Joe Biden Has Already Served His Purpose

again
Sorry, Bernie.  Another establishment tool has blocked you.

W.J. Astore

Joe Biden has already served his purpose: he drew enough support from Democrats to block the path of Bernie Sanders to the nomination.

Everything Bernie Sanders is, Joe Biden is not.  Bernie has integrity.  Bernie has ideas.  Bernie has passion.  Bernie mobilizes the progressive base.  And Bernie wants true change that helps workers.

Biden lacks integrity (he lies, easily and routinely).  Biden has no new ideas (he just promises a return to the Obama years).  Biden has no passion (hence Trump’s telling nickname for him, “Sleepy Joe”).  Biden wants to squash the progressive base.  And Biden wants no change (indeed, he’s on the record as telling big donors that nothing significant would change in a Biden administration).

The DNC now has its dream candidate: a figurehead, a man known for plagiarizing the speeches of others, a man who’s been in the pocket of banks and credit card companies, a man facing a credible sexual assault charge with a creepy video record of putting his hands on women and even young girls in ways that cause obvious physical discomfort to those being touched.  Biden’s response?  In part, he made a joke out of it.  (His joke was that a child gave him “permission” to touch him, which was wrong on several levels.)

Again, the DNC knows Biden’s faults and weaknesses.  But party power brokers support him anyway.  Why?  Because he’s a man with no spine, someone who can be shoved around to support the agendas of those doing the shoving.

Biden’s campaign promises to inhibit changes of substance.  And for the DNC and the donor class, that’s the very definition of victory.

59 thoughts on “Joe Biden Has Already Served His Purpose

  1. I predicted this outcome in the Democratic candidate-winnowing process all along. (Imagine, we could’ve had Gov. Inslee of Washington, who staked his campaign on the crucial issue of Climate Catastrophe, but nooooo-oooo, too “risky” for the DNC!) So the question for progressives now is: for whom do we vote come November? I’m assuming here, obviously, that the pandemic will permit things to proceed “normally” by then. A vote for Biden will tell the DNC that it’s “okay” for them to bow down to the corporate interests that run our lives, and to hell with the working class. I hope the Green Party gets a candidate on my state’s ballot. Failing that, I would even vote Libertarian as a protest. Or I might leave the Presidential part of the ballot blank and just vote in state and local contests. In this Time of Trumpian Disaster for the nation, the Democrats utterly drowned in a bucket of ice water the idea of progress. To hell with the Democratic Party!!

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    1. Such a cynical, and anti-democratic, process, Greg. Perhaps a new low for the DNC, especially when you consider Biden’s cognitive decline.

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      1. Yeah, it’s not like I ever put the Dem. Establishment up on a pedestal for admiration! But now I can do nothing but actively detest them/it! Wait, I should find an outlet for more positive emotions, shouldn’t I? Okay, I’ll work on that!

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  2. Who counts the ‘votes’? How are they counted? This can be a problem for the manipulating class, for as long as the pretense of representative ‘democracy’ serves their purpose. In Northern Ireland from the 20’s to the 90’s of the last century they had a phrase which explains it all: “Vote early and often”.

    This wasn’t so much an endorsement of the faux-election process, but rather a snigger at it’s wholesale corruption. Because of cleverly devised gerrymander, it didn’t matter how many progressive, or Roman Catholic, or naively honest people voted, the outcome was assured. A bit like the fake ‘Electoral College’ rig of the U.S.

    As long as the top-down fraud of control over the processes and procedures of the socio-economic/political nexus is left in the hands of the capital-possessing class, no change is possible. Think of the transition from seed to seedling – to plant – to budding vegetation – to flowering new seed! All these transitions follow the laws of development evolved within nature. (Regardless of our awareness of them in any given era!)

    Human social growth has its unique organic laws of development also. The long history of philosophy from Heraclitus up to our present exploration of dialectical and revolutionary transformation offer us the solution to the puzzle we face, now, globally. Capitalism can take us no further, our consciousness must exceed it’s formal-thinking reasoning.

