this problem.

Steven.

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

el psy congroo

PS - I cannot respond to direct messages for some reason. Forgive any lack of my communication due to this problem.

sorry, that is due to our anti-spam controls. You can now use PMs

Nymphalis Antiopa

6 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The state of Rojava congratulates the American people for electing a new president of the USA:

http://en.hawarnews.com/msd-congratulates-americans/

Quote:
"In the name of Democratic Syria Council, we congratulate the American people who elected a new president and we deeply respect the free and democratic choice of the American people, we also hope that the new administration stands by the oppressed people in the world, undertakes its role in bringing about global peace and security, advances in fighting terror, impose crackdown on the dictator regimes and we are looking forward to more collaboration on all levels in fighting terror in Syria and reach a settlement of the Syrian crisis and we hope success and prosperity for the American people and the new administration”.

timthelion

5 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This has been an interesting thread, but I haven't seen much discussion of the changes happening among the "liberals", aka, those who traditionally vote democrat. One trend I find rather disturbing, is a transition taking place among democrat leaning voters is that they seem to be becoming more interested in distinguishing themselves as somehow "well educated", then they seem to be interested in actually having a political direction. The most extreme case of this, is that of the New York times. This newspaper usually takes on an extreme right wing libertarian economic stance, however, they campaigned harder than anyone for Clinton. The thing is, that my grandparents, who have always been proud democrats, read the New York times and they haven't noticed the shift. All they see are complete sentences and correctly spelled words, and that's all that really matters to them. The total political incoherence hasn't occurred to them.

As an example of "The New York Times is a libertarian cum rag", I'll give the following article about the French presidential election:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/01/business/international/francois-fillon-marine-le-pen-economy-france-election.html?_r=0

1) "Can France actually be reformed?" Here, they use reform, which has a strong positive connotation, to refer to austerity measures and the goals of an extreme right wing candidate.

2) "deeper labor overhauls while the economy is weak" The term "overhauls" also has a positive connotation. They seem to present the need for these "overhauls" as a certainty which is beyond discussion.

3) Here's the real killer: "the infamous 35-hour workweek". WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH A 35 HOUR WORKWEEK??? Even my far right libertarian friends think that people should be working less as technology improves.

4) "Unemployment is stuck around 10 percent, more than twice the rate in Germany" this is a bit more subtle, but the New York times should know that comparing unemployment numbers is meaningless. But this isn't necessarily an intentional bit of spin. It is possible they just wanted a statistic and didn't care that they chose a meaningless one.

5) NY-Times condemns Le-Pen to be too far to the left on economic issues stating "Economists say those plans are unsustainable."

I think that there is a lot of truth to the claim that the "liberal media" is a bunch of elitist buffoons who have lost their pants. Why did NYT even support Clinton, given that, economically, the paper is farther right than Rand Paul?

I think that things have gotten to the point where we can talk about two groups of Democrat voters. The first group is the left-wing reformist group, who thinks that capitalism would be OK if only there were lots of laws and social programs to keep the capitalists in line. These folks are feeling really confused now. They watch Clinton scold Sanders in a debate for "being unrealistic" when he says that it would save money to cut out the private insurance industry entirely. They voted Clinton, but don't trust her at all. They now realize that the elitist faction of the Democrat party is not only not on their side, but actively seemingly to be an enemy.

The second group is a lot like the first, they want the same things as the first, but they are so disgusted by the Trumpists that they still love the corporatist, elitist, part of the Democratic party even though any sane person can see that the actual politicians and people surrounding them are basically libertarian in their economic views. What is interesting, is that the second group seems to HATE the first group. Just go on-line and read some of the comments, they seem to be downright fascist, attacking anyone who wasn't %100 "with her" as being a Trump supporter. They seem to have the mindset, that anyone who voted for the Greens was worse than a Trumpetier.

However, for me, both groups are equally dissatisfying. I find the idea of having a really powerful "socialist" federal government to be in many ways the opposite of what the autonomist tendencies in me dictate.

jesuithitsquad

5 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Trump scored his first post-election major victory by announcing that Carrier will retain 1,00 jobs that were slated to move to Mexico. This is less than half of those facing lay-off, and likely will set the stage for enterprising CEO's to threaten to leave the country in return for collecting a ransom from the government. Much like the Kentucky Ford plant jobs that Trump 'saved,' the devil is in the details. But this will likely be unimportant to the big-picture message that Strongman Trump is fighting to save jobs.

