Thursday, November 06, 2014

Maybe it's time for Republican Socialism

I know, it sounds crazy, but listen to my logic before you completely reject the idea. The indisputable fact of the matter is that there is a fairly miniscule ideological difference between the two pro-capitalist parties. Even Paul Krugman is now calling Barack Obama "what we used to call a liberal Republican."

I didn't vote in 2008 for Jacob Javits, the old Senate liberal Republican warhorse of the 60s and 70s. I voted for a man who claimed to embrace change and hope, but who has essentially embraced a very watered-down version of everything.

Obama promised to reform the health care system, but only gave us "reformed" but more expensive health care insurance. He didn't even dare to put a single-payer plan, similar to the national health care systems of those oh-so-soviet Canada and Britain, to a vote!

For years I have thought that democratic socialism, a la Michael Harrington, was the only viable, reformist route to bring about real change in the United States. But let's face it, in the last 40 years or so, we have witnessed things get worse and worse and worse.

Reagan began the work of destroying what is now recognizably the aberrant era of New Deal to Great Society reformism, with some unionism, some economic security (for whites), a cosmetic opening to women and people whose ancestors did not hail from northwestern Europe.

But Clinton was the real errand boy of capitalism, shipping jobs overseas by the bushel with NAFTA and what later became the WTC, while signing the end of the 1930s Glass-Steagall finance-banking-stockgambling firewall behind the smokescreen of Monica Lewinsky.

Then Dubya doubled down on Reagan, managing to double the debt Reagan had accumulated (which was already more than all the debt racked up by all previous presidents). Why increase the debt? Just look who holds the bonds.

Obama, we in the Left should now realize, was just a clever sop the people who really run things threw at a public irate by the Reagan-Squared misrule.

Obama was never intended to do anything real. The house is on fire? Hand the keys to the black man and let him clean up. His people have always been good janitors. I'm certain that was the thinking on Wall Street. Why else did they support him?

So, folks, what are we to do now? The answer seems clear.

The Republican Party is becoming increasingly rigid and ideological. It is buying into everything that, as anyone who ever read Marx knows, accentuates the self-destructive internal contradictions of capitalism. Look at Kansas. The policies don't work. Kansas' schools are being cut because no one pays enough taxes.

Let's cut all taxes. Let's lower everyone's salaries. Let's egg them on to slash and burn.

Let's send the consumer-spending-dependent system into the suicide it attempted in 2008 ... only this time, let's not save Wall Street and the big corporations. Let's instead follow strict Republican austerity until it cripples the United States economy as we know it beyond repair.

Then we'll have real change -- it's called revolution, and it needn't be physically violent -- starting from scratch.