Tuesday, July 26, 2016

An American Horror Story -- Clinton vs Trump

Berta Cáceres - Murdered by Clinton backed coup
Oh the hyperbole!

One would think, reading and seeing  the endless stream of false and inane historical histrionics in articles, online posts, tweets and memes that Americans were in Germany in 1933.

Never mind that the historical political parallels between the here and now and the Germany or Italy of the 1930's are actually, in both Canada and the USA very, very weak.

There is no historical analogy of any merit between the USA now and Italy in 1922 or Germany in that fateful year. Or, for that matter, between the Republicans -- even under Trump -- and the Italian National Fascist Party or the German Nazis that hold up under any scrutiny based on the existing balance of forces at all.

It is really nothing new. We have heard it all before and in every election. Bush is a fascist, Harper is Hitler, etc. Until recently there were no end of leftists who would accuse Obama of crypto-fascism.

That this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what fascism is and what, much worse, Nazism represented should be obvious to any first year history major.

These conflations of minor similarities into equation are not based on reality.

Politicians can be incredibly dangerous, bigoted, racist and awful without having to try to make them out as representative of or indicative of historical mass movements that did not emerge out of an election cycle but that actually organized to overthrow and take power in an extra-constitutional and extra-judicial way within the state and that had this as their stated aim and that, in the case of the Nazis, were explicitly genocidal.

Both were also militarist in an expansionist as opposed to isolationist way. This was an essential component of fascism and Nazism that, if one wants to be an ahistorical reductionist, is actually more true of Obama and Clinton than Trump whose incoherent foreign policy to date seems to be "who fucking cares what happens anywhere else".

Fascism is a coherent ideology with specific objectives in a given historic context. It is not a bunch of bad stuff someone advocates for or does. In every case, for example, fascism as an ideology has overtly and explicitly sought to end democracy as a stated ideological goal.

Fascism, like Communism or Socialism is an ideological idea and we both lessen the danger of actual fascism and ironically the dangers of politicians like Trump by throwing the term around.

It is always tempting to compare those today with the worst history has to offer. Sometimes this may be warranted.

In almost all cases it is not.

Comparing Hitler and Trump and, more importantly, claiming the situation is similar, is deeply wrong and deeply disrespectful to the many millions of victims of the real thing.

But it is profoundly tempting for those seeking a reason -- any reason -- to justify voting for an unrepentant militarist and imperialist like Hillary Clinton in the wake of using almost identical arguments to support every Democratic presidential candidate in the last  40 years.

Liberals are nothing if not consistent in claiming it is a "choice" between them and the apocalypse even when the apocalypse has been now for quite some time and the liberals have been one of its major driving forces.

Yet what kind of "alternative" has this liberal alternative been?

The Obama "Peace Prize" machine killing more people with drones than Bush, intervening militarily in more countries than Bush, raining death on Libya, Yemen, Syria, still in Afghanistan, still waiting on Guantanamo, really didn't do much domestically, alternative?
The Secretary of State Clinton "alternative" that saw the killings via cell phone, the demand to stop an increase in the Haitian minimum wage to 61 cents an hour or the votes in support of the Republican colonialist austerity agenda for Puerto Rico?

Hear about Clinton's admitted role in a murderous coup with activist women victims: 

Or the Democratic and American media "alternative" Vice Presidential candidate Kaines being praised, without irony, for his "volunteer" work in Honduras -- a country whose democratic left-wing government was recently overthrown with the active support of his running mate, Hillary Clinton, a tremendous blow for human rights in that country where activists are still being regularly murdered.

But these lives don't seem to be relevant to liberals and progressives. These lives beyond their borders or circles of power or discourse simply are not part of the equation,

Frankly, shame on those willing to participate in this sick game with no sense of the magnitude of the crimes committed against women and children, activists and the innocent worldwide by this administration that she was an essential part of.

What of the last Democratic "alternative" before Obama, the last Clinton Presidency, that saw the dismantling of the welfare state and the institution of laws that led to record mass incarcerations of people-of-colour?

An administration that laid the groundwork for the kind of renewed and expanded legal systemic racism and inequality that now plagues the United States.

This happened under a Democrat, not a Republican.

Actual history that actually matters today. Not nonsense about over eighty years ago.

Of course liberals say there is no alternative to them but why would they not? It is a line that has prevented the emergence of a coherent American mass left political alternative for a very long time.

The reason there is "no alternative" to candidates like Clinton is directly because we keep being made to accept that there is no alternative to candidates like Clinton. It is entirely circular in cause and effect.

A convenient collective amnesia is required to believe in the false, absolutist narrative of liberal or "doom and fascism:".

To forget that this Wall St. liberalism with its acceptance of inequality and militarism has played a huge role in the creation of the conditions that have brought us to Trump is to ensure that Trump's ugliness wins either way.

To the liberal, every threat to their hegemony over "progressive" neo-liberal discourse is conflated to an existential threat to our very civilization. And all with the casual flippancy of a wealthy star like Sarah Silverman telling people they are being "ridiculous" for refusing to back Clinton when many of them are victims of the racism and poverty that Clinton will do little to nothing to combat.

It seems, to me, to be ridiculous to continue to pretend something otherwise in the face of all the historical record around Clinton and the Democratic Party.

A record that can now clearly be expanded to include a contemptuous disregard of even Democratic Party democracy by the party establishment that was rewarded by one of its architects being brought into a leadership position in the Clinton campaign.

The mind-boggling combination of arrogance and stupidity that would lead the Clinton campaign to place Wasserman Schultz in a prominent role the day she resigns in disgrace for helping to try to rig the nomination on Clinton's behalf will very likely come back to haunt.

Though this will no doubt be blamed on those it has alienated as opposed to those who were actually responsible.

This is an American horror story. A horror story brought to us by staggering inequality and systemic racism and the total inability of the "left" of the political spectrum to do anything about it. A horror story where the "left" has and will continue to enable it.

A horror story brought to us by an empty discourse of celebrity gossip and entertainment news and "reality" TV trash talking that allows folks like former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and Donald Trump to make politics into a spectacle and to seem to be attacking social elites and power brokers.

A horror story that will not be solved by getting on board with one of its clearest scriptwriters, Hillary Clinton, but where one needs to reject the entire prefabricated script.

A horror story where the "alternatives" are false.

Like all horror stories, the only way out is to escape the basement of perpetual death and misery that you have been driven into by circumstances that are designed to seem beyond your control.

And this requires ending the stranglehold of the two parties of capitalist imperialism and not being fooled, again, by the fear-mongering emptiness of powerful and wealthy enablers of the very worst of our society under the pretend cloak of being "lesser evil" so-called progressives.

See also: There is no socialist case for supporting Hillary Clinton

See also: Rejecting the lesser evil -- Why you should not buy into mainstream narratives about voting

1 comment:

  1. "This is an American horror story. A horror story brought to us by staggering inequality and systemic racism and the total inability of the "left" of the political spectrum to do anything about it. A horror story where the "left" has and will continue to enable it."

    Please elaborate.
    How has the "left' enabled this Horror Show?
    Bourgeois democracy is the Horror Show.
    Explain how the "left" is responsible for enabling it.