Incidentally, last night Politico reported that while Govenor, the Pence administration ignored Carrier and other businesses' request to veto Indiana SB340. At the time, Carrier said the bill would kill off jobs. SB340 was the legislation I've previously mentioned twice in this thread in which the Pence administration killed off the state's successful energy efficiency program, along with the 19,000 industry-related statewide jobs lost due to the program's demise. The reporting is a day-late a dollar short, but it is fun to see Pence finally getting his comeuppance for his inability to see beyond his front row of campaign contributors.

Timthelion-- I think your point about the education gap is interesting. It definitely has shades of the urban-rural divide discussion we've had, and is overtly backed in Chuck Schumer's reported quip that he was fine losing out on one blue collar voter in exchange for every two well-educated moderates the dems would pick up as a result.

Your point about the 2 wings of the Dems seems pretty much correct to me. It's kind of amazing to watch the democratic party be so oblivious to the fact that the Sanders' wing of the party represents the potential to win the presidency for a generation all while being the last, best hope for a 'kinder-gentler capitalism.' Instead, they have re-elected Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader despite the fact that they have lost over 60 seats in the House from 2010-2016, a truly historic meltdown of Congressional support. (Yes, a major factor in this equation is the state-by-state gerrymandered redistricting process, but 60+ seats in 6 years and you still get to keep your job? Sign me up for that gig!)

Meanwhile Keith Ellison is being backed by Bernie Sanders to lead the DNC, but the DLC is lining up opposition. The 'anti-racist' democratic leadership are terrified of the visuals of a Black Muslim man being the face of the party in the Trump era. I heard one Democratic pundit talk about how Ellison is 'always angry,' which is pretty much transparent dog-whistling for 'color blind' white supremicist liberals.
.

That said, this part below is a little confusing.
timthelion

The most extreme case of this, is that of the New York times. This newspaper usually takes on an extreme right wing libertarian economic stance, however, they campaigned harder than anyone for Clinton.

I think this question

Why did NYT even support Clinton, given that, economically, the paper is farther right than Rand Paul?

Is answered by your statement below.

that they still love the corporatist, elitist, part of the Democratic party even though any sane person can see that the actual politicians and people surrounding them are basically libertarian in their economic views.

HRC is a major player in the most successful neo-liberal group in the history of that economic school. Specifically, the austerity reforms begun by Bill Clinton and Tony Blair had been unimaginable just a few years earlier. Under George HW Bush, Ronald Regan, John Major, and Margaret Thatcher, the deep level of austerity cuts would have been politically suicidal. But by putting 'friends of labor' faces forward, the neo-liberal program was exponentially accelerated, and welfare reform, balanced budgets, and free trade became the only game in town.

In fact, I don't think it's very controversial to say that the Democratic/Labor Party version of neoliberalism is the most brutally effective class weapon in the history of the Labor vs. Capital battle. Now we are faced with the prospect of a divided, weak, and nearly defeated worldwide workers' movement attempting a last stand against a global far right xenophobic authoritarian nationalist movement. If we're incapable of turning back the tide, we will be looking down the barrel of the "New Gig Economy," and an impending ecological disaster. This in turn will almost certainly create so-called Climate Migrants and--when placed in conjunction with the tide of xenophobia-- the very real prospect of genocide on a previously unimaginable scale.

.

timthelion

5 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jesuithitsquad

That said, this part below is a little confusing.
timthelion

The most extreme case of this, is that of the New York times. This newspaper usually takes on an extreme right wing libertarian economic stance, however, they campaigned harder than anyone for Clinton.

I think this question

Why did NYT even support Clinton, given that, economically, the paper is farther right than Rand Paul?

Is answered by your statement below.

that they still love the corporatist, elitist, part of the Democratic party even though any sane person can see that the actual politicians and people surrounding them are basically libertarian in their economic views.

I agree that those bits of my post were a bit confusing. So let me take this slowly. First, the last quote is not referring to the NYTimes, but to people like my grandparents (who support single payer healthcare). How is it, that my grandfather can support single payer and not realize how far right the NYT is economically? That is what makes no sense to me. But for him (he is an Ivy League grad), I guess there is some kind of class coloring which makes him blind to the contradiction. He sees the NYT as being on "our side" just because they represent education and intelligence :/. But this is all really just a way of restating what I said before, that people like him are somehow more allied to their educational class than they are to political coherence.

As to the first two posts, I do see a contradiction within the pages of the NYT itself. Clinton supported a rise in the minimum wage in the US. The NYT was all for her, and you can find articles in which they laud her support for raising the minimum wage. But then, in other places, they write with a far right economic stance. And so it seems to me that the Time's itself is schizophrenic. But as you write, this seeming schizophrenia can also be cynically explained by saying that the Times is well aware of the fact that Clinton is a neo-liberal and that they support her BECAUSE of that, and that they are willing to lie to their readers about their intentions in supporting her. EDIT: Well, why didn't the NYT support Johnson? His public opionion is far more in line with their public economic views, isn't it?