    Our organisational mode as a species, democracy, must be revitalised and become Real in a way fit for a new and human society. It’s time to leave aside the so-called Democratic Party and the Republican Party – their mode has been superseded. Once they had a moment of revolutionary relevance, but that time is gone.

    Bravely, we must now create a Real Democracy – a new form of bottom-up active social democracy, to take us forward on the next step of human progress. It we dont, history shows the disunification and chaos of dead-end historical development, over and over.

    Our chance to be different this time resides in the vast expansion of our understanding as a society, and the slowly emerging integrity of our consciousness – shared for and by all. Leaving aside the failed and redundant structures of our previous moments of development, our new puzzle is to make the leap (not of faith but of understanding) to a higher moment of social being. And to learn how do this collectively, co-operatively, sure-footed, as Ireland’s revolutionary First Dail of 1919 asked – treating all childern equally.

    The birth of the U.S. was revolutionary. The past gave way to new forms. Its protracted death will be the same – a revolutionary transformation to a Real Democracy, but this must be made by women and men in possession of revolutionary ideas.

    Historically, Trump, Biden and their trappings are the decaying embers of a fire long gone out.

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    1. Yes. The problem is decaying embers, when they strike dry tinder, can still ignite a wildfire. So it has proven with Trump and his base.

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      1. The sparks Trump sent flying were coming off the heads of undocumented workers, the ones who do the dirtiest, most dangerous jobs in this society, as he whacked them with a large rod of flint. And the tinder was the appalling ignorance and backwardness of millions of white working class Americans.

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    2. After his forced exile from the USSR, Leon Trotsky’s all-encompassing mind took a good look at the United States. This was in the 1930s and even though the Great Depression was underway, he examined the industrial prowess of this country. He concluded that the US would determine the future of Humankind: the workers would either take control of the means of production and put them to use for the benefit of all–thus setting a shining example for the rest of the world–or humanity would risk backsliding into a form of BARBARISM. Many an American died in the struggle for labor’s rights. Then along came FDR and his “New Deal” to tamp down the threat of revolt. And where do we stand now? A Fascist (I don’t use the term lightly) in the White House and his BARBARIC basket of anti-labor, anti-woman, anti-immigrant, anti-environment policies. The future is not looking real bright to this observer.

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  3. I don’t think Sanders has been “blocked” the way he was four years ago. He is much less popular now, owing to the fact that most of his supporters from back then have either moved further left, or they felt betrayed by the DNC, voted for Trump out of spite, and became Trump supporters because they like what he ended up doing. Of course, Sanders DID endorse Clinton, so that pissed off a lot of his fans as well. By that action, which you might justify as “politically expedient,” Sanders betrayed his own base, and many now see him as a sellout. In addition, most of my generation (whom Sanders tries to pander to the most) don’t take the time to vote – but Baby Boomers do. If Sanders did mobilise the progressive base, as you suggest, then I guess there simply aren’t enough progressives, but I think the case is that the progressive base is no longer motivated. Look, I know that you still think Bernie could win, were the game not rigged against him, but did you ever consider that he lost entirely of his own merit? I used to like Sanders myself, I thought he was reasonable and principled, but I’ve changed my mind. I could go own, but I think I’d be better off letting a Vermonter do the rest of the talking:
    https://www.bitchute.com/video/wnjhFqxaf9E/?list=favorites&randomize=false

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    1. Help me, Bernie-wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope. 🙂

      I agree partially. Bernie is a great mobilizer. He speaks truth. He has integrity. But he’s not a great politician. He lacks the killer instinct.

      Indeed, strengths of Bernie (his sense of fair play; his decency) are also weaknesses when running against machine politicians like Hillary and Uncle Joe. He isn’t willing to do what it takes to lead a revolution. Trump was willing to do that; he took no prisoners; and he won. Bernie is too easy-going; too deferential; even as his ideas have lucidity and (I hope) staying power.

