Hi again Cliff and All those commenting on Cliff's draft Article, Neoliberal Globalization and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy. Sorry I am a little late but I've been t'inkin'; and there is a lot to think about on this entire topic with the view that Neoliberalism / “Absolute Capitalism” will call on the Fascist Fix*. Which way will event turn? Either way We Usians are not ready. Not Close!!! Many are too much distracted by those running around in Nineteenth Century Usamerican costumes and their Euro- Counterparts in their 20the century Fascist and Nazi regalia. They are dangerous but those in the Pinstripes wheel power.
*Preliminary note: The Fascist Fix more or less broadly denotes the opportunistic, often coercive incursion by rightists's extra-legal forces into a space opened by a widening political schism that forms among a Ruling Elite at a critical moment when the political representatives of their cultural/economy is most at odds with itself and when one organized sector of the Ruling Class directly or indirectly funds extra-legal forces to apply a directed measure of coercion, in various forms, deemed necessary to affect a resolution of the political economic controversy which the rulers could not resolve through the legally constituted processes. In each "Classic" instance of the rise of Fascism (Italy 1919/20 , Germany 1920's into the Thirties and in Usamerica 1930's), the extra-legal forces have been funded by portion of a Nation's Ruling Elite to apply the necessary force tailored to their perceived needs and tolerances for coercion among the Capitalist Ruling Elite for levels of violence in each Nation-state and the degree of resistance offered to it by the opposition that reflects the degree of its own organization. In both major historical moments of the rise of Classic Fascism, the outside force has been funded by the Insiders. The degree of both the Ruler’s political tolerance for violence varied as may be represented by the UK in the classic period of the 1920’s with Italy and later Germany.
In our present political culture today, in Usamerica, we should note significant differences between the earlier rise of Classic Fascism and its mutations in Anglo/Usamerican/Euro/Culture over the past one hundred years. Giving a special focus on forms and expressions of Fascism through the past 75 years through is continuing mutations, especially since the end of WWII, we should give special attention in our studies to particular Usamerican cultural / economic - Political developments. In Usamerica The Outsiders have already moved inside: inside Government and Corporations. I will argue and try to demonstrate that Usamerican and Anglo/European forms of Fascism have arisen on and within the efforts of Twentieth Century Capitalist Modernizers of Organizing Capital; that is through larger and wider sections of the Technocracy as it developed within Capital. While the roots of Fascism may have formed along with the popularization of many local and regional cultural myths as seen in Italy , Spain and Germany, the core of the Classic Fascism will be found in Capitalism Ruling Elites' mechanistic, increasing technocratic, attempts to bring order to the inherent chaos of their own system: the rest is pure opportunism. Politically, we can trace the roots of Classic Fascism to Classical Liberals’ Economic's companion ideology of restricted Liberal Democracy's insistence on Law and Order for the many and profits for the few; that is a legally ordered economic environment to protect property. (See Germàn Arcinienegas Latin America: A Cultural History for unintended but enlightening revelations). The primary difference between the Classic forms of Fascism and its Modern resurgence is that it has been growing and developing within and with the needs of organizing Capital’s Corporatism's desperate efforts to control its internally generated chaos. Let's also recall that both Hitler and Mussolini insisted they would come to power "legally". ( For the moment we will ignore the gang-land style street fighting etc) Today in the Usamerica, they are in government.
Although I wrote a slightly tighter definition to meet Cliff's witty request for a "Cliff Note" on my view of the Fascist Fix , I urge all respondents in this discussion to read on and beyond the limits of this and other definitions into a necessary analytical journey with me into the historical formation of the National particulars of Classical Fascism into its rapid mutations in our time in the Usamerican Reality. We should take note that Fascism is a political formation which considers itself "modern" and modernizing. Many early supporters of Fascism thought of themselves as technicians who could correct the problems of Capitalism in the Early Twentieth Century.
I write these yet preliminary but expanded comments for the reasons Cliff requested. I also write them as a proposal to All who responded earlier and those who may take my suggestion to add their comments after reading mine below.
Please consider this entire message to be a draft contribution, which Liz, you may feel free to post to our website in the context of our most recent discussions on Neoliberalism, Classic and 21st Century Fascism and Socialism recently posted on our Global Justice website. If posted, it may stimulate a wider, more productive discussion. Because I intend these extended comments to follow my presentation at the GJ Panel on Fascism presented 17July, you may feel free to post them there and with the presentations on Neoliberalism ; just label it , A Draft Essay for Discussion. Much more needs to be done. I view this long commentary as a work in process toward an enhanced essay that will require fuller documentation to support the suggestions and arguments presented.
Cliff's Draft makes a broad, implied suggestion that we face a huge interrelated task which I specifically outline immediately below before presenting my contributions to our discussion:
The title of Cliff's important article expresses the problem: Liberal democracy can no longer contain its modern, economic companion Classic or Monopoly Finance Capital much less its Absolute form; it never could and still can't. Every fix opens into a faster swirling vortex.
The long history of the Left and Right critiques mounted against Capital and its politically compliant supporters, detractors and reformers since at least 1920's are correct for very different reasons all of which we should revisit to draw out the best from them all. Through that necessary review of those earlier critiques we should take note that many of those economic modernizers who supported fascism, abandoned their national projects to support what they thought would be pure "scientifically" focused economic fixes which later, as with the Absolutists, made the full circle back to what is called today, Classic Liberalism. That should be a most revealing story.
Now however, looking beyond techno-fixers, we need to present a new form and platform for future democratic participation before the Right destroys the remaining vestiges of "Liberal" democracy as it pushes toward Fascism via Absolute Capitalism as its privatized institutional form of Capital to manage itself. In the process we should take note of another major change in "Modern" Late Stage Capitalism: in its excessive confidence of spreading its ideological influence as internationalized Capital its ruling elite sectors , especially among the Usamerican Corporate Imperialist of both parties seem to perceive its economic power to be sufficiently strong to displace and supersede, historic political Liberalism in its present Monopoly Finance form. Simply stated that means internationalized capital’s agents now think they can govern and manage their system for themselves by superseding historical Civil Government. Although I will argue, It cannot because it has not and cannot fully free itself from its self-inclosing internal contradictions, it may attempt another very big dangerous push. Testing the current push becomes a question of survival for Capital and our proposals to demonstrate the efficacy and urgent necessity for a clear alternative..
It is almost 1919/20 all over again in Usamerica , throughout "The Americas" and Europe but this time we are in bigger trouble -What's he, (Agy) mean by that? Read on!
We will need a Centennial Vision of an encompassing alternative to challenge forming Absolute Capital to confront the full trajectory of its immense threat.
Read on for a Sample: A 20 / 20 Vision that look back to renew strength to push “Beyond Capital .
I ask that you all begin reading my additional preliminary comments just below before scrolling down to my extended response- its long- I’ve been t'inkin. Recalling Cliff's closing thought that he is not quite sure of where he will go with his draft article, I encourage another round of suggestions to help him decide. Cooperatively, we can guide him through the shoals and shallows toward wider, deeper but clearer waters. Along with Cliff's essay, complemented by the ideas offered by those who have already presented their suggestions, I ask that we also pause to consider Gregory D's important bulleted comments, which I have retained below. Growth in the Capitalist mode of production, for example, is at the center of the contradictions of expanding National Capital and world-wide Capitalist production chains. With Gregory D, I suggest that we focus and reflect fully on the problems inherent in Capitalist Growth, its resulting Accumulations and Surplus Absorption, to gain clear insights into its inherent radiating and encircling contradictions and the possibility of forming an entirely different concept of Growth through Socialized Production for "Use". Growth, in itself, is not the problem: It is the notions of growth for profit that tightens the noose around Capital by Capitalist for themselves. However, we need to promote an entirely new concept, or retrieve socialist concepts, of what constitutes growth and how it is managed in human terms. One glaring example of the problems of "Growth" in the Capitalist mode of measuring its claimed benefits is its increasing destruction which can be partially captured by looking at the tobacco industry. Cigarette smoking simply puts people in the ground for profit with all parties to this form of destroying human life defending their legal right to profit from death. Profiting from death is a measure of Capitalist growth. We immediately sense a deep conflict in the relationships of this and other means of increasing profits through destruction but we must learn to explain it better. The debate for us should not be bound by the Capitalist dichotomy between the consequences of Growth / No-Growth but on the nature and type of growth in alternative modes of social reproduction to enhance life and who controls those new processes toward fulfilling human need.
I write to all with the hope of giving more than I have received.
Please continue to Scroll Down,first you will see G.D's bulleted comments below.
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Date: Sun, Jun 16, 2019 at 12:21 PM
Subject: Re: draft article
To: <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Excellent article, Cliff. I have just a few comments:
Again, excellent Cliff. Thanks.
I strongly urge that we also focus our analysis of the profound economic significance and social consequences of Absolute Capital which JB Foster begins to elaborate in the opening paragraphs of his article, by the same name in the May, 2019-issue of MR Vol.71 No.1. If we are to more clearly grasp the heightened potential for the transition from Neoliberalism (Absolute Capital) to Fascism in our time, as also argued by the well known Gramsci Scholar and educator, Henry Giroux in his article, Neo Liberal Fascism and the Echoes of History in Bullet of 19 Aug '18, we should also elaborate each of GD's points to explain the inherent downward spiral of Capitalists' faltering control again tending toward another call on the Fascist fix when, Not IF, it fails again. Eyes wide open: the next crisis is in rapid formation.
I ask that you continue to scroll down to the general contributions I offer to the discussion.
But first I thank Cliff and all for seeding my thoughts.
In solidarity with respect .
From: Cliff DuRand <email@example.com>
To: Gregory Diamant <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Liz Mestres <email@example.com>; Peter Weisberg & Catherine Rodrigues <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Betsy Bowman <email@example.com>; Bob Stone <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Steven Gloss <email@example.com>; Richard Snyder <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Arturo Yarish <email@example.com>
Sent: Sat, Jun 15, 2019 12:28 pm
Subject: draft article
Here is a draft of an article I've been working on. Your comments are welcome before I finalize it.
Cliff DuRand's latest book is Moving Beyond Capitalism
Agyarish: On Cliff's Essay: Neoliberal Globalization and the Crisis of Liberal Democracy
Dear Cliff and All respondents:
Following on the earlier accolades, I have the privilege to tighten and deepen a critique toward an expansion of the promise of your essay.
Your Draft is an essay begging to become a book that could come out of a consistently focused GJ seminar in which we closely examine the present crisis of "Absolute Capital" and the near term consequences of crumbling, limited liberal democracy. As Gregory's bulleted comments suggest, almost every paragraph and many phrases cry out for a more detailed explanation. The title you chose for the article, setting the core focus of the essay plus your follow-up clarification at the end of paragraph five, "it is 100% Capitalism...", is an example of a strong, attention-getting comment that should be elaborated. What does 100% Capitalism mean in social / political terms of present power relations? We are learning by experience and through the history of conventional economic practice that it is the dictatorship of the process of Capitalists' consolidation of economic power bonded tightly to the political via Corporate attempts to expand its control of distribution to profit from projected and manipulated scarcities but we must explain it fully. Capitalists’ increasing attempt profit from natural and created scarcities at everyone else's expense. Political Neoliberal Corporatism of Usamerica is planning future scarcity and its profitable management: their punishing controls of oil is an example repeated since at least the 1970’s. It will not be difficult to demonstrate how, what, and who capital attempts to control via the natural or planned scarcities through, for example, patents and buy-outs and buy-ups of resources: they are abundant. The concentration of Capital's power, I think most of us will agree , is a rising danger to all humanity and our natural life setting.
While your reference to the von Misian/Austrian School purists is also ripe for attention grabbing questions, fuller expositions may hook readers by explaining von Mises role in supporting Fascism in Austria in the early period and later the funding he and von Hayek received from mostly the right-ruling elite in Usamerica for a specially created seat at NYU for Von Mises and later another for Von Hayek at The Rockefeller funded University of Chicago. We should elaborate the long sordid history and link it to political economic damage through the Post WWII years done by the "Chicago Boy's” into the present: their intellectual parentage is revealing.
As with your first page, many of the other paragraphs should be expanded by a few explanatory lines such as a key comment that "The state is subordinated to the market rather than the people", which calls for a big clarification that states have been and are being absorbed or suborned by Capital as an extra parliamentary force. We should also prosecute the entire mythical notion of “Free” with reference to markets which are largely now influenced and some cases controlled by big Corporated power. We should also explain why the much venerated "Free Market" has not been very free for at least 150 years. While official veneration, promoted widely in the Capitalist controlled press and among genuflecting mainstream economists is extensive, historical evidence contradicts them all. We should make clear Markets influenced by corporate power or controlled by State Capital do not make markets “free”.
As we enter another elevated phase of lawless Capital we need to explain what unbounded Capital, Absolute Capital, means in terms of the full range of social consequences we can document from the historical record, which we can observe in its present operations and project as it continues to treat real people as interchangeable units of production and merely as successive aggregations on the supply curve of consumer demand or worse make them completely disposable. When the Nazi’s began to declare certain people “unworthy of life” as being “usless mouths to feed” Capital moved completely beyond Marx’s designation of the Resever Army of the Unempolyed into a decisively dangerous social zone of delcaring certain people ablolutely worthless to their idea of production.
You pivotal comments combining notions of “free” markets and “enchained democracy” in your fourth full paragraph on p.2, "...capital has enchained democracy,..." easily opens the discussion fully on to the limits of "Liberal" democracy increasingly enclosed by technocratic managed Neoliberal number crunchers of ("liberal"-economics) or "Absolute Capitalism". When the von Misian / Hayekian - Austrian School's notions of totally unrestrained Capitalism, as they hope to form it as Absolute Capital, are set in the political context of Lewis Powell's memo of 1971/2 in which Powell declared that the only form of speech which should be considered "free" is economic speech (problematic in itself) we have the legalized, political/economic framework for absolute dictatorship of corporate capital, removed from any civil political process, which is the direction of the present Usamerican High Court in the creation of corporate personhood. Do we notice in the economic ideas politically pushed today , the outlines of Mussolini's Corporate Council now up-dated by Usamerican Corporatists in which the Liberial and Rightist’s Usamerican corporate rulers aspire to the concentrated power of their wealth that the early italian Fascist leadership hoped to politically concentrate among a core elite of the Italian Rulers. The inflated, mythical power of the sovereign consumer in the Corporate controlled Markets has already been really dethroned between the many subsequent High Court decisions that have raised corporate power along with many others reducing Workers’ rights since at least the 1970’,to mere dollar democracy resulting in the long decline of wages thus further diluting any notion of the sovereign consumer to a crippled debtor- further elevating dollar power above the right to one person one vote.
The overarching question made glaring since the 1970’s is: has Corporate Capital yet gained sufficient power to absorb the Usamerican nation-state; is it still in process or has it already been accomplished. An accurate response to that maturing question will influence fundamentally important analysis necessary to guide the style and content of any action program developed to help us move Beyond the tightening Corporatist enclosure. Are we in the phase of politics of “The United Front “ or ....??
We are certainly witnessing the increased determination of the National / Corporate Capitalists to gain maximum influence in various states but the current question, in the case of Usamerica, is its present degree of control before it plunges backward more decisively to retrace its sordid history of 1919/20 , Italy or, 1934 Germany, or 1973 Chile. Glancing back to look ahead we should test the idea that the style of the Fascist Fix in the Usamerian political-cultural setting has been in formation since at least the end of WWI. Our task is to re-expose its roots as we show its current development. While the arch of current political/economic tendencies in Usamerica, as in other parts of South American and in Europe, is again toward Fascism, we must also clearly explain why and how the process has been mutating and advancing in each area through the very hot-Cold War and how each state, especially the Usamerican Imperialists' project their influence on the whole. Although the generally developing explanation centered in the Globalizing processes of Capital are important they are not adequate. In our analysis we must constantly reference the centripetal and centrifugal tendencies of Capital empeding and encouraging the repeated efforts of various Capitalist groupings to give rise to the “One World Government of Capital. Although we must give our primary focus to the central, systemic power drivers of Capital’s mutations, we should also take note of the mutations within related cultural groupings to distinguish the street noise of Costumed Fascist Groups and the prattling of the religious demagogues, not to diminish their real influence, but to distinguish them while simultaneously showing their inter-relations with the high centers of economic and political decision making. Analytically we must show their complementarity- No small task but one we cannot neglect.
