I’ve been convinced for some time that the greatest domestic threat to American democracy lies with the Libertarian Koch brothers and the Christofascists who serve as useful idiots:
Talent Market’s list of clients is a “who’s who” of the far right, including the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council and the Ayn Rand Institute. Current job openings advertised on the website include openings at the Charles Koch Institute, the Charles Koch Foundation, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the State Policy Network, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).
The Koch-funded CEI is working hard to push climate change deniers into the Trump administration, so it is advertising for a “discrete” “libertarian or conservative” who can “discuss your philosophical alignment with CEIs mission and vision.” Greenpeace members need not apply.
About now would be a great time to hear from the Left:
Congressional Republicans seem to be trying as hard as they can to arouse the enmity of as many people as possible by passing the horrifying American Health Care Act — which is only serving to build support for a single-payer system. Trump’s tax plan, which admittedly is pie in the sky, proposes “one of the biggest tax cuts in American history” (according to the director of Trump’s National Economic Council) — to benefit the wealthy, who don’t have enough money yet. More fodder for populist rage on the left. And, of course, yet another device to “starve the beast,” i.e., hamstring the federal government’s ability to administer society in such a way that society continues to function.
Trump’s budget, as we know, is a masterpiece of misanthropy. Among its shining provisions are $2 trillion of cuts to health programs, a 31 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency, $472 billion slashed from income security programs, and $346 billion of cuts to education, training and employment programs. It has no chance of becoming law, but since it’s just an extreme version of Republican priorities, it doesn’t bode well for the country’s future. Which is to say, it doesn’t bode well for the ruling class’s untrammeled exercise of power — because of the civic collapse and consequent popular resistance it augurs…
[T]he unique historical role of neoliberalism has been to bring the long epoch of capitalism to its global consummation — which, in classic dialectical fashion, could end up precipitating its downfall. In fact, the nation-state system itself, which is integrally connected to capitalism, is in the early stages of its long decline. The political economy of privatization and social atomization on the one hand, and transnationalism on the other, which has emerged on the basis of information technology deployed in a neoliberal context, is unraveling the social fabric of the nation-state — in part by facilitating the emergence of a global consciousness and the undermining of a national one. This, in turn, is making possible the rise of global social movements (which, incidentally, are what Marxism was all about to begin with: “Workers of the world, unite!”)…
It’s unlikely we’ll see a return to 20th-century social democracy, because the nationalistic, heavily unionized political economy that produced that social formation is dead. It has succumbed to relative fragmentation and atomization. Instead, we’ll likely see momentum grow behind more radical initiatives like the democratization of ownership — which is proposed in the Labor Party’s manifesto and has been championed by Bernie Sanders and other senators. The very structures of government and the economy will be thrown into question as the idea spreads that humanity’s current predicament is a direct product of these structures. Popular pressures to address global warming will reinforce and align with anti-capitalist movements, as it becomes clearer that only radical changes in the economy will be adequate to meet the ecological threat. The very inseparability of all the crises afflicting the country and the world — militarism, the privatization of resources, climate change, income inequality, economic stagnation, unemployment — will likely foment wholesale popular radicalization.
Sheldon Wolin’s concept of Inverted Totalitarianism as expressed by a worship of materialism/technology mitigates against the rise of the Left. At least a generation of re-education must occur before effective political opposition can begin to make a difference. Until then, we will be subjected to the senseless violence of anarchy.