Preaching What You Practice: Doing the Race Hustle in the Name of Marx

In an article in Fox Business, New York Post’s Isabel Vincent reports that Patrisse Khan-Cullors, a leader of the Black Lives Matters organization, has purchased a 1.4 million dollar home in an upscale Los Angeles enclave. Her real estate investments (Topanga Canyon is not the only one) comes in the wake of Khan-Cullors signing a multiyear deal with Warner Brothers. She is now fabulously rich. Vincent (and others) find this curious because Khan-Cullors is a self-described Marxist. Will Khan-Cullors soon preach what she practices? Or has she already been doing that?

Patrisse Khan-Cullors of Black Lives Matters

Khan-Cullors’ Marxism would have to be self-described; I don’t see a materialist conception of history in the Black Lives Matter movement. I try to refrain from speaking for the dead, but I have closely studied the corpus of Karl Marx’s work and I feel safe in saying he would be horrified to see a corporate-backed race hustler laying claim to his legacy, parleying life-long sacrifices in the service of the proletarian movement into a multimillion dollar contract to misdirect segments of the working class.

I know what you’re thinking. But you’re wrong. That’s a misdirection play. The Communist Manifesto does not straightforwardly call for the abolition of the family. The Black Lives Matter manifesto, “What We Believe” (removed from their website, you can find it curated here), calls for “disrupt[ing] the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement.” Rightwingers pull this quote to condemn BLM as Marxist. But the line is only superficially leaning on the rhetoric of the Manifesto.

In Chapter Two of the Manifesto, Marx and Engels write, “Abolition of the family! Even the most radical flare up at this infamous proposal of the Communists. On what foundation is the present family, the bourgeois family, based? On capital, on private gain. In its completely developed form, this family exists only among the bourgeoisie. But this state of things finds its complement in the practical absence of the family among the proletarians, and in public prostitution. The bourgeois family will vanish as a matter of course when its complement vanishes, and both will vanish with the vanishing of capital. Do you charge us with wanting to stop the exploitation of children by their parents? To this crime we plead guilty.”

Marx and Engels are lodging a grievance. As they survey history, they see class-based existence progressively and systemically destroying traditional family and kinship ties among those who produce surplus and value in society, alienating women from men and children from their parents and turning them into instruments for supporting history’s succession of leisure classes and, especially in the context of the capitalist mode of production, facilitating commerce. Engels wrote an entire book on this theme titled The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, based on Marx’s unpublished analysis of Lewis Morgan’s landmark Ancient Society. (In the present essay, I elaborate Marx and Engels’ argument. For a detailed analysis of the BLM line see my Disrupting the Western-Prescribed Nuclear Family Requirement. What Does That Mean? A Lot More than You Think.)

At the time Marx and Engels were writing the Manifesto, the family had practically disappeared among the proletariat (“practical” here in its actual meaning, as in practice). Family only really continues its existence among and for the capitalist class, and in a perverse form; for the bourgeoisie are the personification of prevailing class power and thus their family form prevails (as well as their morality). The point of overthrowing capitalism and establishing a socialism that puts a nation (workers “of each country must, of course, first of all settle matters with its own bourgeoisie”) on the path to communism is not to abolish the family generally (or morality generally, etc), but to abolish the bourgeoisie family specifically, an action that will at the same time restore and raise up the proletarian family. Marx and Engels were committed to egalitarian relations between the sexes (which presupposes there are such things). They were feminists who saw class division as destructive to these relations.

When rightwingers and misguided leftists tell us that Marxist communism denies “eternal truths,” such as freedom and justice, that it seeks to abolish all religion, all morality, constituting these instead on a new basis, they apparently fail to see that these passages are in scare quotes or understand why they are in set off this way. Marx and Engels are mocking them. The passage in question: “‘Undoubtedly, it will be said, ‘religious, moral, philosophical, and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality, philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change. There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.’”

The authors follow these passages with this (and this is the point): “What does this accusation reduce itself to? The history of all past society has consisted in the development of class antagonisms, antagonisms that assumed different forms at different epochs.” They continue, “But whatever form they may have taken, one fact is common to all past ages, viz., the exploitation of one part of society by the other. No wonder, then, that the social consciousness of past ages, despite all the multiplicity and variety it displays, moves within certain common forms, or general ideas, which cannot completely vanish except with the total disappearance of class antagonisms.”

Far from seeing the family as a mere social construction in the modern sociological (i.e. postmodernist) sense, Marx and Engels both believed that the family was one of the foundational elements of human social relations. Necessary social relations have two purposes: in the first place to reproduce individual individual existence; in the second, to produce offspring and develop them in the context of family and community. Production and reproduction are the essentials of life. The second is imperative for propelling the species into the future. And it depends on the first. This is true not just for the human animal but for all animals. It must be remembered that Marx and Engels accepted the science of natural history. They were Darwinists in that domain. They build on to Darwin (before Darwin was known to them) an account of the social history of the human species. They show that the historically concrete form the family takes is shaped by the manner in which history is made—and history is made in the welter of material production. The crooked to be set straight is the injustice of humanity losing control over self and family with the emergence of social class and the ideological structures which conceal it. This is Marx’s theory of alienation. Marxism is a complete thought.

To thoroughly grasp Marx and Engels point, therefore, one must read the Communist Manifesto with a global understanding of Marx’s conception of human society, in which it is recognized that there is, as the product of natural history, an original sexual division of labor that underpinned the family structure in the context of democratic and egalitarian society. This is the initial position. With the emergence of social class and the state and law, human being becomes alienated from his species-being, women became alienated from and subordinated to men, women and children became property, and thus the natural division of labor based on sex was transformed into exploitative gender relations specified concretely with successive modes of production, each with a development driven by internal contradictions in the forces and relations of production ascertainable using the method of historical materialism. The mission of the proletarian is to get the world back to the initial position but at a higher technological level of development, where necessary labor is eliminated (or minimal) and we all enjoy the freedom and leisure now enjoyed by the bourgeoisie. This means the species must control the family, not abolish it.

Postmodernism doesn’t merely bury Marx’s straightforward theory under a pile of rubbish. It has nothing really to do with Marx’s materialist conception of history at all except to appeal to its name. Postmodernism is an idealist philosophy. Marx was a materialist. Rightwing thinkers like Jordan Peterson, and even center-left thinkers like James Lindsay, while getting the critique of identity politics superficially right, get the deep core of the New Left wrong because they fail to grasp the difference, a failure that allows them to continue supporting bourgeois arrangements. There is no evolutionary line from the New Left to historical materialism. It’s a clean break. Or, precisely, a return to Hegelianism. Marx stood Hegel on his feet. The New Left stands Marx on his head. That breaks the wrong chain.

Perhaps nobody gets Marxism more wrong that Khan-Cullors and her comrades. Deploying neologisms like “cisgender” and “trans-antagonist,” the Black Lives Matter manifesto does not identify the alienating social and ideological structures of class division and corporate power as obstacles to overcome but rather identifies as problems the natural and material facts of sex and family. Blacks Lives Matter is an expression of nihilism. As such, it piles on more layers of alienation, an ideology ideal for reproducing capitalist exploitation in the era of corporate power. That this quasi-religious doctrine is embraced by millions of workers is a spectacular propaganda achievement, a testament to the power inhering in possessing a monopoly over the ideological means of production.

Returning the question of personal gain in the name of social justice, Vincent reports that “Khan-Cullors, 37, signed a multi-platform deal with Warner Bros in October, although it is not clear how much she is paid by BLM since their finances flow through a complex web of for-profit and nonprofit corporate entities.” I have blogged about this on Freedom and Reason (see Corporations Own the Left. Black Lives Matter Proves it; What’s Really Going On with #BlackLivesMatter.) Warning: dig into those entities at the risk of bring accused of conspiracism and racism. They mean to keep Marxists from a serious critique of Khan-Cullors and her collaborators. Critical theory is for them, not for us, because for them it isn’t critical at all.