The Centrality of History
The multiple interrelated tasks facing us in the complex mix of the now rapidly expanding Political / Economic Crisis of Capital, in process over the past 70 years, as a complete crisis of legitimacy which it has not experienced for about 100 years, demands renewed historical cultural / political economic analysis both more thorough and better presented than ever in our history since the 1900's. I think we can now more easily explain and adequately demonstrate, based on the abundance of earlier work, how those pivotal moments in the long history of the process of Capital's 100-year effort to control political power has allowed for its big players to make the present thrust for a tighter corporate control of its quaking system of exploitation into the present. We have many historical entry points to clearly show the continuity of all the political efforts made by early "organizing"- modernizing Capital, during and since WWI to condition public acceptance of TINA today. We have a huge historical record to draw upon that places the present in its full historical context. For example, by just explaining how the Ruling Elite form an expanded constituency beyond its natural 3 to 5%, we deepen the analysis of the power of social/cultural influence through the many rightist institutions from the American Legion to Right-trending religious demagogues. We can perhaps begin by connecting the politically nurtured calvinistic myths of "rugged individualism, the various promotions of "Gospel of Prosperity" and the celestial denotation of the elect to the more recent Economic Gospel of fail-free or crisis free Capital, carefully cultivated by both parties of the Ruling Elite with religious like fervor for at least 350 years. We know that much of this work has been done but needs to be revisited, up-dated and presented in language the average worker grasps easily and quickly almost like the innate knowledge of experience. Though our exposition of the mainstream media’s carefully gauged primary defense of Capital as TINA by framing the issue between the Rapid Right and the Kinder-Gentler "Liberal" Corporatists, we force open a wider space to dispel enduring politically cultivated popular myth toward a broader discussion of alternatives that help us move Beyond Capital as economic mechanism now firmly grounded in popular myth actively produced at every level of society. We can no longer ride the bucking beast , we must get off and get out of its way, to plan a distinct alternative.
With a sharp focus on the interrelated political process of the formation of Modern Finance Capital and its modernized media myth making propagandize from pulpits to the podiums of economic orthodoxy, we should more closely examine and explain the mesmerizing effects of debt expansion in the methods and processes of upward wealth transfer as an integral part of Crisis production. Yes, we must examine the process of crisis production by Capitalists own regular actions. In the process we can also better explain why Corporate Capital not will use larger portions of it endless profit growth to expand social benefits, despite all of those highly prized and praised institutionalized machinations designed to overcome systematically generated Crisis. Crisis is a product of Capitalists normal activity and its nearly wholly owned media, its public soothsayer. From declarations of resource shortages to credit crisis and their resolution the popular mediate plays its designated glossing role intensify or calm the public's perception of reality. But as Rich Wolf tries we too must explain all better.
The Ruling Elite of both parties of Capital seem to fully understand the interrelated social/economic problems it produces and prepares to manage them, suppress them or just paper them over in advance via their skills at creating ("manufacturing") public consent (Chomsky); then failing their efforts at forming sufficiently wide popular consent or at least acquiescence, they ready the instruments and agents of state force. The historical record is full of accessible, easy to explain, examples of the full range of Capitalist efforts to manufacture consent and its viciously violent repression of opposition each time it fails. We know the examples and their patterns of the selectively targeted deployment of private and state violence very well through our studies, observations and for some via painful life experiences. Now we must explain the interconnections better and teach them more convincingly ahead of or perhaps in the midst of the loud Ruling Class call for the next Fascist Fix, before they again feel confident enough to activate the full range of violent coercion again in Usamerica today as in 1934, as in Italy 1920’ or Brazil today. Nether internationalized Capitalism nor its National forms can manage the expanding social response to its failures but its is readying its institutional forces of repression.
Michael Joseph Roberto presents an excellent example of the necessary approach for a comprehensive study of the presently expanding world-wide crisis of Capital through his well-developed, historical re-examination of the crisis of Capital in the interwar years in his recent work, The Coming of the American Behemoth: The Origins of Fascism in the United States,1920-1940. Through his skillful social/cultural, structural economic analytical approach to the re-examination of the literature of the unfolding process then, he sets in motion an analytical method that helps to illuminate the present by connecting it to its living past; fully extant in our present systemic crisis. Through his historical review MJ Roberto shows why Fascism is again a political threat in our historical moment.
The Planers of the Post War II re-ordering of international Pre-WWII Capital made a concerted effort to preserve the social / political relations of Capitalism central to their future control of its necessary imperialist expansion through the Post WWII via rationalized pre-War processes. Reading the history backwards through the increasingly available evidence allows us to see the process more clearly through its historic formation. (Marx to Ollman) Preserving the basic structures of Anglo / Usamerican / European international Capital at the end of WWII and fortifying them through reformulated agreements, the planners then set in place the institutional economic structures that helped to insure the formation of the Post War II Imperialist Triad (S. Amin). With its accumulated internal conflicts temporarily managed but constantly festering, with increasing persistence through the Cold War period, The political reality through the entire Cold War period, was the near constant deployment of state violence locally and on a world-wide scale to protect the post WWII expansion of Capital. Because neither the interrelated structural problems of Capital's systemic limits nor its modes and methods of pushing beyond them were resolved by WWII nor through the Post War-incessant deadly HOT-"Cold War but merely overtaken and repeatedly celebrated through the post War recovery, the mechanisms of debt expansion and at that time controlled inflation pushed the accumulating problems through the next debt fueled “recession” relieved by more military spending. The expanding institutional adjustments among the post War Imperialists planers merely ameliorated conflicts among the imperialist as they pushed them forward or under the rug while they pursued the fight against local and international communists everywhere. Reading M.J Roberto in the valuable context of the detailed studies presented in the Nazi Hydra in America , by G. Yeardon and J.Hawkins , we gain a much clearer focus on the efforts of the Post War II planners to preserve the pre-war relations of international Capital's controls and actually plant the seeds of its future destruction as they expanded the conventional economic mechanisms.
By Consistently focusing on the intensifying problems of surplus absorption since the 1900's that now more clearly mark the system's limit to sustaining any social reforms without constant expansion (Imperialism) and or displacement, MJ Roberto implicitly alerts us, through his examination of the forming crisis through 1920/40', to the reasons for the rise of Classic Fascism during those interwar years through alarmingly similar political conditions producing almost identical political reactions in our time. By clearly illuminating the inherent problems of Capital accumulation and absorption then and Capitalists' early attempts to manage the problem throughout the Post WWI period, Roberto directly points to the continuation of the sources of those intractable systemic problems defying early managerial effort, through the WWII years which were institutionalized on an international scale by the Post WWII planners. Admittedly, with the benefit of a more complete historical record, we can more accurately discern that the decisions made by the Bretton Woods internationalists to preserve and reinvigorate the process of Capitalist accumulation at the centers of Western Capital control in 1946/7, merely pushed surplus absorption crisis forward to the point where today it remains active to an extreme. Note also that military build up through the entire HOT-cold war period did little to displace the problem but also expanded the present debt problem. Briefly we may say massively concentrating profits cannot be profitably deployed on a scale required by the totally of the system. Despite the expanded militarization of financialized Surplus Absorption today, replete with its dangers to humanity, the conflicts take expanded forms again sounding alarms alerting us to the possibility that similar authoritarian methods will be used to resolve the escalating social/economic crisis in our time. Capital at the National level , especially in Usamerica cannot much longer endure the inflationary propulsion of Military expansion. We are seeing the first indicators of heightening crisis in the “inversion of the yield curve” over recent weeks which the Fed cannot yet bring under control as the so-called “Repro-Rate hits 10% . (This of course must be explained fully in future discussions . ) We are in the advance stages of a long developing crisis to be located deep in the unresolved internal crisis of Monopoly Finance Capital .
The intricately related transnational, corporate Capital conflicts now intensifying and causing rising anxieties at the core of the USamerican Ruling Class over the spreading and deepening international economic stagnation, frames the National and International intraclass struggles especially in Usamerica for control of foreign policy and the best ways to calm or forcefully control rising domestic unrest while simultaneously settling the Nationalist corporate modes and methods of continuing to create the political and economic style of imperialist domination throughout the world via the renewed attempts to form a new hegemonic block now trending more clearly toward an overt geopolitical power play. This Ruling Class conflict now unfolding domestically and internationally, more rapidly at the beginning of the 21st Century, than during the interwar years leading into the “Great Depression”, is basically a replay, in an expanded setting of intra and inter-corporate Nationalist rivalries which repeats the epoch realignment of international forces that took shape preceding WWI, again preceding WWII then taking internationalized. institutional forms since Breton Woods.The unresolved issues of WWI are still being played out one hundred years later.
Today in the realignments of international ruling class forces and in the intra-Usamerican Ruling Class contest over their approaches to forming a new hegemonic block for Globalized Capital, we can easily hear the clear echoes of the 1920's and '30's on the most effective course to maintain Usamerican power in the face of an increasingly volatile setting. In Trump's bombastic threats to China we can also hear the distorted and misguided echoes of Early Twentieth Century American Firsters which since the Mexican Revolution of 1910/20, The Russian Revolution 1917 to the Chinese Revolution of 1949, attempted two narrowly simplistic political plays: first to destroy them later to contain them but all through their failed efforts to contain them, the Usamerican anti-communist fanatics attempt to create a viable, Nationalist centered Imperialist expansion which is still in process.
While the economic structural and political limits to Capital's necessary expansion in that dangerously volatile,Twentieth Century period of sharp economic contractions and inter-party squabbling, temporarily paralyzed normal economic activities twice, the systemic blocks were temporarily yanked out by the "organized", modernist. - techno-fixers. First the Keynesian demand stimulators demonstrated the power of fiscal pump-priming and later, more precariously, supplysidist voodooist in the "Reagan" era, under the increasing background influence of the von Misian style of "Absolute Capitalism" tried to do their magic which, not so surprisingly accelerated the credit cycle bungles. Despite debt powered spending and monetary expansion over more than fifty years neither debt-stimulated demand nor tax giveaways had a sustaining effect except to increase inflation now approximately 750 percent above the 1966 level. Neither the policies or practices of Social Keynesianism; nor "supply-side "free market" myth-making were able to permanently breech the tightening self-enclosure of the systemic limits of surplus absorption. After about 1980 inflationary increases did leave real wages constantly falling relative to rising prices with many social problems festering without resolution. The privatization schemes of both the Democrats and Republicans, buttressed by cheap money merely pushed the social and economic problems forward again along with the mounting corruption of crony capitalism it encouraged. Through all the attempts of the Post WWII techno-fixes of War Keynesianism, the inflation accelerator, steadily gained the bi-party political support necessary to sustain expansion into the present crisis. As the logic and practical effectiveness of both methods of macro-applications of both phases of Keynesian economic stimulators, more clearly showing the full arch of its inflationary effect rapidly ballooning into another major economic contraction, the Rabid Right looks back blindly but hopefully to replicate the earlier destructive policies of protectionism and interest rate reductions accompanied by “deregulation”which are already creating negative feed-back throughout Capital’s expanded internationalized networks. The resulting systemic enclosures tightening with its social/political consequences becoming menacingly resurgent requires more precise analysis.
Without some massive project such as a new more destructive World War, stunningly new inventions or spectacular technological innovations which have not yet become evident or colonizing the Moon or Mars; the historic conditions for profitable Capital "growth" within its own paradigm are becoming more restricted by the objective realities of the regularly failing standard mechanisms again coming in from the supply-side or demand-side wizardry of endless tweaking. Endless growth for Capitalism without massive destruction is not possible and stagnation is its death.( As separate section should be written on the self-enclosing effects of stagnation into its self-consuming vortex,which I have in mind to sketch following responses that may come soon.) The spreading endemic stagnation now being further constricted by the earthly limits of resource availability and massive debt overhang, not to mention under-used productions facilities, the capitalist modes of intensive and extensive resource exploitation are sure to turn the present Structural Crisis of growth directly into a combined deepening crisis of environmental destruction and its own systemic collapse. Neither resource substitution nor robotization will help: both will only add to the gathering problems of profitable surplus absorption while the New, Green Deal, if developed exclusively within the Capital's paradigm will merely delay the next contraction as the Social Keynesianism of the old New Dead did between 1934 to into "little depression" of 1937. While its success will certainly resuscitate the power of Capital and in the interval may give us political breathing room to organize, we can be sure Corporate power will expand as it did during the run up to WWII’s war mobilizations. (The foregoing short summary will need more detailed explanation of almost each phrase of the possible adaptation of Capital in a “liberal corporatist” setting but the expanding information on the rising barriers to surplus absorption is abundant and will be made clearer in the post election 2020 period.)
Returning to Roberto’s work, I argue that his overall thesis is basically correct. For those who have not read Roberto's Behemoth, note that he stresses that the Capitalist methods of surplus absorption will decrease wages thus further aggravating the absorption problem. That view is true of Capital in its Classic, Classic Liberal and Liberal Keynesian or War Keynesian forms. Basically we should note that with plant over capacity at post WWII highs only idiots will invest in building new plants. Additionally, I argue, in line with Roberto, that the inverse relations between inflationary increases and relative wage declines will be materially intensified within the imperative of Capital accumulation, especially in the political setting of Rightist promoted War Keynesianism through this low-wage recovery. Hooked on regular injections of inflationary fixes to get beyond each new contraction, we can expect prices to rise thus depressing real wages further. Thus, as National Capitals or internationally syndicated Capital, today as then, ( ,1917,1929, 1945/50 , 1975/6 onward), face fast-rising near-term limits to profitably deploying surplus with declining possibilities for profitable returns, and the technicians of Capital's conventional methods of controlling production and supply, augmented by predatory lending and more aggressively repeated failed mechanical manipulations of inflationary monetary policy, the "Pyramiding" effect of financialized wealth expansion through more aggressive leveraging as in the late 1920's, capital may collapse into itself. As the wage- salary gap and wealth gaps expand to levels now equal to the 1920 The vortex gains force.
With internal structural limits now trending more persistently into a larger wider crisis than the "Great Depression", the Ruling Elite will again be tempted to call upon its internally generated Fascist option to further force down prevailingly declining wage rates in another blind effort to resolve the almighty "Market's'" failures to "automatically" direct surplus absorption while simultaneously mobilizing the forces of repression to control the resulting rising anger festering at the base of various national and the broader sectors of the world-wide populations. Note well, however, the systemic limits now coming more clearly into focus causing normal market functions to spiral out of control also limit Fascism's ability to make the Capitalist's fix but sadly not strongly enough or fast enough to stop its next step toward Barbarism. The full arch of the German and Italian Fascist fiasco demonstrate the limits of both their projects to force down wages while preparing for war. An integral part of our study must be to also fully investigate Capital's systemic limits to application of the Fascist Fix in the expanded widening crisis of Capital so that we may better chart our own course to Move Beyond Capital in its more dangerous dictatorial, Absolute form. Here too we have a wealth of information, hardly known, to more fully recuperated. Such a study must be made integral to our interpretation of the course of the current crisis which will also shape the opening for additional socialist initiates. Clearly we have much work ahead. NB: Gramsci and Togliatti were both particularly alert to this profound weakness Fascism and , of necessity , were searching for a way out of the projected failures opening into the entire Fascist / Capitalist dive into destruction.
As MJ Roberto suggests in his The Coming of the American Behemoth, we should meticulously trace a similar analytical process to sufficiently examine and fully elucidate the reasons for the continuing contradictions of Capital, despite the efforts of all its fixers in our time. Roberto has written a living history that now extends into the present elaboration of methods and institutional practices of Corporate Capital. We should view his study as an examination of desperate attempts by Capitalists on both sides of the Atlantic through those heady but volatile “Flapper”, inter-war years to use new managerial methods to better guide fast-developing economic and political events then that are being tried again to control alarming economic trends resurgent in our time. He is correct to argue that there is a vast literature from the 1920s-60's which we hardly know that deserves a serious re-examination today that should help us to improve the quality of our work. The repeated historic failures of conventional, now almost classical, religiously followed formulae of National Capitalists' attempts to control their fiscal and monetary mechanisms to achieve better economic management then, beg for in depth criticism, which we should fully develop in our historic moment with the same urgency that critical analysts felt in their time.
