The Actual Bifurcation Points: Seeing the World in Real Terms

Working class politics do not really fit in today’s left verses right frame. That frame artificially divides the people. Nor are our politics white verses black. The politics of race is a centuries-old lie to fracture the masses. It’s time we were on to all that. Here are the relevant dynamics: nationalism verses globalism, populism verses progressivism, democracy verses technocracy, republicanism verses corporatism. These are the actual bifurcation points. 

Transnational elites, through globalization and regionalization (for example, the European Union), are denationalizing the world and replacing the Westphalian system with a world order defined by corporate feudalism and run by progressive technocrats. The globalists occupy the institutions of free and open societies, subverting their freedom and openness. In the plan of the transnational elite, the citizens of free societies are destined to become serfs of the corporate state, docile consumers managed by the administrative state and a vast culture industry. Actions to bring about this plan have been pursued for decades. We are now quite a ways down the road to serfdom.

This is not a conspiracy. The project operates in the open. We see it in the global financial system, international monetary systems, trade relations, and foreign direct investment. We see it in the off-shoring of production and the importation of cheap foreign labor into the West, resulting in hundreds of billions of dollars of lost income among native-born workers. We see it in the vast corporate communications apparatus operating an Orwellian Ministry of Truth against the interests of the working class. The hegemony of transnational corporate power is becoming total, legitimized in the grassroots by progressive “movements” preaching a divisive religion of resentment and victimhood.

The new world order grows out the business class war on labor and the left in an effort to restore high rates of profit and concentrate capital in the hands of the minority of the opulent. The fall in the rate of profit resulted from rising organic composition of capital and unprecedented union density. High growth rates and falling poverty set in motion by technological development, national unity, and labor peace were sacrificed on the altars of power and wealth.

The war on democratic-republicanism was kicked off in the 1960s by Kennedy and Johnson’s policies of tax cuts for corporations and wealthy individuals to free up capital for foreign investment, and the elimination of immigration quotas to draw cheap labor into the United States, moves decoupling productivity from compensation and the destruction of the post-WWII Bretton Woods in the early 1970s and the establishment of Bretton Woods II which, over time, shifted the capitalist periphery from Europe and Japan to Asia, particularly China, which became a vast export processing zone from the standpoint of the West, but an avenue for global expansion for the Chinese Communist Party, which rivaled the US in foreign direct investment prior to the Trump Administration.

Today, the Democratic Party, occupied by the progressive corporate establishment, embodies the globalist project in the United States. Those of their ilk occupy higher education and the mass media, key institutions of ideological hegemonic production. Their allies in the Republican Party are dwindling, a positive development that would likely be reversed if the populist turn were successfully suppressed.

Imagine elements in the United States government and powerful Western corporations and influential institutions allied with Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union in the open manner in which Democrats ally with the Chinese Communist Party today. Imagine a politician in the United States Senate pushing a resolution, joined by more than two dozen of her Democratic colleagues, to condemn references to the Holocaust or the Gulag as “anti-German” or “anti-Russian” bigotry. Imagine the Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States, at the forefront of pushing for open trade with Nazis and Bolsheviks, bragging about 25 hours of private dinners with Hitler or Stalin and then entombing the content of those conversations in the University of Delaware archives. Yet this is where we find ourselves today.

All this is why the international populist movement is so vital to the promise of restoring democratic-republicanism and the international system—it is disrupting the corporatist globalist project. The election of Modi in India, Brexit in the United Kingdom, the election of Trump in the United States, the election of the conservatives in the UK, with Johnson as prime minister—whether you agree with particular ideological or moral points, these popular shifts are stifling the transformation of the system of nation-states into a one world order, an order dominated by corporations and administered by an unaccountable cadre of technocrats.

The media dwells on the right-wing character of current populism. What we are not supposed to see is that the populist movement represents a democratic-republican challenge to state corporate tyranny. We are supposed to see a popular democratic and nationalist uprising as nativist, racist, and xenophobic. But this is not an expansionist fascistic movement. Rather it is a response to the inverted totalitarianism of the corporatist project that represents the actual authoritarian threat to human freedom. Even with their near total control of the apparatus of ideological production, the elite are met by working people demanding back the keys to their respective countries. Their inability to contain populism terrifies elites. We see them growing shriller day by day as desperation sets in. They thought they had a chance with the COVID-19 pandemic. They were wrong.

When it organizes the world in real terms, sees the control apparatus for what it is, and rededicates itself to the democratic-republican principles of civic nationalism, the working class will see the task before it. The liberal will no longer be able to utter such idiocies as “blue no matter who.” Every conservative will see the Bush family for what it is. The deceits of progressivism and social democracy will be exposed. This is the paradigm shift that will forge a new popular mass movement against the elite. The neoliberals and the neoconservatives are losing their grip on the governing institutions of free societies. It’s high time.

