For the leaders of the fight for racial equality throughout the twentieth century, anti-discrimination and anti-capitalism went hand in hand; the struggle for economic justice was always viewed as integral to and inseparable from the struggle for racial justice.
Bernie tried. Clinton lied.
The racial wealth gap will persist here in America as long as the republican/democrat duopoly exist here in America.
Exactly Modern Angel. Furthermore, now with their Corporation Gulag Prisons (CGP), providing cheap prison labor for the corporations, they the (CGP) are trading the prisoners on the New York Stock Exchange, to include juveniles, and adults. Now that is Evil!
Your insights and ability to elucidate the issues comprehensively is always appreciated Mr. Johnson. It is the ‘how do we get from here to there’ that seriously troubles me. Although I will be voting third party (Jill Stein), I fear that even if she were to win it would be insufficient to the task in front of us. The entrenched interests will not go away voluntarily, and they have employed a multiplicity of methods to maintain the status quo and take all the spoils.
Bernie speaks of changing the system from the ‘bottom up’, recognizing that it will take years and years and years to make any significant headway. I have two issues with that: 1) we don’t have years and 2) there will always be new and more violent means of oppression. Working within the corrupted system that we have is highly unlikely to produce the results that are needed to level the playing field.
As I have pondered possibilities, it seems to me that we need to tear up the status quo and start over with a very different system. But as we have learned (or should have) from endless, futile war-mongering, it is imperative to have a a specific plan for ‘the day after’. I would love to see a new think tank, one that includes people from all walks of life and that is committed to ‘justice for all’. It won’t happen because this or that alternative party gets elected. We need a unified vision.
BRAVO! Again Jake Johnson hits the nail on the head!
“‘Why do American liberals carry on about racism and sexism when they should be carrying on about capitalism?’, is pretty obvious: they carry on about racism and sexism in order to avoid doing so about capitalism.”"
Politicians use social issues to divide and, as Jake writes, to avoid any dialogue about (vulture) capitalism and its stranglehold on our lives - on Mother Earth!
Bernie Sanders spoke about economic servitude - about the accumulation of wealth in few hands allowing great political power, and abuses - about breaking-up the TBTF banks and ending corporate exploitation - for that he was accused of being a “one issue” candidate and “failing” to speak-out on racial issues. The truth is he was speaking to the economic foundations of racism and more. It was particularly disappointing that the (older mostly) black community failed to hear/see the truth of his wider message, and supported Clinton’s brand of economic slavery instead - we might be in a different place had not the “Southern Firewall” been so in thrall to Clinton’s con!
As the old union song asked and Pete Seeger sang - “Which side are you on?” An especially critical challenge this year.
“By courting the nation’s wealthiest and accepting as normal a corporate-dominated political process, Democrats and Republicans have answered the question with striking clarity.”
I find Jake Johnson to increasingly be one of my go-to columnists on CD, along with Robert Parry and Ray McGovern. Someone I read because I expect clear truth-telling. Today’s column is another example of that.
Great article again.
“‘Why do American liberals carry on about racism and sexism when they should be carrying on about capitalism?’, is pretty obvious: they carry on about racism and sexism in order to avoid doing so about capitalism.”"’’
This point can not be emphasized emough. It a very calculated ploy and has at its roots work be Bernay’s and the CIA as to how to manipulate a population to get them to accept what they would not normally accept. It the magicians trick of diversion.
Ms Gloria Steinman (who is ex CIA and in internal documents fromt he same noted as one of their most valuable assets as she was able to take over an entire groups direction with her sharp as a tack intellect) has recently stated the reason Ms Clinton not popular is that she a female. This is a very calculated deception. People do not want to be seen as “sexist” so are less likely to critique her. It the same thing with the Anti-semitism charge. It the same meme behind “responsibility to protect” that lead to all those military interventions the world over.
Those in power cynically manipulate the peoples desire to do good and use it against them.
The very fact that they use the language that they do when they deliver these political speeches , that being the desire to see less poverty, better access for all to health care , less inequality, neighborhoods free of crime and drugs, better education systems, more liberties and freedoms demonstrates that these issues ARE important to the people even as that one percent in power uses those words to deliver the same bogus wants of the 1 percent. The words they use are their Trojan Horse.
They are snake oil salesmen and nothing more.
Totally agree ctrl_z, where does this young man get such wisdom? Though I haven’t followed his links; he certainly has selected a great group of people to site…
The New York Times should hire Jake to run opposite Krugman and Brooks…
The class argument is a solid one, except that as is too typical to too many white males, it’s easy for THEM to dismiss the issues intimately connected to race and gender.
Once again, rather than RANK class above the issues of gender and race, areas of inter-sectionality should be sought and redress pursued on all counts (and within all courts).
Also, this is a powerful statement but it lacks something vital:
“And as we have seen over the last several decades, “significant policy interventions” are unlikely to come from those ideologically and financially committed to sustaining and perpetuating business as usual. Recent studies lend credence to this view: The wealthy, even if they identify as progressive Democrats, care very little—if at all—about income inequality.”
Missing from Mr. Johnson’s otherwise astute analysis is WHY it’s so important for Democrats to pursue those same donor dollars that force reps. to remain deferential to the moneyed class:
It’s today’s campaign’s logistical costs and many of them stem directly from the deregulation of the mass media, i.e. the Public’s Air Waves.
When a nation spans 3000 miles and consists of over 300 million diverse citizens (and high percentage of would be voters), the only way for a candidate to reach across all gulfs is via the mass media. And face time costs incredible sums.
That’s why, as has recently been exposed, the average congress person commits too much of his or her time to raising that money from donors.
When an entire system is for sale, naturally, lots of power extends to the highest bidders.