We must launch our expanded study to embrace the full economic-political culture of Capital from within its Social Darwinian world-view that motivates its agents the unremitting need to search for internal levers of control that forever elude their reach. In that necessary critical re-examination of the capitalists' repeated failing attempts at "crisis management" we should , however, also note through each attempt the techno-fixers better learned and refined the modes and methods of directing internal controls while simultaneously using their economic power to influence the necessary political support in futile attempts to manage the next inherent crisis. It is important to emphasize that the education of the fixers , some very highly educated , is focused on and remains with the paradigm of TINA, to improve the mechanisms of Capitalist accumulation.Those internal undemocratic practices of Capitalist methods of control of its political setting also inform and reinforce the central logic of business’ dictatorial control arising out of and leading more persistently its internally generated the Fascist Fix. It is within the internal, directive business-management practices that Capitalists learned the narrow lessons of dictatorial means to problem-solving that have repeatedly tempted them to call for the Fascist Fix, while simultaneously attempting to retain political control. As the multiplying complexities of their system repeatedly spun out of control through the seeming ethereal moments of the Twentieth Century Capitalism now vaporizing into presently rolling crises, the consolidators of Corporate power demand parallel consolidation of political power into smaller executive oversight units of its bureaucratically shaped techno-based decision making, for the liberals within the government bureaucracy, for the Right within private capital's control.For the purpose of our expanded and deepening critical analysis of the attraction of Fascism in almost all the Major Capitalist countries , we must take into full account the notion of “modernization” to save capital from the Capitalist or we will not understand the conditions in which we must struggle to day.
From primitive monetarist banking control of the early secret meetings to form the Federal Reserve Bank to the early Keynesianism of the 1930's nothing had sustaining effect. Each time the modern-organized (post 1907 and certainly 1920's) Capitalists attempted to protect themselves from their own internal machinations to escape systemic limits or being crushed within them, as happened in 1929, each time employing similar practices, they reproduced the conditions for next, almost predictable destructive cycle. Although we now know this historically, we must use that knowledge wisely to look forward as similar moves are made today by Capitalist to save themselves or we cannot Move Beyond Capital. From the historical evidence that in each wave of successive Twentieth Century economic contractions the Capitalists prepared the state forces for ensuring social chaos, we know that they projected the social consequences of their plans and prepared for them. Apparently with little confidence in what they were doing or the power of their propaganda to convince people, they knew what they were doing to try to contain their economic chaos the Capitalists took out the same insurance by producing and reproducing vicious methods to preserve their profits by lowering wages and then increasing repression of workers when they complained and rose up to defend themselves. Following each of those successively related crises the Ruling Elite also called on extra legal forces in Europe 1919 Italy, 1933 Germany; and in 1919 and 1934 Usamerica, to make the “Fix”.
The real history of those overt and covert moments of Ruling Class supported, "legal" and extra-legal, state-sanctioned violence, from Harding to Hoover in Usa and Mussolini and Hitler through too many instances in Latin America of the same period, to repress the working class efforts to organize themselves to survive Capital's self-generated economic chaos must be exhumed from the tombs of mass media cover-ups. We have to put it out for all to see as a continuing arch of repression deployed when media propaganda fails. We must also actively probe the historic record again to re-examine the repressed history of many creative alternatives that were crushed under "The Iron Heel" but buried deeply by the officially sanitized Post WWI, WWII and Cold War media’s of the inversion of reality in endless celebrations of perpetual Growth of the secularized "prosperity gospel" proclaimed in their repeated pronouncements of the unfailing system which appears to fail often. Further, we must undertake the huge task of explaining history from the perspective of the long working class struggle against repression regularly conducted in tandem with inadequate "liberal" reforms throughout the Cold War period, punctuated strongly then by the Taft-Hartley Act and its cultural enforcement By HUAC and McCarthyism. Working People have had their history stolen from them: we must reclaim it with them and tell it with them as part of our efforts to organize collective inspiration and courage.
In the mix of the “left” liberal debate with the Rabid Right we must not neglect the persistent
push by the von Misian / Hakyian-Austrian school to recreate Classic Capital as its own arbiter of failure. Absoluties who insert themselves between the two with the completely retrograde argument that Capital’s failures throughout the Twentieth Century must be attributed misguided state intervention which strayed far from its 18th Century purism. This discussion cannot be neglected because it is again ascendant in the Right’s critique of “liberal” Capital just as in the 1920’s. In the tradition of the long history of Classic economic liberalism the Absolutist again argue that cause of Classic Capital failures is to be found it practices that go beyond the presumed internal self-correcting process of Capital’s automatically regenerative process.These purist ideological argument going back to the Repeal of the Corn Laws and into the present trade wars represents the Absolutist efforts to destroy any Civil democratic intervention in to their elevate notions of self-correcting Market. Set in the European Historical context of the late 1920’s, we can better understand why von Mises became the darling of the Usamerican Ruling Right Elite when he broke with the Austrican Fascist because of state intervention. Eyes wide open - it is the failure of Absolute Capital that lead more directly and rapidly to the Fascist Fix . Although the alignments of the ideologues may get a little confusing we now have the knowledge and tools to explain why at the moment that the Absolutist move to the center of Rightist policy formulations the Fascist Fix will become more urgent to Capitalist.
We must tell the "Untold Story" and expand it in our time for generations to come.
To Paraphrase Marx on Hegel; we must not only tell the untold story we must explain the complete inversion of history as incessantly explained in the Mainstream , corporate controlled media.
This necessary effort to exhume and reteach that hidden and regularly distorted history as a continuing story of patterned Ruling Class repression of the Working Class at home and the larger Working Class abroad is an act of inspiring collective courage in Class Solidarity which has been violently suppressed over the last 100 years. As the question of the locus of the “agency of change” is being raised again we should engage the issue and work toward building the necessary inspiration toward stimulated Working Class self confidence in our time. The issues of survival through the growing Capitalist destruction of humanity and our environment are issues that can be fully addressed by a knowledgeable working class conscious of the dangers presented to us all by Capital's many mutations including its Fascist enforcer and its persistent use of many and varied forms of violence throughout the past century and a half into their present efforts beat down workers’ amazingly resilient opposition as part of the rulers efforts protect Capital's profits. Apart from the most overt forms of violence refined and expanded since the failure of Post Civil War "Reconstruction" from gunning down workers' families at Ludlow through gunning down veteran bonus marchers in Washington during the Hoover administration to incarcerating children in the New Corporate , Capitalist Concentration Camps, we must fully lay out the tactical interplay of the institutionalized deployment of private and political power of "legal" decisions which underwrite forces of state violence. I cite only one example among thousands of legal decisions giving licence to violence with continuing influence into the present. The Sherman Antitrust act was interpreted by The Supreme Court, in the early 20th century, to rule, NOT against corporate collusion in "...restraint of trade..." but against the Unions and as an extra measure to legalize of Ruling Class power to call on state violence to protect its profits break-up the powers of workers organization. The flow of state and corporate violence unleashed in the following years to maintain the power of the Capitalists disorder is epoch. The dual forces of the states power: legal protection of Capital supported by violence were thrown against the Unions with uncommon viciousness from then on into the 1930's and '70's but none dare call it Fascism. After pretending too long All shades of Liberal’s , Republicans and Democrats, following Taft Hartley, came the clear message from "Reagan" amplified into the present, from firing PATCO to invading workplaces to arresting and deporting organizing migrant workers, Capitalist Class violence hits harder at many at home and abroad . Who needs a new Mussolini?
Again I suggest that we all refer to Gregory's bulleted points above in the context of his recent presentation Fascism : Yesterday , Today and Tomorrow (Well, hopefully NOT Tomorrow), which is posted on the GJ website, to discuss his sweeping review of the cultural political context of the historic rise of Fascism, as a harbinger of its mutations in the Twenty First Century. View them on the GJ Website as delivered on 17 July and as he again stressed on 17 August at second GJ presentation in a very similar discussion on Fascism in the 21st Century. Both are important viewing for our continuing discussion and our efforts to extend it with additional information. Gregory’s essays cause to fully consider the cultural setting as what Gramsci called “...the outer breast works...” of civil society which secures Capital. However, as we assess the currently forming frightful cultural / institutional tendencies toward the re-emergence of Fascism in and among the nations constituting The Capitalist Core countries forming the loose and fragile transnational network of the Capitalists-Imperialist Triad,(Samir Amin) we must move beyond the notions of Fascist Minimum criteria regularly propounded by most liberal analysts to examine the particulars of the Fascist tendencies coalescing in each Country within well established cultural myths and realities. In each instance we should fully recognize the Rulers skillful manipulation of many local cultural myths deployed to animate false pride often leading to hatreds well known and assiduously cultivated to animate wide popular support for extreme Nationalist corporatist plans. While there are generally recognizable incidents appearing in recurring patterns in each Fascist push for power, we should not create superficial check lists by focusing on the more easily recognizable characteristics to the exclusion of dilution of others. For starting point reanimated While Racist Nationalism in the Usamerica is a very serious problems but as a major focus of attention , it limits broader analysis many related social deviations while simultaneously distracting popular attention from systemic and institutional power drivers.
It has been and is in the integral assemblage of the particular cultural forces of private economic power and its complicity with its legal supporters and their funding of private extra-legal forces, sometimes armed, that we should look for the anti-democratic ensemble of the Right's push for power in its efforts to have all stand to “salute” this or that national symbol. Once the Ruling Elite gain a broad enough popular flowing for their cultural symbols and knee-jerk reactions to those symbols , and have gained the backing of a wide enough segment of their own class, they most likely try to open the door to their national cultural form of a Fascist Fix including testing the local tolerance levels for the more assertive use state-sanctioned violence in any country. When the license for various forms of violent repression is given to those extra-political forces, unleashing its latent, systemic "Barbarism", tearing away the last vestiges of legality, it is the loyal opposition within the majority the Ruling Elite that capitulates as in Italy and in Germany that a point of no return is passed into complete lawlessness. The loyal liberals in a quandary then in Italy of the 1920’s including the king and in Germany during the same period quietly wring their hands in distress as mayhem spreads. Will it happen again in 2019 / 20 or will the loyal opposition with in TINA cave?
While the pretense of legality customarily remains shrouded in judicial acquiescence, it has been in the idealistic construction of liberals' apologies for their economic-political class cohorts in the Right Ruling class segment that we find the final capitulation. We have stunning historical examples from 1919/20 Italy through Weimar Germany to glaring cases in recent Usamerica history with M. Albright's ignominious explanation that Pinochet's Fascism was just "authoritarian." supported , just as disgracefully, H. Kissinger's confident declaration that the Usamerican Imperialists had to correct the errors of Chilean voters.This is not new and its on-going right into the present with many example to site From the Philippines to Saudi Arabia. Only the self-righteous Usamerican Liberal Elite could pretend to superior wisdom that is not confined to Usa politics but fully evident in the real history of formation of Fascism in Weimar, Germany's to Hitler, to today at the nearing cusp of international and / or domestic lawlessness in Usamerica registered through loyal liberal corporatist repeatedly voting for increases in military spending and keeping silent too long in the expanded private for profit prison network, in face "demonstration-murders" of Blacks and the aggressive repression of women among too many minorities by the police state violence along with unabashed imprisonment of migrant children in the spreading State / private corporate cooperation to build the new Usanerican Concentration Camps. How many must be terrorized incarcerated or murdered by state or extra-legal assassins before the Ruling Elite will call Fascism. And when will The Ruling elite admit that the seeds of Genuine home grown Fascism run deep in its own Usamerican cultural oligarchic history.
While it is within the national particulars of the re-emergence of local Fascisms that we must make more accurate evaluations of the modifications in styles of Fascism in the Twenty First Century (Ironic Anniversary 1919720; No?), we must restrain tendencies to over generalize from those particulars. Dan N's presentation at our second Panel on Fascism in the 21st Century (17 Aug) alerts to the problem as it suggests how our comparative assessment of the re-formation of Fascism today may fruitfully open our views on to both a broader range of National particulars pointing to dangerous similarities now that have developed overtime in the use of the myths of racism and ethno-particularities, the increased political influence of corporatism,veneration of the Techno-elite , the control women and many other indigestible social assaults inherent in those national Fascist formations, which should also heighten our sensitivity to viewing them as generalizable patterns in similar National or regional cultural settings while not fully appearing in all regions or nations in the same cultural expression forms where Fascism reemerges. While comparative studies may alert us to important similarities, we should also search for the deeper strains in Classic Fascism which led early Fascists to think it was exportable and replicable but were surprised by the resistance they often faced from various countries such as Argentina to France. Two more historic examples of internal contradiction my help to emphasize the cautioning point that should allow us to make better analyses of Fascist mutations and tendencies overtime into the present. Both Italian Fascists and German Nazis were determined to end Communist and Socialist power but Italy did not treat Jews as did the Germans until 1937/38 and then many Italians were surprised and more fled to France. We can not measure degrees of Fascism by quantitative accounting of minimum characteristics for it is in the ensemble of coalescing National cultural/economic particularities that we find the dangerous mix of repressions of all popular opposition including well known repression within the fascist movement. However, below the cultural/political variables we must always take careful note of the role played by the Ruling Elite in each particular setting noting particularly how in each Classic moment of Fascisms’ formations , The Fascist with Ruling Elite always attempted to cultivate the loyalty of “middle class” . (The related Anglo/Usamerican/European history is well documented.we must fully explain the historical cultural process which drew huge segments of the middle class to Faacism. )
Natonalist Usamerican Capital Today, Like Classic Fascism Exhibits Low Tolerance for Deviation from Capital’s orthodoxy.
Fascism is again mutating rapidly in response to both locally festering issues resulting from the broader failures of the expanded regime of international Capital. Capitalists in their individual and nationalist pursuit of economic power are inherently divisive especially in moments of systemic crisis. They devourer each other. As we can see today reconciliation of multiplying National and international divisions are becoming more difficult. Just as we must be alert to the leading national institutional expressions of Capital's divisions, we should take note that those divisions among National Capitals also affect the forces among Nationalist Fascisms which will again strive for international hegemony it they effort to gain and expand power in the key Nations of the Imperialist Triad and beyond. It is among nationalist differences of the generalized forms of particular national capitalist powers driving for that supremacy, dating back to the 1930's as were evident then between Italy and Germany, just as they are today becoming more pronounced among the Core Nations of the Imperialist Triad and among their satellites, that the increasing limits to international Capitalist globalization may be observed. It is also within the festering conflicts of international Capital where we may also find deeply ingrained contradictions and conflicts which will again undercut the efforts to create their desired international Hegemony of Capital. Just as the greater influence of internationalized Capital today has its centripetal pull, the increasing divisions among national capitals are also showing its opposite tendency to pull apart. It is within the now renewed assertiveness of the Right-Ruling Elite's to preserve its waning dominance that we will find today, as in Nazi Germany, the National Corporatist's energetic push to impose its control militarily in many countries and regions. However, it is also within those same efforts that the persistent drive by the core of the Capital ImperialistTriad will call forth resistance to the formation of an Fascist Imperialist Hegemony of Capital today as was already happening between and among some Fascist countries as early as 1942/43 that then extended into the Post WWII period. Fascism may be the Ruling Elites' most extreme move to save their Capitalist profit flows and power but it is in its Nationalist characteristics that its push for an expanded form of control breaks down into the impulse to direct military interventions to rest control from other Compliant Capitalist country. The realignment of the Capitalist rivales going into WWII speaks the division within Capitalist divide between the Axis and the Allies. The War of All against ALL is again spreading a circling into new alignments. Let's never lose sight of the reality that capitalists see profit potential in destruction and construction. Capital is totalizing and its infant terrible, is its totalizer, Frasism but limited by the Capital’s inherent divisions it cannot realize its goal. While I offer that comment as point for analytical focus, I also stress , we cannot wait around to test its outcome.
Capital is the Culprit: it cannot control its deadly excretions - It needs a massive dose of binding meds. But, that won't help! . Corporate controlled Keynesianism failed and will again.
Let’s Take a Closer Look.
