Back in 2008, your humble TCT blogmaster still retained some pretty big illusions about the existence of democracy in corporate capitalist America.
Since then, events have proceeded in such a way as to push TCT to proffer a new thesis, one that TCT hereby states as a 97 percent serious, 3 percent hyperbolic claim: In corporate capitalist America, electoral politics is a mere marketing operation.
Selling is the foundational reality, market research and advertising the basis for every peep of the communication and action that comprise an “election.” Brands never change, though their respective sales trends wax and wane. Choice attaches entirely to the minutiae of style and microscopic difference that undergird almost meaningless product differentiation. The degree of democracy involved is perhaps — a big perhaps — 3 percent greater than in economic marketing of goods and services, where it is vanishingly small. In both processes, the odds of the masses changing the range of choices offered by those with the money and the power is exceedingly low. Coke or Pepsi. Jack Johnson or John Jackson.
And, just as in regular product marketing, the amount of money spent from above always increases.
Escalation you can believe in. Obama is a defective product. I give him a 0 out of 100. If last November you’d outlined a script for the worst possible nightmare from his rule, he’d have followed it to the letter.
Forgive my suspension of core sociological truisms here. We know that, in the words of Frederick Douglass, “power concedes nothing without a demand,” and that, as Dr. King wrote in Birmingham City Jail, “privileged groups rarely give up their privileges without strong resistance.” We also know that we continue to lack even weak resistance.
You money-grubbers have had your chance. You and your system are done, failed, dead, out of chances and answers. Now, yield yourselves and your schemes to make way for economic democracy and ecological reconstruction. If we need your help, we’ll let you know.
For fellow students of market totalitarianism, here’s some of the latest from Joseph Robo-fucking Biden, the unrepentant-and-planning-more war criminal, Senator from MBNA, candidate for Vice President of the USA, and dissembling hater of democracy.
[Note: Be sure to read down through the bone-chilling confessions of Obama’s war-mongering expectations/worldview, to Biden’s statement of his own political philosophy in the last few lines of the quote.]
We talk about Iran getting a nuclear weapon and threatening Israel and us. Let me tell ya something, Pakistan already is bristling with nuclear weapons, all of which can hit Israel right now, all of which can strike the Mediterranean and well into the Indian Ocean….
It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy…. we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he’s gonna have to make some really tough – I don’t know what the decision’s gonna be, but I promise you it will occur…. he’s gonna need you, not financially to help him, we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him.
Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right. Because all these decisions, all these decisions, once they’re made if they work, then they weren’t viewed as a crisis. If they don’t work, it’s viewed as you didn’t make the right decision, a little bit like how we hesitated so long dealing with Bosnia and dealing with Kosovo, and consequently 200,000 people lost their lives that maybe didn’t have to lose lives….
[Y]ou all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going ‘oh my God, why are they there in the polls, why is the polling so down, why is this thing so tough?’ We’re gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point… remember St. Peter denied Christ thrice, you know?
There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go ‘whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision.’ Because if you think the decision is sound when they’re made…. they’re not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they’re popular, they’re probably not sound.
I probably shouldn’t have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here.
Even for an avid Chomksy student such as myself, it is sometimes tempting to over-estimate the amount of progress we’ve made in exposing and combating this semi-secret overclass contempt for popular self-government.