FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

America Goes Insane

The charge of ‘fake news’ currently at the fore of American political chatter is held forward on its own and is tied to the related charge that the Russian government ‘hacked’ the recent presidential election. Both charges proceed from the oppositional premise that some functioning state of affairs, some normalcy, preceded these onslaughts. The follow-on premise is that this hallowed state of affairs was diminished by ‘external’ malevolent forces.

Functionally, the use of such oppositional reasoning serves to delimit the realm of related discourse. The term ‘fake news’ infers that there exists ‘real’ news. The charge of a hacked election infers that said election was otherwise free from untoward influence. In political terms the charge of illegitimacy infers, and is intended to confer, legitimacy upon the purveyors of ‘real’ news and those levying the charges of political interference.

Cui bono? In a broad political sense national Democrats need to explain how they lost an election to Donald Trump. After all, Mr. Trump was the Democrats’ choice to run against. Given their apparent incapacity for introspection, they need to explain it first and foremost to themselves. Secondarily, they need to explain it to their patrons on Wall Street, in executive suites and in the military establishment lest resources for perpetual advantage flow toward Republicans.

A central explanation for the rise of ‘alternative’ news has been the abject failure of traditional sources. Mainstream reporting on the run-up to George W. Bush’s war in Iraq was a watershed of sorts with gullible ‘reporters’ from the New York Times and the Washington Post dutifully passing on bogus stories of weapons of mass destruction in exchange for ‘access.’ Apparently unbeknownst to these storied cocktail party attenders is that a whole lot of American kids and a million plus Iraqis had their lives destroyed as a result.

The anti-democratic premise of controlling information through delegitimizing competing sources is that information is somehow unrelated to experience. To be clear, this is not the claim that all social explanation deserves equal credence. For instance, eight years of ‘economic recovery’ headlines have hardly erased the diminished facts by which many people are experiencing life. In addition to the Case and Deaton paper on declining life expectancies for White males, other research corroborates and broadens these findings.

The failure of traditional sources of state-sponsored news to keep control of the narrative ties directly to the failures of governance that just got national Democrats booted from office. Hare-brained bullshit must eventually tie to the lived experience of enough of the electorate to dominate social explanation. While an apparent mystery of the universe to the bubble-residing minions of establishment Washington and ‘billionaires’ row’ in Manhattan, human misery has been ascendant in the rest of the country for some years now.

With neoliberal tool Barack Obama set to provide ‘evidence’ of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, I mean Russian interference in the interminable recent election, the broader question of who, exactly, has conspired to turn the U.S. into a neo-impoverished, plutocrat-led, environmental catastrophe creating, auto-militarized, privatized, gangster-state, there is nary a mirror in front of national Democrats to be found. Donald Trump was a plutocratic ‘friend’ of national Democrats before he became the explicit version of their very-own crony-capitalism gone wild.

Upon learning that the excrementitious Donald Trump had won election Mr. Obama’s primary objective reportedly became to pass the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) to secure his ‘legacy.’ The ‘agreement’ could have been put forward sans the ISDS (Investor-State Dispute Settlement) provisions had the objective been other than to affect a crony-capitalist coup. Democrat consternation that Mr. Trump’s Cabinet is full of executives from dirty industries demonstrates their own inability to conceive the world in the level of abstraction of the Democrat leadership’s ‘trade’ agreements.

Reflexive recourse to Red-baiting is the natural home for national Democrats because it places them on the side of their donor base against the people they claim to represent. After four decades of siding with industrialists, Wall Street and the military establishment against the interests of the vast majority of Americans and citizens of the world these lost souls so despise the victims of their policies that they can only conceive of political pushback in terms of ‘foreign’ intervention.

The question of the moment is: who created the conditions that this new McCarthyism is being manufactured to draw attention away from? Before it was the Russians it was deplorable Americans, the biased national media and home grown ‘traitors’ whose tendencies to disseminate inconvenient truths were …, inconvenient. And assuming for a moment that these neo-McCarthyite tactics are successful, are these really the people that Democrat Party constituents intend to vote for in future elections?

Should this not have been considered by the clever folks trying to overturn the election results through the Electoral College, around half of those who voted were apparently well-enough swayed by devious  Russian propaganda to have actually voted for Mr. Trump. This is to suggest that calling these voters easily-duped stooges is roughly akin to calling them deplorable. And should the effort be successful, prepare yourselves for cocktail party interruptus. How well do stock prices respond to civil war again?

