Sanctimonious is the word I would use for the left in the US today, especially in regards to Hillary Clinton. I suppose I am the same for saying anything, but, hey, this is my blog, and I get to say what I like here. Yesterday’s post included a bunch of stuff about how I’m super insecure and think that nobody cares what I say. So, if anything I say here enrages you, by all means, ignore me. That’s how you can beat me.
Anyways, I saw an article from the Guardian about how the white working class is mocked and forgotten. And, okay, sure. The GOP took them in and led them like lambs to the slaughter. They were used and then betrayed. Appalachians were routinely the butt of jokes when I was growing up. You could put a southern twang on anything and make it funny. Rednecks were supposed to be dumb, racist, arrogant, uneducated, and so on. But now that they’re facing a downward spiral from the loss of manufacturing jobs and the epidemic of opioid addiction, now we’re supposed to feel sorry for them and talk about how we need to bring back manufacturing jobs from China and Mexico. Thomas Frank was in an interview the other day saying that the neoliberals have been selling out the working class for years by pushing education as the one-size-fits-all solution to every problem. If everyone could just go to college, we’d solve unemployment. And now it turns out that isn’t the case.
Is this not the betrayal of capitalism? We didn’t want to make decisions, so we let the market do it for us. And now the market makes decisions for us. The way out seems, to me, to lay in democratic politics. The US government, in particular, has the ability to engage in reform of the capitalist system, if it wanted to, since it controls the primary reserve currency in the world today. We could, but we don’t.
And yet the market for anti-politics thrives! Here, for example, is a feminist denouncing Hillary Clinton for not being the anti-war candidate. As if Clinton ought to drop everyone else’s concerns and stick to the principles of the left. It’s movement liberalism – like movement conservatism, the answer to every political problem is principles. The author of the piece doesn’t have to negotiate treaties with foreigners. She doesn’t have to confront the power of the military industrial complex. She doesn’t have to face belligerant pro-war ex-military guys who get angry at the merest hint of acknowledging the political rights of people they don’t recognize as Americans (and that definition has an uncomfortably broad definition in my experience). No, no. She just has to write an article that appeals to her audience. And that’s how capitalism works. You don’t need to worry about politics, you just need to worry about advertising revenues.
And yet it is not capitalism that betrays us, but ourselves. By assuming that the market will take care of us, we betray ourselves. The market will not take care of us.