The Opposite of Identity Politics

Many, if not most, people at c99p are fed up with the Identity Politics (IP) hijacking of the Democratic Party. Here is an article that succinctly lays out what is wrong with IP and what the worldview of the downwardly-mobile white working class (WWC) is:

Class Dismissed: Identity Politics Without The Identity

The author begins by stating that which is obvious to all except corporate Democrats:

attempting to achieve a democratic majority by multiplying victim minorities is doomed to failure.

The bulk of the article is a statement of WWC values, goals, and attitudes. With only four paras to snip, I can't do this short article justice.

What the WWC does

the white working class (largely) keeps our power lines working, our buses running, our sewers functioning, our trucks delivering goods to market. They also empty our bedpans, take our X-rays, watch our children, and respond to our 911 calls. Without them, the American Dream that they are increasingly excluded from could not exist. But there is virtually no public depiction of their plight. Not that these workers want the pious solicitude offered to the poor. They don’t. They simply want to earn a decent life for themselves by working, as they used to be able to do. 

How the WWC do their jobs

there are sharply divergent attitudes between professionals and the working class. ...Professionals value sophistication, “thinking outside the box,” and creativity, all of which are primary values for getting and keeping a job if you’re an order giver. But matters are quite different for order takers. Their lot is to fill rigid, highly supervised jobs that are monotonously repetitive. Medical technicians, factory workers, bus drivers, construction workers, truck drivers, orderlies, nurses, and cashiers cannot “follow their bliss”; they have to develop the stability and dependability to support their families. Furthermore, to adopt an attitude of creative risk-taking would be evidence of “having an attitude,” which just gets one fired. For the working class, the goal is developing the iron will to do a detested menial job for forty years without complaint. Self-fulfillment is simply irrelevant.

What the WWC values

While professionals move in an increasingly secular world, working class whites are proud of their Christian morality and deeply resent being depicted as ignorant homophobes...in working class communities being a stay-at-home wife is a sign of elevated status and a much sought after luxury, not evidence of a backward attitude towards sex roles...working class people resent professionals but not the rich. Becoming rich is assumed to be the result of hard work, whereas professional wealth is regarded as the product of dubious entitlement, and professionals themselves are seen as phony and snobbish. So working class people tend to dream of self-employment as the only route to wealth that doesn’t involve forfeiting one’s character.

The corpo-Dems IP strategy is blaming the victim

As anthropology professor David Harvey reminds us, it is “all too easy to blame the victims for what happens when capital leaves town.” But whatever workers’ flaws are taken to be, “it is preposterous to claim that these can account for the total devastation of industrial regions that had for generations been the backbone of capital accumulation.” For destruction on this scale we can only thank “the neo-liberal counter-revolution of the 1970s.”

While I think I have snipped all the major points, I encourage everyone to read the whole article. Without once mentioning it, the article is all about how IP has silenced class warfare. The article really does make one see the WWC's side of the argument without any leftist terminology at all. Especially the shit job situations they face. It reminds me to go back and read the late, great Joe Bageant again.

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detroitmechworks's picture

of Medieval Serfs or Soviet Citizens.

What's even more amazing, is that in terms of free time and actual freedom, peasants didn't have it quite as bad as the modern American worker, IMHO.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

arendt's picture

@detroitmechworks @detroitmechworks

only with hi-tech surveillance. Why use physical chains when electronic chains are so much better?

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Amanda Matthews's picture

There’s too damn many of us plebs. TPTB and their flunkies CANNOT afford us to bond, hence the big push to identify politics. Making us fight each other and point fingers while all our problems come from a mere 1% of the population.

EDIT: up/us

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I'm tired of this back-slapping "Isn't humanity neat?" bullshit. We're a virus with shoes, okay? That's all we are. - Bill Hicks

Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. - Frank Zappa

lotlizard's picture

@Amanda Matthews  
Meanwhile, the parasite gets the ant (the 99%), in spite of itself, to crawl up to the tip of a grass blade in the middle of the night and stay there, when a healthy, uninfected ant would actually would rather be anywhere else.