The bottomline? Black Lives Matter is not a proletarian movement. It’s an elite ruse to divide the working class. It doesn’t take humanity to the justice of the original state of existence, to our democratic and egalitarian origins; rather, it brings us to a new state in which there is no justice, the state of corporate governance and technocratic control. It is preparing a generation for life as serfs in a neo-feudalist global order, an order replete with a new aristocracy. Khan-Cullors and her ilk are part of that aristocracy. Her preachments help make possible her practice.

The “Great Replacement” as Antiracist Propaganda

Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson pointed out, in an April 8, 2021 dialog with Mark Steyn (good luck finding the segment online) that, by promoting immigration from developing countries and pushing policies of multiculturalism over assimilation, the immigration policies of the Democratic Party favor that party’s electoral hegemony over against Republican fortunes. The Anti-Defamation League, among others, has demanded Carlson’s firing. David Brock’s Media Matters presents the commentators words as if they are self-condemning.

Carlson’s critics are claiming that his observation is motivated by racism because he used the word “replacement.” Carlson anticipated the accusation that he was advancing a “white supremacist theory” popularly known as the “Great Replacement,” originally developed as an analysis of state policies that, by recruiting Arab and Muslim populations from Africa and the Middle East, sought to change European societies culturally and demographically. White supremacists in the United States adapted the theory to explain America’s situation, which means, by way of the fallacious reasoning typical of New Left thinking, anybody who suggests the theory enjoys even face validity is also a white supremacist or, at the very least, white supremacist adjacent.

Suspend reflex for a moment and let’s think this through rationally. According to progressives, conservatives worry that changing the demographics of the United States in a direction indicated by past, present, and future patterns of immigration harms the electoral prospects of Republicans. Progressives put it like this: The nation will be less white and, since Republicans are the party of white people (black and brown Republicans notwithstanding), and since a white majority signals white supremacy (which is a good reason for getting rid of the white majority), the concern is by definition racist.

Putting aside progressive loathing of white majorities, except perhaps to ponder in the back of our minds whether such loathing is appropriate when applied to other majorities around the world, isn’t this an admission by progressives that patterns of immigration do in fact harm the electoral prospects of Republicans? Nobody would seriously argue that, as a factual matter, mass immigration didn’t change Europe. Or the United States, for that matter. Why are progressives always talking about the value of diversity and eagerly anticipating the time when whites are no longer the majority in America? This isn’t what they want? Turns out we cannot put white loathing aside. It’s the proverbial elephant in the room.

To deflect attention away from the fact of the matter, progressives smear conservatives as “racists” for expressing concern with open borders and multiculturalism. That’s really what’s going on. Progressives do the same thing in Europe (they go by social democrats over there). The organized response to the effects mass immigration has wrought, namely the populist and nationalist movements seeking national sovereignty and cultural integrity, have been so frequently paired with so many awful labels—“white supremacist,” “white nationalist,” “fascist,” “Islamophobe,” “nativist,” “xenophobe,” even “Nazi”—that now simply announcing “populist” and “nationalists” will do to make most audiences recoil in disgust and horror. Conservatives are finding that their label in increasingly producing the same inference.

We see a similar thing election integrity in the United States. Weakening election integrity benefits Democrats. This is, presumably, why Democrats oppose measures that protect and strengthen election integrity (their arguments about racist voter suppression in Georgi are bogus). Pointing this out risks drawing a charge of racism. We wait to see whether Europe, in the wake of the importation of Black Lives Matters politics there, will move to weaken their own electoral systems to avoid “voter suppression.”

* * *

Okay. So it’s become the standard tactic of progressives to reframe as white supremacy opposition to attempts to secure one-party rule. We know that well enough. What is less well known is how the New Left has changed the meaning of words to increase the efficacy of the tactic. Those who promote mass immigration and multiculturalism make culture about race in order to marginalize and silence those who favor rational immigration policies, as well as assimilation and integration.

As I have written about on this blog, such concept creep on the left is not accidental. (See my essays Race, Ethnicity, Religion, and the Problem of Conceptual Conflation and Inflation; Criticism of Culture is Not Racism; Racisms: Terminological Inflation for Ideological Ends). The New Left has, for political purposes, expanded the definition of racism to incorporate culture and religion, and they have infused the definition with an essentialist ideology that reduces concrete individuals to reified categories based on phenotype. They label this ideology “antiracism.”

The irony of antiracist essentialism is that it’s racist in its logic (just as antifascism is what is claims to confront). Consider the recent fetish for “health equity” and advocacy for preferential care in medicine. Hospitals are now exploring policies to address “systemic racism” in the administration of health care. One Boston-area hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, will actually administrate health care based on the ideology of critical race theory (follow that embedded URL to read my critique of such an application). The solution: blacks will get free health care. Even the rich ones? What about poor whites? Does the paucity of melanin in their skin exude money that pays for medical services? One should see how using race as a proxy for class cleverly allows class relations to be dissimulated. Economic inequality is translated as race inequality—which allows inequality to go unchecked. This is the trick of using the word “equity.”

On that last matter, I was pleased to see Bryan Dyne at World Socialist Web offer a full-throated condemnation of racial preferences in health care. “It must be stated from the outset that not only is such a racially-based program medically unethical, it is illegal,” he writes. Indeed, according to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity,” including “education, health care, housing, social services.” Emphasizing a great accomplishing in the history of justice, one that I have written about extensively on Freedom and Reason, Dyne writes, “The [the Civil Rights Act] was passed during an upsurge of the working class in the US in the 1960s, which had as one of its principles the ending of official discrimination along racial lines, including in health care.”

“Above all,” Dyne concludes, “calls for race-based health care are aimed at blocking the emergence of a unified movement of the working class against corporate profits and the capitalist system that is the source of inequality, poverty and racial discrimination. Genuine progressive movements have always fought for unity across racial lines, not the stratification and division of the working class.” Dyne’s terminological error excused (he means populist, not progressive), his critique is spot on: antiracism is a corporate strategy that carries over racism to the progressive left, reinventing a highly successful divide-and-conquer strategy appropriate to the era of woke capitalism.

I spent time on what may feel like a digression to make a larger point. Political populism and economic nationalism are not rooted in racism. Tucker Carlson, one of the leading voices in today’s populist-nationalist movement, isn’t arguing from a position of white supremacy. He is crossing the intersection of culture and politics. That’s very different from racial politics. It’s his critics who are playing racial politics. As I have explained on this blog (check out the links provided throughout this essay), culture is not a product of race unless one believes either or both that (1) there is some metaphysical essence that qualitatively differentiates people of different skin colors and possesses them with differential and automatic collective agency or (2) cultural tendencies are encoded on racial genotypes, which presupposes distinct genotypes, that are passed down to their offspring.

Antiracists are not likely to agree with the latter, since biological race is (for now, at least) a reactionary concept. Yet, in practice, progressives work from both. This is how it’s possible to absurdly claim that a white child born in American today is responsible for something a white man did four hundred years ago. New Left identitarians have actually managed the feat of synthesizing such ancient religious concepts as collective and intergenerational transmission of guilt and trauma with pseudoscientific notions of race-born culture. It’s literally (and soon I expect explicitly) a blood guilt ideology. Nothing is more racist than that.

This delusional and irrational way of thinking is a feature of the postmodernist conflation of epistemology and ontology, and a fetish for abstract power, wherein the “truth” of the world is determined not by actuality, which informs us that, among other things, all members of humanity comprise a single species (albeit sexually dimorphic, another fact increasingly denied by New Left elites) and culture is the product of historical and social relations, but by moral entrepreneurs who claim authority on the basis of and to speak for those who share their skin color (or some other superficial phenotypic trait).