As the Post WWII Bi-party effort to create a hegemony of Usamerican-Led Nationalist, Monopoly Finance Capital breaks down under its own institutional and systemic limits, the renewed, more assertive, Nationalist posturing initiated by the Rightist Ruling, Trump grouping is sure to further destabilize the increasingly fragile Post War Agreements thus opening larger spaces for wider more intensely dangerous conflicts but also alternatives. In the most recent protectionist trade announcements accompanied by the opening of an internecine interest rate battle against trading partners by the Trump Administration with international maneuvers to crate realignment of international forces, we should notice the trajectory of a much more aggressive, go-it-alone, Nationalist policy. Echoing Usamerican attempts of divide and conquer policies from the end of WWI into the Preparations for WWII, tested again through the late Cold War period by Republicans in power, often with the support of Democrats, the present renewed push for America First, sets the alarming conditions for renewed confrontations. However, today through the re-introduction of those failed pre-WWI practices, under vastly changed political and economic circumstances since the end of WWII, with Right Republicans now marking a much more aggressive play for Usameirican domination than at any time over the past Seventy years, these moves signal a major destabilizing push for Usamerican domination of International Capital. It is in the deep putrefying mire of the unresolved, most likely unresolvable, inner contradictions of Capitalism's displaced conflicts through the entire Cold War period that we are observing the Usamerican Right's Power play to reassert Its style for a Nationalist thrust for international domination through the long course of now seriously undermined Brenton Woods - GATT , WTO system. This misguided move by the Right Ruling Elite appears to reflect a false assessment of its political power at home and abroad.
The controversies among the Usamerican Ruling Elite on the most effective approach to World Domination, which never really subsided during the "Cold War", are again igniting an open intra-Class conflict of who rules and how. With all players discredited and weakened through those intra-class conflicts over the past 70 years, they stage is set for the new more belligerent phase of Usamerican Imperialist aggression now becoming clearly applied in the Usamerican initiation of trade and interest rate wars. As the buying power of earlier Usamerican capital loses clout, military backed trade wars are manifesting clearly in the midst of declining trade and rising political tensions. The most recent reports in the NYTimes (13/14 August of declining exports by, for example, Germany and the forming crisis in Bond Markets marked by the inverted yield curve point to next fast festering international crisis signally a more energetic play for dominance by both Usamerican the Right and the Liberal section of the Ruling Elite. As was strongly punctuated in the same week by the Democrats declaration, that they are going to be tougher than the Republicans on China, Bi-party Nationalist profiteering from War is again taking shape.
After the 2020 election the pattern should become clearer. There should be no doubt Usamerican, National Corporatist Imperialism is a very dangerous Bi-Party party project to save National Capital. The only open question between the two parties of Nationalist Capital is which part of its Ruling Elite will control the methods of the renewed push for its style of power to guide their Nationalist / Imperialists' process. Our role is to expose the Bi-party consensus on National Imperialist Domination of the quaking Usamerican dollar, debit propelled empire. (Here too we must show through the presentation of precisely documented examples that demonstrate clearly the power play now contorting in process. To demonstrate the intra-class power play we must peel back the many layers of obfuscating political jabbering.)
I emphasize that the fiscal and monetary maneuvers by Big National Capitals and their companion defensive tactics and excuses employed in their International Capital maneuverings, as in the rapidly spreading interest rate wars, must be discussed as an integral part of our effort to make a more precise estimate of the opposing forces of and for Usamerican National domination of international Capital.The overarching issue for all Capitalists is how to survive the Crisis of world-wide economic stagnation now deepening into a total crisis of Capital's political legitimacy. Ultimately they must strive for a consensus to preserve their system. While it may be that through the trade conflicts and more strenuous efforts to control resources, that Trump’s Usamerican Right Ruling Elite have launched a huge play for domestic support for its more aggressive foreign policy, now being joined by the Democrats agreement to pressure China, again showing fragile foundation of National Ruling Class consensus of long-term Imperialist objectives, it's in the push for Maximum control of the future of Nationalist / Usamerican - Corporate Imperialism - America First that we should look for the reasons for intensifying inter-party conflict remenissant of the post WWII Right’s politica, purges as they pushed for control during the 1950’s. However, it is also within the deepening economic stagnation and within internal political controversies today that they are producing that we will find the material origins of the hardening political impasse among the Usamerica Ruling Elite as it affects international relations. It is in the widening disagreement between the two parts of the Ruling Usamerican Elite to the post WWII "order" that we should notice the re-alignment of internal, domestic ruling class relations of power in both National and international relations of domestic and international forces. But, it is in the near complete consensus among the Usamarican Ruling Elite that the overall objective is made clear. We do not hear any bold anti-imperialist statement form the "loyal opposition". The differences reside in their tactics which should not blind us to their strategic objective. Additionally through their international posturing vis a vis other international powers centers, for domestic affect, the Usamerican Right-Ruling Elite is intensifying basic conflict in the tactics to create new Hegemonic Capitalist alignment against what we might call the post WWII Liberal-mutual, Multilateralism, further damaging the now already crumbling Post WWII -WTO trade/monetary agreements, as they call for Out and Out Nationalist - Usamerican Firstism. The later emerging as the more direct form of the former. That fight is not ours!!! However, explaining its course and consequences must be the focus of our analysis to chart the way out of Capitalist self destruction before the debris buries us.
In the context of the expanding economic stagnation, the current international trade and production/distribution patterns, mangled in attendant controversies, I offer a pivotal point for all of us to consider as we continue our critical assessment of the intermediate or even near-term tendencies within the present trajectory of Nationalist "Neo-liberalism" (Absolute Capital) trending toward Fascism: it ain't new. If we hope to gain a better understanding of the maneuvers in process among the Ruling Elite today a detailed study of the long historical process of the core controversies of the present internice battle for state power is unavoidable. M.J.Roberto nails it for the 1920/40's study but we must still grasp it in our time. The aggressive economic posturing is now more concerted, pervasive, and more dangerously volatile for many reasons ranging from the rapid means of executing predatory manipulations of international money movements to the punitive trade wars reinforced by military mobilizations and police state violence with the help of the more refined Nationalist media hype today but ; it is NOT new. What is new is the Right's blind faith in the immense military power at its disposal. But, that myopia is not exactly new either ; it clearly echoes Old Teddy’s “ Big Stick” foreign policy approach and later General Curtis Le May’s comment on bombing enemies “back into the Stone Age” With a war machine more formidable than at any time since the end of WWII the Rightists and the reliably Imperialist Liberal play that power like a trump card through increasingly open threats to use it. We have heard this Jingoism too often in the past one hundred years but never has the Ruling elite held the power of total or near total destruction now sigling the insane bravura to try it.
Failures Built Upon Failures Repeatedly Claimed as Successes : Wars to make the world safe for Capitalists expansion ?
As They repeat their failures Historical memory must be recovered !
The media hype prior WWI to create internal and external enemies combined with their efforts to scapegoat immigrants and blacks and defining the role of Women always focused on ways to divide the Working Class via all forms of intimidation, and, as we know, were regularly rolled out in similar fashion prior to each of the Usamerican Wars since WWI. It's a classic pattern , replayed with astonishing effectiveness. We should recognize that the Nationalist-Right's most recent play for Usamerican Imperial dominance represents an extended phase of the purpose, methods, propaganda and practices developed through their a long internal national and international struggle for "hegemony" that rises out of the incomplete resolution of the international and domestic conflicts over the past One Hundred and Fifty Years.Those unresolved conflicts were destined to reassert themselves because the fundamental issue of who controls Capital could not be decided then, anymore than the underlying Culprit Capital can be controlled now. Despite all the accumulating problems of profit expansion in a trouble plagued , now fast deteriorating economic system, the Ruling Elite in total cannot consider yielding to wiser minds. For the Capitalists it is a simple choice: profit or die but their profit is killing the rest of us. And this time, in a seemingly delusional moment of toying with the idea that they possess insurmountable power, The Rabid Right seems to think it can again resurrect and boldly brandish the "Big Stick" policies in apparent push to reassert its National power internationally. In a revealing article in the New York Times of 10 September 2019 Clenn S. Gerstell, ironically writing from "...a large windowless room." at the National Security Agencies headquarters, screams through the headline "We Need to Prepare for the Future of War". What War in the Future, Usamerican Imperialism has been at War with most of the rest of the world since 1890’s , if not earlier. Remember it we will revisit it often through this discussion. Have they forgotten their shared defeat In Vietnam? Now the gathering resistance may be forming a broader National and international opposition to the Usamerican Right Rulers play. With Uamerican power in ascendancy through the first have of the Twentieth Century , the Ruling Elite were emboldened but as it sees its power waning they up the ante.
The conflicts now re-emerging among the Imperialist core states as within the Usamerican Ruling Elite, with increasing intensity, are very similar to those that took shape among almost the same players in the 1920's-30's for similar reasons, with similar goals in remarkably similar alignments. As the effectiveness of Post WWII political / economic arrangements are reduced by the limits of Capitalist expansion itself, with no other stabilizing international agreements yet in sight, the threats being sounded by Uamerican Right to go-it-alone increases the sense of insecurity among the Imperialist Triad, simultaneously increasing all measures of economic uncertainty, the resulting political uncertainty adds to the dangerous possibilities of rolling ruptures with unpredictable consequences. WWIII? (No mistake that is Number THREE) "We Need to Prepare for War" NYT-10 Sept.2019. As if to underscore Gerstall’s title Trump tweeted on 15 September he is “locked and loaded”. This time others are also loading.
The international resistance to Usamerrican foreign policy posturing, encouraging the domestic and international realignments now in formation reflect the unresolved conflicts of the first Two World Wars of the Twentieth Century on "The Question" which imperialist block controls what? Do we again hear Clausewitz? War is the ultimate play of frustrated Capitalists in their death spiral as they ratchet-up the destructive process of War Keynesianism.
In brief it is the same group of adversaries maneuvering through dangerously aggressive postures using similar tactics that may again tip the balance toward another proxy war opening on to major military gambles. Just reflect on the pretexts used in similarly delicate moments since 1900 and shudder. From “Onward Crhistian Soldiers” to “Kill a Commie for Christ”, the reverberations of national militarism now assigning new names to constructed enemies in our historic moment of degenerating economic conditions, as the Techno-elite again deploy familiar ineffective techniques while attempting to create some new arrangement in the failing order, the chaos they produce convulses toward very dangerous "fixes". The cumulative effects of their earlier attempts to leap out of Capital's enclosing circle of limited profitable placement of accumulated surplus merely pushed the concentrating political/economic problems forward into a much bigger world-wide crisis fueled by a more massive debt spiraling into social unrest that may become completely unmanageable with conventional propaganda or its magical economic sleight of hand.. But, as all the old mainstream techno-fixes are again being cranked out with predictably diminishing results, the Right calls again on the Nation to" ...Prepare for War..".
The Standard economic techniques are not working. While Capitalist practices again spread Capital's chaos and their media voices attempt to explain it all away, the Capitalists' techno-fixers again reach for leavers that no longer connect to anything. Yet they mechanically repeat all of what little they know which means in brief renew inflation with the hope of stimulating a moribund economy. With the spreading interest rate war, now joined by thirty national central banks with some dropping their national rates into the zero and negative zones,the lurch to war increases as the race to the economic abyss gains momentum. Successful investment requires a predictable measure of return to the capitalist: that needed predictability is being undermined by the tariff/trade wars, now being made more problematic by the expanding interest rate war. With product markets now saturated and with world-wide public and private debt at historic highs thus reducing the outlets for profitable placement further restricted by growing, unused plant capacity, the Rightist forces of Capitalist destruction may again look for predictable profits in--- ...? - War Preparation.
The pie can only be cut in so many ways. Sorry for the bad analogy but the reality is that the Usamerican Right Ruling Elite is trying to take a very big slice. None of the Capitalist can ever satiated. Capital is a very unsatisfying project. So now, that there are no commies to kill, they will start cutting each other.
Capitalists agreements are always fragile. As the post WWII agreements are further strained under expanding economic stress, as they have been since at least the 1970's, the Nationalist Ruling Elite become vicious. Clearly over the past 150 years of "modernizing"- "organized" Capital, the capitalists have not been able to satisfy each other very long. As we have also seen over those 150 years at each choke point in Capitalist expansion, they have prepared for war by forming tenuous alliances to assert their Nationalist controls. Within the tightening boundaries of Capital accumulation, production and distribution it is again becoming a "Sum/Zero game". Long denied by the liberal corporate internationalists since the end of WWII, but now showing its nagging realities within Earth's Carrying capacity, both the reality of scarce resources and the problems of profitable surplus placement combine to emphasize the fallacy of endless growth even when stimulated by endless military spending to prepare for Endless Wars of more massive destruction now proliferating into the Twenty first Century. This time with all the other major Nationalist players feeling threatened by the "Go-it-Alone" blustering again trumpeting American-First, Imperialist posturing now destroying the Post WWII accords, all the Core Capitalists Countries, increasingly fearing more open Usamerican aggression in many economic and militarized forms, search for options. Will no one notice the mounting irony in G. S. Gerstall's article " We Need to Prepare for War"
It cannot be emphasized to strongly or repeated often enough that since the end of WWII through the Cold War into the present policy of Endless War, the Ruling Elite of the expanding Imperialist Colossus of Usamerica has consistently revealed its overall objective to dominate the expanding world-trading/financial network through "War(s)". Through the strategic intermingling of tactics and strategies that Antonio Gramsci Identified as "War of Maneuver" with "War of Position" in economics reinforced by militarized financial predation in its effort to create durable "hegemony" of their Nationalist Capitalist control over its subalterns, they together, not without intra-class controversy, shaped a delicately balanced set of foreign and domestic relations among those post WWII forces of "friends" and old enemies which Samir Amin called the Imperialist Triad. Adroitly applying Gramsci's dialectical relationship of the War of Position to Maneuver, we may be correct in tracing the long wrought Usamerican Liberal Internationalists' process as the war of maneuver ripening through the Post-WWII agreements into some manageable cohesion up to about 1970/80 when the Right-Nationalists, feeling a renewed "Arrogance of Power" (JK Galbraith) began making their moves to assert increased Nationalist power at the center of the Imperialist Triad as its unchallengeable leader, ironically the very crucial historical moment their partners in Global Capital exploitation had already acquiesced, That turning point, marking a dramatic move to use more directly targeted force in pursuit of Usamerican peculiarly Rightist's style echoing the history of the Early Twentieth Century Republicans foreign policy methods, should force us to ask more probing questions about the present tactics and strategies of the Usameriican Right Rulers today. Thus as the leaders of the "Free" World now led by the increasingly dictatorial Republican-Right arrogantly move to position themselves as the undisputed dominant leaders of spreading internationalized Absolute Capital, which it already largely controls, it also creates its growing internal opposition, now in increasing disarray in its own camp, we should not dismiss their more assertive moves to destroy the policies manifest in the post-WWII Liberal-internationalists coalition as the Right’s Nationalist error but as a strategy push at a moment of their perceived indomitable power. While Democratic Party propaganda may belittle, their Ruling Class partners, we must not limit our analysis to theirs.
Ineptitude? Miscalculation? or Blind Arrogance of Raw Power?
The Right's open push for Its Militarized domination of National Monopoly-Finance Corporate Capital, while massively destabilizing National International relations of forces must be interpreted with great care. The two-party interpretation of Neo-liberalism itself must be deciphered and fully explained. While the Republican Right is certainly broadcasting its extreme Nationalist objectives, the Liberal Corporatists mount their future moves from behind a veil of domestic Social Keynesian politics deeply immersed in Cold War tactics to pacify or control domestic discontent.