      So, his slogan: “Not me. Us.” It really should have been: Join me and together we’ll remake America.

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      1. I always thought that Bernie wasn’t egotistical or sociopathic enough to be President; he’s another decent sane person who history will look back at with what might have been. Tactically, I thought he should have partially run (at least for older voters) on finally completing the New Deal rather than democratic socialism; many of his policies reflect Franklin Roosevelt’s second bill of rights – from his January 1944 State of the Union address. It would have also served to remind voters of what the Democrats once stood for before the rise of the Clintons.

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        1. As Tarl Warwick mentioned in the video I linked to, part of the reason Bernie is unpopular is because he refuses to let go of the socialist label, and while there are indeed socialists who once supported him, many have gone even further left and found far more radical people to rally behind. They are the fringe, of course, so they are barely noticeable. Most politicians get elected based on grandiose promises that are usually empty, whereas Bernie isn’t making claims that he wouldn’t at least TRY to fulfill, I’ll give him that much. That being said, even though we’ll have to wait another four years for anything to change, there is one thing that Bernie HAS succeeded in doing: he has dragged the Democratic Party a little to the left, so one could argue that the new dems, i.e. the ones who run in 2024, will be pushing pre-Clinton policies even without Bernie’s help.

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      2. Even Bernie’s tepid vision of what “a political revolution” would be was too “extreme” for the Dem. Establishment and, needless to say, the US Establishment on the whole. And let us not forget, please, that it was the “extra weight” of yahoos’ votes in states like Idaho that gave Trump the White House while losing the popular vote. I suspect half the population of Idaho still believes the virus pandemic killing people right and left is a hoax!

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    2. Kaja–If any former supporter of Bernie voted for Trump in 2016 as a protest against the Democratic Establishment and is PLEASED with what we now have in this country…then that person never really supported what Bernie represents!!

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      1. Well, most Sanders-supporters are self-serving. By the way, I’m well aware that just because A supports B, does not mean B supports A, and this may ruin your day, but I suspect that Sanders was only ever as popular as he was because he was “anti-establishment,” and Trump supporters DON’T see him as an establishment politician. Remember, in American politics, it’s not about whom you vote for, but whom you vote AGAINST. Unfortunately, to be united in ire is no union at all. As George Carlin once said, maybe the problem isn’t the politicians – maybe it’s the public.

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        1. I think it was H.L. Mencken who observed that “a nation gets the government it deserves.” Trump would have gotten nowhere in politics without a ready-made audience, prepped over the years by Limbaugh, Fox “News,” etc. to lap up his repellent stuff and nonsense. And man, do they ever lap it up!

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          1. I hate to break this to you, but Trump couldn’t have won with the support of bible-plonkers alone. Keep in mind that CNN is an even bigger liar than Fox, and drove many people straight into Trump’s arms with their anti-patriotic vitriol. So, blame Limbaugh all you want, but you must also acknowledge the Chris Cuomo in the room. It’s not about whom you vote for, it’s about whom you vote against.

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          2. Kaja–You have finally shown your hand! You keep “coming back at me” because I am far on the left on the political spectrum, your opposite. So just go your merry way, believing that CNN tells more whoppers than Fox! I can only chuckle at such nonsense.

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          3. Oh? Should I provide examples? Like that time that Cuomo said that “it’s illegal for private citizens to read Wikileaks, but it’s different for members of the press.” BTW, I’m
            not your opposite. I hate the far right as much as the far left. Neither extreme understands reason, or is willing to entertain a nuanced position. I am a centrist (meaning that I agree with points espoused by both sides) who wants an honest discussion, but YOU have just shown your own hand as a partisan hack! Prove me wrong. I used to be a communist (just ask Bill Astore himself), so if you really think that you’re “too far left” for me to understand, bring it. This is going to be fun.

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          4. Kaja–Sorry to spoil your fun on Easter, but I’ll “bring you” nothing further. I have learned better than to waste my time with such online piffle. Find someone else’s time to waste. Goodbye!