Gives a new meaning to characterizing the Hillary-Trump face-off as a fluke.

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was hijacked by IP. I think the Democratic party cultivated it. Except for a republican health insurance bill, what did Obama do for any of the "groups" he was supposed to be champion of? War,surveillance,the prison industrial complex, Wall St. were the beneficiaries of his legacy. Why do they think he was on their side? Up until it was inevitable, Obama and HER waffled on equality and (demanded through the will of the PEOPLE) Lgbtq rights and marriage. Maybe I missed it, but what major civil rights legislation got passed, How were reproductive rights and workplace equality enforced? Student loans, underwater mortgages? This was a strategy, to pander to each group and appear ready to fight. As long as these groups have their villain, democrat pols don't actually have to do anything except point fingers.

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k9disc's picture

Completely injected it, speciously, into the national dialogue.

I'd say they cultivated it alright. I think they completely are working to create a coalition of victims to "resist" and "stand up".

The idea of doing more than resisting or standing up on the economic front is just not acceptable. Any group who tries to do so will be set upon by all or some the other members of the victim's coalition.

They have found out that herding cats is easier when they are grouped by color, gender, and size. It's much easier to manipulate and train them.

@Snode

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

arendt's picture

@k9disc

The idea of doing more than resisting or standing up on the economic front is just not acceptable. Any group who tries to do so will be set upon by all or some the other members of the victim's coalition.

Yes. You understand it.

In response to an earlier OP of mine, someone offered the insight that Third Wayers want to be photographed with minorities, but they don't want to help them. They want to do some "virtue signaling" without actually doing the virtue.

"Resistance" without a plan, without actions is nothing but words.

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@arendt

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k9disc's picture

duplicate...

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“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” ~ Sun Tzu

arendt's picture

@Snode

It was the DLC crowd that dumped labor for the IP garbage. Obama's election (2008) was 15 years into the rule of the Third Way over the real Democratic Party. All you say is true for a time frame that only reaches back ten years.

The problem is way older than that.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@arendt Yes, but unfortunately, after 25 years of complete domination of the party infrastructure by those bastards, there is little of value left in the party; looking for it would be like searching the ruins of your house after the Blitz; and what there is cannot be taken and held by anyone but that faction, so it's like you search the ruins of your house after the Blitz and you find a few cans of food and somebody punches you in the face and takes them from you.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
Locate you amid the unrecognizable ruins of your house and town, and kill you as you flee and take your cans.

https://theintercept.com/2017/12/05/drone-strikes-israel-us-military-isvis/

That’s what passes for “efficiency” in some circles.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard Great. The 1% are reifying my metaphor.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Snode It was hijacked, but quite a while ago. The hijack began in 1968, the year of my birth; it accelerated mightily from 1986-1992; after 1994, it was all over. Lots of people, including me, have been trying to hijack it back ever since (but I don't do that sort of thing anymore).

Obama was one of our attempts to take it back. Boy, was the laugh on us.

My real problem with the neoliberals is that they expect me not to notice that the laugh was on us, and to continue to believe in their sentimental drivel.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal I picked Obama because of his background as a community organizer, being closer to the people, and the dire straits we found ourselves in after Bush2. He promised so much, and we believed so much. Remember that Nobel? And yes, in so many ways it was the same hopes that Clinton inspired after 12 years of Reagan/Bush with the same ultimate outcome.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Snode Eventually, people notice. There's no point scolding them. Pretty hard to unsee things.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Alligator Ed's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

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lotlizard's picture

@Alligator Ed  
certain politically inconvenient truths than most sighted people — possibly because they have lived life free of television, print, and other bearers of eye-catching, emotionally manipulative advertising and propaganda.

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Meteor Man's picture

It's as simple as that. Thanks for the timely essay arendt. The New Republic has an essay that cautions against the inevitable weaponization of identiy politics in the Alabama election.