An Affirming Flame

5 years 12 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Timthelion, I think it's important to remember that large news organizations like the New York Times are not monoliths. Every hour of every day hundreds of journalists and their editors are struggling over exactly what goes to print, modulated by policies set by upper management. There are many shades of traditional liberalism, neo-liberalism, conservatism and even social democratic tendencies involved in this struggle. Different stories at different times will reflect the ascendency of different viewpoints.

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

Chilli Sauce

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

God help me, but I'm gonna piggy back on what Artesian says here...

How is it, that my grandfather can support single payer and not realize how far right the NYT is economically?

Given that The NYTime's most prominent economist is Paul Krugman who has supported single payer for a long time - albeit in that liberal "let's do what we can with what's politically feasible" sort of way - I don't think it's shocking that your grandfather sees the NYTime's as the Democratic-leaning paper that it is.

You're right that it's right-wing in the sense it's not anti-capitalist, but I'm not sure that does much to move the conversation forward. Rather I think understanding it in terms of the Chomskian manufacturing consent model - fake choice by having vigorous debate between two artificially oppositional option - is more illuminating.

That said, I really think highlighting the media when discussing the rise of Trump obscures as much as much explains. For one thing, the anti-media narrative of many Trump voters is about a misplaced rejection of elitism - albeit an elitism that is somehow absence of class and wealth. The fact that dialog can even exist reflects just how much we've fallen in terms of class power and consciousness. In other words, it's a symptom not a cause and not where we should be focusing our critique or analysis.

klas batalo

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Apparently Biden said he is running for 2020

Steven.

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AndrewF

Partly informed by the conversations, good and bad, here

Trump & the myth of the progressive but misled 'white working class' voters

Great analysis, Andrew, thanks for taking the time to do it, as with the Brexit vote.

I would pretty much agree with all of it.

Although I do have a question in that you first talk about voters who earn under $100,000. But then you compare that with households earning less than $100,000 to get a percentage. But I'm not really sure what exactly these figures are referring to, because households and individual voters' earnings are not necessarily the same thing, and indeed probably wouldn't be as most households have two earners

AndrewF

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

That's sloppiness on my part, I think both are referring to household rather than individual income

Steven.

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

AndrewF

That's sloppiness on my part, I think both are referring to household rather than individual income

okay fair enough. It is talking about household income then $100k is not a big income at all

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

jesuithitsquad

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Andrew F

Partly informed by the conversations, good and bad, here

Trump & the myth of the progressive but misled 'white working class' voters

I would highly encourage anyone who still thinks we need to change things up in order to appeal to Trump people to read this.

Andrew F-- I'm sure it took forever to compile all of those #'s, so thank you for doing it.

Also, I don't know if this was a reference to this thread

Trump was promising to get coal mining going so a common left interpretation (often from afar) is that this is proof of an otherwise progressive working class voting for Trump on economic grounds.

but I got a kick out of it.

S. Artesian

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Deleted-- needs further development

AndrewF

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jesuithitsquad

Also, I don't know if this was a reference to this thread

Trump was promising to get coal mining going so a common left interpretation (often from afar) is that this is proof of an otherwise progressive working class voting for Trump on economic grounds.

but I got a kick out of it.

No not specifically although I can see how it can be read like that. That story cropped up all over the place because on the surface it did seem to be the strongest example of the Obama-> Trump for economic reasons story. I think I started working on that piece after reading a long piece in the Guardian. TBH I read a huge volume of material including all of this thread so with any theme there wouldn't be a single influence. I did a speaking tour of the US in 2007/8 and a lot of what I was looking at was initially showing up on my large collection of 'North American anarchists in 2007/8' FB friends both in terms of linked articles but also the stories they told.

On the 100k thing, I'd very much prefer if the exit poll had a lower ceiling that that (maybe 75k) as I'd reckon while the 75-100k band does have some skilled workers (both blue collar and tech) it probably also has a lot of small business owners. I tried to find how much small business owners earned but although `I did find some figures they weren't reliable enough to include - those indicated that 75-100k was a common average range for the first 5 years of ownership but after that it would be much higher. I'd guess that's an effect of a very high failure rate in those years meaning the average is low because some of those businesses are doomed escape dreams.

However in the context of the article the overestimate of the size of the working class that probably follows isn't that important as a consistent over estimate for the comparison purposes and in real terms it means Trumps working class support is if anything smaller than estimated.

