9 comments on “Four Things

  1. What is this say about the state of the far left when there are more comments on baseball than on the class struggle? It’s not like this is the World Baseball Series, or whatever they call it, and Cuba and Venezuela have a shot at beating the imperialists.


  2. When I became a Yankee fan in the early 70s, M &M meant Murcer and Munson!

    Supporting the Yankees vs. the Mets in the aftermath of 1969 was like supporting Trotsky vs. Stalin during the hey-day of the Popular Front!


  3. A yankees fan? Thats like supporting the British in The malvinas war! Its what happens when you live in the seat of the empire too long, it confuses sound communist judgement!


  4. Hey, Eric, keep your shirt on (unlike Pete Rose); as a Yankee fan. I consistently root for the Phillies against the Mets!


  5. For petty-bourgeois “progressives” of all stripes, reformed capitalism is about as as good as good gets…since the eternal existance of capitalism is taken for granted by them. The problem, as you pointed out, is that “reformed” or not, capitalism is still capitalism, a crisis-ridden class society based upon the exploitation and oppression of the many (the workers) by the few (the bosses) and that exploitation and oppression remain even if some of its nastier aspects may be alleviated by a few reforms every now and then. Of course such reforms have to be wrung from the bosses and their state by workers struggle and anything that they are forced to give with one hand, they can, and will, take back with the other as soon as they are in a position to do so. As far as the “New Deal” goes (or went), it was conceived, above all else, as a vehicle for saving American capitalism from itself, and it was only the “War Deal” that followed it that actually got the US out of the depression.

    But when boom went to bust in the middle 1970s, “Keynesian” deficit spending and the welfare state that went with it were assaulted by a “neo-liberal” employers offensive against workers wages and living standards. And contrary to the myths of rad-lib types like Naomi Klein, who seek to isolate the particulars from the general, in order to better support “lesser evils” like John Kerry and Barack Obama, who they imagine will bring back the golden age of reform, this was the game plan of the bulk of the ruling class, not just Milton Friedman or General Pinochet, who may have pioneered it…at least in Chile. Indeed it was the Democrats in NYC who began applying “shock therapy” structural adjustment policies during the so-called “fiscal crisis” of 1975 to the municipal budget and work-force and Jimmy Carter who did the same thing on a national scale during his one term in office, making Ronald Reagan acceptable and respectable, rather than someone only “Archie Bunker” types would vote for.

    If no Democratic presidential candidate since has run on a platform of “New Deal” type reforms it’s not just because of the DLC’s “triangulation” techniques perfected by Bill Clinton or because of their “spinelessness.” When it came to starving Iraqis, bombing Serbs, gutting welfare and jailing Black and Latino youth by the score, the Clinton-era Democrats displayed as much, if not more, backbone than Ronald Reagan or George H.W. Bush. Afterall, it was Clinton who balanced the budget on the backs of workers and the poor by cutting back on social services more than both of his Republican predecessors combined. Likewise in Western Europe, the Social Democrats became reformists without reforms, carrying out more austerity attacks and privitizations than the out-and-out bourgeois parties had. Not surprisingly, you won’t find much mention of Blair, Jospain or Schroeder in the writings of “progressives” like Naomi Klein.

    The bottom line is that capitalism, as it exists today, has no other game plan than making the working class pay for the crisis it caused. If in times of normalcy, reforms can only be wrung from the rich through militant mass action, that obviously holds true even more so in periods like the one we now find ourselves in. The fantasies of “progressives” about the miracles of the “mixed economy” are as deadly as the neo-liberals tall-tales about the miracles of the market. Probably more deadly, idea-wise, since these days few workers are likely to be buying the latter. Good old fashioned class struggle politics, beginning with the political independence of the working class are what’s needed now more than ever, not “hoping for change” from Wall Street’s errand boys and their academic apologists.

    P.S. Judging by that vintage ad, Pete Rose obviously carried a bigger stick than Teddy Roosevelt back in the late 70s and early 80s. But Reggie Jackson still got the pick of the litter when it came to the cuties. I’m rooting for Joe Torre and Manny to make the Yankee and Red Sox regimes look like the fools they were for getting rid of them.

    P.P.S. Free OJ Simpson…this frame-up was even more outrageous than the last one. Not one Black person on the jury and five of the jurors thought he shouldn’t have got off the first time. Another instance of “post-racial” democracy in action.


  6. Terms as Main Street, consumers etc. are related to Milton Friedman, and ownership society, to diffuse class consciousness. Contrary to conservatives, the mortgage loans to the poor, is a Friedman idea.

    I’ll check out Susan’s blog.



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