The author covers the exit polling data and then:

But lost in this heroic narrative are the actual reasons why black Americans vote.

. . .

They certainly didn’t show up at the polls as a favor to Jones and the Democrats.

So why did black American voters show up to vote for Jones? What issues compelled them?

In Alabama, the stakes for black residents couldn’t be higher. They want more than a fair shake in life: They want the government to do something about the state’s extreme poverty, which has seen a rise in the previously eradicated disease hookworm, bogs of raw sewage, and calamitous effects on health care. Republican attempts to dismember Obamacare have been hugely unpopular with those who rely on the program and Alabama is no exception to the rule.

Gee. That sounds exactly like the issues working class whites and every single other demographic voting bloc are concerned about. The failure of the Democratic party is convincing voters in every state that Democrats support the issues of the American working class.

https://newrepublic.com/minutes/146265/beware-black-voters-superheroes-n...

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

divineorder's picture

@Meteor Man Millions had left the Party, because of ‘all hat no cattle.’
Obummercare continuation and the fact that the Dem candidate had a civil rights record and Moore, well was Moore.

Am I misunderstanding you MM?

Grassroots made a difference here...

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Meteor Man's picture

@divineorder

Am I misunderstanding you MM?

No, you are clarifying exactly the point I was attempting to state. Thx.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

arendt's picture

@Meteor Man

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Meteor Man's picture

@arendt
His contribution will be missed.

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

Deja's picture

@Meteor Man
American Working Class - AWC. The focus on only the whites was a turn off for me regarding this essay, about "identity" politics, no doubt. Did I maybe miss some warning of snark?

Thanks for saying what I was thinking, "American Working Class" because, as I read through the jobs listed in the essay, I pictured people I know who do those jobs, and they sure as hell aren't all white!

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"The gatekeepers must change."
Prince

Meteor Man's picture

@Deja
My take is that the author was pointing out that all working class Americans are losing and the focus of identity politics makes the white working class feel excluded and gives the GOP/Trump an opening to make the argument that white workers are being asked to make sacrifices instead of their corporate bosses.

We need to get everybody on the same page. Part of that struggle is using class politics to get the southern white workers to stop believing "right to work" laws will help them economically. Bring them in to the struggle instead of calling them "deplorables".

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"They'll say we're disturbing the peace, but there is no peace. What really bothers them is that we are disturbing the war." Howard Zinn

arendt's picture

@Meteor Man

the one the spinmeisters keep pushing: that you can only be a member of an IP group. So you can only be WHITE working class or BLACK poor. I reject this artificial labeling of human beings by only one aspect of their lives and bodies.

The author is trying to humanize the WWC by explaining their mindset. He's not saying they are perfect or that the WWC's criticisms are valid. He is just explaining where they are coming from. Saying that their point of view is coherent and experienced-based. That they are not the smear job caricature that the Third Way folks have made them.

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@arendt The WWC label actually feels a bit like good old Identity politics itself.
Who really gives a shit about white? or brown? or black?
Fuck that. Most of us are WC.

I think that if the author of the link you provided replaced most "WWC"'s with "WC" etc. it would make the work a lot more powerful.
In fact, that essay would be much better IMO if about 7/8's of the words "white" were simply deleted.
They are usually unnecessary and could make the essay another IP piece in itself.
It tends to divide people who have common economic concerns and cultural values.
That's my opinion tonight, I admit a cursory reading. Apologies in advance if I missed something (likely).

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@peachcreek Because he's trying to deal with a political situation caused by the people who created that divide between white working class and working class people of color. It's tough to do that without becoming embroiled in the very categories and oppositions they invented.

If you just say "working class" then you don't address the problem they created.

I suppose you could frame the whole thing in terms of division of the working class against itself, but even if you did that you would have to eventually talk about the white working class and how it's being depicted, as well as what's happening to the working class of color.

