Is there any cure for chronic Left-wing naivety and infatuation with promising “progressive” Messiahs?
In the wake of Obama’s $825 bailout plan announcement and California State Controller’s revelation that his state government now has debts that cannot be liquated by tax revenue and credit lines, Paul Craig Roberts asks:
“How can President Obama even think about fighting wars half way around the world while California cannot pay its bills, while Americans are being turned out of their homes, while, as Business Week reports, retirees will work throughout their retirement (which assumes that there will be jobs), while careers are being destroyed and stores and factories shuttered.” http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts01292009.html
My answer? Because he accepted $389 million dollars for his Democratic nomination campaign largely from Wall Street corporations. As I wrote during his nomination:
Barack Obama took in $102.1 million for all of 2007 and by February 22, 2008 had raised $138 million, including a million from private equity firms and $9 million from corporate law firms. And hold on to your seat belt. By the August 28/08 Barrack Obama had raised $389,423,102. Friends, that money most assuredly did not come from cab drivers, hairdressers, carpenters, supermarket clerks, gardeners or the working families sitting at the kitchen table …It came from ordinary, down-to-earth corporate goliaths like AT+T who gave $168,613 to Obama. And City Group who gave him $389,989. And Microsoft who gave him $274,375.
With Obama’s perseverance with the war in Afghanistan and continuation of unauthorized attacks on Pakistani targets, it now looks like the people in the Defense Industry are getting what they paid for when 52% of their $8 million dollars of nomination campaign donations went to Obama’s Democrats. Is a war against Iran on tap? If it is in Israel’s interests, I would bet my depreciated house on it. Obama has consistently sung the McCain tune, and will no doubt follow the Democratic Party tradition of subsidizing the apartheid theocracy---now at $10 billion a year.
One wonders how any American politician could have the chutzpah to tell the world that Muslim fanatics took out the Twin towers because “they hate us for our freedom and democracy.” I guess then the murder of so many innocent Lebanese by the shelling from the USS New Jersey, to cite just one incident, or the deaf ears to Palestinian misery are examples of the “freedom and democracy” that these fanatics hate. As veteran American Indian activist Russell Means said, “The Palestinians are the American Indians of the middle east.” He observed that while Obama was selected to improve America’s global image, the reality was exposed by Obama’s pro-Zionist appointments.
Stayed tuned for Microsoft’s reward. Obama will not doubt remain faithful to his pledge to bring “the best and the brightest” IT workers from the world (the south Asian world typically) to satisfy Bill Gates’ ambitions to widen the HB-1 visa pool. That quarter of a million bucks to the 2008 Obama nomination campaign will look like a steal when American-born IT workers---the ones still working---are brought down to the HB-1 wage level of 60 rather 100 thousand dollars a year.
Folks, this man is not Martin Luther King or Jesse Jackson. He is from the Chicago School, one of Milton Friedman’s anointed ones. Three days after Hillary Clinton’s concession speech, and before the market meltdown, the unregulated market so favoured by Friedmanites, Obama declared: “Look, I am a pro-growth free market guy. I love the market.” Again, the Edgar Bergens of Wall Street were assured by that comment that they did indeed, get what they paid for too from this Charley McCarthy. Many of the people who voted for Obama are racist dupes. In defiance of Dr. King’s prescriptions, they judged him by the colour of his skin, not for his policies. He who pays the piper calls the tune. For every two dollars that went to McCain, Wall Street gave three dollars to Obama.
For most it is counter-intuitive to think that Democrats are the party of plutocrats, for their campaign rhetoric, as always, is populist and progressive. Yet if one follows the money trail (try www.opensecrets.com, the source for all of these stats ) one can see that both major parties are indistinguishable from each other in their commitment to the corporate agenda of outsourcing working and middle class jobs and importing cheap labour, with complete indifference to the environmental impacts of runaway population that comes with it. As Russell Means remarked, “Americans cannot continue the lifestyles of consumers when there is no production. Low income jobs and menial jobs are the only ones left.” Then, reflecting upon the environmental mess wrought by corporate empire, he continued, “Our grandmother the Mother Earth is tired of the human race. She is going to eliminate it and I champion her, Mother earth.”
Yes, McCain was a fool, but his foolish orientation was little different than is Obama’s. Amnesty, blind support for Israel and imperial adventurism in the Middle East. Voters may have thought that an African-American of grace, intelligence and polish would mend historic divisions, but soon the whole nation will be wrought with even more division---the kind that economic and ecological ruin will bring to all ethnicities. Fasten your seatbelts America, with Obama you still will be on track to add another 100 to 150 million footprints by 2050 to your land.
In drawing attention to the sordid commonalities of left and right, I have always been rebutted by the classic clichés of the “you have to play with the cards you are dealt” school. In Canada the refrain from the left is precisely the same as the refrain from the right. “You have to vote for us, despite our ugly blemishes, because the alternative is worse.” But as Harper’s post-election budget of late January 09 reaffirmed, supporters often get the opposite of what they vote for. Conservative voters thought they voted for balanced budgets, but got a Keynesian dog’s breakfast of record deficit spending instead. Much like socialist voters finding that a vote for the left brings the remedies of the right: back-to-work legislation, austerity measures, cut-backs in social services, freer trade etc. Best advice, if you must vote, vote for the party that represents what you find most distasteful.
Seriously, this opportunism does not come from the flaws in an outdated electoral system. It comes from the fact that representative democracy denies the common people control of government. Proportional representation, the flavour of the month in Canada for decades, only rearranges the distribution of political power between parties, not between the parties and the people, who must wait three or four years to rectify their mistake of voting for the “best alternative” among dictators by, of course, voting for another “alternative”. The Soviet bloc offered the same kind of choices too. Our ballots offer only three options, Growthist Party A, and Growthist Party B. With the marginal Party C promising “managed” Growth.
Yet despite this merry-go-round, one is confronted by the same rationales. “We can’t go forward unless we make the choices on offer today” said one voice. It was the same voice that said that a vote for Kevin Rudd was an imperative to rid Australia of the corrupt Howard legacy. Now look at Rudd’s growthist immigration record. Then I was told that a vote for Obama was necessary because “It is essential that US voters at least emphatically repudiate Bush’s legacy by electing the only possible alternative…” Afghanistan is now about to expose this “alternative”.
In summary, I apparently must choose between unpalatable options, as if I am a starving man who must choose between McDonald’s and Wendy’s. But why should I prefer one junk diet to another when I know that I will end up with malnutrition or heart disease and barf my guts out after every meal? Fasting might be the better option. It might drive the fast food hucksters out of business, while we habituate our selves to wholesome menus, menus that we prepare for ourselves, a menu of direct democracy. Most think it their democratic duty to vote. I believe it is my democratic duty not to vote. It is my obligation not to legitimize representative “democracy” (ie. dictatorship) by supporting it with a vote. There are abundant other avenues to make one’s will felt than playing the electoral game of choosing between which of the two factions of growthism shall rule over you for the next several years. Letters, blogs, petitions and demonstrations are just some of the avenues available to effect change.
Psalm 146:3 “Place not your trust in princes”. As Peter, Paul and Mary used to sing, “When will they ever learn?”