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          5. CNN should stand for corporate news network. Fox News is basically Trump news. As long as you realize that, they can be useful, e.g. watch CNN to see how corporations are spinning election coverage, as in favoring Biden and attacking Bernie.

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    3. Bernie lost of own merit? I suppose that takes into account the endless, relentless MSM campaign against him, his own party’s undermining him, and Mike Bloomberg’s throwing his support (and, presumably, money) behind Biden. And then the flip side: continual media apologies for Biden, the overlooking of his many egregious errors, and so on. The game most certainly WAS rigged against him, to an overwhelming degree.

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      1. And yet, despite the Democratic Party falling apart and shifting farther left, Bernie did MUCH better four years ago than he’s doing now. A lot of his supporters have scattered for numerous reasons, and while no-one who has remained behind wants to accept it, his loss can’t be attributed ENTIRELY to DNC corruption, not this time.

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        1. I agree. Bernie ran a decent campaign, but not a great one.

          But even if he’d run a great one, he would have been blocked. The DNC is bought.

          The comedian Jimmy Dore had a great idea: Bernie should have run as an independent — for the Republican nomination. Of course, he’d lose. But his platform has universal appeal — and running against Trump would have been better for Bernie — no BS about Trump being his “friend,” for example.

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          1. Hmmm….Bernie as a Trump rival? Don’t think anybody would buy that! : ) But yes, it was inevitably self-defeating to try to be a Dem.

            I’m from Cleveland, and I’ve been a Kucinich fan most of my adult life. I canvassed for him during his first presidential run, and he had he same issues as Bernie with the Dems. Unfortunately, he ran on heart alone, because he had zero financial backing from anyone, due to not having the incredible fund-raising apparatus that Bernie has. I believed in Dennis, and still do, but I knew he had no chance. As well as Bernie did early on, especially winning California, I doubted his chances, too. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting to see how the DNC would tank his campaign. And when Bloomberg threw in the towel and threw his support to Biden (I suspect he was a decoy or distraction all along), I knew that was the end for Bernie.

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          2. I never saw Bloomberg with the potential to become “loved” by supporters of the Dems…unless on the basis of “Oh, at least he’s ‘electable,’ no crazy talk about socialism from Mike!” I don’t think he had any significant number of rank-and-file followers to “throw to” Biden. I won’t predict Klobuchar as choice for VP, but charisma or no, “She’s oh, ever so ‘safe’! Little Ms. Pragmatism!” Bill Astore–If Amy gets the call, will you buy me a drink? (I know, a tad impractical, but whatever.)…It is emblematic of our fundamental societal problems that any candidate proposing a “Dept. of Peace” will be laughed off the platform by the Establishment. But really (as Nick Lowe originally posed the question): “What’s so funny about peace, love and understanding?”

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          3. Yes. And of course the Obama intervention: getting Amy K. and Mayor Pete to drop out while keeping Warren in, which allowed Biden to “win” Super Tuesday.

            The only principle the DNC consistently stands for is defeating its progressive base. Kucinich, Nader, Bernie, even Tulsi, doesn’t matter. No one with ideals need apply.

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          4. Exactly! If a candidate is not bought by Wall Street or Big Oil, the Dems don’t want him or her. I remember Kucinich turning in a circle, holding his arms out, during one of his appearances, saying, “Look! No strings! I don’t owe anybody anything.” The kiss of death as far as the DNC was concerned. And most of his policies are the ones that Bernie fights for now.

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          5. Yes. And the MSM made fun of him, e.g. they mocked his “Department of Peace.”

            I remember seeing his wife as well. Impressive woman. Last time I saw him, he was sharing a stage with Tulsi Gabbard. Still rockin’.

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          6. Yes, the MSM was vicious to him. In fact, at one point, there was a total press black-out ordered on him. I saw him during the gubernatorial campaign two summers ago. RFK, Jr., was there supporting him. You’d think with friends like that, he could get somewhere, but the deck is stacked too high against him. And yes, his wife is an amazing woman in her own right.