It requires a lot of care to do this stuff without slipping on your enemy's terms and falling on your ass.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@peachcreek That said, your criticisms are spot-on. It's just that the mistake he made was an easy mistake to make.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Meteor Man

united we stand, divided we fall.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Deja The author didn't invent the idea that one identifies EITHER as working class OR as Black, Latino, etc, and may not be aware that he's reifying it. The people who are most enthusiastically dividing and opposing the concepts of class and race (i.e., you can't be working class if you are Black, you can't be Black if you are working class; you can't care about economic justice if you care about racial justice, you can't care about racial justice if you care about economic justice, etc.) aren't people the author would like very much:

"If we broke up the banks tomorrow, would that end racism? Would it end sexism?"
--Hillary Clinton

I believe he's slipped into adopting their assumptions while criticizing them. It's easy to do.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

arendt's picture

@Deja

was on the explaining the white working class, because they are the ones that the Hillary-ites are alienating with their "deplorables" rhetoric.

working class people are often unwilling to use government benefits even when they are available to them. In fact, they tend to resent poor people who eagerly snap up any government benefit they can get. (Working class blacks are an exception to this. They tend to have a non-judgmental attitude towards those in need, recognizing from bitter experience that being in need has nothing to do with lacking personal merit.)

He also mentions professional class racism:

many professional class whites are also racist, stereotyping blacks as lazy, violent, recklessly sexual, and less competent than whites. All forms of racism should be abandoned, of course, but in the meantime professional class whites have no call to indulge their class prejudices against working class whites on the grounds that only the latter are racist. It’s just not so.

My point is that before people seize on the four paras I snipped, they should read the ENTIRE article.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

are certainly not synonymous with, nor limited to, following one's bliss!

Just a nit I'm picking; the way valued qualities line up with what kind of job you're expected to wind up in is quite accurate.

The middle class is starting to figure out that qualities like creativity, inventiveness, innovation, etc. are no longer welcome from them either.

uncomplaining, iron determination to keep doing the same crap job till you drop is all that's valued, and that not much

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Alligator Ed's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

The middle class is starting to figure out that qualities like creativity, inventiveness, innovation, etc. are no longer welcome from them either.

There were days when companies used to have suggestion boxes wherein workers would submit suggestions for improvement in the processes of the businesses in which they were employed. I suspect that those days are largely gone. The paradox is that the upper management generally comes from a financial sector with no expertise in the actual workings of the businesses they supervise. In my opinion this is because management no longer cares about long-term business success. They only care about increasing their hoard of money stripped from those businesses.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Alligator Ed A sociology professor of mine once said:

"There were a lot of things wrong with Henry Ford, but I believe Henry Ford was interested in making cars. Ford Motor Corporation is not interested in making cars; it's interested in making profit."

Since the 70s, "profit" increasingly comes, not from creating a high-quality product or service and enticing the public to buy it in large numbers, but from driving one's costs down both in terms of labor and raw materials. In other words, you treat your labor like shit and make a shitty product (or provide a shitty service). These things obviously go together, as labor that is treated like shit tends to create shittier products. Then you subtract your costs from your income, and magically, your profit margin has increased even if you haven't accrued one more customer.

Then you go to Wall St and show them how much your profit has increased since last quarter. They clap you on the back, say "Well done, son!" and the ratings agencies increase your company's rating. That increases the number of investors in your company, and what your company's "worth."

Rinse and repeat.

Much like politics, business is largely out of the hands of the 99%; businesses become more profitable because Wall St likes them, just as politicians have career longevity because Wall St and big business likes them.

As an aside, I really hate this ongoing attempt to revise Occupy's 1% vs 99% meme into the 10% vs 90% meme. The revision might have been smart if it hadn't been used to take the focus off the people actually running the show, but then, that's what the change in meme is for, isn't it?

Isn't it magical how, when you talk about the managerial class, their bosses just disappear from the picture? Presto change-o!

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

working class people resent professionals but not the rich. Becoming rich is assumed to be the result of hard work, whereas professional wealth is regarded as the product of dubious entitlement, and professionals themselves are seen as phony and snobbish.