With more skill in both diplomacy and business practices, not to mention the constant application of a very long list of not-so-veiled threats, the post WWII Liberal-internationalists, playing on the “Good Will” gained at the end of WWII plus carefully buying the loyalty that held the the Anti-communist post WWii coalition together secured their mutual interests to collectively profit through Capitalist cooperation based on the expanded post-war trade agreements. Heavily lathered with their anti-communist propaganda, the Usamerican Imperialist stance to defend the "Free World" retained its general acceptance among the Europeans and Japanese with many Eastern European countries looking west, through their rose color glasses, more yearningly after 1989, added to the West Capitalist Rulers’ arrogance. Their collectively developed confidence in fragile international relations of the earlier structure shaped by the Liberal post-war Internationalists seems to have emboldened both Usamerican Parties of Nationalist-imperialism to attempt to expand their declining influence eastward through the continuing application of force and consent. As the attraction of the "American Way" lost its sheen and the Usamerican dollar lost it buying power, It appears that the Right Rulers’ inflated confidence among the Usamerican voters, especially its Right Wing made its electoral push under its Nationalist slogan MAGA . The not-so-well coded message is clear. Its echoes sound the warnings of 1934 Germany and the Uasmerican Nationalist Right attempted coup of the same year.
The general, if transitional success of the Post-WWII agreements, although fragile, provided the economic stimulants that undergirded the institutional framework for the precarious growth through the Cold War period that helped to maintain compliance with Usamerican policies. The nature of that growth grounded in delicately balanced debt-driven, economic power fortified by military influence among the Core Capitalist countries appears to have prepared the positive and negative conditions that now encourage the Rightists' more assertive push to gain direct National corporate control over the militarized international financial networks constructed by the "Liberal-Corporate Internationalists through the Cold War Years. Broadly we may view the positive effect of those agreements as expanding the post WWII recovery and Usamerican prestige with militarized economic power but negatively those agreements also built-in the limits to further expansion within National Capitalist modes of accumulation. As War driven, debt-finance expansion consistently devalued the usamerican dollar and the Usamerican Ruling Elite loose large sectors of consent at home and abroad to its foreign policy plans, the Neoliberals of both parts of the Nationalist Ruling Elite increasingly came to understand that they must maintain dollar domination at all costs in every phase of phase of international transactions or face internal collapse of its influence. The militarized defense of dollar acceptance and debt-collection is the overwhelming present cost of their earlier debt-driven efforts to build their power. Any perceived threat to usamerican dollar denomination is met by all forms of pressures on countries from Iraq to Venezuela. Yea, we hear Clauswitz clearly.
The Liberal Internationalists' drive for consent among the core Capitalists backed by the ever present threat of the Usamerican occupying military then expanding throughout the world, thinly veiled the Iron Fist of its true intentions.( See Naked Imperialism by JB Foster) Now that the MAGA-Nationalist waive Iron Fist more openly for all to see, it focuses a clearer light on long history of Usamerican Nationalist- imperialist objectives from Truman Doctrine to the Endless Wars of this century. The post-war economic dependencies which enhanced the National Corporate militarized power through long post war expansion of Usamerican Capital prepared the political institutional foundations for the Right Republican push for a more open play for Nationalist control of internationalized Monopoly Finance Capital to maintain dollar dominance. With or without the City of London, Wall Street feels is power secured by its increasingly punitive, Naitonalist collection agency. As renewed tensions mount over issues ranging from protectionist trade and interest rate maneuvers today in the setting of a world-wide ecological crisis, and the Usamerican Ruling-Elite resort to not-to-subtitle saber rattling as the post War Imperialist coalition weakens, we see the Capitalist war nourished vultures of Usamerican Corporatism circling. One can only guess where the next demonstration war may be launched for wider more decisive penetration by the Usamerican Right - National Corporatists' for expanded its control to advance its declining influence at home and abroad.
We need not use hyphenated terms. The rising violence of the Usamerican power plays since at least the 1980’s that more openly guide the course of Late Stage Usamerican Imperialism is now presenting its thrust toward control via familiar means of creating enemies to defeat them in demonstration wars of intimidation.. Failing to gain compliance under economic pressures, the military option is more boldly presented to force capitulation. The historic examples in our time abound from 1948 Greece, to long Middle East Bi-Party wars into the present. Remember Grenada or Panama ? Its Bully imperialism. The smaller the better to engineer easy demonstration defeats designed to frighten strong countries. The demonstrations have been carried out by both Democrats and Republican from Desden to Hiroshima to Panama . The outlines of early Twentieth Century Bi-Party Naitonalist's constructed strategy follows an almost classic historic Pattern from the invasion of Mexico to the Middle East. The weakened, desperate Right Nationalists actively are attempting to piece together a consortia of weakened partners from The UK on one side of the world to the Philippines and South Koreans on the other to position itself for War objectives that never ended in 1945/46: in the process they are making big enemies.
Everything Old is New Again- Capitals internal “War of All against All” never stops
The increasing popular use of hyphenated terms does not make any of this new. Capitals' innovations of centuries old, military backed lending schemes does not make today's more refined techniques of financial domination new any more than are their ongoing dangerous geopolitical maneuvering. From the international maneuverings of the Borgias and their financial supporters to the more recent methods of risk assessment, risk management, risk sharing / dispersion may seem very creative, but in their rough form they date back to the astute methods of the Medici, and the Fugger bankers through the Templars right up to J.P Morgan, J.H. Schröder and Goldman Sachs. They all understood the fundamental necessity of putting some measure muscle in the collection process. While we should be attuned to the changes along the lines of Capitalist continuity over its five hundred year ascendency, we should not neglect the careful analysis of the unremitting continuity of the patterns inherent in the rising problems of Capitalist expansion repeated and intensified over the past one hundred to one hundred and fifty years.
Militarized expropriation is not new. Militarized predatory lending and collections are not new. Wison sent troops to Haiti in 1915 basically to make a collection for Wall Street bankers. While the “Financial Control Board” still “monitors the NYC Budget. Yes Wall Street took control of NYC’s finances and still rules. The production of new obscuring vocabulary, better just say jargon, may seem very sophisticated, certainly confusing, but once deciphered it can be shown to mask the long history of Capitalists’ effort to control and expand its growing reach of exploitation and destruction right into the present excuses to control world wide dollar financing of labor supplies and resource flows throughout modern Corporate financed international production and distribution networks. It was Florentine Bankers that financed the Spanish invasion of The Americas just as the Usamerican bankers financed the rise of Hitler. Really!- one can hear the people gasp - Yes , really and really well documented. Of course, through experience and the development of more arcane language to obscure the enduring basic practices through those 500 plus years, the real story of Capital’s growth of power, may be found in its unremitting thrust for Political Control of all its operations in production and distribution right into the present World of Capitalist Trade Organization -WTO. Every phase of the story of Capital’s expansion of power and influence can be told through its constant push to control state power to insure its legal status with the hope of preventing its implosion. Capital needs the enforcement power its state or states to protect its world-wide financial operations. Today, as since the Medici, the Monopoly Finance Capital at its present scale of international operations still needs its Collection agency. All that accumulated economic and legal power has not and will not protect Capital from its enclosing internal self-destructive system of the one endless war it cannot control - Its own War- The War of All Against All. Nothing can control its unrelenting surge to self destruction not even the Fascist Fix. Capital cannot be contained, it cannot nor will contain it self. It must be superseded. (See I. Mèzsàros’ Beyond Capital)
Headling : More War - ALL Wars ALL the Time.
The Usamerican Oligarchy Again Launches Wars to defend ? - Humm? Democracy? Humm !
In our historical moment of increasingly dangerous, militarily-backed economic maneuvers by the America-First- Nationalists to recapture control of declining National-Dollar-imperialism’s international power, we can also recognize all the characteristic preparations for repression at home to launch renewed economic and military aggression abroad. History again calls out loudly as the National Capitalist resuscitate is dormant monster. The Fascist Fix is again real, this time centrally located and well seeded in Usamerica for the many historic / cultural reasons we see spouting new weeds in our time. Extensive and growing research historically documents a pattern of domestic repression leading up to and following each economic failure from the 1920's into the presently failing efforts to resolve its historically accumulating problems now radiating more rapidly within Neo-liberalism's political/economy on a global scale.
The multiplying problems of Monopoly Finance Capital today radiate out of the attempted Capitalist fixes of the interwar years through which Capitalist would do anything to avoid the rising influence of Socialism including supporting Fascists. Before the beginning WWII Usamerican bankers and industrialists along with the Nazi's, had already begun experimenting with the early formative institutions of the Italian Fascist experiments in Corporatism to create international institutions through networks of production and finance which were later refined by the post WWII Imperialist Triad, most notably England, Usamerica, Japan and Germany.
Early in the Post WWI period modern "organized" Capital was experimenting with ways to insulate its transnational cartelized institutions from governments' interventions. With the founding of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the leading internationalizing Capitalists on both sides of the Atlantic planned to insulate their assets in the event of additional conflict as they actually directed funds for that purpose. In other words while Anglo/Usamerican Bankers and their lawyers were creating the conditions for WWII by lending to Germans and Italians, they were trying to protect their assets from the possible consequence of a new War. As the historic documents show, the founding of BIS and other international bank consortia and internationalizing industries or "Cartels", were being preserved and re-organized as Corporate entities under small, tightly controlled directorates as self defense mechanisms by and among nationalist rivals and former enemies to protect their entangled internationalized assets from future seizures: Wall Street Banks and Law firms in collusion with Thyssens and Schorders are major cases in point.
The post WWII efforts to preserve the German / Usamerican Internationalized Capitalist core of Nazi power is little known but also well documented and easy to show and explain. Despite the opposing arguments of the Capitalist Absolutists, and the Neo-Keynesians,The Fascists, Nazi's and New Deal technocrats in the 1930's already had a rudimentary grasp of the real limits of Capitalist accumulation / absorption problem and were making strenuous efforts to control the most extreme consequences of those concentrating problems via direct corporate interventions into economic management to overcome the limits of each successive crisis within and through their expanding National and international financial operations. As each innovative attempt failed, fiscal and monetary management techniques were again refined and given increased legal status, now summarized in the most recent trade agreements, Capitalists' self-confidence increased. With the status of legally sanctioned accords the internationalizing Anglo/America/European consortia took greater risks which ultimately gave rise to repeated related crises marking newly emerging systemic limits. With relatively little effort we can show the continuity of those pre-WWII and Post WWII international collaborations, their well documented self-protective goals and patterns of failures producing bigger crises. For example, domestic and international predatory lending agreements along the expanded internationalized global productions chains based on the rising profitability of international "labor arbitrage" production and predatory lending now institutionalized by IMF and the shaky WTO can be traced to the earliest Twentieth Century attempts from Wall Street to the City of London, German Bankers and Italian bankers forming cross-national consortia in the 1920 and '30.The interbank Lending lines today, based on the assumption of continuing world-wide supplies of cheap and cheapening labor can be clearly traced form Wall Street Banks to the German Banks via Wall Street Law firms back into fully internationalist Western Banking networks and forward through the Cold War credit agreements among the Usamerican/Anglo/Euro banking consortia formed earlier between WWI and WWII representing famous names from Citibank to Deutsche Bank. The rising confidence of the international Bankers among the Anglo/USAmerican/German-led, consortia formed during the interwar years, later fortified by the post-WWII agreements set the groundwork for the political push for Union of the European Countries that through the extended provisions of Brenton Woods, laid the groundwork for expanded consortia lending backed by the Usamerican guaranteeing Collection Agency.
The stated goal of the Brenton Woods agreement was also to enhance and protect profitable lending by insulating international banking from international conflicts by institutionalizing those earlier Corporate arrangements in a more formal, state-sanctioned, internationally approved process which would make more formal and legalize the Pre-War lending by Wall Street to many Fascist and Nazi's into and through the War Years. They were certainly look ahead but narrowly. NB that through the Cold War years, Anglo/Usamerican banks lent freely to apartheid South Africa and Pinochet's Chile among many other fascists -oops- Albright said authoritarians. However, as is now becoming clear in practice, after successive attempts at breaking through the barriers of Capital's internal limits of surplus absorption via the more state guided processes of War Keynesianism rising out of the limits Social Keynesian methods of international controls, the system's real contradictions of production and distribution methods, in all its mutations, reveal its persistent internal, objective braking points. Thus when some can't pay or can't sell to pay, the leveraging process goes into reverse initiating credit crises that no one knows how to tame. None of the supposed protections of buy-outs, take-outs and back-up loans to reduce lending risks help when the realities of Raw Capitalism take hold : everyone rushes to sell out each other. Then, as in 1929 and later, leveraging goes into reverse, the vortex pulls more weak loans and lenders into its pit and above it the Vulture Capitalist circle
Modern 21 Century Capital cannot survive without the surplus absorption process of bank lending but nor can it survive the expanding debt over load.The recurring systemic problems of surplus placement repeatedly break through the most creative reformist efforts to manage their "beast" until the relative limits of Capital's accumulation form systemic choke points and again become Absolute barriers to its own internal operations required to expand accumulation which again tempt the ruling powers of National capitals to call on its ultimate forces of collection. Not very new nor too creative but more widely and repeatedly practiced throughout the Twentieth Century into the present. We are already seeing the reversing effects upon production and interest rate reductions rolling out in sync with the Usamerican initiated trade war and interest rate wars.
As we observe the Usamerican Right-extreme Nationalist Republican's play the protectionist card as a pressure point to reassert Usamerican / Economic hegemony, a dangerous play, which will further weaken old Breton Woods structures, the internal Rightist configuration of the forces of Usamerican National Corporate Capitalism appear to be repeating the major historical errors of the interwar years,1920/30's as they move to a raw power play. Again note Gerstell's article in the NYT " Prepare for War". Predatory lending combined with protectionism dissolves the Liberal's fantasy of unlimited expansion of so called mutually beneficial trade, which would have only delayed the process of domination into a future moment of intensified conflict now being accelerated by Right Republican's drive for (US) Amiercan Firstism.
As many analysts from the Monthly Review (MR) Group have documented in detailed studies over more than fifty years, well summarized in Roberto's Behemoth, the structurally imposed systemic limits to profitable surplus placement make unending growth of production, profitable lending and selling impossible to sustain. Roberto's central focus on Capital's much neglected historic problem of surplus absorption demands our close attention as it should help to make clearer the historic background informing the Right’s push to power today. (The reasons are relatively easy to explain in a few more paragraphs but now I will pursue my main line of emphasizing the tendencies of Capitalist Rulers in power to overestimate their optimistically projected open-sky limits and how and why when the clouds darken they move quickly to forces of violence for the fix.) I argue, we are, in Usamerica, at the relatively early stages of expanding intimidation by demonstration, a type of testing period of the limits of public tolerance, as the Right Ruling Elite prepare the forces for more open aggression.
I again emphasize that your essay is a call to expand an urgent collective discussion on the present course of Neo-liberalism's or Absolute Capital's lurch toward the Fascist Fix which may be stopped through the expanding efforts to create the necessary socialist alternative completed denigrated by the Right and shunned by the vast majority of Democrats. The discussion of an inspiring socialist alternative should be clearly developed and confidently presented as part of our expanded analysis of the forming crisis of Capital. Your sweeping political / economic review, as with Gregory's essays, covering broad swaths of history, along with mine here, highlighting major political / economic trends in their historical context, beg for documented support in the process of developing deeper analyses leading to a more precise interpretation of the political cultural potentials that may be drawn out of each reform proposal that could inspire many more to creatively think of ways to shape a Socialists alternative in our time. The germ of Socialism today, as in the first decade of the Twentieth Century, will need to be nurtured in the context of this immense crisis of convulsing Late stage National-Capital's Imperialist push heading directly into its internally developing Twenty First Century Fascist Mutations. All of us who are writing on this topic can make significant contributions to public's grasp of the rapidly appearing limits of the typical Capitalist fiscal and monetary mechanisms of control now employed, with fast declining returns, leading the Ruling Class to test the Usamerican form of the Fascist Fix but perhaps we can help turn the tide before the larger push is more forcefully made by the Extreme Right. Our task is formidable, for as some, very few such as Bertram Gross argued in his Friendly Fascism,1980 and Noam Chomsky at a presentation called Creeping Fascism made at the Village Gate, NYC 1992, the tactics were already being implemented in the Reagan presidency. Since then they have been reinforced by the Rightist of both Parties of Usamerican National Corporatism as moves to expand their international reach in the face of rising resistance. This time the techno-elite are dissolving the tenants and practices of liberal democracy from inside the very undemocratic bureaucracy forming Kinder, gentler Corporatism, which if instituted merely means Fascism Lite but no less dangerous.