* * *

If opposition to mass immigration is not racist, then what is it? Human beings are culture bearers, by which I mean that they are socialized to think and feel in certain ways and they take the cognitive and emotional patterns with them wherever they go. Not all cultures are conducive to preserving republican values of democracy, humanism, individualism, liberalism, and secularism, values superior to those of other cultures, as demonstrated by the comparatively greater freedom and progress they enable and foster. American culture, and Western culture more broadly, are in proven fact conducive to those values (the West largely founded them), whereas many immigrants are coming from places with cultures that do not value those things. Not only they, they come with harmful norms and values already defeated in the West. Therefore, immigration should be gradual, limited, and rational, with resources in place and time enough to assimilate foreigners into the national culture, that is, to integrate immigrants into our communities. Moreover, if people have a right to protect the integrity of their culture and nation, which is why there are borders, then Americans has just as much right to protect theirs as any other nation. That’s not racist. For those who conflate race and culture, the desire to see white culture with its norms and values disappear is a racist desire.

From Powerline.

What is racist is the conflation of American and Western culture with whiteness (see above). And that racist move is performed by the New Left identitarians and their corporate backers. They equate humanism, individualism, liberalism, and rationalism with white supremacy. They equate the modern nation-state that protects and reproduces in law and government those values—free and democratic nations depend on them—with racism. They then use these equations as cover for the denationalizing project that’s undermining democracy, humanism, individualism, liberalism, and secularism to strengthen state corporate and global financial power (see Antiracism and Transnationalism: Convergent Developments Shaping the Present Moment; see also Smearing Amy Wax and The Fallacy of Cultural Racism).

The conflation of race and culture is also racist in another way. It is possible, and there are historical and contemporary examples, for subcultures to develop in the context of a racialized population, subcultures that hinder the development of these historically-marginalized populations, even after their marginalization has been abolished. Of course, this is a problem to overcome, not a situation to embrace. Conflating race and culture has led to a reluctance to criticize subcultures that are injurious to the people who hold the associated dysfunctional values and norms. As if that isn’t bad enough, leftwing identitarians celebrate dysfunctional subcultures, which are often profoundly homophobic and sexist, while condemning those who do not applaud along with them. This is a feature of New Left ideology known as the bigotry of low expectations. It is at the same time a form of infantilization. Black Americans are not personally responsible for their situation. Any problems they experience must be theorized by progressive academics and experts and addressed by progressive politicians and policymakers.

Transnationalists proceed by confusing the public in these (and many other) ways. They take what make America and the West the freest and most advanced civilization in world history and make it appear as reactionary and regressive. What is reactionary and regressive is progressively transgressive and celebratory. This is how Western feminists can wear hijabs while mocking Christians. Those who defend America and the West are portrayed as the defenders of white supremacy. That which is not American or Western is probably good or at least not as bad. Cultural relativism, which at first falsely claims all cultures are equal (Biden rationalizes concentration camps for the Uighur people in China this way—and they’re Muslim, so go figure) is really about supposing a cultural hierarchy that’s not relative or equal at all, but in which the advanced West is inferior (and originally sinful) to the backward cultures that lie beyond its scope, a scope paradoxically depicted as comprehensive. (It’s a religion. It doesn’t have to make sense.) The propaganda trick to constructing words like “antifascism” and “antiracism” is that it makes those who oppose these fascist and racist politics appear as if they’re defending fascism and racism. It is a self-inoculating formula.

* * *

I have written extensively about why corporatists, progressives, and religious groups wants open borders. Corporations seek cheap labor that will not only yield greater profits, but also undermine proletarian consciousness and politics. Progressives work for globalist agenda to undermine the nation-states of the West. To do this they need voters who will elect and reelect their candidates. Churches need congregants, which are increasingly short supply domestically. All these interests are advanced by portraying the United States and the West as intrinsically white supremacist.

Conservatives provide a concrete target for their propaganda (progressives must portray themselves as allies and saviors). You can see this in the way the January 6 Capitol riot is built up into an “insurrection” with American conservatives en masse in back of it. The very idea that a commission in the style of the 9-11 or Pearl Harbor commissions should be stood up to examine the problem of conservative politics is a clear signal as to what’s going on—citizens comprising half the electorate are to be equated with Islamic terrorists and Japanese imperialists who fly plans into buildings and navel vessels.

But I am trying to understand why people of color would risk their lives to get into such a profoundly white supremacist country where they will experience systemic racism at the hands of a privileged class of white oppressors. The race hustlers are telling me that people of color get up every day not knowing whether they will be the victim of racist violence at the hands of white police officers or white citizens. Sounds like no place to live. Thank goodness these are utterly false characterizations of America. (Shame on those who traumatize children with such falsehoods.) I get why people would climb over walls to escape racist oppression. Why they would escape to racist oppression is puzzling. Also puzzling is why people of color aren’t fleeing the oppressive conditions of the United States for less racist countries around the world. It’s as if the United States isn’t the shithole country that antiracists say it is. It’s as if the people of American enjoy a life that others around the world envy.

It’s not a life that has in back of it a cornucopia, we must emphasize. We are a country of more than 330 million people. We’re the third largest country in the world. Humans are more frequently encountering wild animals in everyday life as the need for resources and space encroaches upon the resources and space of other species (they don’t wish to be colonized, either). We don’t have enough jobs for our own citizens, million of whom are idled in ghettos which extraordinarily high rates of crime and violence. Our public infrastructure and services are overburdened. And we are losing our commitment to values necessary to sustain our republic and to keep making progress.

* * *

Past, present, and (if, we don’t act, very likely) future patterns of immigration, especially at a rate that precludes assimilation to the values and norms of the national culture, favor the party that has signaled, at home and abroad, its eagerness to relax its borders for immigrants, provide for them with the jobs of its native workers, as well as give them access public infrastructure and resources financed by the taxpayers. Carson is right: the party sees immigration as the path to electoral success, success they need to continue the vicious cycle lying at the heart of the denationalization project, the managed decline of the American republic. The natives are to suffer for this, as they always do when their territory is opened to a flood of foreigners (see my Observations from Sweden, just one of numerous articles on the problem of immigration). Democrats don’t care. It doesn’t even matter if importing foreign labor hurts native black workers. Democrats believe they control the majority of those votes, too,

To be sure, there are racial politics in play. But it’s the Democrats who are the players. Through the lens of New Left identity politics, which conflate race, culture, and politics, progressives see immigration in racial terms (just as they see much of everything else in racial terms). Race essentialism sees the world not as concrete individuals and material classes rooted in economic structures (after all, identitarians of any persuasion can be neither liberal nor democratic socialist), but in terms of essentialized identity groups based on ethnicity, race, and religion. This is how a religious affiliation, namely Muslim, can become a racial category and those who criticize Islam racist. Same with Arab and Mexican. This is how rich blacks are oppressed, while poor whites are privileged. It’s obvious that mass immigration and cultural pluralism, by increasing ethnic diversity, as well as weakening election integrity by allowing people to vote without verifying their identity and allowing activists to harvest ballots, favors Democrats. Why is it racist to acknowledge the obvious? It’s not. Reject their smears.

Jim Crow? Jim Eagle? What the Georgia Election is and is not

Voter suppression is a strategy used to systemically discourage and prevent citizens from specific groups from voting. There are a range of tactics used in the strategy of voter suppression, from making it unreasonably difficult to vote to intimidation and violence. Examples of voter suppression in the US past associated with the system of Jim Crow were literacy tests and poll taxes. These were judged discriminatory and abolished along with the Jim Crow system in 1960s. Rules emplaced to ensure a genuine election as specified by international and human rights norms and standards that do not systemically discourage or prevent citizens from a specific group from voting are not examples of voter suppression. There is nothing in recent George election reform law that can reasonably be called voter suppression.

