Friday, February 12, 2010

Vote for your class

Every political movement not explicitly based in class will have a class character which deserves to be understood. This is often true of movements which appeal to class, like the US labor federations, or political parties which claim to represent the working class, like the socialist and communist parties of many countries. Whatever their pretensions, the "communist governments" of the world are easily reducible to class; often in ways that are much more straightforward than their capitalist counterparts: you are either a member of the ruling party class or you are not.

What all of these examples share in common is the pursuit of state power as a political goal. Because the modern nation-state is a hierarchy which protects and reproduces ruling class power, the working class cannot help but to enter this arena at a disadvantage, if only because the vehicle for doing so -- the political party -- is always comprised of different classes. In the context of class conflict, this means party policy will always be set in accordance to the desires of the advantaged class.

This unholy alliance between working people and their rulers within competing political hierarchies, better known as electoral politics, is perhaps the most unexamined religious tendency within the United States today. Liberalism has facilitated the biggest wealth transfer from communities to the financial sector in US history, all while escalating imperial war aims and delivering zero to a population which lives, and regularly dies, with no right to medical care in the world's richest nation. Conservatism, meanwhile, has blossomed into an incoherent reaction to its own innate incoherency, trying as it might to reconcile a "free-market" of government contracts with Jeffersonian claptrap about less government and individual liberty.

In keeping with this tradition, a full year has been lost in empty speculation on why Obama has done this or hasn't done that, what he does or doesn't need to do now, and all manner of ludicrous counsel which willfully ignores the class character of virtually every adviser who staffs the White House. There is no reason to believe we can't expect seven more years of it.

The working class has one option to further its interests, and it is not in finding common cause with the ownership caste of the country, but in reconciling the differences within itself and striking at the economic heart of its enemy -- in the workplace and within communities -- where all class power is fundamentally derived.

See also BroadSnark


Salty said...

This is why I keep coming back to this blog. You've got actual analysis, all they've got is hollow crap that serves the interest of the oppressors.

Keep it up.

Anonymous said...

(seconding salty)...and *succinct* analysis, to boot. not all truths are simple (alas!), but some are. it's the layers of b.s. & indoctrination that's difficult. many of jrb's posts are like a koan, a spotlight right on one's "3rd eye" as it were.

at least, pour moi.