If the current economic debates continue to be conducted within the existing framework of the political paradigm of TINA, as is now in process in Usamerica, any social reform programs, must be, based on an expansionist Corporate Imperialist agenda leading directly, not only to greater material-environmental and human destruction over a wider geographical and institutional areas but also to the increasing resistance of other Capitalist players. If we do not inject ourselves in the argument between the two Corporatists camps that refuse to challenge the Concept of TINA, the entire future any discussion will be between their two forms of Nationalist, Corporatist Imperialism. Then we lose by default. As genuine Socialist alternative will be buried for another hundred years.
Twenty First Century Capitalism, especially Usamerican Nationalist-Corporate Imperialist Capitalism, truly has no Alternative: It sort has painted itself into its own National currency dilemma: simply stated militarily forcing the Usamerican dollar (Usads) into each world-wide transaction for products, resources and labor supplies is nearing its political and economic limits. In brief, the Usamerican cannot pay-up. (That assertion is well documented in many sources to be added in an extensive bibliography). Most Usamnerican Corporatist along with all its advocates get and quake through each contraction. All Capitalists know they must expand until they strangle themselves with indigestible surplus or destroy more in another attempt to absorb it at perilous rates of possible decline of Usad values on international markets. The Rapid Right Capitalist understand the raw reality and dangerously push some phase of the "The War of All against All" now expanding with Capital Globally is endemic to Capital
You can hear them gagging on their unusable profits and as the Right makes their provocative moves the trade and interest rate fronts the prepare for militarized backing. There is no kinder gentler form of their necessary destruction. They are in panicking!. And, as loyal opposition is pushed find its spine, the political heat rises the Rapid Right may play ultimate national rallying call to some war , any War to call for unity of purpose.
The current political National and international discussion must be exposed for what it is and has been since the end of World War II, a reshuffling of the deck among the Ruling Elite in an internecine struggle over the style to save Capital in some form. The limits of this larger debate among Usamerican corporate imperialists is being framed, fissured and accented by the televised discussion among the Democratic Party's candidate for the 2020 election. Among the Ruling Elite within the Usamerica domestic players and among its sub-imperialist partners, the focus is on the best way to their sustain profitability of all their investments via a safer or bolder foreign policy posture, to preserve their opposing approaches to continuing Capital. But, there is no way out for Capitalists. They are locked into to their process of seeking endless profit in the dead-ending War of All Against All. There is no alternative for them but to continue their charade to share the World's Wealth produced by the world-wide Working Class, among themselves while claiming that all will eventually benefit. As Joe Hill wrote: "...you'll get pie in the sky when you die."
While the Political Gap Widens to a Possible Political Breach, The Post-Impeachment or Post-election fracuse will be reconciled by a Bi-party consensus on the best method to continue to collect the Profits of Imperialism. We can and must show there are historically developed alternatives for the rest of us. Fundamentally modern Monopoly Finance Capital needs its modes of destruction to expand more profits among fewer, bigger capitalists. We need peace to develop a fuller concept of Worker-controlled social production for "use" to survive the advancing chaos of Neoliberalism's lunge to Absolute Capital. Herein resides the fundamental conflict between "Capitalists Greed" and Peoples' unfulfilled needs broken down to War and Peace. Unless the Democrats come forward with a bold, convincing peace initiative that includes an equally bold socially regenerative process to cooperatively and collectively meet human needs they will only continue the historic pattern of the Usamerican Capitalist imperialist project entailing frightful consequences. We need peace to develop programs to fulfill human needs.To expand and popularize the fundamental Working Class Social / Political concept of improving the condition of each by improving the conditions of all , I suggest that we also soon engage the critical discussion presented by the insightful writers in the Transform 2019:, Radical Left in Europe - Rediscovering Hope, in which their critical self-assessment of our shared course may be productively discussed as a guide to our future course of action to inspire peoples' hope to envision alternatives to help us and each other to l Move Beyond Capital. To make that move, decisively, we must take a clear independent position on every political / cultural issue that clearly show the tendencies now looping back to save Capital from Capitalist.
For both wings of the Usamerican Nationalist Capitalist Ruling Elite, the issues of domestic policy are incidental to its quest to reasserting its international power: a mere cost calculation. More or less repression is a cost consideration factored into their profit calculation and the same cost/ benefit calculation is applied to their estimate of the comparative benefits of increasing or reducing social services necessary to pacify working people. Fundamentally it is a valuation of who is "worthy" to live or die which is exactly the economic cost estimates made by the Nazi's. Through those callus calculations the Ruling Elite try to play us like their expendable political , consumerist pawns in their workplaces or on their battlefields. For us, the broad Working Class, issues of domestic policies to fulfill human need at home and abroad are integral to any distinctly equitable friendly foreign policy we may propose: they are central to a socialist conception for mutually beneficial development. No one can talk of Socialism at home while pursuing a Nationalist Imperialist expansion abroad..
Let us again ignite historical memory. the German Nazis called their form of Fascism Nationalist Socialism to make a direct appeal to their national working class. Our choice, in total contrast to predatory National Imperialist Corporatism, to create a clear alternative path of our future work is to demonstrate that the fulfillment of human need can only be cooperatively accomplished in an expanding political setting that substantively supports peace through integral, local-to-international, social production plans and methods to fulfill those human needs world wide. No, we do not need a revised “Marshall Plan” to draw lent funds back into Wall Street Bank coffers. We need to construct a new international plan for production to sustain life not destroy it. We can and must convincingly demonstrate that Late Stage Capitalist Imperialism cannot insure world peace because systemically it continues to need and promote Wars of expanding destructions to concentrate profit flows without end in the Core Capitalists’ coffers. We however must mobilize those sterile assets to demonstrate that we can produce to fulfil human needs. In the domestic sphere of politics, within the paradigm of TINA, the question among Capitalists is not will there be a Greener New Deal or Medicare for All- many capitalists are forming their own plans for to profit from both- when they sense the propitiously profitable moment to implement those and similar domestic policies that may be most advantageous to the Rulers' next imperialist thrust toward a bi-party consensus on how to break through the deepening crisis of accumulation while more skillfully calming popular anxieties short of broader more costly state policing at home.
Pacification has been at the liberal-corporatist domestic policy to launch wider imperialist War since 1946/7. Let’s keep in mind the forming crisis for the Usamerican Rulers is also conditioned by growing world-wide resistance to its present excessive arrogation of fast dwindling finite resources.The Usamerican Corporatists cannot plan on continuing to pull in more than 25% of the world's resources to satisfy their insatiable appetite for endless profit growth: not through war nor a "kinder, gentler approach to its endless accumulation. That historically propounded Capitalist myth now reveals its truth more clearly. Historically Capital must continually bleed the 90-plus percent to feed the rulers' insatiable need to accumulate more wealth at the top but Capital is already choking on its already indigestible accumulation which it cannot profitably deploy in production. The Capitalist accumulation process presents its internal systemic necessity, which drains the vital economic, social / human resources from fulfilling aching human needs at home and abroad. The Capitalist Imperialist game plan is plainly replayed in every crisis since the Great Depression: take minimum risk for maximum gain. And, again today as they attempt to play freely with our futures, they increase all risks to expand their future gain of their already useless assets at the expense of all other Nations and the entire world ecology without any domestic or international social program other than cuts to social services - austerity. We can show that Historic Capital has never been able to meet the socially / culturally, determined needs of any Nation over the past 500 years of its history. This time as the Usamerican Right Rulers plan renewed aggression they plan for Guns leaving much less Butter those who produce their wealth.
The Usamerican Ruling Class again needs to cultivate minimum consent at home to launch broader more devastating wars for maximum gain abroad. Of course the debate between the Rapid Right and their loyal National Imperialist Opposition is in process but we can be sure it will be resolved within the Capitalists' lowest cost approach to maintain Usamerican Imperialist dominance. Keep in mind the Rulers' key calculation is always minimum cost for maximum gain. To state the obvious, which is often necessary, the members of both Parties of Usamerican National Corporate Capitalism are disciplined imperialist, cost-calculators. Although that is not to say they are good at social calculus which is why they ready their forces of repression at any cost because they tax the workers for their class repression at home to continue wars of expansion abroad. Basically they make us pay to die in their wars to protect their capital to expand their profit thus giving new meaning to risk reduction. You got it: they heap the costs of their risk on us.
All the Capitalist Imperialists know well that the historic economic penalty for prolonged sub-standard growth is economic and political financial death. To avoid the final death rattle they have two broad choices determined by the above stated maxim to minimize cost, or "externalize" costs of making profit that it then shifts the bill some place else or on to other humans to destroy other capitalists to take more of their portion. In this major political economic crisis today as all the Rulers hear the death knell chime more audibly, as it was heard by the German Rulers in the late 1920's, the Usmerican rulers are quite evidently cutting social costs to increase their military power. The latest, 700 Billion plus military/ Homeland Security - repression budget underscores the Nationalists' priorities for War Preparations. As the Usamerian Rapid-Right prepare for more open aggression abroad with fewer resources to reduce the rising social pressures at home, they move to make the cost transfer more aggressively by planning to cut social costs for those most in need.
Despite the Right-Republicans’ social mis-calculations; unable or not yet willing to pay for domestic pacification with expanded social programs at home to quell the expanding domestic unrest now emerging in its own base, we can expect the Right-Ruling Elite to create more excuses to ratchet up police state repression of the broad multi-racial, multicultural working class at home which more clearly explains the renewed implementation of the racist scapegoating and the oppression of Women. Let's recall very well that the White Slave owners were able to employ poor whites to be their enforcers and property protectors. Racism has been a very effective cost-control policy for Capitalists since the earliest days of slavery into the present. Also keep in mind that the current debate among the rulers is on the lowest cost option to maintain their power and expand it. They clearly draw on tested historical experience from using the Klan to Pinkerton's enforcement of Capitalist rule. Never forget that the Nineteenth Century Republican Robber Baron , J. Gould declared confidently that he could hire half the working class to kill the other half . But none dare call that proto-fascisim. Of course, the Liberal-international Corporatists will wring their hands while claiming they have a cost-effective alternative plan to develop a kinder more gentle method of Capital exploitation but they can be anticipated to do little more than tell us later why they could not do more in face of the Rising Right's stern opposition to reducing the high and rising cost of social spending while voting for every expansion of the military budget. Although their combined propaganda is skillfully deployed and the politicians for both wings of the Ruling Elite will point fingers at each other at the necessary moment that is now in full formation in this election year, we should anticipate that they will again at some point of "crisis", coalesce in an expanded plan for domestic repression or, if the lower cost option is needed, they will opt for some type of minimum-cost domestic policy to tamp down unrest. As Working Class resistance against the increasing austerity broadens, we can also anticipate seeing a rise in targeted demonstrations of state violence being tested more aggressively with increased racist tones.
We, the working people can no longer plan to maneuver politically between Capital's crushing jaws of Absolute Capitals' ripping incisors or the Kinder, gentler Liberal internationalists' slow grinders.The “False Promises”of the long Cold War period have been overplayed and played out ,especially for the most poor. For us the overall task of creating alternatives is urgent. In the face of the increasing social and political consequences of Capitalists multiplying modes of accumulation through spreading destruction assuaged by limited social programs, we must boldly present plans for broad human development for all in a habitable planet. For us social calculation can not be made within the minimum cost estimates of Capital's push to continue to concentrate wealth in smaller circles of oligarchic power. To emphasize, creating Social-Justice projects, requires peace to redirect ALL funds into socially productive projects that more likely will fulfill the needs of the majority as against permitting the continuing concentration profits for the few. We must go far beyond the notions once hope for from the "Peace Dividend" of the 1990's, which is even less likely today. However, domestic peace for us is not a tactical moment as in the Capitalists' calculation on the road to expanded imperialist power. For us Peace is a strategic objective, toward creating the concrete social/economic conditions necessary for developing genuine social projects for fulfilling human needs both materially and in related emotional tranquility. The violence of material deprivations are incalculable and must be eliminated.The Ruling Elite have recreated the violence of want in the Ghettos of ethnic and race enclosures throughout Urban Usamerica and beyond it frontiers from Haiti to Palestine . In a recent interview John Pilger reported that poor children in the UK are eating toilet paper to stave off hunger while in some parts of the world toilet paper in not available. To achieve an enduring peace as a durable pillar of social justice, The Working Class faces an urgent need to organize and mobilize to press its demands more assertively around clearly inclusive class issues as it did in the thirties. "Left" populism under the leadership Usamerican party of Liberal-Coproratist’s Imperialism will merely save Capital from the Capitalists again. (See Samir and Manji's "Toward a Transnational Alliance of Working and Oppressed Peoples" in MR. Vol.71, No3 July-August 2019.
The Difference Must be Made Clear between Capital’s Need for War and Human’s Need for Peace
Summarizing toward a Rolling Conclusion : Our work expands before us.
Crisis Capitalism Produces increasing Dangers
With the fifty-year crisis of National and Internationalized Capital stagnation deepening and spreading more rapidly through its globalized networks, we again hear the familiar arguments among the rulers of Generalized Corporate Capital mount the same, narrow debate between their variations of demand stimulation and Monetary "management". Simply the Right tells us Social Keynesianism is too costly and Interest rate adjustments and the printing presses will manage exchange rate - well as long as the militarized collection agency stays active world wide. In and around the more conventional arguments by mainstream advocates of the Pump-Priming Social and War Keynesians, the Right Neolibreral fringe push more energetically toward the center of political power, with both the extreme Right in Usamerica and abroad. Through the more blatant assertions by the Misian/Hayekian’s informing The Right's Neoliberalism - Absolute fantasies we can begin to see more clearly the necessary real methods of the Chicago Boys Chilean fix of 1973 playing out more openly with a vengeance in to the present. Privatizations are just a harbinger of the worst to come. Absolute Capital needs absolute power to control the uncontrollable (in elaborating a discussion of privatization we can also explain fully the political consequences and inherent contradiction of privatization of all social services.)
As popular apprehension of the next crisis succeeding each new financialized credit bubble can no longer be easily calmed through flag waving, knee-jerk responses to empty slogans accompanying distracting public spectacles, the fear factor is escalated by the Rabid Right. In Usamerica the rolling "shocks" , natural and contrived (Noami Klein) help to create a wider opening to the Fascist Fixers just as they did in Germany through the early 1930’s. Despite the mainstream media's skillful multiplying of familiar fears , excuses and cover-ups, people are anxious to hear of alternatives that go beyond the hollow conventional chatter in the context of the Rabid Right's efforts to further inflame popular fears. As the main stream media frame the discussion of possible alternatives within the confines of the TINA paradigm between Liberal Corporate Internationalism against crude notions of America-Firstism with its retrograde tones of racist Social Darwinism, they set a more secure course for the reemergence of, at minimum, a stronger liberal argument for a form of Kinder Corporate Capitalism giving rise to "Friendly Fascism" advancing more slowly or rapidly through either Nationalist solution. In the now deepening crisis of either the "Liberal"Corporate Capitalists’ plan or the emerging Rabid Right's attempt to fill the political space with a dictatorial type intervention, to repeat, as attempted in Usameriica in the 1930's, now more dangerously pushed by the extreme Right in the context of the next bigger "Recession" qua Depression now forming, within the political setting of the Patriot Act provisions, providing for a dictatorial executive, the door opens wider to the real possibility of unchecked executive power. Hitler had to work at it, The extreme Republican Right is just waiting for the next real or contrived crisis to declare the next "Shocking" emergency - WE ARE NOT PREPARED. In Fact, we Usians are less prepared today than our grandparents were in the 1920/30's or the Italian or Germans were in, 1920 or 1933/34. In the absence of a strong alternative position between the Liberal's kinder/gentler Corporatism and the Rapid Right Nationalist Corporatism, the trend into what Bertram Gross called Friendly Fascism will expand into the "barbarism" now advancing rapidly.
As in the 1930's those options, as demonstrated at the possible re-introduction of the Fascist Fixes through all their historic variations are again reaching the point of the Ruling Elite's ultimate move, WAR, a more generalized war for control of internationalizing Capital. Echoing the Nationalists' (Us)America First policy of the post-WWI years, the first warning shots, Trump’s Blusterings, have broadcast it loudly, Alaming many and sending most to seek for now , defensive positions in nearly complete contradictory disarray.