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

Chilli Sauce

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'd reckon while the 75-100k band does have some skilled workers (both blue collar and tech) it probably also has a lot of small business owners.

In that pay range, I'd imagine most were managers, no?

jesuithitsquad

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Trump has picked Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma and Climate Denialist to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. In addition to leading the effort of states currently suing the EPA to fight the Clean Power Plan, Pruitt once wrote a letter to federal agencies about 'over reaching regulations that was later discovered to have been written by energy lobbyists.

When he ran for Oklahoma's AG in 2010, it was on a platform to fight EPA regulations. His re-election campaign co-chair was the CEO of an Oklahoma oil and gas company.

Tldr--We're all gonna die.

el psy congroo

5 years 11 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsD59byZkl0

Not bad.

Scallywag

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Anyone able to explain what the election hacking is about? Do you believe it?

Whether its true or false it seems the intelligence agencies don't approve of Trump why is that?

Also they are speaking as if they are preparing or want to go to war with Russia

Steven.

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Scallywag

Anyone able to explain what the election hacking is about? Do you believe it?

Whether its true or false it seems the intelligence agencies don't approve of Trump why is that?

Also they are speaking as if they are preparing or want to go to war with Russia

The hacking thing seems very likely. Although the CIA complaining about a foreign intelligence service interfering to get a right-wing leader elected is the most unintentionally LOL thing of 2016.

In terms of why the intelligence agencies don't like Trump, I think with your next sentence you have answered your own question.

As it stands at present, the geopolitical interests of the United States are opposed to those of Russia, so the CIA and co wouldn't want someone Russian friendly in the White House

klas batalo

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'll be honest I know it's probably just paranoia and fear but for the first time in my life I'm actually worried about their being a coup in the US.

Juan Conatz

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'm not convinced on the Russian hacking and either way the Democrats are using it to distract from the fact they had literally nothing to offer in the face of right-wing populism. Hillary has basically gone into hiding and all her insipid surrogates and media soldiers have spent the last 2 months going through a long list of who to blame.

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

adri

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

The US, which intervenes all over the world, before, during, and after elections, and with more than hacks-- with guns, money, lawyers, thugs, and drugs, whimpering about the Russians hacking the email of the chairman of the Democratic Party.

All of that's brushed aside, or simply not talked about, as if our intervention/involvement with places like Haiti or Nicaragua were justified, and where any dissent is categorized as "cheering for the bad guys." We must always be justifiably "spreading democracy" in Nicaragua and other places and "protecting" the world by taking innocent people's lives like with Al Shifa, then of course using "collateral damage" whenever something goes wrong, etc. When that's realized, it's just farcical reading in the Washington Post about possible Russian hacking, a bourgeois-minded thing to be concerned about.

petey

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Steven.

The hacking thing seems very likely.

yes. the PRC and mossad (iirc) have broken into american govt networks, and the NSA is surely breaking into or trying to break into government networks all over the world. that the FSB (or whatever agency) is not doing this or trying to do this to the US or any other govt is incredible, apart the details of this situation. they tried a number of networks, got into this one, perhaps targeted, perhaps not, but that the russian govt might feel simpatico with what looks like a strongman who says nice things about them (e.g. encouraging them to break into clinton's emails) and feel antipathy towards someone who is quite frank about her opposition to your geopolitical efforts is not insane and might drive your intelligence efforts.

as to why intelligence pros don't like him: this is a guy who has made crap up and gotten into the white house by doing so. now he makes crap up about his knowledge of intelligence and the people who do that for a living (well or poorly) get annoyed. they also imagine that what they do is Important Stuff. they also want to keep their jobs. why wouldn't they get annoyed? we'll see what happens later today when the spooks visit him here on 5th ave.

Scallywag

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

So how much support do you think he has amongst the ruling class? If there are powerful organisations and people that hate him and if he's friendly with Russia or Putin then why was he even allowed to become president?

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

adri

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

For those interested, the first "issue" of Anti-Capital is up:

Sounds similar to what Richard Wolff touches upon in some of his essays about the 2007 crisis.

https://socialistworker.org/blog/critical-reading/2011/12/26/marxist-explanation-crisis

OliverTwister

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

S. Artesian

For those interested, the first "issue" of Anti-Capital is up:

Can you say what you found interesting about it?

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

jesuithitsquad

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Of course the notion of the American IC feigning shock and horror at election rigging is beyond parody, but I do have some thoughts on the hacking story, Putin's role in the global rise of the far right, and why we as communist should care, but I haven't found the time to finish it yet. Hopefully soon . . .[quote=OliverTwister]S. Artesian

For those interested, the first "issue" of Anti-Capital is up:
.
Can you say what you found interesting about it?