When shit shows like the 2020 elections occur in developing countries, observers suspect electoral manipulation and widespread voter fraud. When several states temporarily shut down the counting of ballots only to reemerge a few hours later with flipped tallies, reasonable people are suspicious. When companies that make the voting machines refuse to let state officials who use those machines from knowing how the machines work, reasonable people are suspicious. When the establishment media that carried water for one candidate tells the suspicious that their suspicions are unreasonable, reasonable people remain suspicious. And when that same media and the corporate power they represent characterize legislation strengthening election integrity as the “New Jim Crow,” reasonable people may be convinced that the fix is in.

Within days of Georgia governor Brian Kemp signing legislation passed by the Georgia legislature along party lines, major corporations (Coca-Cola, Delta, ViacomCBS, among others) condemned the bill as racist. Major League Baseball relocated its All-Star Game from Georgia to Colorado. President Biden, adding to a decades long list of idiotic comments, exclaimed that the law made Jim Crow look like “Jim Eagle” and encouraged large corporations to wage war against popularly-elected republican government. Remarkably, the President of the United States acted as if he were president of Corporate America and not the leader of a sovereign nation that constitutionally guarantees to its citizens a republican form of government.

The betrayal of Democrats to one side, does the law reestablish the voter suppression regime of the Jim Crow era? Hardly. If anything, it doesn’t go far enough. Georgia legislators debated and then rightly rejected banning Sunday voting. But they also rejected getting rid of no-excuse absentee voting. Moreover, the machines are staying. However, by adding an ID requirement for absentee voting, the core problem with no-excuse absentee voting presented has been ameliorated considerably (in theory, at least). The law doesn’t get rid of drop boxes, which were never authorized in law in the first place, but codifies their use; the boxes must be located inside the clerk’s office or inside a voting location, accessible during early voting hours and closed when early voting period ends. Chain of custody issues have been partly resolves with the reforms (again, in theory).

Requiring voter ID to vote by mail is perhaps the most controversial reform. (Why ID was required for in person voting and not for mail-in voting frankly astounds me.) The voter will have to provide a driver’s license number or a state ID number. If the voter does not have either of these, they may submit a photocopy of a different form of valid identification, such as their Social Security number. (This is typical in electoral integrity rules throughout Europe.) The county registrar’s office may issue free state ID cards. This reform replaces the disastrous signature verification process. The complaint is that voter ID requirements disproportionately affect black and other minority voters. Critics point to the proportion of rejected ballots in the June 2020 primary. Yet they don’t mention the near absence of ballot rejection in November 2020 general election. As for difficulty obtaining ID, that’s a problem to be addressed providing every citizen with a valid ID, not by making it easier for individuals to cast fraudulent votes.

(It should be emphasized that lack of evidence of widespread voter fraud is a reason neither to weaken election integrity or fail to tighten integrity. As noted, genuine elections are internationally recognized as a human right. If there is an opportunity for fraud to occur, reforms should be emplaced to limit that opportunity.)

Absentee ballots must be requested 78 days before and received 11 days before the election. No unsolicited ballot requests may be sent to voters. Only requested ballots will be sent. The law does not, however, prevent third parties from sending out ballot request forms as long as the source is clearly identified. This reform is designed to curtail the practice known as “ballot harvesting,” which can be used to pressure voters into voting or casting votes for particular candidates. While the postal voting period has been shortened, the bill expands early voting. There must be at least 17 days of early voting, which begins 22 days before election day, including at least two Saturdays, and the polls must open at least by 9 am and close no earlier than 5 pm with the option of operating from 7 am to 7 pm.

Another contentious provision in the law is Georgia’s ban on giving voters food or drink while waiting in line at the polls. The press reports it as ban on water, but the law specifically refers to drink. Such provisions, which exist in other states, forbid people from handing out food and drink because these are apparent acts of charity used to influence voters. This is the well-known problem of “treating,” where food and drinks and other items are gifts. It’s a form of political corruption. Prohibiting this follows the same logic of not having campaign paraphernalia within a certain distance from the polls. The law clearly states that poll workers can make available to voters self-service water as long as it is not provided in a way that could potentially influence votes. The law does not prevent a person from bringing his own food and drink for personal use.

The media makes a point of long lines and waiting times as reasons for the necessity of providing voters with food and drink. The new law is designed to reduce lines and waiting times. The law requires counties to create additional precincts based on previous numbers and times (2,000 voters or over an hour of wait time), as well as provide additional resources to increase the ease and speed process. There are also rules to reduce confusion and provisional voting. If a voter shows up at the wrong location, they are directed to the correct location and discouraged from casting a provisional ballot, which have a high rejection rate. They are still allowed to cast a provisional ballot is they are unable to make it to the correct location.

Finally, the law contains provisions that establish a more nonpartisan election board, allow counties to report results in a more timely fashion, and provide greater protection against illegal behavior and voter intimidation. The new election board will no longer be chaired by the secretary of state, which is a partisan office, but by a non-partisan chair. The processing but not tabulating of absentee ballots must begin 15 days before the election so they are ready for tabulation. Counties must report returns for absentee ballots by 5 pm the day after election day and report the number of early voting and absentee ballots by 10 pm on election day. The law calls for the establishment of a hotline to report voter intimidation and illegal activity. Although the law makes it easier to challenge a voter’s qualifications to cast a ballot (the illegal activity piece), the state board is permitted to establish procedures to restrict illegitimate challenges so as not to burden legitimate voters.

Rules emplaced to ensure a genuine election are fundamental to meeting international and human rights norms and standards. These rules must not systemically discourage or prevent citizens from a specific group (class, race, sex) from voting. As stated at the outset, there is nothing in recent George election reform law that can reasonably be called voter suppression. The range of tactics used in voter suppression are not apparent in the legislation. The hyperbolic comparisons of the law to Jim Crow era rules is really about weakening electoral integrity by smearing reformers and reforms with racist motive and intent.

The Derek Chauvin Show Trial

Morries Hall, George Floyd’s alleged drug dealer, who was allegedly in the car with Floyd and his girlfriend that fateful day (May 25, 2020), invoked his First Amendment right against self-incrimination. Why? His lawyer contends that anything Hall says about his activity with George Floyd could leave him vulnerable to being charged with the murder of George Floyd.

How could Hall be vulnerable to (third degree) murder charges? Because Floyd ingested more than three times the lethal dose of fentanyl in pills combined with methamphetamine and Floyd’s girlfriend, Courteney Ross, is a witness to Hall providing Floyd with those drugs. Her testimony is supported by the physical evidence. In addition to the autopsy and toxicology reports of the drugs in Floyd’s system, pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine were recovered from the car Floyd was driving, as well as on the floor of the squad car where Floyd violently resisted arrest—with Floyd’s saliva on them.

The state could give Hall qualified immunity to receive his testimony, which is obviously relevant, indeed crucial to the case. But this would mean calling a witness that could potentially exonerate Chauvin of the charges levels against him. Hall’s testimony would at the very least buttress the defense case that it was a lethal dose of fentanyl (combined with other drugs and other factors) that killed Floyd, not a nonlethal control hold (safely used hundreds of times by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department). Wouldn’t justice demand that the state grant Hall qualified immunity and compel him to testify? After all, only the prosecution can do that. Why won’t they? And why isn’t Hall on trial for the third degree murder of George Floyd? The answers are obvious to me.

The case against Chauvin is a travesty of justice. The state is pursuing this case against reason. Knowing now that Floyd had consumed an extremely high dose of fentanyl, the evidence that Floyd was overdosing is present the moment he is extracted from the car. Watch the entire tape. Floyd keeps repeating “I can’t breathe.” He says this more than two dozen times, many times before he goes to the ground (at his request). Shortness of breath is the most common sign of fentanyl overdose. Estimated to be up to 50 times stronger than heroin, Fentanyl is considered especially dangerous because it interferes with breathing. Death from fentanyl is typically hypoxia caused by drug-induced asphyxia. Moreover, Floyd had congestive heart failure (75 percent arterial blockage), was hypertensive, had an adrenal disorder, and was suffering from COVID-19.