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  4. Thanks to the always reliable yahoo! news feed, I have just seen the list of VP candidates “presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden” has to choose from, as determined by Esquire magazine (Spoiler Alert: Tulsi Gabbard is not among them):
    K. Harris, E. Warren, A. Klobuchar, S.Abrams, T. Baldwin (?), G. Whitmer, T. Duckworth (?), M.L. Grisham (?).
    Personally, E. Warren strikes me as the only viable name on that list. No name recognition with Baldwin/Duckworth/Grisham. Whitmer is only there because of her recent sparring with Trump, Abrams because of the publicity surrounding a lost election. Klobuchar is a non-entity and Harris comes off as more attitude than substance.
    Q: Can Uncle Joe secure the nomination then turn it over to a more qualified candidate before the election? Like Fritz Mondale, he’s a born VP.

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    1. Biden as a born VP — that’s a great point. He’s a follower, not a leader. He’s had no new ideas on the Covid crisis, and I can’t remember one good idea he proposed in all the debates.

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    2. In terms of the views of the DNC, I disagree on Klobuchar. I think she’s a very likely choice. I think Warren has hinted she’s “not interested” in VP slot, but that could change the moment she’s asked–if she’s asked. As to your closing question, legally I don’t think there’d be an issue. This would be a matter of Dem. internal machinations. But they’d make themselves look still more ridiculous if they asked Joe to bump down a slot, and though his ego may be far smaller than Trump’s, I can’t see him agreeing to such an arrangement.