Protectionism accompanied by the interest rate battles are the first skirmishes. We must explain those warning shots as tactical maneuvers in the broader context of wider strategic plays, not simply as forays in economic posturing for some elusive advantage but as the maneuvering to reassert Usamerican Domination of a collapsing network. The conventional monetary and fiscal policies have been tested and after 2008 QE'sssss unlimited, now being tried again by the Fed and The European and other central banks are now nearing exhaustion, the Usamerican Right reaches into the history of its earlier self-defensive moves with amazing blind confidence. And, as The conventional growth-stimulation techniques of the supply-siders and the political/economic limits of Keynesian demand-side, pump priming, touch their systemic frontiers, the Rapid Nationalist Capitalists ready their most extreme patterned play, profiting from war to profiting again from post-war reconstruction as they all practiced throughout their bi-party wars in the Middle East for at least 25 years. In their default move to the policy of Endless Wars, they underscored the dangerous but real limits of their economic creativity: they collectively acknowledge the only way to expand Capital absorption is through their historically tested methods of destruction. The real imperialist views of the Rabid Right extremists were made clear by R(a)dolph Giulliani, who recently unabashedly stated the Nationalist-imperialist goals bluntly: We win the war: we take their oil. It should not be surprising to us to see that even the fragmented European left is developing unity around an expanding anti-war movement because they see better than we the limits of Capital dead-ending in a simplistic repetition of the most extreme Nationalist measures leading to a massive war of destruction that punctuates the real limits to Capitalist ability to create positive "growth".
The Limits to Capital's "growth" within its own destructive process have been clear for at least the past 100 years. They were becoming clear but not well understood during the first Long Depression of early modernizing Capitalism in the mid-1870's and are now reappearing with increasing force in the wake of every State/Capitalist fiscal or monetary fiasco being created today. The best the Rulers of Classic or "Liberal" Capitalism could do historically, to paraphrase the Nineteenth Century British economist Alfred Marshall, was and is to operate at the edges of the players "Marginal Propensities", we might say capitalists' marginal inclinations to save or spend in response to the prevailing rate of profit when making any investment decision. The influence of Marshall was huge and long lasting. Every student in Eco-101 was inculcated with the ineluctable laws of the movements along the market clear process of the supply demand curve: its influences still hold sway in mainstream economics. All the "liberal" and conservative number crunchers among the early econometricians from Marshall to Keynes through to the Neo-Keynesians and all The Monetarist from Friedman and Schwartz to Bernanke, including their lesser adherents, ALL, must operate within margins of Capitalists diminishing propensities to invest in each moment that “Markets” are saturated with money and or products. In each moment of contraction the master manipulators who think they can have some marginal influence to encourage a marginal increase in spending or investment with each player in any down cycle flood markets with money hoping to encourage some movement on the margins of each economic freeze. Through those head year of expansion of the 1920’s into THE CRASH, while the actual capitalist speculators scrambled to escape the consequence of going broke by bailing out of former investments and nothing seemed to work the Keynesians made their play to stimulate demand which also plunged into the crisis of 1937 until the War Built-up began.
Though those late effervescent days late Classic Liberalism into The Crash of ‘29 each crisis of accumulation capitalist had to continue to do whatever they may be doing to gain a profit or go bust. The savagery from all capitalist was also classic. Lay-offs! Their Classic Liberal system assumed wide spread competition dictates the Capitalist would not not, could not stop producing or lending or selling until the last unit produced or sold yielded the standard profit at the given market clearing point. At the point of zero profit, the Capitalist must make grave choices which may be generally stated as producing or selling below the standard rate of profit, go out of business or seek a buyer or look fort more profitable placement of their available funds usually deployed in chasing diminishing returns at lower "marginal" rates. While Classic-liberal Capitalists did attempt to play the demand and supply curves in financing, production or buying commodities or financial assets with close attention to marginal movements of the various indicators, modern techno-managers try to control all those relative movements but also with diminishing results. As crises spread and deepen, fewer individuals find alternative investment options in the diminishing margins of “market opportunities; thus further straining every phase of their investment-production/sales plans directly into the systemic limits causing growth cycles to stall and up up-paid loan mount into the next overproduction, debt fueled crisis.
The classic liberal fix, prior to the early Twentieth Century proposals for some type of intervention, was to allow those "cyclical" crises to unwind or play out within the Capitalists' Social Darwinian view that the strongest should prevail and the entire system would become more resilient. In other words, let the chips fall where they may and play out in rolling business failures until the “strongest” rise again. Through those earlier crises, while many smaller players regularly went broke, the first Usamerican mega-mergers were formed by the big Capitalist buying out the smaller ones thus forming the first huge cartels. In the process The Social Darwinist notion of the "Survival of the Fittest" seemed to be confirmed by the increasing economic power of those early mega mergers of the RailRoads, the Giant Oil Cartels and Wall Street banks. The system as a whole appeared to be strengthened while its seeming success was widely praised in the Capitalis press.
Despite the growth of Usamerican Cartels in the big industries, the successive crises rolled on and intensified into Early Twentieth Century consolidations through which the big Anglo/Euro/Usamerican Capitalists were learning the need to maintain continuous profit flows but were not yet sure how to profitably place their massively accumulating centralized profits into predictable profit generating projects. Soon, by about 1890’s, the benefits of coordinated nationalist war preparation taught the slow learners a key lesson. The benefits of War Profiteering became clear to many of them on both sides of the Atlantic during the First World War. Draped in the language of National Patriotic Purpose, rising numbers of Capitalists, from the Agneli’s to the Rockefellers quickly learned how to encourage and secure the profit flows of Capitalist Destruction. To use Edmund Wilson's phrase in a later context, they learned the Profits of "Patriotic Gore". As the limits of early monetary expansion or contraction became increasingly evident in each crisis prior to the Great Depression and before, the general acceptance of Social Keynesianism quickly morphing into War Keynesian, not yet called by that name, was being developed institutionally through out the Inter-War years by all the larger imperialist players in Europe and following the "little" depression of 1937 in the USamerican, all the Capitalists learned of the benefits of sending the growing “reserve army” of Capital’s unemployable young to die on larger battlefields for Capitalists bigger profits.
From the profits gained in the "War to End All Wars" the capitalist learn that the steady stream of profits was to be found in their preparation for Endless Wars. As The lessons of profiting from pre-war preparation were refined through the war build-ups, war-time production became a permanent feature of the post-WWII economy and, soon refined into the exuberant Liberal Slogan of "Guns And Butter", which moved smoothly by both parties of Usamerican War-Imperialism right into the Endless War of this century. Each time Capital reached the margins of critically declining rates of return on peacetime production, they make the move to profit from destruction. In a perverse interpretation of the comment attributed to J.M. Keynes that he could stimulate an economy by paying one part of the workers to dig holes to be filled-in by others; it appears that the War Keynesians think it faster to blast a way Cities for profit to rebuild the for more.
Earlier in 1981, playing John Read in Reds, Warren Beatty, when invited to speak about what “The War” (WWI ) was about, Beatty / Reed, hits the nail on the head with one word "PROFITS." The comment was largely correct. Capitalist Got It !! While there may have been and continue to be differences of opinion among Capitalists for or against war since then and into the present generally summarized as the hordes at the gates, the corporatists, especially during WWII learned the profit sustaining benefits of War Keynesianism and as the “Military Industrial complex” grew to take its political place in the politics of Usamerican domestic / internationalizing War Keynesianism, it more profoundly influences domestic policies more broadly. As the profits of War are generalized from supplying bullets to bottle water become more prominent in the decision making of the Corporate Military network their political power and influence expands. And as if to make sure that profits from domestic consumer spending are maintained at a steady pace, George Bush II told Usians following 9/11 "Go shopping." Perhaps he had been playing too much Bob Marley “Be Happy” but shorn of its sardonic humor the pacifying message was clear.
Despite empty reassuring comments, as the radiating effects of war profiteering spread they also reach its limits to profitably absorb more surplus capital in non-civilian production, and its inflationary impact increases pressure on all aspects of monetary management which mark added limits to surplus absorption. Thus George Bush’s call to shop instead of sacrificing as during early wars too becomes a point serious tactical planning among the Ruling Elites to funds circulating. However. As War Keynesianism expands and takes up more of the available funds competing with production for social use, Capitalism can not survive its diminishing returns and the consequent financialized debt-bubble inflated anew, the mainstream tools of monetary management become less effective. It is very clear to the capitalists themselves that the present multiplying effects of War Keynesianism tightens the enclosure of its self enclosing process of self-destruction. Thus the question between the Liberal Corporatists and The Rabid Right is over the most effective cost management of War planning and it's prosecution- “getting the Biggest Bang for the Buck.” while pacifying the domestic popularing : Go spending Be happy. Always keep in mind that Capitalist constantly plan for maximum gain at minimum cost. Thus we may view the unfolding inter-class struggle to gain national power, as a debate centering on one central policy of Capital accumulation and the most effect placement of their growing surplus that is called "efficiency of scale" at the margins of capitalist accumulation and rising popular discontent . Note that the discussion among both parties of Usamerican Capitalism is not to end the profit flows derived from War Keynesianism but how to manage their marginal economic and social consequences. .
Viewed from the perspective of Nationalist War Capitalism as developed and refined by Usamericans and German Nazis since the interwar years one might say that while the Liberal Corporate cost analysts argue for maximum punch at minimum cost, the Nationalist Corporatist Right seem see few economic barriers to profitable surplus absorption through military build-up. Although the Nationalist Liberal International Corporatists by and large vote for increased military budgets, they fear the longer term inflationary effect on consumer spending which All the Rulers need to maintain. domestic contentment. Although the Rapid-Right also makes similar economic social calculations, we may suspect that their simplistic arithmetic, may run along the more simplistic lines expressed by Giulliani , quoted above , “We win we take their oil" or whatever else may be available while the rest of you just go to the Mall.
While such cost calculations echo the policy debates within the Weimar Republic and later set asside in the Nazi surge of war build up prior to 1939/40 the long term consequences may be worse for the Usamerican Ruling Elite today but, if carried to their logical conclusion of endless war, much worse for all the rest of us. The inflationary effect of Usamerica's long War Build-up is now beyond control by normal monetary methods. The stimulus effect from War Keynesianism and Credit-Card Consumerism may have already peaked. The ballooning private and public debt is unpayable; and, although we can project the social economic consequences, they do not seem to be widely understood. The trajectory of conventional economic responses may create a massively destructive inflation followed by the deepest economic plunge in the past 150 years of modern Capital. The social consequences of unlimited War were clearly shown by the Nazi’s. Let’s note fully, the Nazi’s concentration Camps were labor camps for “those un-worthy to live”. Do we hear Giulliani clearly ? Do we get the full meaning of if “we win”. The Nazi’s put about 25 million people they delcared unworthy to live in “Labor Camps” and worked them to death. The Usamerica has a long history of hiring out prison labor for Corporate profit . “Oh it can’t happen here.” !!! but “Don’t Worry , be happy”
Are The Conditions Ripening tor “it to happen here?
The Structural Crisis , again !?
Today, as the expanding range of the historical economic contradictions of the modern political/economy of Monopoly Finance Capital, evident since at least 1900, are again literally mortgaging the shortening economic horizon by reducing real interest rates below Zero via "monetary easing", in the latest massively desperate play to avoid a “recession” the systemic problems multiply yielding near zero benefits. Keeping it all relatively simple the Usamerican National debt is unmanageable in the context of world wide debt, Unpayable. Each time the same monetary maneuvers have been tried they have less effect but the technocrats play them out again and again and now in the context of increasing military spending, combined with tax reductions for the richest resulting debt expansion, the Right will continue to push for increased austerity with little regard to social impact while at the same time they ready the forces of repression.
In the present race to lower interest rates as is already evident following the most recent moves over the last three weeks by the Usamerican and UK central banks, the effects may be close to zero or lower. States can print more money and lower interest rates into the negative zone to encourage more debt stimulated spending , but a repeat of 2007/08 QE'sss to lower interest rates again, as Trump demanded on 11 September below zero, hoping to slightly extend the "boom" into the next Usamerican election year 2020, will fuel the next bigger bust sooner. However, beyond accelerating a bigger boom / bust cycle, the longer term domestic and international political consequences are incalculable. Anticipating such moves on a broader economic scale, Joachim Bischoff writing in Transform 2019 in his article, The "Return of the Economic and Financial Crisis...", emphasizes that we are no longer in Production Cycles but in more volatile, less controllable, "Credit Cycles" reducing the leveraging impact of standard financial controls that are shortening the more volatile cycles while dangerously increasing their intensities. To explain briefly, underscoring J.Bischoff point, while interest rates can be pushed into the negative zones further increasing inflation, people may spend out their savings accounts which presently are at historic lows but cannot be forced to borrow. Again the systematic machinations test their own limits. People cannot spend because their wages are stagnant yet people cannot borrow much more because they cannot earn more and eventually their consumer credit lines will be closed. Despite the claim of a booming domestic economy with officially calculated unemployment at historic lows, the entire debt pyramiding financial system is "Maxing-Out". With debt rates highest in recent history and with low-wage employment presented as a benefit, family saving rates are the lowest in Fifty years: the conventional Liberal or Rightist growth engines are grinding to a halt.
Marx was correct and the most successful capitalists understood the power and accuracy of Marx' precise analyst since 1867 which MJ Robeto recaptures and sets out well, because they lived it in their time as we do now. While they may understand the problems of successful surplus placement, they cannot fully escape the systemic "imperatives to accumulate or perish; they try and try again now more often in more speculative plays reminiscent of the 1920’. As all Capitalists try to beat the system, most are also consumed by it. Corporate consolidation over the past 100 plus years tell the story of the self-destruction and mutual destruction of many other Capitalists. Leaving aside the story of the price paid by workers time and again in each of the Capitalist Crisis, I stay now close to an outline of the internally generated problems of Capitals repeated failures. Capitalist not only force each other to achieve the standard rate of profit in each production cycle or perish; in deepening down turn, in desperation they also push each other to attempt to break through each and every systemic barrier of each successive contraction to try to rise to profit again in the next. Failure is deadly.
The Capitalists' infinitely self-destructive ways to respond to the "imperative" to persevere and expand their particular accumulation results in the constant increase of indigestible profits accelerating the strangling effect of growing but unusable surplus. In the consequent desperate search to make some profit somewhere, somehow they move money from unprofitable production of real goods into financial speculation in stocks or /and high yield debt speculation- the higher the yield the more precarious the return. As the private and public debt level rise more quickly and more methods are devised to shift the debt on to the taxpayer, followed by another inflation stimulating, monetary expansion to pay off past debts, the inflationary effect ignites the dangers of the next collapse. They, the speculators inflate the next debt Bubble(s) leading to next Bigger Bust. That's why the Capitalist Rulers and their "organic intellectuals" ( a generous aside) must suppresses the rising voice of the Marxist critique because they know the limits of all interventions from Keynesian Deficit-spenders to Friedmanite monetary manipulators including the frightening reality that Neo-liberal-Absolutists want to unchain Capital from all controls, who like frustrated classical liberals up to and including the inter war years in Italy and Germany, are increasingly likely to call in the Fascist Fix leading to their war option of destructive expansion. While the Rulers’ paid-apologist and techno-elite can temporarily limit the immediate effects of economic contraction, without expanded social spending via private and public debt expansion, they cannot long disguise or lie about the rising rates of unemployment.
NB about 35% of the current working age population of Usamerican cannot find work .