What we are witnessing is a show trial orchestrated to perpetuate a false narrative, namely that the police are racist and that George Floyd is a martyr to the cause of racial justice. Chauvin is a human sacrifice to appease an angry and irrational mob. The perceived legitimacy of months of deadly and destructive rioting depend on a trial and a guilty verdict. If the second shoe doesn’t drop, if Chauvin is acquitted, expect more rioting (we hear the threats).

Is there any evidence Chauvin is a racist? Had he contributed in some way Floyd’s death, how would that support the claim of systemic racism in policing? Yet the media reports on this case as if it is a slam-dunk for the prosecution and, furthermore, that it’s not just a racist police officer on trial, but racist policing in America.

Liz Cheney: MAGA is Neo-Marxist

There’s a real fight going on in the Republican Party between the neoliberal-neoconservative establishment, i.e. the corporatist-globalist wing of America’s political-ideological apparatus, and the populist uprising led by democratic-republicans and economic nationalists, what insiders refer to as the Trump wing of the party. Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney, daughter of long-time establishment figure Dick Cheney, understands the problem economic nationalism presents to the establishment, recently using dramatic language to awake her fellow Republicans to the danger. Essentially, she characterized the MAGA movement as neo-Marxist.

Representative Jim Banks, Republican from Indiana, seen here with President Donald Trump

Cheney was prompted to make this characterization after Representative Jim Banks wrote a memo to Leader Kevin McCarthy last month encouraging the leader to urge House Republicans to embrace issues important to working-class voters if they wanted to take back the House majority in the 2022 midterm elections. “You may have seen that I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of our party and how we capitalize on the gift Donald Trump gave us, which was his connection with working-class voters,” Banks writes “Because of Trump, the GOP has undergone a coalitional transformation and is now the party of the working class.” He adds, “We should embrace that. Not fight it.”

Banks understands that Donald Trump won 75 million votes in the 2020 election largely thanks to the turnout of working class voters, including black and brown citizens, who are waking up to the realities of the managed decline of the American republic. In the memo, Banks writes, “Democrats will keep alienating working-class voters because that’s what their donors demand, and Republicans should welcome them with open arms by fully embracing an agenda that’s worthy of their support.”

Banks’ characterization of the Democratic Party as alienating working class Americans is epitomized by Hillary Clinton’s notorious 2016 smear of half of Donald Trump’s supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” This basket, she said, is “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.” Presumably she wasn’t referring to the business and middle class voters who were supporting Donald Trump. She was talking about working class Americans and reframing their individualism and traditionalism in critical theory terms. She was talking about a the good people back in my home state of Tennessee.

Clinton was echoing Barack Obama from eight years earlier. “They get bitter,” Obama said; “they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” In his characterization of the “deplorable,” Obama is at once telegraphing his politics: hostility towards gun owners and Christians—and his globalist agenda.

Clinton and Obama’s characterization is standard among progressives who loathe the working class and rural Americans who love their republic and want responsive small-d democratic government. I know this first-hand. I am a professor at a public university. I am surrounded by progressive academics who look down on ordinary Americans. For them, a working class man critical of corporate exploitation of foreign labor to undermine his standard of living is a xenophobe scapegoating immigrants. I hear such expressions of elitism all the time. Frankly, it has become so bad I find it difficult to socialize with colleagues. Piling on more insult, administrators don’t wait for an employee to act in a manner contrary to the doctrines of diversity, equity, and inclusivity; employees are compelled by threat of disciplinary action or withholding of pay raises and promotion to take routine mandatory training in woke ideology. (Do I even need to add that the Democratic Party can safely count on their votes?)

The Democratic Party, like the Labour Party in the UK, has become the party of transnational corporate power, the affluent middle class (that is, the academic, administrative, professional-managerial strata), and a constellation of identity groups, among whom the party has promoted victimhood and created dependency. The aims of this anti-working class and elitist alliance are antithetical to the interests of ordinary American citizens of all races, religions, and ethnicities. There’s no future for working class and rural citizens in such a party. Nor for America as a republic. Corporate governance and the pursuit of globalization is destroying the nation.

Liz Cheney, Republican from Wyoming, with her father, former Vice-President Dick Cheney

According to Melanie Zanona of Politico, Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach President Trump on the absurd charge that he incited the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot, and who is backed by corporate insiders and former Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan, responded to Banks’ memo by insisting that “the GOP is not the party of class warfare.” She argued that “dividing society into classes while attacking the private sector is neo-Marxist.” But there is class warfare. Political parties don’t divide society into the social classes. Capitalism does that.

Cheney is giving voice to an establishment—and this includes Democrats—desperate to tamp down the move by conservatives to give political representation to working class and rural citizens across the nation. The Democratic Party, closed to populism, progressivism ubiquitous in the Democratic Party, no longer serves as a vehicle for working class politics. Cheney’s frantic rhetoric makes obvious the recognition that the Republican Party has become a potential organ for the populist-nationalist rebellion against globalization and denationalization. The Democratic Party is likewise terrified that shifting working class sentiment could drain away members of their coalition (hence the scramble to enlarge the voting base and weaken election integrity). The ruling class is surely pining for the 1990s.

Of course, the populist uprising is not neo-Marxist. Ironically, neo-Marxist posturing has become the angle of woke capitalism and its functionalities, the forces against which the populists are rebelling. But it’s not Marxist, either. Obviously.

How should Marxists feel about all this? Marxists should oppose globalization and denationalization. Most acutely felt in offshoring and mass immigration, denationalization disempowers working class people, undermines their communities, and lowers their living standards. Marxists should oppose identity politics, as well. Identity politics fracture working class consciousness and under the development of working class politics. Marxists should not support a political party that is unified in pushing globalism, mass immigration, and identity politics.

When I hear self-described leftists arguing that the Democratic Party is the lesser of two evils, I am reminded of how profoundly contemporary leftwing thought retards class consciousness and the capacity to reckon the situation. The Democratic Party is the greater evil. The Republican Party, still the party of big business, is the large-scale political apparatus most open to working class politics. It matters less whether it’s left or right wing. It matters that, whatever the name of the party, that is democratic-republican and liberal in its support for the principles of equality and liberty. It is to be expected that the elitist progressive looks down her nose at the working class and rural voters who see in the Republican Party the only apparatus responsive to their interests and values. The progressive attitude towards working people exudes pity and contempt for ordinary Americans, whom they see as backwards and bigoted—rubes who, as Obama put it, cling to God and guns. Part of moving forward requires those who identify as leftists pulling their heads from that space.

This means recognizing the threat of corporate governance, something Marxists used to be good at. It is therefore interesting when prominent Republicans speak out against corporate governance. “From election law to environmentalism to radical social agendas to the Second Amendment, parts of the private sector keep dabbling in behaving like a woke parallel government,” Senator McConnell said yesterday. “Corporations will invite serious consequences if they become a vehicle for far-left mobs to hijack our country from outside the constitutional order.”

I wouldn’t describe corporate governance as a “far-left mob.” However, I understand why McConnell would given that corporations funds are useful to the Republican Party. Moreover, the rhetoric of the woke corporate administrators is drawn from far-left ideology, including neo-Marxist doctrines. The senator has to be careful not to alienate sources of funding. But it’s clear what he is talking about when he accused the private sector of behaving as a parallel government. However the manner in which McConnell said this, it is promising that he raised the issue. This is the real danger to our republic. It’s bad enough that corporations would influence legislation and public policy via their money power. But openly colluding and acting to undermine the legitimacy of the federal or state governments and acting as if a corporation is a legitimate government agency of these territories presents a clear and present danger to national integrity.

