As people lament the damage of rioting in Ferguson, I am still struck dumb at the systematic, persistent and escalating legally authorized violence against African-Americans. Along with the planned pauperization of huge swaths of what was once the middle class, this is the perfect storm of "revolutionary conditions" that Lenin hoped for a century ago.
Personally, I find it lamentable that this is happening just when I am getting to the nadir of my life and will find myself enfeebled and helpless in the turmoil of a revolt. Having witnessed "bloodless" military coups, retaining perfect awareness of who gets bloodied in such events, I must say I look at all this with some ill foreboding.
So does Barack Obama. A few weeks ago, Paul Krugman called Obama "what we used to call a liberal Republican," and it felt right. Now at least one publication on the real Left (not merely liberal Democrats, who are capitalist to the core) is calling Obama "our conservative black president."
That label feels right after the equivocal display Obama put on television. It seemed as if an emasculated Negro president was channeling the fears of the Wall Street financiers who bankrolled his 2008 campaign.
Those in power are afraid. For good reason. We are headed for very