consultants are sandburs

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Alternet publishes. Readers can react.

This link, this excerpt:

Obama chose financial and economic advisers, such as Laurence Summers and Timothy Geithner, who helped him to rescue the wealthy more than to change the financial and economic system that favors them beyond all reason or justice.

We should esteem Obama for many reasons, among them his cool-headed grace under enormous pressure and the profound dignity with which he's endured racism and pointed us beyond it. But he hasn’t been a corrector of the corrupted capitalism that would have appalled Adam Smith and John Locke, and we’re living with its mounting costs, not least among them the demagogy of Donald Trump, who promises to “fix” crises whose causes we seldom name.

How ironic for progressive champions of sexual and racial identity politics, then, that it was a 74-year old, white male who showed this year that a surprisingly effective campaign for economic change could be funded by millions of small donations averaging $27.00 each – even when the candidate seemed a bit clueless about diversity. What can we learn from that surprise?

[...] A liberal or progressive diversity that touts breaking glass ceilings over reconfiguring walls and foundations, and that waves banners of diversity atop the whole faulty edifice, ends up speechless before glass-ceiling breakers such as Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Governor Sarah Palin, CEO Carly Fiorina, and gay Silicon Valley venture capitalist (and Trump enthusiast) Peter Thiel.

[...] Throughout American history, the hideous consequences of race hatred and misogyny have been internalized deeply by too many of their victims and perpetrators, preventing (or excusing) many of us from naming the casino-like financing, predatory lending, and increasingly intrusive, degrading marketing that dissolve civic trust. “Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey, when wealth accumulates and men decay,” wrote Oliver Goldsmith in 1770.

[...] Hillary Clinton deserves our respect and support for “fighting for children and families” and other good causes, but not for speaking as often as she does of “fighting” without quite naming the enemy she's fighting.

Third, some wealthy donors to Clinton's and Obama’s campaigns are themselves liberals or self-avowed progressives who’ve prospered a bit too well within our rigged system to want to reconfigure it enough to cost them their privileged seating. So they grasp at highly symbolic, moralistic gestures toward diversity that, absent real economic change, end up creating new divisions between some women and most women, and some people of color and most.

And any coalition that builds upon fairness and is hence cast adift on open seas by wealth is better than one anchored in a calm yacht harbor.

2 comments:

spectre said...


Bernie's revolution was never really about him, but about the direction this country ought to take. That revolution isn't over. It is only beginning and if Shillary continues to the the side of the one percenters, we will do all we can to make her a one term president in 2020

eric zaetsch said...

spectre - Perhaps a topic for another post with links: Given that Jill Stein has chosen a VP candidate with opinions, and with the Green party and Chris Hedges both focused on reform needs re militarism and imperial drive a.k.a. "American exceptionalism," a.k.a. "sole superpower," a.k.a. " 'Project for a New American Century' neocon hogwash;" one suggestion is that a major class awareness and activism awakening is a needed step.

Bernie has been criticized as insufficiently positioned on foreign policy reform of the world hegemon mindset, but his points of taking away the unbalanced impact of money in politics and of addressing income inequality as ways to patch capitalism to make it work (again?) rather than to sweep it out as too flawed to continue are suggestions where fair debate can be helpful. In that sense Bernie was an incrementalist, and while quantum leaps ahead of insulting incrementalism, i.e., the elite attitide of allowing table scraps that have fallen to the floor to stay there for the bottom 50% to forage (if suitably grateful); Sanders nonetheless steped in a direction more sensible and less insulting that the Clinton machine represents. But in a sense, in step with brash, mean Clintonism toward the proles. JUST NOT AS FAR, which does matter. Not nearly as repulsive and presumptive.

Remember, Sanders is a Senate member, and shows up in committee meetings and for votes and such.

Last, Star Tribune had a poll, if Hillary is elected what title should Bill have; but they neglected to list "for-fee designated speech giver, here and abroad, mid-six figures or go away and leave our family and foundation alone for REAL people's reach." The title should fit the conduct, after all.