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  5. Please forgive me for being un-American. But observing from so far away, I see a forest not individual trees. This is a fascinating thread of serious debate, and reveals, not just individual perceptions, but often, and more importantly, a general mode of perception which, in my view, misleads so many Americans who are sincerely trying to escape from the prison of a dominating individualist cultural environment which soon chokes the energies of their considerable minds.
    All these opinions (and mine) are in fact, each a set of theories arising from contemplation (and perhaps practical intervention), which are subjectively attempting to cognise a complex, evolving, contradictory, energetic, and revolutionary moment of historic process, which is essentially objective in its being.
    And as one moment of process follows from it’s predecessor, and in turn yields to its successive moment (as yet, undetermined), existence occurs in a flow of mutually conditioning aspects or parts – the whole governed by laws of development which are present whether humankind or any one person is aware of them or not – in any era or circumstance.
    As his assassination was plotted by lesser men, Leon Trotsky collected some of his latest theoretical analyses (1939/40) published as “In Defence of Marxism”, a title which seems to rankle with many today.
    It seems the very idea of any alternative to Neoliberal Capitalism enrages some as much as it blinds them. Just as the word Socialism seems often to assassinate intelligent discourse! Such subjective stupidity in the mental work of those who seek progress is now the principle blockage on the road to a civilised future. Please think about this. We must learn the consistency of historical development.
    Leon might have used an alternative title: “In Defence of Dialectics”; but perhaps he did not fully anticipate the descent of intellectual discourse to the dangerously low levels of subjectivity to which we of humanity have reduced it currently – particularly since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    My point here is to advance the dialectical nature of all existence. Nature has always moved through time and space in a fashion which the Greeks identified as Dialectical. This notion was almost lost in the Dark Ages, but the rejection of superstition and the restitution of reason rescued it in what we call The Enlightenment. Hegel retrieved it but turned it upside down with his Idealist Dialectics. Frederick Engels (and his Irish girlfriend, Mary Burns) – and working independently, Karl Marx and his wife Jenny von Wesphalen argued themselves to the same conclusion – as did Josef Dietzgen around the same time, but properly turned it back up on its feet.
    What today we correctly call Marxism has many authors – male and female – although prevailing patriarchy would have us believe otherwise. It is a truly human advanced mode of reflection and thought. And humanity lives through its own delightful opposites of sexual difference, while united in the common practice (work) of its species’ intellectual reflectivity.
    And today, the cusp of human cognition is characterised by a new generation of conscious persons struggling to grasp the new truths of our new realities – “the truth for now”. From the subjective rumination of many, they construct the most adequate objective ideal (reflection – theory) of the unfolding objective concatenation of connected moments of our existence, social, economic, political, ecological.
    This role of consciousness – of applied human thought aware of itself and its mode – is the doorway, the transitional mode, to the next phase of our species social existence – call it what you will. But that transition is not automatic – it requires new theories of social motion; new practices of democratic cohesion; new co-operative engagement by women and men as equals in a new social context – a break with redundant concepts which reflect only previous relativities, no longer valid.
    This process is partially expressed through the many differing scientific disciplines which constitute human knowledge in the twenty-first century, each with its own particular mode of being, its own historical development, its various contexts and connections of motion. But the theory of relativity demands we also recognise the material inter-connections between them; and the relativity of their content, and their contradicting forms which may be grasped in human thought as dialectical, both as process and as appearance. There is a dialectic of the whole and the part.
    The 2020 US election has its own logic of development as a moment of human struggle in one part of the world, towards a civilised and really democratic solution to the problem of the ascent of humankind. The U.S. has some of the best educated people grappling with this problem. But it also has some of the most uneducated people determinedly looking backwards. This is your contradiction. Resolving it is your revolutionary task.
    It may be that election 2020 will not be allowed take place! For, Trump and those around him are the Fascists of C21. Trump admires both Hitler’s theories, and his anti-democratic disposition. Do not be taken by surprise. This battle is not between GOP and Dem – it’s between the future and the past. Ordinary Americans seem shielded from this truth, even though thousands died confronting and defeating a precisely similar Fascist obscenity eighty years ago.
    The idiocracy which controls what used to be The Democratic Party now hang on to Trump’s shirt tails – pragmatically and ideologically. They have been dialectically transformed into their opposite. They too have long gone over to the Hitlerian side of reaction, objectively. And continuing to toy with the image of their previous decency is naïve at best.
    The core of dialectics is the fact of revolutionary transformation: the process of transition from quality into quantity – and vice versa; of the transformation of a give form into its opposite form. Revolutionary Scientific Theories are confirmed by particle physics, cosmology, the logical mode of Marxism is philosophical truth. Like it or not.
    The advent of Covid-19 is bringing the US socio-economic process to its knees. But there is no need for an axe-man, the system is suffocating itself in the swamp of its own indebtedness. This cannot be written off – it is a real negative financial quantity within the integrity of the Neoliberal financial process. A systen now disintegrating.
    The immense frustration and anger of the Far-Right Trump administration – their denial of quite obvious reality – their ludicrous wishful thinking that things might somehow return to what they imagine as normal – these are all indications of the failure of their theories. History does not proceed backwards. It may stall, it may show confusion, but its motion is towards the eventuality of a higher form. Conscious humankind is now poised to enter history in new and thoughtful ways.
    Creating an opposite calls for honest consideration of real truth – not a mirroring excursion into some alternative fantasy. We need to build a bridge to the future, not tout a totem to the past. Again, may I adapt that famous quotation from L P Hartley: “The future is a foreign country: we must learn to do things differently there”.

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    1. I think you’ll find that Lenin said Marx and Engels stood Hegel’s dialectics on its head, not that the latter had done the inverting. A minor point. The US is saddled with a President unlike any other in our history. Economics–called “the Dismal Science” at best by those inside the field!–is the realm of which he is perhaps the most abysmally ignorant. Yet just last evening he declared that he, and he alone, can determine when we will return to “normal” activities. Wall Street is partying again today, trying to drive stock prices back up to the most OVERvalued levels ever. Grossly irrational behavior. No shortage of that in this land of “Evangelical” True Believers. I truly believe this society is in the crapper, beyond the point where it can be salvaged. Marxism, to get back on topic, is simply a system by which to scientifically analyze historical and economic developments as they impact the struggle to liberate humanity from exploitation. It has been stereotyped as an utterly rigid, outdated ideology. (The reign of Stalin, of course, didn’t help its reputation.) That is bourgeois rubbish. This country badly needs Universal Health Care (I prefer this to Medicare For All). This was true all along, before the current nasty virus spread its tentacles. Whoever the next POTUS will be, it is an absolute certainty we Americans are NOT going to have Universal Health Care! The menace of Bernie Sanders’s proposals has been buried six feet (or more like 60) under, Praise the Lord (of Capitalism)!