Economic nationalism is the solution to the problems of the working class. Close the borders and marginalize China. Dismantle corporate governance. The functionaries of the corporate establishment understand this. Suppressing populism is imperative. This is why conservative and liberal voices are being systematically silenced across the mediascape. This is why a prominent establishment Republican would be moved to absurdly characterize MAGA as neo-Marxist. The rhetoric signals fear and desperation.

The Rate Of Exploitation Under Trump

I am working on a lecture for my criminology class in which I demonstrate the relationship between surplus value and crime and criminal justice spending. This requires consulting the Annual Survey of Manufactures to calculate the rate of surplus value (exploitation, also productivity). I do this nearly every semester to stay current.

I set out to compare 1996, 2006, and 2016 (as I have early data archived). One finds a drastic increase in the rate of surplus value during the first decade measures (1996 and 2006), jumping from 4.25 to 5.60 (these a multiples of value added over wages). Clinton’s neoliberal policies really fucked the working class, who saw their wages stagnate even though they added a lot more value in production.

The rate of surplus value stays stable during the second decade (2006-2016). This is explained in part because of the Great Recession that began late in Bush’s second term and dragged on through Obama’s two terms flattened domestic production (there were other factors, of course, but I put them to one side). One may celebrate the fact that the rate of surplus value was flat (exploitation did not grow worse), but it was because the economy was awful—and that’s bad for working people. People lost their homes. They lost their jobs.

At any rate, curious, I looked at 2019, the last year before COVID-19, to see how Trump did. We know that economic growth was robust under Trump and wages grew rapidly. When wages rise in the context of economic expansion that cuts into the rate of surplus value. In other words, under Trump, workers kept more of the value added in production in wages.

Moreover, joblessness fell to its lowest point in decades under Trump. Supply and demand: shrinking labor surplus puts upward pressure on wages. That’s thanks to immigration restrictions. In other words, Trump suppressed the negative effects of globalization on American working families.

Well, it turns out that the rate of surplus value fell rather appreciably between 2016 and 2019—to 5.42. Trump’s economic nationalism worked for working families. Chalk one up to populism.

As Steve Cortes and Steve Bannon have repeatedly pointed out, the US under Trump was a striver’s economy in which the wealth produced in production was widely shared.

Finally, you may be wondering about the relationship between surplus value and crime and criminal justice spending. In 1994, in the scientific journal Crime, Law, and Social Change, Michael Lynch, Byron Groves*, Alan Lizotte, presents a theoretical and empirical examination of Marxian economy theory and criminology in which the rate of surplus value was found to explain most of variation in crime and criminal justice expenditures. As the rate of surplus value increases, so does crime and criminal justice expenditures. These findings confirm George Rusche and Otto Kirchheimer’s foundational work in Punishment and Social Structure (1939).

*Note: I currently occupy the position formerly held by Byron Groves at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. I have also published in the journal Crime, Law, and Social Change. See my 2006 article “Race and Lethal Forms of Social Control: A Preliminary Investigation into Execution and Self-Help in the United States, 1930-1964.

The Psychiatrization of Gangstalking

Is mainstream discourse around gangstalking the psychiatrization of a form of mobbing and surveillance to shift the blame from the perpetrators to the victim? Gangstalking is a phenomenon where a group of people, in a coordinated and covert manner, target an individual for harassment. In a recent Quillete podcast, with the help of host Jonathan Kay, psychiatrist Andrew Lustig portrays gangstalking as a conspiracist internet subculture.

I do not argue in this blog there are no instances in which individuals falsely believe others are ganging up on them or that they are being surveilled. Individuals often attribute meaning to seeming patterns occurring around them. Individuals may develop delusions and paranoia. But there are also instances in which individuals become aware that others have ganged up on them or that they are being watched.

There are cases of workplace mobbing in which the goal is to gaslight the target in order to destabilize her consciousness and disrupt her mood in order to drive her from her job. There are also cases of Internet mobbing, where a gang forms and orchestrates a bullying or gaslighting campaign. Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse in which an individual or group makes a person question his perception of reality, recollections, or sanity. Cancel culture sometimes comes with these features.

As an undergraduate in the early 1990s, an abnormal psychology professor described to the class a case from his clinical practice of a construction worker who, in his descriptions of mobbing, sounded delusional. Why would his coworkers want to do this to him? The lengths to which his coworkers would go to torment him seemed implausible. Maybe it was childish pranking exaggerated by his mind. The client was so sure this was happening to him the psychologist drove to one of the worksites and surveilled the scene. The client was not delusional. He was being mobbed. The professor told the class that getting to the bottom of a client’s situation sometimes involves checking out claims the client makes to see whether there is some truth to the claims. Other clinicians would very likely have diagnosed the man with a mental illness and medicated him.

Gaslighting, bullying, mobbing, gangstalking—these are real phenomena. A person’s emotional and psychological response to being bullied or gangstalked may be indistinguishable from “symptoms” cataloged by the diagnostic manuals of psychiatry. This is a revealing truth. Psychiatrists may falsely assume a world in which gangstalking could only be a delusional state of the mind in the targeted person, who suffers from a persecution complex, schizophrenia, etc. This redefinition of the problem, the professional denial of an actual phenomenon, serves ideological and political ends.

The psychiatric profession may even claim, exuding the authority of a licensed medial practitioner in an allegedly objective field of clinical practice, one guided by the Diagnostic Statistical Manual, that those who argue that gangstalking is, at least in some situations, real, are themselves delusional. It is worth keeping in mind this historical analog: Those who challenged the witchfynder during the Inquisition and rejected the validity of the Malleus Maleficarum were themselves suspected of demon possession or of practicing witchcraft. If their resistance assumed a sophisticated form, they were designated heretics.

Why I am not a Progressive

There is power in repetition. This is as true for the truth as it is for the lie. Not everybody reads the things you have already written. Nor does everybody hear the things you have already said. What is more, not everybody gets things the first time they read or hear them. I again want people to understand why I am not a progressive. And why populism is the future of freedom and democracy.

I have said something about this a few times before (okay, more than a few times). But because I am still getting signals that people don’t understand me or progressivism, I feel the need to say them again. Because a lot of self-identified leftists also self-identify as progressives (and indeed many of them they are), they are either confused by my language or think that I am on the political right.

I am concerned with how people understand me. But I am particularly concerned that people who express populist sentiment self-identify as progressive. I am also concerned with the way populism is portrayed as a rightwing ideology and politics. This is corporatist propaganda designed to keep those with leftwing sympathies away from populist politics.

The short answer to why I am not a progressive is because I am a populist—and populism and progressivism are diametrically opposed. Populists profess a belief in individual liberty and democratic-republicanism. There are left and right expressions of populism. My populism is leftwing. This is in part because I am opposed to heterosexualism, patriarchy, and religion as organizing principles (these are, after all, harmful to individual liberty). Or course, I do not define my politics only in terms of what I oppose. However, left and right populists have a lot in common, so there is opportunity there. My view is that, despite my leftwing orientation, we should stop organizing our politics strictly around the left-right frame, since what is expressed as leftwing may be authoritarian in character and what is expressed as rightwing may be libertarian in character. The latter is useful. The former is terrifying. Hand over fist, rightwing libertarianism is preferable to leftwing authoritarianism.

The longer answer is that progressivism is the ideological-political position that accepts corporate governance, indeed enables and legitimizes it in practice by (a) fusing government and corporate power in regulatory bodies through which corporate power is able to control via the logic of state monopoly capitalism and (b) professionalizing the offices of government, and public institutions more broader, by adopting rationalist business-oriented management practices. Progressivism expresses an elitist faith of the competence and necessity of professional-managerial strata, which include the academics and administrators who run colleges and universities in line with the business community. This system also includes primary and secondary teachers. It’s through this apparatus that the offspring of the working class are prepared via indoctrination in pro-corporate ideology to reproduce the social logic of the bureaucracy throughout their lives.