Articles about how much the Democrats sold out without addressing the system that makes such a sellout inevitable leave out something vital.
Perhaps you haven’t heard of The World Social Forum? It is indeed committed to planting (like seed thoughts, concepts, and initiatives) that New Vision. There is also The Venus Project and another group committed to Transitional Communities.
“Politicians use social issues to divide …”
The problem in this perspective is that it trivializes the very real systemic failures, impediments, and impositions lain upon women and persons of color.
And it’s almost always a WHITE GUY who takes umbrage at this idea of “identity politics” as if the needs specific to women and persons of color are necessarily addressed by and through a strategy based entirely on the Class War.
If that were true, then as white union workers got union job protections, they might have been more open to women and Blacks joining them. To the contrary, the traditional white male enclaves fought tooth and nail AGAINST the entrance of women and Blacks (and Latinos) into most venues previously dominated by their ilk.
Another problem is with the frame that says “which side are you on.” For one thing, it’s linear and posits that there ARE only 2 sides to an issue. Any time two forces oppose each other they enter into an irreconcilable gridlock. That is what Polarity is all about.
The third way, the political 3rd party, the point of the equilateral triangle that lifts above the 2 points that lay in opposition is the way OUT of linearity. And it fits in with the story of “Flatlands” where it’s only when people look UP that they can find their way out of the 2-dimensional box that only allows them to look left or right.
These language frames intended to constrain perception and limit the reach of the possible are very pervasive. That’s why many writers passively utilize them. However, in doing so, they reinforce narratives that cannot be resolved from the polarized level of consciousness.
This is another instance where Einstein’s brilliant remark–That no problem can be solved from the level of consciousness that created it–proves relevant.
The 2-party system ensures the kind of lock down that forecloses upon any challenge to itself (and by extension, status quo interests).
Once again, the intersections between economics, race, and gender are what should be recognized… rather than burying 2 under the rug (where largely white male leaders insist they remain buried) so that people focus ONLY upon class, wages, unions, and economics.
How many remember Occupy Wall Street’s ingenious use of “Privilege Check”?
The premise is relevant in this thread because too many are gravitating to Mr. Johnson’s observation that Politicians USE Identity Politics to win support from marginalized groups and granted, do little to alleviate very real problems.
And while many aspects of life are rooted in economics and a system that capitalizes upon the many to benefit the few, neither of these practices changes the FACT that there are racist and sexist elements that deeply injure millions of people.
Too many are ready to jump on the analytical train that judges the logistical value of what politicians say (and what they pretend to support). If the deceptive practices deployed by politicians become the focus rather than THE ESSENCE of the thing (racism/sexism) itself, then those who jump on this bandwagon are showing the same casual dismissal (and callous disdain) for the fruits of these prejudices that are reflected by the society which the capitalist status quo has not only put in place, but normalized.
There’s an interesting parallel between the State of Nature and that of global politics.
In both instances, the systemic insults that work against karma and natural law are beginning to cause the whole Matrix to implode.
Mother Nature is not prepared for so much damage at once–to oceans, rivers, forests, and via fracking, Her very protective crust layers. In parallel, the old status quo system is not able to manage the rebellion of Blacks, low wage workers, Hispanics, women, environmentalists, and Justice/human rights groups all at once.
As Yates related “The Center cannot hold.”
Watch for falling debris.
(Out of the carcass of the fallen paradigm new models for a far more balanced and egalitarian society shall emerge.)
If you meant to quote–as in citation, the term is “to cite.”
If you meant a Website location, the term is “site.”
I totally agree that Jill Stein is an outstanding choice for president. My concern has to do with making progress notwithstanding the congressional and financial forces already in place to thwart any efforts toward anything close to remedying the system that feeds off the misery of many.
I whole-heartedly support Jill Stein 2016!
No, I had not heard of the WSF. And while I laud all such attempts, my point reflects what you said earlier
“When a nation spans 3000 miles and consists of over 300 million diverse citizens…”
Existing organizations each have their individual goals, whether it relates to global warming, never-ending wars, human rights, etc. Very many of these groups support worthy and important goals. Bringing them together in search of a common goal of over-throwing capitalism and its systemic perversions is what I was speaking to. And, in order to do that, it would necessarily have representatives from all stake-holders.
That said, I will look up the World Social Forum!
The point i make is that the people WANT a fair and just society (this contradicting what some suggest that being humans are greedy and selfish by nature). Sexism and Racism are not dismissed when one acknowledges Politicians use these memes to advance their own designs.
It very much the same with the fresh water crisis. We can understand there IS one that will affect billions of people but we must remain fully aware that the Corporations will use this crisis to promote the privatization of the same. In pointing that out one is not dismissing the issue of access to potable water.
We can have both , that being acknowledging how real and harmful these things are , while understanding that Politicians and Corporations will prey on these desires to advance their own ends. It not an either or and yes, I also accept the fact that “white males” will also use this as way to marginalize those issues.
The fundamental failing of our Western Democracies is that there too many people that will filter out the “bad” that WILL occur and accept in a politicians promises only the “good” that MIGHT occur.(This again speaks to the better part of human nature) This the very thing those in the deep state count on and while the “illusion of progress” is doled out to the masses a little at a time , their own power is entrenched.
Yes there is racism, sexism and bigotry entrenched in the Patriarchy. They need to be addressed but to do that the right leaders are needed for the job, those being the ones truly committed to those issues. Otherwise we just spin our wheels and get nowhere for another 1000 years.
In the USA , the right person for that job is Jill Stein.
Thanks Siouxrose, I meant the “hot links” so I assume it is “site.”
i might add the Solidarity Economy movement. It just had its conference in Buffalo in July. Videos on youtube found with keyword - Commonbound.