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      1. Agree about universal healthcare and Bernie. Because Bernie is not beholden to Wall Street, and never would be, his candidacy was doomed.

        I don’t foresee a revolution to change things anytime soon. Immediately after the lockdowns are lifted, the country will go back to what passes as normal, and consumerism will reign again. The pandemic will quickly be forgotten—at least, until there’s a resurgence—and MSM and Madison Avenue will assure the nation that we don’t really remember what we think we remember about early 2020.

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        1. It’s still not possible, even for level-headed scientists, to predict when we will have an “All Clear” signal. Deposits of $1200 are reportedly actually arriving in folks’ bank accounts. Now, you don’t suppose Trump is trying to buy votes, hmmm? It’s absolutely inevitable that many small businesses will never recover from the economic calamity being visited upon us. Food shortages are a distinct possibility in near future, as folks in the chain of production and transport fall by the wayside.

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          1. Considering that Trump wanted his signature to appear on the relief checks, I absolutely believe he intended to buy votes. His daily pandemic briefings are blatant campaign appearances.

            As for small businesses, the engines that actually drive the economy, many don’t have reserves to cover this lockdown period, and despite the CARES bill—a train wreck thus far—we’ll see rampant failures among them, leading to more economic meltdown. We many not see “normal” again for years, if ever. If we were smart about it, we could build something better from the wreckage, but I don’t hold out much hope for that.

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          2. Two interesting items from CNN online late on night of April 14 (the day when, traditionally, procrastinators would be madly scrambling to finish filling out their tax forms!): 1.) some scientists suggesting “social distancing” may be needed “until 2022,” i.e. all thru next year! This I personally highly doubt; 2.) Trump reportedly has withdrawn US funding for WHO. Never, ever assume this guy has sunk as far as it’s possible! Piss him off and he’s vindictive as hell! In a society even only moderately sane, you’d think these idiotic statements and actions would doom his re-election prospects. But this is Amerika!! In case you needed reminding.

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          3. I have no illusions about the depths to which the Dumpster will sink. And I think the inmates are in charge of the asylum. I’ve tried over and over in the last few decades to figure out what the hell Americans are thinking, and I have yet to find an answer. As you say, no moderately sane populace would even think of re-electing him. Then again, I said that about Dubya in 2004, although that election was surely rigged on a large scale. The only thing I can even guess is that somehow, for some reason, this country is meant to hit absolute rock bottom, and we’re almost there. Then….I don’t know, maybe the destruction and chaos can be overcome and somethiing better built. That’s the only hope I have left.

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          4. I’ve been meaning to write a long article for some time now about the starting point for our national decline. I guess I really should get to work! Hint: the divisiveness in our society was NOT ignited by “longhaired pot-smoking commie” young people. The REACTION against the “counter-culture” (not very good terminology, but came into wide usage) on Mr. Nixon’s watch–with “hard hats” beating up anti-war demonstrators, etc.–is a good starting point for analysis. Decades before that, there was “Father Coughlin,” a fascist “preacher” with a national radio audience, but that wasn’t quite in my “modern” timeframe for analysis.

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          5. Agree completely. My father, who was as conservative and bigoted as they come, had a favorite phrase while I was growing up: “dirty, long-haired, drug-infested hippie creeps.” He applied it to everyone who protested Vietnam, fought for civil rights, and so on. Archie Bunker was his hero. I was the most strait-laced kid in my school (while I was still under my dad’s thumb), and was unmercifully teased for being a goody two-shoes. And yet, when I disagreed with Dad, he accused me of sympathizing with, even helping, drug dealers. Where he got that, I have no idea, but it shows the irrationality of the rightwing nutjobs when they feel threatened.