* * *

Note (late afternoon): I’m going to hijack my own blog entry to bring some news. Donald Trump signed today an Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship calling out Twitter and other social media platform for the practice of editorializing by censoring and labeling user content, actions that violate the neutrality required for these companies to enjoy immunity from liability created by section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act (section 230(c)).  47 U.S.C. 230(c). By censoring and labeling content, Twitter and other social media platforms are providing content, which is inappropriate for a communications platform designed with user-generated content in mind, platforms that are, as I pointed out in the article in Project Censored, “Defending the Digital Commons: A Left-Libertarian Critique of Speech and Censorship in the Virtual Public Square,” public utilities. Fact checking is editorializing and that means that social media is not a neutral platform.

Trump advises that the law circumscribes immunity such that it should not extend beyond its text and purpose to provide protection for those who purport to provide users a forum for free and open speech and prevents the abuse of power these companies have over a vital means of communication to engage in “deceptive or pretextual actions stifling free and open debate by censoring certain viewpoints.” The demand for viewpoint neutrality is thus central to the function of social media platforms. Trump is using his office to call these companies before the sovereign people to answer for their violations of the principle of free speech. Trump cites court decisions holding that, if an online platform restricts access to some content posted by others, it becomes a “publisher” of all the content posted on its site for purposes of torts such as defamation. Trump notes that Congress sought to provide protections for online platforms that attempted to protect minors from harmful content and intended to ensure that such providers would not be discouraged from taking down harmful material, but that this protection was not intended to allow for the censoring and labeling of political speech. Indeed, as Trump points out, the provision was intended to further the express vision of the Congress that the internet is a “forum for a true diversity of political discourse.” The order states: “The limited protections provided by the statute should be construed with these purposes in mind.”

Trump is absolutely right. A communications platform cannot be a neutral platform and editorialize. Either it stays neutral and enjoys immunity or it provides content and loses immunity. It can’t have both. The bias is clear and the executive order details examples. “At the same time online platforms are invoking inconsistent, irrational, and groundless justifications to censor or otherwise restrict Americans’ speech here at home,” quoting from the order, “several online platforms are profiting from and promoting the aggression and disinformation spread by foreign governments like China. One United States company, for example, created a search engine for the Chinese Communist Party that would have blacklisted searches for ‘human rights,’ hid data unfavorable to the Chinese Communist Party, and tracked users determined appropriate for surveillance. It also established research partnerships in China that provide direct benefits to the Chinese military. Other companies have accepted advertisements paid for by the Chinese government that spread false information about China’s mass imprisonment of religious minorities, thereby enabling these abuses of human rights.  They have also amplified China’s propaganda abroad, including by allowing Chinese government officials to use their platforms to spread misinformation regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to undermine pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.”

Social media platforms are projecting corporate state hegemony by censoring and labeling content. The sovereign people have the right to regulate social media platforms and it is imperative that it does so in defense of liberty and democracy. I’ve been waiting for Trump to drop the hammer on this for a long time. He has been too patient for too long. Americans don’t need social media platforms telling them what’s true and what’s not, what they should trust or what they should doubt. As I wrote in my Project Censored article, having Facebook inform viewers as to their opinion about whether something is false or misleading is like AT&T listening to your phone calls and intruding to tell the person on the other end whether what you’re saying is in their opinion false or misleading. This is Big Brother.

The notion of a corporate entity presuming to check facts is absurdity. And given the bias of the communications establishment presently, dangerous. Social media platforms don’t have a special position from which to be the arbiters of truth. They’re bias entities with an agenda. As the order states, “Twitter now selectively decides to place a warning label on certain tweets in a manner that clearly reflects political bias. As has been reported, Twitter seems never to have placed such a label on another politician’s tweet. As recently as last week, Representative Adam Schiff was continuing to mislead his followers by peddling the long-disproved Russian Collusion Hoax, and Twitter did not flag those tweets. Unsurprisingly, its officer in charge of so-called ‘Site Integrity’ has flaunted his political bias in his own tweets.” On War Room Pandemic Yesterday, Congressman Matt Gaatz put it succinctly: “They [social media platforms] are trying to define the nature of truth and change the way in which we have discussions.”

Facebook is as egregious as Twitter in labeling and censoring. “Zuckerberg Says Politicians Can’t Say Whatever They Want on Facebook After Criticizing Twitter For Trump Fact-CheckFacebook,” reads the headline in a Newsweek story today. Zuckerberg: “Just because we don’t want to be determining what is true and false, doesn’t mean that politicians or anyone else can just say whatever they want.” (Zuckerberg said this in an appearance on CNBC Thursday). He said the social networking company’s policies are “grounded in trying to give people as much a voice as possible,” but if it involves harm, violence or false information, Facebook will “take that down no matter who says that.” Taking down a post for false information is by definition determining what is true and false. We cannot have social media employees making such determinations.

I was recently a victim of Facebook labeling:

The FAR Podcas Episode #18: Humans as Disease Vectors

This was not my first run in with the Facebook censors. I discuss another act of Facebook censorship in this blog from a couple of years ago: Art in the Age of the Mechanical Enforcement of Political Correctness. This time my post was removed. I appealed to no avail. It’s time the sovereign people did something about corporate tyranny. I applaud President Trump’s actions. He is giving the people a voice.

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.