I believe the 2008 Wall St bailout put a bit of a dent in that, but the belief system persists. It has no real logic, since there's nothing to suggest that the wealth of the 1%, or the .01% is any less the product of dubious entitlement than that of the 9% below them.

That's the place where they have, in fact, been propagandized. There's no point telling them so, but there's no point denying it either; it's just a crappy cultural formation that will sit there until enough of them say "Fuck it."

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
The working class of all colors see the professionals looking down on them daily. Their lives are affected directly by these people. Most never interact with anybody from the 1%.

On the other hand the number of professionals who are increasingly treated like the working class except they have to do uncompensated work on weekends is growing. There are now, and will be more, opportunities for consolidation.

It won't be easy. There are professionals so filled with false consciousness that they see their unpaid weekend work as a badge of superiority over the working class.

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arendt's picture

@FuturePassed

the number of professionals who are increasingly treated like the working class except they have to do uncompensated work on weekends is growing. There are now, and will be more, opportunities for consolidation.

It won't be easy. There are professionals so filled with false consciousness that they see their unpaid weekend work as a badge of superiority over the working class.

I agree with you that currently, professionals don't get that they are next on the list. The teachers and civil servants have already been turned into "kulaks" - i.e., had the wrath of the poorer peasants deflected onto them as scapegoats for doing slightly better. (Of course, most teachers and civil servants were poorly paid. They took the job for the security and the pension. Nobody bothers to mention that when attacking them.)

Its a big mistake for TPTB to start cannibalizing the professional class. They are educated; they know how to think critically. They are pissed off by having their lifestyle truncated.

Did you know that the professional classes voted heavily for Hitler? Especially country doctors and small town lawyers.

Professionals don't merely participate in revolutions, they lead revolutions.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@arendt I agree with you that currently, professionals don't get that they are next on the list.

My comments should not be taken to mean I haven't had the incredibly irritating experience of trying to talk to upper middle class people about what's happening in this country.

Me, and my friend: We need to grow organic because then the soil requires much less water to grow crops. We also need to have small agricultural operations everywhere, including in the cities. The more diversified and widespread such operations are, the better chance we have of mitigating some of the effects of climate change.

Upper-middle-class lady: But I don't want to be a farmer.

Me:

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@arendt
with the proviso that most teachers I know got into teaching because they wanted to educate students. People in their mid-twenties don't think much about being as old as I am.

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Alligator Ed's picture

@FuturePassed on the part of professionals who do uncompensated work on the weekends. In my particular case, taking uncompensated work on the weekends didn't just end on the weekends. I most certainly did not take pride in my alleged superiority. It is in those instances that any thoughtful professional should realize that he/she was no longer in charge of their own destiny. This thought never escaped me.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Alligator Ed The professionals who do see what's happening--and they do exist--are in the hellish position of Cassandra. Actually, everybody who sees what's happening is in that position, but the professionals are surrounded by a class that, in my experience, largely refuses to see the changes that are happening.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Alligator Ed's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

but the professionals are surrounded by a class that, in my experience, largely refuses to see the changes that are happening.

There are still many physicians who do not realize how much easier their lives would be, to say nothing of their patients, if they were to support MFA / SP. Yes income would drop some but aggravation and improved health would increase exponentially.

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@Alligator Ed
That's why I see hope. I felt the same way you did when I worked evenings and weekends. So did lots of others. But I encountered more than a few people who seemed proud of it, who thought the effort made them better than other people, particularly people lower on the totem pole.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@FuturePassed Well, that's what the managerial class is for: to allow the bosses to remain invisible.

That's not something that should be hard to figure out, even if you do work 60 hours a week and are barely getting by, and have little time for such ruminations. Neither should it require higher education to figure it out.