It is worth remembering that the original Cold War was as much a business enterprise as it was a battle of ideologies. The main beneficiaries were military industries and American industrialists who used the ‘communist threat’ to invade, subvert, manipulate and control other peoples and nations to gain wealth and power. The ultimate result was the creation of human misery on a previously only rarely imagined scale. By the 1970s the U.S. military was gratuitously carpet-bombing innocents in Laos and Cambodia because it had bombs to drop.

By early 2010 every economically-inclined public commenter I was in contact with was worried about the rise of a right-wing demagogue because of the Democrats’ feckless and servile attention to Wall Street during a time of mass need. Washington, led by national Democrats, fiddled while the nation burned. The political establishment, led by national Democrats, either didn’t see political blowback coming or didn’t care. And should this have been forgotten, Joe McCarthy was a corrupt thug who ultimately self-destructed, but not before destroying a lot of lives. That this is all that the American political establishment apparently has to offer in present circumstance is instructive.

More articles by:

Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books.

March 19, 2019
Paul Street
Socialism Curiously Trumps Fascism in U.S. Political Threat Reporting
Jonah Raskin
Guy Standing on Anxiety, Anger and Alienation: an Interview About “The Precariat”
Patrick Cockburn
The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save Brexit
Robert Fisk
Turning Algeria Into a Necrocracy
John Steppling
Day of Wrath
Robin Philpot
Truth, Freedom and Peace Will Prevail in Rwanda
Victor Grossman
Women Marchers and Absentees
Binoy Kampmark
The Dangers of Values: Brenton Tarrant, Fraser Anning and the Christchurch Shootings
Jeff Sher
Let Big Pharma Build the Wall
Jimmy Centeno
Venezuela Beneath the Skin of Imperialism
Jeffrey Sommers – Christopher Fons
Scott Walker’s Failure, Progressive Wisconsin’s Win: Milwaukee’s 2020 Democratic Party Convention
Steve Early
Time for Change at NewsGuild?
March 18, 2019
Scott Poynting
Terrorism Has No Religion
Ipek S. Burnett
Black Lives on Trial
John Feffer
The World’s Most Dangerous Divide
Paul Cochrane
On the Ground in Venezuela vs. the Media Spectacle
Dean Baker
The Fed and the 3.8 Percent Unemployment Rate
Thomas Knapp
Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark
Binoy Kampmark
Death in New Zealand: The Christchurch Shootings
Mark Weisbrot
The Reality Behind Trump’s Venezuela Regime Change Coalition
Weekend Edition
March 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Is Ilhan Omar Wrong…About Anything?
Kenn Orphan
Grieving in the Anthropocene
Jeffrey Kaye
On the Death of Guantanamo Detainee 10028
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
In Salinas, Puerto Rico, Vulnerable Americans Are Still Trapped in the Ruins Left by Hurricane Maria
Ben Debney
Christchurch, the White Victim Complex and Savage Capitalism
Eric Draitser
Did Dallas Police and Local Media Collude to Cover Up Terrorist Threats against Journalist Barrett Brown?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Straighten Up and Fly Right
Jack Rasmus
Trump’s $34 Trillion Deficit and Debt Bomb
David Rosen
America’s Puppet: Meet Juan Guaidó
Jason Hirthler
Annexing the Stars: Walcott, Rhodes, and Venezuela
Samantha M. - Angelica Perkins
Our Green New Deal
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s Nightmare Budget
Steven Colatrella
The 18th Brumaire of Just About Everybody: the Rise of Authoritarian Strongmen and How to Prevent and Reverse It
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Riding the Wild Bull of Nuclear Power
Michael K. Smith
Thirty Years Gone: Remembering “Cactus Ed”
Dean Baker
In Praise of Budget Deficits
Howard Lisnoff
Want Your Kids to Make it Big in the World of Elite Education in the U.S.?
Brian Cloughley
Trump’s Foreign Policy is Based on Confrontation and Malevolence
John W. Whitehead
Pity the Nation: War Spending is Bankrupting America
Priti Gulati Cox
“Maria! Maria! It Was Maria That Destroyed Us!” The Human Story
Missy Comley Beattie
On Our Knees
Mike Garrity – Carole King
A Landscape Lewis and Clark Would Recognize is Under Threat
Robert Fantina
The Media-Created Front Runners
Tom Clifford
Bloody Sunday and the Charging of Soldier F
Ron Jacobs
All the Livelong Day      
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail