Tag-Team

Liberals are in for a rude awakening with the blue team in charge where they can’t blame everything on Trump. (Of course, they will still blame the Russians but that’s another story.) Now all of the devastating economic and foreign policies of the US empire are theirs. They own it all.

Luckily they will be shielded from this reality thanks to the heroic efforts of the corporate media, who are already fawning over the new administration. Indeed, the Biden inauguration has been treated like the Second Coming of Christ.

What’s fascinating is that we’ve seen this movie before. Bill Clinton followed the horrible Reagan/Bush administrations and was lionized by the corporate media even as he codified the Reagan revolution and turbo-charged neoliberalism. Barack Obama followed a murderous George W. Bush administration and normalized torture, assassinations and drone strikes against American citizens while failing to crackdown on Wall Street after the financial crisis and sub-prime housing meltdown because that might have required “violence to the social order.”

And now we get Biden, who already readying a domestic War-on Terror against half of the country that voted for Trump, while promising his wealthy donors that “nothing will change”. Moreover it appears that the Biden administration is determined to protect the continuity of U.S. never-ending war policies and regime-change machinations. Indeed, after 4 plus years of Russia-gate it’s clear that the Democrats have become the more aggressive party.

If the Democrat’s and by extension liberals really were the “good guys” they imagine themselves to be there would be a modicum of hope. But liberals and Democrat’s are rotten too, in a different way to be sure, but as will soon be all too apparent. Thanks to the efforts of successive Democratic administrations, it’s hard to imagine an alternative to our bi-partisan tag-team. Thus the Biden administration represents the final triumph of neoliberalism with its withering of the state leaving only its core military and police functions intact.

Neoliberalism should be thought of as a political project, re-establishing the conditions for capital accumulation while restoring the power of economic elites. It’s important to stress that the “liberalism” of neoliberalism refers to economic rather than political liberalism.

My critics rightly insist that the Republicans are much worse but that misses the point. The Republicans don’t pretend to be something they are not like the Democrats do. The Democrats have come to resemble the compradore elite that the US empire uses to maintain control over its colonies. They pretend to be patriotic and loyal to their citizens but in actuality function as agents for exploitation. Moreover, they are traitors who sold out the country for the wealth and power.

So, what I’m trying to say is that I don’t view Biden’s victory as a triumph of light over darkness the way so many corporate media writers and commentators do. While we might have seen the last of Trump, the conditions for the return of someone like him remain. The more the Biden administration pursues the same neoliberal economic policies while strengthening the security state against the “deplorables” the more they will be tempted to turn to a more competent populist. Trump was hated by the elite, “woke” liberals and the corporate media because of his boorish behavior not because of his policies which were average for a Republican president.

Going further, the Obama administration and Democrat’s prepared the ground for Trump not only with their bailout of the banks and kid-soft treatment of Wall Street that engendered massive unrest, (see–the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street), but with their diminishment of the demos through their neoliberal economic policies. As neoliberalism converts every political or social problem into market terms, it converts them to individual problems with market solutions. Think the Obama administration fascination with voucher systems as a response to the collapse of quality public education, or the Affordable Care Act with it’s endless online shopping for the right health-care plan. As this neoliberal political rationality devolves both political problems and solutions from public to private, it further dissipates political or public life: the project of navigating the social becomes entirely one of discerning, affording, and procuring a personal solution to every socially produced problem.

So after all of this why wouldn’t the American people choose the host of The Apprentice to be the president?

The way to eliminate or minimize Trumpism, or fascism, or whatever you want to call it, is to eliminate the conditions–neoliberalism–that gave rise to it in the first place.

The Biden administration could take actions to heal the nation by offering universal policies, like Medicare-for-All, student aid, mortgage and rental assistance during the pandemic, etc., you know, left-wing solutions like FDR offered during the Great Depression. Here’s an idea–“put Americans to work and print money to pay for it“.

But, they won’t.

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