And, in fact, while Occupy was going, there were plenty of WWC who supported it. Probably because, three years previous, they had watched the big bosses getting bailed out of their screw-up and handed back their businesses like a spoiled rich kid being handed the keys to a new sportscar after he got drunk and wrecked the last one and killed two people in the process.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal
I must be losing my ability to communicate. I agree with the responses to my comment.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@FuturePassed I often get that, myself. Smile Sorry to have misunderstood you; what did you mean?

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@FuturePassed There's false consciousness on both sides. That's why jimp's repeated statement back at TOP was so apt. I can't recall the exact words, but he said that the corporate media controls everything we see and hear, and until we change that, it don't matter what we do.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

but getting started can be tough.

There's no point telling them

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking I should have put it a little differently--it's not just the white working class. It's not because of something specific about them that you can't tell them they've been propagandized.

There's no point telling most people they've been propagandized. Most people respond to that with reflexive anger, defensiveness, and denial. You're essentially telling them they've been conned, tricked, that somebody caught them with their mental pants down. It's a rare bird who doesn't respond to that with anger, unless they've received training which encourages them to respond instead with contemplation and analysis and deferred judgement.

And I know that here, I'm tooting the horn of my own erstwhile profession, but the academic world does, or did, get a few things right, and that's one of them. I'm grateful for the training I received, that helps me make knee-jerk responses a little less often.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Alligator Ed's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

There's no point telling most people they've been propagandized. Most people respond to that with reflexive anger, defensiveness, and denial. You're essentially telling them they've been conned, tricked, that somebody caught them with their mental pants down. It's a rare bird who doesn't respond to that with anger, unless they've received training which encourages them to respond instead with contemplation and analysis and deferred judgement.

Keep singing. You have a hit!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRbM8Iw1GBg&ab_channel=sabram85

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Alligator Ed Smile I appreciate it, Ed. I do think we got some things right, which is why, I guess, authoritarian regimes tend to come for the universities pretty quickly.

In our case, they came with budget cuts to put us on the ropes, then sent corporate money to keep us afloat.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
that there was something important that, until the learning moment happened, one did not know or grasp.

Small kids start out not having a problem with this and learn fast, but develop more and more internal psychological barriers as they develop a well-defended ego.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@lotlizard Just so! I hadn't thought of it that way, but of course, you're right.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

As anthropology professor David Harvey reminds us, it is “all too easy to blame the victims for what happens when capital leaves town.” But whatever workers’ flaws are taken to be, “it is preposterous to claim that these can account for the total devastation of industrial regions that had for generations been the backbone of capital accumulation.”

But it does have to be stated. It lurks even beneath the feel-good ideas of Robert Reich.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

It's not a simple dichotomy between IP and class-based politics--because the IP we have now is rapidly becoming unrecognizable to this woman who participated in IP of various kinds in the 80s and early 90s. I bet the same is true for those who participated in IP of various kinds in the 60s and 70s--for that matter, even though I was only a little girl when feminism flourished in the 70s, *I* can see the difference between the IP then and the IP now. 70s feminism was our backdrop, our source material, where we started from as feminists in the 80s; we read the 70s feminists, of course. What seems to be happening is that, while pretending to prioritize feminism into the stratosphere, the media manipulators are taking the opportunity to tinker with certain concepts basic to 70s feminism, and re-tool them in a way that is more convenient for the ruling class. The same thing is happening, even more obviously, to racial justice movements, especially movements focused on Black people and their issues.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

manipulators are taking the opportunity to tinker with certain concepts basic to 70s feminism, and re-tool them in a way that is more convenient for the ruling class. The same thing is happening, even more obviously, to racial justice movements, especially movements focused on Black people and their issues.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking Capitalism tends to consume and digest everything that it can. It's like this machine from Star Trek (one of my favorite episodes):

For those who aren't Star Trek geeks, here's the synopsis:

The Federation starship USS Enterprise, following a trail of planets that have been destroyed by unknown means, picks up the automated distress beacon from her sister ship, the USS Constellation and proceed to her location. Upon arrival, they find the Constellation drifting in space, severely damaged and the bridge uninhabitable. Captain Kirk, Chief Medical Officer Dr. McCoy, Chief Engineer Scott and a damage control team transport to the ship to evaluate her, and in Auxiliary Control discover the only member of the crew still aboard, Commodore Matt Decker, her captain, who is suffering from severe mental trauma.