One knows progressives by their support for technocracy, which suppresses government by, of, and for the people in favor of rule by corporate and government experts and officials. Progressives encourage citizens to defer to government agencies, such as public health agencies and figures, on questions of individual freedom, social interaction, and community relations, on the claim that these agencies and figures know what’s best for the ignorant masses. To accomplish this, progressivism defines social problems in technical terms, for example by deploying the language of medicalization, to expand and entrench control over the public, over its mind and behavior. Progressives use shame and fear to drive popular support for the elaboration of the technocratic control apparatus.

If one wants an example of what this looks like, perhaps one needs look no further than the COVID-10 pandemic and the lockdown of societies and forced mask-wearing of its citizens across corporatist nations. But another ready example lies in the technocratic approach to human relations seen in racial diversity training programs. Thanks to their own indoctrination in the prevailing ideology of their environment (they are zealous in their work), progressives assume a priori the public is racist and in need of collective discipline and rehabilitation. But tyranny lies in the preventative approach to thought and action. These trainings are also about transforming public consciousness and conduct in a manner conducive to deepening corporate legitimacy and control. The work of progressives is to condition the public to accept as normal a smooth Orwellian panopticism by changing the way we talk to and interact with each other in a myriad of extralegal ways.

I accept that there are people who self-identify as progressive who mean something different by that term. For some, progressive is a euphemism for socialist. But they are few in number and the progressive identity risks their enlistment in projects that are contrary to their expressed values. Moreover, socialist advocacy is rather frightening when accompanied by rhetoric soft on technocracy. However, at its core, progressivism concerns the management of people for the sake of the ruling class, i.e., the corporate class. Socialism in any emancipatory sense concerns the management of things for the sake of the people. But we must never forget that socialism sometimes comes in totalitarian forms. Socialist totalitarianism can hail from the left (the democratic centralism of the Soviet Union) and the right (the national socialism of Nazi Germany). Progressivism always teeters on the totalitarian pivot. Corporations are, after all, private tyrannies. Because they are not as crude ideologically as fascism, and because they often assert themselves as antifascist, their fascism flies beneath the radar. They nonetheless lean in that direction.

I want to conclude by distinguishing corporatism from capitalism. The domination of the corporate form such that it transforms capitalism in fundamental ways is a feature of capitalism at a particular stage of of development in this mode of production. Capitalism can and has existed without corporations as the dominant form of economic (and legal and political) organization, and, while I am not pro-capitalist, capitalist relations in their early forms were preferable to their current manifestation. In the current historical epoch, corporations are the dominant form and have assumed control over the legal and political apparatus. Because of corporate control over cultural production, corporations have assumed not only power over political economy, but command over pubic sentiment and values.

The rise of corporate power is why progressivism appears as the dominant form of governmental and public institutional organization. Populism was smashed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century while elites developed progressivism to circumscribe the range of options used to regulate the chaos of capitalist production and enlist segments of the working class in the corporatist project. In the process, the emancipatory socialist option was eliminated in the developed West. Progressivism allowed corporate elites to co-opt leftwing sentiments and put them to work for corporate power. Successive capitalist crises—war and depression—fully fused corporate power with the state in the twentieth century.

It was under Franklin Roosevelt and the Democratic Party that a state monopoly model was fully implemented in a Western nation. Following WWII, steered by the United States, progressivism by another name (social democracy) achieved similar models throughout Europe. Progressives are keen on defending Roosevelt from charges of being a “socialist” by proclaiming that he “saved capitalism.” Actually, Roosevelt (who was not a socialist) served as midwife to the state monopoly capitalism that Eisenhower would alert the public to in his haunting farewell address in 1960, where he famously noted the fusion of corporate power with the military apparatus and, less famously, the fusion of corporate and government power with the production of scientific knowledge.

As for the transnationalization of this model, the subject of my last blog entry (Physical Capital, Human Capital, Technology, and Productive Work—These Drive the Real Economy), Mao’s communist revolution in 1949 led to the establishment of a state monopoly capitalist model there, covered by the rhetoric of “socialism with Chinese characteristics.” Beginning with the Kennedy-Johnson decade of the 1960s, with New Frontiers and the Great Society, among other things providing the capitalist class with access to more capital by slashing taxes and opening the country to mass immigration, followed by the opening of China by Carter and the Trilateralists at the end of the 1970s, a path prepared by Nixon and Kissinger, opening that country to foreign capital investment, the world was prepared for the melding of state monopoly models in a transnational system of global neofeudalism.

Progressivism is the faith behind the transformation of the world into a global corporatist order (the Democratic Party its political home). That’s the long answer to why I am not a progressive (or a Democrat).

Physical Capital, Human Capital, Technology, and Productive Work—These Drive the Real Economy

The managed decline of America is being accomplished with the financialization of the Western economy and the globalization of production, both offshoring and mass immigration (legal and illegal). This is not only hurting America’s working class, but shifting the balance of global power in a dangerous direction. Besides the threat of corporate bureaucratic control at home, the danger to human dignity and liberty to Americans comes as a rising China, a totalitarian state capitalist nation that has no regard for individual freedom and human rights. In this essay, I briefly explain and make recommendations for addressing the situation.

Financialization aside, four things drive growth in the real economy: physical (constant or fixed) capital, e.g., machines; human capital, e.g., engineers and scientists; technology and innovation, including methods of organizational rationalization; and productive work, which creates not only the value added in production, but also the aggregate demand that completes the circuit of capital, that is, that realizes surplus value in profit, without which there is no wealth accumulation and capital for investment. All this requires a national economic strategy to avoid crises of class polarization, unsustainability, including land and resource misuse and unchecked population growth, sectoral disproportionalities, and overproduction and underconsumption.

Why is China—the modern-day analog to national socialist Germany, replete with large-scale genocide, concentration and slave labor camps—rising while the West is in decline? Unlike the West, which is controlled by corporate power, a force bereft of loyalty to the nations that charter its constituents and subsidize and defend their material and ideological interests, the Chinese Communist Party has a nationalist agenda. I hasten to emphasize that the problem is not with nationalism per se. The problem is with a nationalism that that does not represent the interests of the people it purports to represent. The problem of China’s authoritarian nationalism comes with the problem of weak civic nationalism in the West. The melding of Chinese state capitalism and the transnational corporate establishment, both sharing the unfreedom of bureaucratic collectivism, is fueling the rise of a totalitarian nightmare.

For the purpose of advancing its imperialist ambitions, the Chinese Communist Party is powering China’s economic development by leveraging capital markets opened to them by Western governments, primarily the United States, the world’s largest economy (for now); inducing the relocation of industrial (including agricultural) production from the West to its vast industrial plantations, for example the Special Economic Zone (SEZ), established in the 1980s following negotiations with the Carter Administration (staffed by globalists) to inject foreign capital and technology into China and expand capacity for exporting goods to Western markets while leaving intact the Communist Party; stealing Western intellectual property by funding Western R&D and infiltrating the corporate-university apparatus; establishing and controlling supply chains across the planet, as well transportation routes via Xi Jinping’s One Belt One Road initiative, a global infrastructure development project that will allow China to control most of the Eastern Hemisphere; and building a vast military apparatus with which China will wage kinetic war against its neighbors and the West—all this financed by the working classes of the West and of China.

China is now the fastest growing economy in the world. This has been true for a number of years. And none of this would be possible without the transnational corporation and its political establishments in the West, in the United States largely represented by the Democratic Party, betraying the citizens of their respective countries.

Rank-and-file progressives and social democrats in the trans-Atlantic space have a weak grasp of economics, let alone international political economy. Moreover, the rank-and-file have been conditioned to accept a politics of globalism and Western-loathing. We see this in the resistance to a national economic strategy and educational policy emphasizing domestic industrial production and the development of human capital in the United States. This is a tragic development. With technological advancements in production, with the rising organic composition of capital (i.e., the capital-intensity of production), investment in human capital has become more important than ever.

