Monday, March 19, 2012

Progress - Yes, but for whom? Toward what?

Excuse the Leninist word-games, but I felt I had to.

Progressives! Ah! The intellectuals! With high morals and a love for progressive "democracy", believers in "compassionate capitalism", the politically correct thought police, the "rational middle ground" between Soviet Gulags and Reaganomics, the upper middle class people who'd rather tell a welfare mother they voted Democrat (but the social program got voted down) than buy groceries for her or help her with the kids. 

It's not with complete disgust I approach American Progressives. I mean, at least they have the decency to lie about not being corporate hacks. It's just that while they at times sound egalitarian, righteously standing up against oppression, corporate bailouts and environmental disaster, their solutions seem to imply they don't mind it's cause.

Take Elisabeth Warren for example. I know, I know, her rant on taxing the rich is old news by now. But it's pretty interesting to look at how she touches upon some important truths about the state of state capitalism. We all remember this rant:

You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.

Correct, infrastructure spending is a huge subsidy for corporations.

You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. 

This is correct, and absolutely frightening. State education came about as a form in which to create wage slaves. 

You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.

Also right, the poor pay for all the protection of the giant corporate monsters we see today, pretty sure anyone can see the problem with that. 

So far, so good. 

But wait. Just wait for it. 

"Now look. You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea - God bless! Keep a hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along."

Ok. So much bullshit here. The social contract bullshit, the myth of corporations "paying forward to our kids" bullshit, but that's not the worst part. I believe this is the problem of progressive "egalitarianism". 

The first part of her analysis talks about how the system Americans live under is a system designed directly for the rich. We build roads for, educate our children for, pay for the protection of Corporate power, and Corporate elites. Ah! What an open and honest statement in our deluded status quo! What do we do? Do we build a new system? Do we revolt? Do we start building a society for OURSELVES?

Nope. No. You're forgetting, this is a progressive speaking. The best she can come up with is "i dunno, tax the rich, social contract, whatever". The "social contract" thinking works both ways: we enslave ourselves for the rich, create their wealth, as it is is said in the "underlying social contract" (somewhere, I can't find a copy of said contract online, or anywhere else), and they, by the same contract, might share a portion of their wealth to society so maybe they generate revenue for some food stamps for the unemployed debt slaves of tomorrow. 

Truly radical people don't want a milder version of invisible despotism, we want it's complete abolition. Don't tax the rich, stop paying for their privilege.   

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