This may be considered by some, if not by all on @101, the perspective of one pessimistic, if not paranoid, anarchistic vagabond, but I do sense we’re long past the proverbial fork in the road. At best, we’re on a two-lane highway where we might make a lane change before the one we’re in merges with the other anyway. This election cycle has just been too over-the-top, far too spectacular, for me to smell anything other than dead, decomposing, fish. Far too much attention has been focused upon Trump, his buffoonery, his contradictions, as well as that the racists, Zionists, cops, and country-club Republicans have been emboldened by his victory in strange and even unforeseen ways. This, however, has aroused my rebellious eyes to the periphery. What is that just out of full view?
Inverting the old saying somewhat, what goes down must go up, and the dourness self-designated ‘progressives’ have demonstrated post-election play into these shenanigans in a way which, I think, will come haunt us all. Entertain for a moment the possibility that Trump gets ousted (impeached) from the Presidency due to his ‘conflict of interests’ (as if the Presidency isn’t a conflict of interests!). There is already talk of it, that he will be almost unavoidably be ‘breaking the law’ on his very first day in office. What then?
Sure, the threat of a right-wing insurrection is real, particularly if one considers the relatively recent events which unfolded in Oregon. There seems to be a fair amount of sympathy for the very sentiments in the region within which I live. Liberals are taking over. Progressives are trying to force their hand via the Federal gov’t, etc. At least that’s part of the story. Will such an insurrection become widespread or even ‘succeed’? Who knows? But with enough evidence on spectacular display, even some of these may back down. Many, probably not as ‘my’ region changes from Team Red to Blue.
Another scenario I don’t see as hard to image, to speculate happening, in more urban and/or ‘progressive’ areas is a collective sigh of relief, perhaps euphoria. Dancing in the streets. Our Democracy Works! Crisis averted! The evil capitalist in league with the evil autocrat toppled before he could do too much damage. LBGTQ rights saved, wilderness areas intact, ACA continues, and the ‘black community’ can finally put their hands down! I’ve sensed that many where I live are already primed for this eventuality, just in being so bummed.
Paraphrasing Rahm Emmanuel: why let a crisis go to waste...or its aftermath.
What better moment to pass a draconian trade deal, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which only last year was very unpopular and failed being ‘fast-tracked’ through Congress by Odronekiller. After all, 40% of the world’s economy; extra-national legal re-definition, with particularly stringent IP law enforcement, in favor of the likes of Fedbook, Google, Apple, etc.; all this and more will look so much the better, even when paired with authoritarian states bearing ‘People,’ ‘Democratic,’ and (currently less popular) ‘Republic,’ in their titles after the ‘force’ between Don Vader and the Evil Emperor is broken. Oh yes, Manichean morality in the eyes of an elated populace steeped in the spectacle of the Star Wars mythos.
Big T’s measly $ 3.5 billion got nuthin’ on almost half the world’s economy, y'know?.
And as for a trend I’ve noticed over the years, and I think which contributes to this mess: it’s easier for donkey-straddlers to believe they’re on the high-horse of reason rather than engaging in the activity of reasoning. I don’t anticipate questions, like, well, “whatever happened to the TPP?” at this time. Or, why did the only outspoken politician against TPP (Sanders) cave so early and so easily when Clinton was fairly unpopular and he had quite the fan-base? Why was Clinton’s response to her position on TPP tepid and basically a wait-n-see approach (that is, wait ‘til it goes through and see how you proles are fucked again!)? I certainly wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for these folks to investigate the strands, threads and filaments of just how bad TPP would be in the long run, who it’s connected to, how it might effect our lives in dire and unforeseen ways. There’s just far too much Democracy to celebrate, ‘rights’ to be grateful for, new tech-toys made in shitty Asian factories to fondle, and wilderness areas to be enclosed...er...protected by capitalist law...oh...I mean, the democratic process to go play in.
Perhaps it’s too late, but a generation or two raised on reality TV, whose relations are heavily mediated through capitalist gadgetry, etc., seems mighty vulnerable to the spectacle before us all. Yes, Trump is horrible. With nuke codes in his hands ‘You’re fired!’ may now be considered an existential threat to the living. Yes, racists are emboldened like they haven’t been in decades and the likelihood that the demise of his Presidency contains the potential for a right-wing insurrection is high. But this makes the specter of yet another 'progressive' trade-deal a la NAFTA no better a turn. Combined with 20+ years of being relegated to 'fly-over country' by coastal liberals, and stereotyped as a bunch of sister-fucking Uncle Daddies drooling over the day when the South shall rise again,the hatred is understandable to some degree and it's not hard to contemplate the possibility of some shitty days ahead.*
I will add here, though, that TPP, or a renamed version of it, is bigger and badder and I can’t believe for a single moment interested ‘foreign’ parties, more than likely with far more reach than Putin, weren’t working with their domestic buddies here during this election, and now after it, driving the populace onward with the carrot and the stick of Politics and Economy. We may very well be witnessing the wane of the nation-state and, simultaneously, the greatest leap toward an extra-national, Global Economotopia.
What, me pessimistic? We are talking politics after all. And, I’ll admit that perhaps maybe I’m thoroughly deluded. I sincerely, and presently, desire this is the case.
* Here, I point the reader interested in American political-economic history to Gabriel Kolko’s “Triumph of Conservatism” which outlines the Progressive Era’s posturing of the good State regulating evil Capitalism’s excesses, but actually contributing in a major way to our current corporate state. Kolko was (is?) a New Left historian, btw. Also, as most of you know, I’m no fan of industry, but am I the only one who can make an attempt to understand why there might be anger toward H. Clinton in middle-America? Despite the dibs on being 'the reasonable, it's been my experience many ‘progressives’ utilize Bush-the-Shrub type logic: yer-fer-us or agin us. Any attempt to understand equates to collaboration.