Through an anguished exchange with Kirk, Decker explains that they had discovered a giant machine miles long that used beams of antiprotons to tear apart planets and consume the rubble, fueling its progress through this sector of the galaxy. He had ordered the Constellation to attack the machine, but the attack was ineffective and the Starship suffered heavy damage. Decker had evacuated his crew to one of the planets of the star system, but was aghast when the machine destroyed it. Kirk theorizes the machine may be an ancient doomsday machine, inadvertently activated, and they must find a way to stop it before it reaches more populated sectors of the galaxy.

The machine is the author's way of talking about the horrors and absurdity of doomsday weapons like the A-bomb, but I've always thought it an excellent metaphor for capitalism.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

arendt's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

She called them "a swarm of locusts".

Like a foreign conqueror, the totalitarian dictator regards the natural and industrial riches of each country, including his own, as a source of loot and a means of preparing the next step of aggressive expansion. Since this economy of systematic spoilation is carried out for the sake of the movement and not the nation, no people and no territory, as the potential beneficiary, can possibly set a saturation point to the process. The totalitarian dictator is like a foreign conqueror who comes from nowhere, and his looting is likely to benefit nobody. Distribution of the spoils is calculated not to strengthen the economy of the home country but only as a temporary tactical maneuver. For economic purposes, totalitarian regimes are as much at home in their countries as the proverbial swarm of locusts. The fact that the totalitarian dictator rules his own country like a foreign conqueror makes matters worse because it adds to the ruthlessness an efficiency which is conspicuously lacking in tyrannies in alien surroundings.

- H. Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, p 417.

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@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Exactly! And when you look at the implications of such propaganda claims as that it's essentially traitorous and 'divisive' to even draw attention to Black Lives Matter in an online ad and that only an outside and virulent enemy could consider the routine and officially tacitly acceptable US police murder (and endless other abuses) of American citizens a problem to be brought up during an election, it boggles the mind that so many people even though within a carefully (if incompletely) pathologized society cannot even see the psychopathy trying to 'normalize' such concepts during a hate campaign aimed against not only the people of another country which TBTB wish to attack (at US public expense and at the cost of Mutual Assured Destruction of planetary life) but against the American people themselves and the very concepts of democracy, intrinsic human worth and human rights required for species survival.

This is fascism; not a political system per se, but a destructive and unsustainable psychopathic take-over of governmental/corporate/military control.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

1) When he says native american, he puts native in quotation marks. While not all indigenous people like the term native american, I believe there is actually no debate about the fact that those people are native to this continent--unless the author is making a spurious argument about the fact that the Native Americans originally walked over the Alaskan land bridge from Asia, and therefore they aren't "native;" as for me, if somebody's people have lived in a place for a few thousand years, that's native enough for me, and those of us whose people have only lived here for a couple hundred years or less (in my case, much less) can acknowledge that. When IP is smart and honest, it reflects, and reflects on, history. I see no point in using dick fingers in that particular way.

2)I forgot what the other thing was. Shoot. I got so hot under the collar about the colonization of the New World that it went clean out of my head.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

arendt's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

You are going off on quotation marks around one word? A word that was used once in the entire article; and, then, in a laundry list of groups? Save yourself the stomach lining.

Just sayin, its not worth the agida. I don't know why the quote marks are there. Maybe he thinks "native" is too PC. Maybe he prefers Amer-Indian. Who knows?

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@arendt I'm an English major. Afraid it tends to come with the territory. Smile

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

2)Immigration. He says American working class jobs have been lost to "mass immigration." But that is at best part of the truth, and the lesser part, isn't that so?

