It’s November, and here in the US in the even-numbered years between Halloween and Thanksgiving, we indulge in mid-term elections for the House of Representatives, parts of the Senate, some governors, etc. etc.
Trump and the Republicans flood the markets with nationalist rhetoric, racist programs, corrupt practices, and military spending. Meanwhile, the Democrats think, given the general repugnance engendered by faux-billionaire, that they can regain control of the House of Representatives.
This 10th year since/of the Great Recession has exposed just how inadequate the old international order of alliances, and agreements, from NAFTA to NATO, are to mediating the stresses and strains of capital accumulation. And it is precisely the expansion of US capitalism that has made those stresses and strains so acute.
As the international order goes, so go the domestic institutions. The Democrats think they can capture that once-upon-a-time imagined sanctuary of the small property-holder, the House, at the very moment that the House, like small property, has been shown to be fundamentally incapable of originating any action not paid for by big property.
The “opposition” that Democrats imagine they present to Trump is just that– imaginary. It requires allegiance and submission to the system of law and rules that the landlord-in-chief, and his senate agents, have discarded, dismantled, disgraced. Win or lose, the blood in the water that the Democrats smell is their own.
Our opposition is class opposition to both Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans pave the way and cede the ground to ever more reactionary, barbaric, paranoid, visions and versions of the property holders. Somebody is always coming to threaten their property. The world is one big they; they are not us; they want what is rightfully mine, that which I rightfully took from others. Blacks, Jews, Hispanic people, immigrants, Chinese. Them.
As their real property strains under the weight of regulations, or health insurance, or increased minimum wages, these forces grasp at the ideological version of idealized property– the nation, the race, das Volk.
The paranoid strain has always been a powerful part of US capitalism.
The Democrats with their unswerving, congenital loyalty to a different idealized version of that property, “capitalist democracy,” “representative government,” only smother the emergence of class-based opposition with the blanket of legality, and thus cede the ground to the Republicans.
The governments of the Bushes, the Clintons, the Obamas, and the Trumps have all preserved and extended the junk system we call capitalism by fractionalizing, atomizing, the working class, through wage tiers, discrimination, wage differentials, and, of course, arrest and incarceration.
Our opposition to all voter suppression, to all ID laws, etc is an opposition to all attempts of the ruling class to increase its power by further segregating workers into “legal” and “illegal” fractions. It is opposition to the attempts to further advance inequality; to create political tiers with the vote akin to economic tiers with the wage. It is opposition to the attempts to restore the legacy of Jim Crow as the bedrock of capitalist class rule, and the next best thing to slavery.
While one party manufactures “invasions” by so-called undocumented migrants, separates children from their parents, targets those with brown skin, those speaking a different language, the other party swears its allegiance to “safe borders” as if migrants have ever posed a threat to safe borders. The only threat migrants represent is as a labor force not sufficiently integrated into the need for submission.
Immigrant labor represents no threat to the livelihood of the “resident” working class. Look around. With approximately 11 million undocumented workers in the US, unemployment is below 4 percent. With approximately 11 million undocumented workers in the US, and unemployment below 4 percent, there are currently 7 million unfilled positions in the employment market– 900,000 more positions than the available labor force.
Why do poor people leave their homelands in Central America and head for El Norte? For the same reason people have always migrated from their homelands, from Massachusetts to Illinois, from Oklahoma to California, from Alabama to Detroit– from economic devastation and to jobs, because the jobs are in the US.
Our opposition to the anti-migrant actions, rhetoric, programs of this and previous governments is a class-based opposition. The migrants are workers. Class is everything, every day of the week.
Win or lose the Republicans will do as they have done for 50 years, sowing the dragon’s teeth of greater right-wing terror, incorporating those terrorists into institutions and policies. The President, from Fox News, for Fox News, of Fox News, by Fox News is the penultimate product of those 50 years.
Win or lose, Democrats only preserve that terror by canalizing opposition into the institutions, the legality, that are no longer of value to the processes of accumulation.
November 1, 2018