This fact is not lost on the CCP and the state capitalist oligarchy of China who have, as I showed above, focused a nationalist economic strategy on the development of domestic industrial capacity and pursued educational policies that develop their human capital. By focusing on human capital, China provides transnational corporations with armies of low-wage high-skill labor. Thus China has engaged in a conscious strategy to import capital and invest in the training and education of its citizens. Meanwhile, the United States, its high-tech manufacturing work progressively offshored, has shifted the focus of education away from human capital development towards social justice curriculum, which not only ill-prepares students for work in a technologically-advanced society, but conditions them to reject a world that requires such preparation. At the same time, open borders import cheap but high-skill foreign labor, while native workers are idled in urban ghettos and deindustrialized cities and towns. China’s success depends on the West abandoning nationalism as the principle of political and legal organization.

Globalism is wrecking America (and the West) and the establishment wings of the two major parties, controlled by transnational corporate and financial power, are swinging the wrecking ball. Our own elected leaders are betraying us. The solution is closing the border, disinvesting in China (temporary switching to India and other allies where we cannot ramp up domestic production ourselves), depriving China of access to our capital markets, punishing China for its human rights violations, and reinvesting in human capital at home on the basis of national economic priorities.

Economic nationalism is the way the save America and what America represents and that means marginalizing the corporate and political establishment that is now running our lives and revising our history. But we don’t have a lot of time. The Biden Administration, in coordination with the transnational elite, is preparing the ground for a massive top-to-bottom transformation of America that will foreclose opportunities to push back against the global neofeudalism they seek to establish. The meddle they desire is China-lite.

The Metaphysics of the Antiracist Inquisition

There are no such things as demons and devils, those unseen spirit forces that infect or possess people. I know people who subscribe to those particular religious standpoints that posit such things are convinced that such things are real. There are also religious standpoints that believe in such mystical notions as that guilt is inherited and carried in the blood. But whether demons and devils and all the rest of it are to be taken seriously, these can affect no law and policy in the United States of America because it is a secular republic. In America, the freedom to believe in metaphysical things comes with the freedom from the imposition of such beliefs.

I want to make a comparison and then pose a challenge to conclude this little essay.
During the Middle Ages, the Inquisitor tortured those accused of demon possession or suspected of having inherited guilt from their ancestors or their tribe to extract from them a confession. A confession was often necessary because the Inquisitor usually had no way of objectively demonstrating the presence of a demon in the accused. The only evidence may be stigmata, that is the mark of the devil, or bizarre behavior (the cause, of course, a matter of interpretation in light of doctrine). But not everybody carried stigmata. And not everybody behaved in a bizarre manner. The truth of the presence of a demon could then only come from the accused confessing to such a presence.

In the case of blood guilt, there may be nothing about many Jews to suggest they were of the tribe that murdered Christ. Moreover, because they were part of that tribe, the success of Jews as a group implicated every Jew in justified feelings of resentment. Of course, as with blood guilt, the resentment of Jews for their success was also an irrational sentiment and no justification at all from a secular point of view. In any case, Jews were often tortured ahead of the stake and their wealth subject to confiscation.

Today, white Americans are confronting circumstance logically similar to those of the Inquisition. Antiracists believe that whites are possessed of an unseen force, an implicit bias that directs their behavior in a manner than harms others. Antiracists believe in the mystical notion that guilt is inherited and carried on the genes. Antiracists believe not only that there really are such things as races, but also that there should be such things and individuals should be rewarded and punishment on the basis of them.

Antiracists express resentment over the success of whites. The success of whites as a group implicates every white person in justifiable feelings of resentment. Every white person stands metaphysically condemned in the eyes of the Antiracist for the alleged actions of his ancestors and the attributes of his tribe (by alleged we mean assumed without proof). Even when no direct link can be made through the genealogical line to a past crime (no less an irrational exercise), the accused is condemned by his race. He is condemned by simply being born as a member of the tribe.

And, of course, aside from a handful of devil worshippers (there are still a few white supremacists around), white privilege is best affirmed by having the accused confess to his sins, to admit to be possessing by race privilege, whether he thinks he is possessed or not. The Antiracist’s struggle session is no less in principle the Inquisitor’s torture cell. It’s still an interrogation. If the accused resists the label, like the accused mental patient who rebels against the diagnostic label of a psychiatric manual, he is denying the truth of guilt manifest in his tribal stigma: his skin color and his ancestry. There is, as well, his ordinary behavior (re)interpreted in the light of doctrine.

Critical race theorists, the theologians of Antiracism, a new religion (and the new racism), believe that the rational system of adjudicating guilt and responsibility based on individual human agency and intentionality is the “perpetrator’s perspective,” so called because it conceals the truth that the racist actions of an individual who is white is really a crime committed by all whites. Social justice deems that all whites should pay for the crimes of the individual with the tribal stigma of white skin. His ancestry condemns him. The white man is to pay not only for others like him, but for the corpses he resembles.

This formula critical race theorists call the “victim’s perspective.” It assumes that all black people (and any other group deemed historically disadvantaged, which is sometimes difficult as we have seen with Asian-Americans), no matter how successful, are victims of the racism of the perpetrator, whites collectively, who are responsible for that collective suffering. Because of the collective suffering, the oppressed group is entitled to an epistemic and moral privilege, assuming a superior position from which to judge other people and history and, finding them guilty as charged, holding them to account, confiscating their wealth, and condemning their history (and thus their future).

So here’s an exercise for you. Take the formulas of the Antiracists and, substituting the words “white” and “whiteness” for “witch” or “Jew” and “witchcraft” or “Jewish,” see if this sounds like justice or if it sounds like a dangerous, destructive, and potentially lethal ideology. Let history be your guide. That’s what the Antiracists recommend.

* * *

There is another superstitious element in Antiracism (which I am capitalizing because it is a religion) that one can find in other religious and cultural systems, namely the practice of scapegoating. Scapegoating is closely associated with witchfinding, so the explanation works for both.

Scapegoating is where a community, not understand why things haven’t been going well for them, takes an animal and loads it up with problems, defined as sins and the like, and then sends the animal to die in the wilderness, hoping that the sins will die also there in the wilderness. Witchfinding is a practice where the problems of the community are located in a person and the person is sacrificed and the community is purged of evil.

The anxiety felt by the community that manifests in scapegoating and witchfinding is often caused by some real disturbance—biological, climatic, cultural, economic, political, and so forth—but it is interpreted in terms of a doctrine that invents entities that embody these problems and explains their effects, whatever their actual causes. In other words, the unseen forces invented by the religion or the cultural system. The priesthood are there to translate phenomena in doctrinal style. A moral panic is engineered and mass hysteria spreads. Soon animals, including human ones, are punished, tortured, banished, and killed.

This is what is happening in the West. Globalization is the cause of the actual disturbance. It manifests itself in very concrete ways: work disappears, wages decline, careers are lost, homes are foreclosed on, neighborhoods are disorganized, traditions smashed, governments rendered ineffective, and so forth.

Without a sophisticated understanding of international political economy, or absent a democratic populist politics that articulates working class interests, and trapped inside racial and ethnic and other identitarian bubbles, the masses are susceptible to religious-like interpretations of their anxieties and trepidations, and rituals of scapegoating and witchfinding become the order of the day. The civilians turn on each other, and in the religiously-proscribed ways.

We are experiencing a moral panic engineered by the priesthood and pushed by the congregation of Antiracism. It translates the problems of ordinary Americans in racial and ethnic (and even religious) terms, finding witches in white people (excluding those identified as Muslim) and scapegoating them, heaping upon them what their religion defines as the transgenerational sin of wicked history in a world polluted by whiteness, and then banishing the animals to ignominy.

That’s the point of the ritual anyway. And the zealots will have their way as long the witches put up no resistance.