When factories close up shop here and move somewhere else so they can abuse people even worse and pay them even less, nobody's "immigrating." If anything, big capital is emigrating, and if we could take our economy back from them, I'd say "Don't let the screen door hit you where the good Lord split you" and happily get to work helping the government create laws and programs--yes, the dreaded government programs--to encourage and support American small business as mightily as possible, so that we'd have the necessary commerce without the unnecessary shitheads. We need big corporate shitheads about as much as bedbugs; unfortunately they're about as hard to get rid of.

Further, there's more at stake here than the question of which working class people get to divy up the few crumbs available, and how. The economy is being cinched tighter and tighter, as if somebody's tightening a vise. Each time it contracts, more people fall off into the abyss. It's like Satan decided to come up with his own version of musical chairs using money. That doesn't have jack to do with how many immigrants come into the country. It has to do with the behavior of the financial sector and the policies of the government.

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Satan decided to come up with his own version of musical chairs using money.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@irishking Thanks!

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The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Keep pushing the door open. Light the corners till the melt.
--Magiamma

Morire de cara sol.
--Jose Marti

Big Al's picture

"white working class people resent professionals but not the rich"?

What's his point? Is he advocating for the democratic party to get its shit together or what?

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@Big Al I wondered about that. I know where I am teachers are somewhat, they're some of the highest paid people in the town ,and in the end the kids graduate with small prospects for work. Lawyers are up there. The rest I can't think. In rural towns if you think of the kind of jobs, teacher, logger, farming, trucking, clerk, cashier...unless the town is large enough to support professionals, they're looked on as very expensive outsiders, a dubious necessity, and usually not easy to communicate with . Enough mumbo jumbo so you can't tell if you're being cheated. The wealthy just blow into town, buy up the lake front or view property, and drop chump change here and there.

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@Big Al most working class people deal with professionals and see them as over-educated and really having little common sense. They're seen as rule based, rigid, hierarchical and always trying to get promoted. And they are the order givers.

While the rich are seen as not only deserving but better, honest in their ugly way. And many Americans are indeed of the fantasy that one day they too will be that rich "renegade" who tells it like it is and doesn't care who doesn't like it. Think Trump there. Professionals are seen as needing to step over others to get up the food chain, whereas the really rich are given a pass from such ugliness - and if that ugliness should be exposed, well, that's how they got rich after all, so they're deserving of that wealth because they did what was necessary, an admirable "American" trait.

It isn't a sane position at all, but my own parents displayed some of that and my dad was in reality a professional, an engineer. But he loathed the "bureaucrats" he was "forced" to deal with and his dream was to be self employed.

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Big Al's picture

@lizzyh7 have never known any working class people myself, so could make sense.

Smile

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Alligator Ed's picture

@lizzyh7

most working class people deal with professionals and see them as over-educated and really having little common sense. They're seen as rule based, rigid, hierarchical and always trying to get promoted. And they are the order givers.

You probably do not know that professionals (certainly medical professionals) are coerced more and more by a bureaucracy that dictates all sorts of things, not simply administrative, based on rigid rule-based protocols many of which are detrimental to health care. Yes, some physicians do want to climb the corporate ladder, choosing to evacuate the area of direct patient care for more powerful and/or remunerative positions, but they are a small minority.

Generalizations are often necessary but a broad knowledge base will provide balances to many of the blanket assumptions.

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arendt's picture

@Alligator Ed

As a wag said:

Some engineers work on engineering projects; others work on their careers.

My experience in large corporations was that there was a little clique of out-for-themselves manipulators who were always scheming to get ahead. They were often single or had wives who put up with their workaholism (not working for the company as much as working for their own advancement). These folks networked with each other (well before there was social media) and promoted each other.

I accidentally tripped over one of their venues once. It was a corporate-approved "club" that did extreme sports, but in reality you couldn't join unless you were vouched for by someone already in the club. In my experience, to be a successful sociopath you must be extremely physically and mentally fit. Otherwise, the stress of the constant scheming would kill you.

Meet the new scumbags, same as the old scumbags.

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