I've only read the intro so far but I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the rest. Did you find something objectionable or find it uninteresting?

OliverTwister

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I've only read the article on Wisconsin but thought it was idealistic. It posits a platonic ideal of some perfect socialist movement which all of our existing movements fall short of. It also puts out the idea that the Madison teacher's sickouts were the key foundation for the possibility of a general strike, but doesn't ask how they were actually organized, or why they stopped after only three days.

ETA: I also think more effort should be put into production value and accessibility. I'm not sure what the goal or target audience for the blog are though.

teh

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

And...thats how it ends.

Ending "wet foot, dry foot" is a huge shot across the GOP bow, making Cuban-Americans, the lone GOP Hispanics, subject to Trump deportation.— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) January 12, 2017

S. Artesian

5 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Removed in protest of Libcom policies allowing posting of texts by racists

Entdinglichung

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/314163-trump-to-meet-with-top-labor-leader

Trumka entered Trump Tower at around 10:30 a.m. and left around noon. He told reporters it was a "very productive" meeting and that they spoke about "a lot of issues." On Twitter, he also called their conversation "very honest."

Hieronymous

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Heard on the radio this morning that Trump has already signed on to resuming building both the XL Keystone and DAPL pipelines.

Anyone have more details?

Steven.

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Hieronymous

Heard on the radio this morning that Trump has already signed on to resuming building both the XL Keystone and DAPL pipelines.

Anyone have more details?

that's basically it, he just signed both executive orders, as well as saying they will need to be built with American steel. He also signed an executive order ordering the expediting of environmental reviews on infrastructure projects.

He also claimed to be an environmentalist…

A journalist asked him if he had a comment on the Standing Rock protesters, and he didn't respond

adri

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

This isn't surprising. They boast about how many jobs will be created, but most are only temporary construction jobs. I've seen different estimates about how many permanent jobs will be created after the DAPL and Keystone are built. This article cites both pipelines will create less than 100 permanent jobs. This isn't to mention all the environmental risks and consequences associated with the pipelines, or the opposition from native groups and activists. This certainly won't help Trump's popularity.

Rachel

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Jesuithitsquad wrote: I do have some thoughts on the hacking story, Putin's role in the global rise of the far right, and why we as communist should care, but I haven't found the time to finish it yet. Hopefully soon . . .

I hope you do finish it and post it. I always enjoy and learn a lot from your posts.

adri

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Apologies

Fleur

5 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I really hope not, given that she was just a teenager when he stalked her, moved across the country to live near here, hand delivered things to her door and threatened to commit suicide in front of her, making her terrified and terrorized. I'm not all that sure that stalking, intimidating and making someone fear for their life counts as much of a joke at all, tbh.

jura

5 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

An interesting new article: The working class’s role in Trump’s election.

None of this is to say manufacturing as an economic foundation for a county did not matter at all in the election. But it boosted Trump only in counties that were predominately white.

Hieronymous

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

jura

An interesting new article: The working class’s role in Trump’s election.

None of this is to say manufacturing as an economic foundation for a county did not matter at all in the election. But it boosted Trump only in counties that were predominately white.

Thanks Jura for an insightful article.

This sums it up:

Trump did not win the white working class, Clinton lost it.

S. Artesian

5 years 5 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Yes, very good article

jura

5 years 2 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Bumping this again as it probably isn't worth starting a new thread. The First White President by Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses the relation of the "white working class" to Trump. I haven't finished it yet so please don't take this for an endorsement but it's been an enjoyable read so far.

Juan Conatz

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

I'd like to see something written about the effects the Trump campaign and administration has has had on the left. Just off the top of my head I'd say

-Swing to social democrat electoralism as the main influencer and entry point to the radical left

-Polarization between "economistic" and "identity politics" tendencies

-The seeming decline of anarchism as a unique and identifiable segment of the radical left

-Perceived amplification of the stakes translating into more salt the earth tactics towards internal rivals

Mike Harman

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Made a new thread for that: https://libcom.org/forums/north-america/post-trump-north-american-left-trends-27042018

el psy congroo

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Juan Conatz

Swing to social democrat electoralism

Haven't you made this swing yourself? IIRC, you voted.

Juan Conatz

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

el psy congroo

Haven't you made this swing yourself? IIRC, you voted.

I have no idea who you are.

I haven't voted since 2004. But the mere act of an individual voting is not the same as a collective political strategy of social democratic electoralism.

Steven.

4 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

admin: thread locked. Continue the discussion about today on the new thread