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          6. And today’s wingnuts would also admire Archie Bunker (though they’d consider his views “tepid”!) without being capable of understanding that Norman Lear was making fun of Archie, not lionizing him!! Subtle irony is not a real strong suit in this type.

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          7. I think you’re absolutely right about today’s wingnuts’ perceptions—subtlety is lost on them. I have to say, however, that I never found Archie amusing. I understand that Lear was parodying bigoted mindsets, but Archie was so appalling, I was revolted. I couldn’t see the humor because of being so offended in the first place.

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  6. I hope you’re right about a “higher form.” But I think slippage to a lower form is also a distinct possibility, and it’s happening now.

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    1. Agree completely. The dumbing-down of the U.S. population has been in process for decades, with Trump being the result. Hard to see how there could be a reversal at this point.

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  7. That is a danger, alright, as the Weimar Republic amply demonstrates. But sober political work among the broad population will be possible as the present mayhem self-destructs. And we can learn from history – a good way to avoid repeating error.
    I have always remembered that the U.S.A. wrought its own being in a revolutionary way – very unexpectedly for King George as much as for many of the revolutionaries. We can look back on them knowing the outcome, but they constructed their future, not knowing what their actions would create.
    Today, conscious of social history and science, we can anticipate aspects of what may emerge. It will not be a simple repeat of 1917, or of other events of C20 history, but break new ground in new ways.
    It is clear, however, that democracy requires a new form, and that Neoliberalism offers only barbarism.
    I work for a Real Democracy in Ireland – a pathway which has been eased by this latest catastrophe of Neoliberalism. A coalition of the honest can be built. And that process too will have its own laws of development, possess its own contradictions, offer unanticipated solutions. It is the same process which American progressive tendencies will grasp in their own way, different strands of a new global rope to haul us all towards a better possible future.
    I hope we can take the journey together (relatively speaking) and find support and inspiration from sharing our ambitious objectives. I remember many years ago hearing an American speaker here telling us “Next time, it will be OUR turn”. And Mother History is on our side now. The Neoliberal project is over. It may not yet be lying down, but it is most assuredly dead. And in a contradictory way, the knives have been placed by Mother History into the hands of Donal Trump and the stupid greedy retinue which he inspires.
    (And of his incompetent fellow travelers in Europe, India, South America, etc.)
    Be brave, and prepare, my American friends. Your door is opening.

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  8. “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. I would equate your Mother History with King’s arc. Also, we can’t forget that Mother Nature has a say, as well, and her voice may prevail.

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    1. Dr. King’s statement was a nice sentiment, but completely unscientific. The Universe is utterly indifferent to the affairs of this pipsqueak animal that calls himself “Man That Knows.” To save ourselves, or at least retain a reasonably livable planet, will require nothing less than the JUNKING of our present status quo. Do you not think the Establishment might put up a wee bit of resistance to such a process?

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      1. I agree about the necessity of junking the status quo. I also agree that the Establishment will fight tooth ad nail to prevent that jettisoning. However, I don’t agree that Dr. King’s statement is worthless because it’s unscientific. Extrapolated to its conclusion, it would indeed mean the destruction of the status quo, and King knew that quite well.

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          1. Apologies if I misinterpreted. When you said King’s statement was a “nice sentiment, but….” it sounded like damning with faint praise at best, dismissive and denigrating at worst.

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    1. Well, Obama’s endorsement sure won’t win any Trumpites over to Uncle Joe, will it? But Joe thinks saying “Obama” magically wins him the love of African Americans. We shall see come November, though the election–I’m boldly assuming it will actually take place!–will probably need a few asterisks pointing out the number of potential Democratic voters barred from the polling places thru one underhanded maneuver or another. All Trump has to do is maintain his margin in the states that gave him victory in the Electoral College last time around. He’ll have his second term and we will all have ongoing disaster.

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