As demonstrated in Italy, Germany and Usamerica during those heady but perilous inter-war years Capitalists could not, as today cannot, control their own monster. Although some of the more astute early economic technicians called for modest measures to manage the unwieldy drive for profits expanding into the Post WWI period, the majority of the newly internationalizing banks and corporations blindly followed the prevailing trends like lemmings into the widening gulf of "Margin Calls" leading to the Crash of '29. Beyond the standard formulae today as then, most of the economic-techies and financial manipulators repeat the machinations, more or less refined since '29 right into to the next Bust. They do not know what to do other than create the Boom, especially through debt-fueled, constant War preparation that ignites the fuse to the next implosion: yes IMPLOSION- Capital collapses into the hole it creates for itself but they always find others to blame. Their prepared list of people and institutions blamed is long but the primary focus of their accusations is always the same- Guess!!? The greedy Workers who want too much. Then arguing that if wages and benefits could just be reduced a little more and a little bit more, Capitalist can again profit to revitalize economies. Therein lies the core contradictions pinpointed by MJ Roberto : workers with low and declining wages buy less, as the workers buy less, capitalist cannot sell what they produce the earlier accumulated surplus cannot be profitably invested, the Capitalist process slows or stops. Then, at least since about the late 1920’ in Italy and later in Germany and Usamerica, the two headed magic of Social and War Keynesianism injects new temporary stimulus into Capital's power to renew accumulation but when the injection of debt stimulated spending for social projects slowed as in 1937, War Keynesianism stepped to the fore where it remains dominant with all its dangerously proliferating, destructive consequences.
Now, as throughout the Post WWII economy, we have continuous economic preparation for Endless WARs in the impossible effort by Capitalists to preserve their profit flows. When the Capitalist asserts that people are dying for profit, they really mean they will die in predatory imperialist wars from which Capitalist Profit again, and again and anon- until we stop the cycle or until the last Capitalist climbs to the top of the radioactive ash yeap to claim its singular victory- “one is the loneliest number” War is the Capitalist historically demonstrated fall back position of profit making to the last.
This is the core but unspoken acceptance of the Capitalist learned cultural/economy among the Ruling Elite, which we must clearly show in compelling explanations of alternatives to the limits of Schumpeter's classic, if idealistically naive vision of Capital's inherent creativity in its historically persistent real process of expanding destruction of real people. Clearly Working people make profit for Capitalists at some normal rate of production and when that process fails Capital makes more by killing people more quickly using workers’ taxpayer money to accelerate the spreading masacres. It appears that the Capitalists fully understand the limits of making profit but defy them by turning up the volume on Clausewitz' fundamental truth, who I paraphrase briefly by saying, War is merely the extension of failed Capitalism by other means. We we must teach it all again and again to each new generation. We must teach again those truths in the face of the Capitalists’ media-produced excuses to continue War prepations to restart its failing profit makeing aparatus again from the full range of social and environmental destruction including creating slav- labo , private-for-profit prisons or concentration camps as they see necessary to futher expand their profits (NB: The Nazi SS got a rake-off of 4% for slave labor it provided to the likes of The Thyssens) in their Wars for more profit .That is the way the Rulers practice population control and clear the Monopoly board to expand accumulation again.
Shall we speak Plainly?
There are two fundamental political / economic policy questions for us to address: Who Controls and How.
Capital cannot be controlled: It must be superseded!!
There is no doubt Capital must be controlled in the process to supercede it. But the question for all of us is by whom. Those who will attempt to continue to intensify and amplify its reproduction of destruction or those who see the path to end its maddening destructiveness - In Beyond Capital, Istvàn Mèzsàros makes the need clear as the “Challenge and Burden of ( our ) Historical Time: Socialism in the Twenty-First Century” . We should revisit those to vitally important works to help us guide ours.
We must expand the current discussion to produce a credible alternative plan, that may foster closely synchronized efforts which have the greatest potential to generate a synergistic momentum toward a social economy that enriches all the possibilities of life experiences - not its destruction. (See : Imagine : Living in a Socialist USA and my review the book which can be found on the GJ website. Also See the Essay's in Moving Beyond Capitalismedited by Cliff containing his article also prominently presented on The GJ website. Please also make careful read of Amin and Manji cited above.) We have a full body of knowledge to critically assess and to expand through our future discussions.
Toward a Conclusion: Almost there--exhale before Capitalists make the air totally unbreathable
I underscore my point that a few of us can successfully collaborate to elaborate the arch of your essay, Cliff, leading to an expanding self-educational project developed into a significant contribution to the discussion now unfolding more broadly in many circles that may help to better interrupt the presently forming dangerous path into Barbarism, again. or as Mèzsàros' wrote "Barbarism if we are lucky"! Again I emphasize that your essay cries out for historical explanations of strong, key statements such as "...100% capitalism...". The full historical, cultural / economic meaning of that term when combined with the folly of The Rapid Right’s insistent push to return to unbridled Capitalism, Absolute Capital, will require a fairly well developed re-examination of the much of the suppressed literature on Capitals' repeated, desperate, efforts to save itself over the past 150 years through what Robert H. Wiebe called "The Search for Order" in his study by the same name focusing on 1877/1920.Many Usians barely understand what Capitalism is much less how the Markets are manipulated behind the veil of the adjective “Free”.
We must accomplish, what Gramsci attempted from his Fascist prison cells as a comprehensive study of Italian history as a necessary foundational background study to better understand all the dangers in formation today leading to all the possibilities for drawing out of the forming chaos a genuine Usamericcan Socialist alternative in our time before our grandchildren are forced to re-build out of the rubble. Take heart and inspiration From the Italian struggles through the darkest moments of the War Years and in its wake. The “left” rebuilt from nothing and only lost in 1948 due to wide-spread Usamerican funding that basically bought out the old Ruling supporters of Fascism. Antonu’s legacy is still in gestation. While it should not and cannot transplanted or grafted onto Usamerican political culture, Gramsci's historically centered analytical process can be developed in and through the particulars of each struggle. Let’s listen to Mèzsaros’ on Gramsci to grasp the full meaning of the Centrality of History, to the Theory of Praxis.
The long course of Capitalist "Modernization" from, at least 1873/6 to the present, punctuated by unremitting economic failures made by both liberals and conservatives' who have repeatedly attempted to forestall Capital's self-destructive tendencies, can no longer be explained away by the former excuses and finger pointing of the circular firing squad made up of the advocates of conventional monetary or fiscal stimuli. Isn't it wonderful that we are excluded from some circles? But, the circle of the conventional liberal and conservative award winners is dragging us much closer to the intensifying vortex of the primitive absolutism that is opening widely to Fascism. Like Gramsci, in his time, we must with MJ Roberto and many others make the necessary in depth cultural / political-economic analytical study that will help us mark more clearly the pathway out of and beyond the forming Native Barbarism of Fast forming Usamerican Fascism. We must expose the National-cultural peculiarities of the carefully cultivated barbarism running through the racist , Xenophobia , opportunistic, death dealing, elitistism of the then colonial Ruling Elite since at least 1619 in Usamerica to Corporate Capital’s Ruling Elite into the Present.
As the persistent, self-enclosing realities of Capital's massively, self-propelled destructive process becomes clearer to more people through declining living conditions and the magicians of the arcane language of mesmerizing, market manipulations again move to the center public propaganda platforms to produce more smoke and mirror distractions in place of real solutions, they also open the space for us to be heard more clearly. The widening gap between official mythical constructs and the mounting data based evidence of economic decline now leading to increasing economic chaos, deepening social suffering in already opening a wider space for discussion of clearly stated alternatives that go beyond the false promises of a Neo-New Deal that cannot and will not be accomplished within contracting Nationalist Corporate Capitalism. As the public media theater of myth-making excuses to distract from relaties, raises the pressure to accomplish more elusive results with reduced fiscal or monetary leverage, the possibility of two forms of the Fascist Fix loom larger- to emphasize- War abroad accompanied by more repression at home with both now taking shape in tandem. War with its increasingly racist undertones, is the Bi-party default position.
As Trump pushes the Fed for more drastic, less-effect interest rate reductions and ratchets up trade sanctions, the predictable economic contractions are reasserting themselves throughout the international finance and trade networks. Now entering another economic crisis, the modern "left"-liberals and right Neo-liberal mainstream economic myth makers must also elevate the two other mandated truths of their National culturally biased constructs to the order of indispensable social economic religious beliefs to fortify their New Secular Religion - The Infallibility of the Almighty market while simultaneously trying to explain away the continuing need for their sanctioned method of interventions. No small contradiction but one we should take on with intense criticism. We can easily show that through each historically recurring economic contraction, the “official mainstream apologists in the academy and the media resort to their increasingly inscrutable economic jargon to explain away the real systemic sources at the base of every crisis that they could not stop the last time and that they cannot in reality correct this time, they bring their own touted infallibility in to public question. But, as we slide deeper into the present fast forming crisis and as the tech-no-knothings create the next bigger bust, the Band-aide Brigade running the printing presses is on the way with full media hype complete with charts showing trend lines of marginal propensities that explain little of Capital’s internal propensities toward its self-destruction. ( See the NYTimes online issue of 18 Sept ‘20 ) The Fed Cuts Rates by Another Quarter Point : Trump Fumes. Someone will soon call in the clowns in the wake of the spreading folly or are they already in power
Again as Generalized Capital but particularly its rear-looking Usamerican Right, those that cannot get beyond the 1920’’s mental lock, desperately struggle through the death throes of its self-enclosing convulsions and the Absolutists ideologues step in to the gap left by the more rational self-serving Capitalists of those almost quaint bygone years of the 1920’s into the 1930’s our three part task in one sustained, integral process becomes more urgent. We must precisely explain the problem accurately, through its history into our historical conjuncture and convincingly present the way out, with inspiration that motivates action. Michael Joseph Roberto's laudable work in, The Coming of The American Behemoth for the period of 1920-1940 presents us with a model that may guide our studies and like him we should also revisit the old, original works of earlier pioneering analysts such as Gramsci, Togliatti, Angelo Tasca and Zitken ( MJ Roberto’s bibliography of Usamerican sources is worth a careful review) for insights gained from the moments Classic Fascism stepped on to the European and American political theater. Their immense contributions to our work remains their ability to quickly grasp the outlines of Classic Fascism in formation and to call attention to its inherent dangers early, that too many liberals and conservative on both sides of the Atlantic then saw as laudable, workable and worthy of support and replication. We can easily show that the legacy of that admiration is alive today. Through the masterful studies of those early analysts of Classic Fascism , while certainly incomplete in many ways, we can fully appreciate their acuity of original perception and the clearer analysis they presented through the interwar years. It is through those early insights that we too should follow the course of Fascist Mutations in our time. It is in and through those classic studies of Fascism in formation and as demonstrated by, for example Palmiro Togliatti through his work after Gramsci’s death into the first post-war years they came to see its formation with much more clarity than most demonstrate today.
While I offer these extended thoughts to enhance and inspire our discussion, I also recognize the lacunae in my already long presentation here but submit the entire piece with the view that our shared discussion will not only help us, help Cliff negotiate the shallows and shoals of his course but together we will perhaps mount a formidable complement to the work I find inspiring in Michael J. Roberto's Behemoth which we too can elaborate, with convincing accuracy, present to others for expanded discussion. Hoping to complement the developing work that has been presented by GregoryD , Dan N. Betsy and you Cliff, I offer a note of guidance and inspiration to all of us from the introductory comments of the editors of Transform 2019 from the first page of their Preface:
"...the necessary but insufficient condition for the efficacy of the transformative left is its self-reinvention, for which it needs to look back to its past and recent history reestablishing the hegemony of class discourse, and improving its theoretical and ideological tools."
NB. "...the necessary but insufficient condition..." "...it needs to look back..." We need to look back now more critically than ever to prepare to recapture the full powerful trajectory of our intellectual origins of our intellectual foundation informing the struggles of our earlier inspirational history. Real philosophy resides in and arises out of its living history actualized in the present. ( Paraphrasing Gramsci form The Prison Notebooks.
Do we again hear the echoes of Antonio Gramsci ?- The Centrality of History? We must recapture our history, which has been largely erased from popular memory with systemic effort . History and civics is being eliminated from high school curriculums.
Shall we reach back into our own Usamerican History with MJ Roberto to pull ourselves forward. We have a rich Working Class history too often repressed, let's recuperate it, resuscitate it, bring forward as a living past and celebrate it with full force to regain its vitality in our time.
I emphasize that your essay is a loud call, at least to me, to expand an urgent collective discussion on the present course of Neoliberal or Absolute Capital to Fascism which we must push through over and around to a Socialist outcome. Your sweeping political / economic review covering broad swaths of history begs for more detailed explanation leading to a deeper analysis opening on to a more precise interpretation of the broader political cultural potentials that may be drawn out of each reform proposal with the greatest potential leading to Socialism in our time. The long dormant germ of genuine Usamerican Socialism must be resurrected, drawn out of its earlier heroic efforts, and further developed in the context of this immense crisis of convulsing Late-stage Capitalist / Imperialism. The controversies between the two major Nationalist-Imperialist parties of Capital open a space full for us; we must widen it for our voice to be heard more clearly. We must make clear that there has existed a long cultivated, deeply seeded history of Socialism in America at least as old as its European sources. We must speak across and through time to the present to revive that authentic legacy and critique it fully while expanding all its strongest points. Let’s no longer try to talk within the Right and liberal debates but break out of them while criticising them incisively from a clear perspective point to a new social/political horizon embracing and developing social/economic justice. .
It is 1920 all over again but we have less power facing more immediate dangers today. We also must take into account that in the forming social / environmental chaos now accelerating, the latent power of broad but seriously weakened working class institutions, the potential for a more attentive hearing. We must learn to speak across the widening social gap produced by the two sectors of the Ruling Elite to divide and pacify the Working Class now widened by the Rapid-Right over the past past seventy five years. Yes, White racism is a particular problem but It is incumbent on us to make this vital contribution by clearly identifying and fully explain the full flowing dangers of Capital more convincingly as an opening to a Socialist alternative. We must learn to speak into and across the many divisions in and among the Workers. The UAW Just pulled out 50,000 workers in a deep crisis moment in the industry while NYC teachers and students walked out on Friday, 20 September.
All of us who are writing on this topic can make a significant contribution to the public's grasp of both the limits of the typical Capitalist fiscal and monetary mechanisms of control now vigorously employed with diminishing returns to their efforts since the end of WWII as big opening on to a wider platform from which to critique Capital as a failing reproductive system now leading for the second time since the end of the Cold War to the Fascist Fix. Taking an important lesson from Gramsci in the darkest days of forming Fascism in italy and others we must learn again to rebuild Working Class - "People Power" in our historical moment when we have less power than at any time in the past Hundred Years. Recall that the message mounted by the Italian Communist Party in the 1948 election was so powerful that the entire force Usamerican Imperialism, just short of a threatened direct Usamerican intervention was needed to convince the latent National rightist forces from the papacy to the old ruling elit to mobilized to forstal a legitimate ballot box victory by the Partido Communitst Italiana, (PCI ) that year but the Usamerican Rulers with all the support from the papacy could not do in Italy in ‘48 what they did in Chile 25 years later. The PCI was too powerful by 1948. They built that power out of respect from nearly a zero base. Let’s hope that we , nor our children will need to climb out of an equally deep hole.
Shall we roll it on with new creative energy and celebrate more frequently as we strive to have " Each victory Bring(s) another!"?
Glancing forward toward each little victory, I offer as sobering point that presents a measure of hope seasoned with reality to guide our urgent work more clearly in the midst of multiplying challenges in our times. Let’s fully consider the delicately nuanced balance in the argument below as we chart our course through the shoals of our future struggles.
"...neoliberal capitalism cannot ward off the challenge it is facing for long. It has no vision for reinventing itself...." Following the First World War "...the idea of state intervention as a way of its revival had already been mooted, though its coming into vogue only occurred at the end of The Second World War. Today, neoliberal capitalism dose not even have an idea of how it can recover and revitalize itself. And weapons like domestic fascism in the third world and direct imperialist intervention cannot for long save it from the anger of the masses this it is building up against it."
From Neoliberal Capitalism at a Dead End" by Utsa Patnaik and Prabhat Patnaik , in MR of July-August 2019 Vol. 71 No. 3.
The comment by the writers Patnak’s points to the hope in the immense challenge of our time. I add that the challenge also resides in collectively organizing, internationally, the seething anger building throughout the divided populist movement throughout the Capitalist Imperialist Triad .
Out of the hope and defeats from the First International through to the Fourth we also must learn to correct our many historical errors to prepare ourselves for the more massive challenges we face with less power today. Back to "Antonu” (Antonio Gramsci) but also we push forward with MJ Roberto and many others who clearly see that we must break through the lame, ineffective debates centered on TINA to get beyond the dangers represented by the fast moving Fascist Mutations through both Raw and the Kinder-Gentler promises of both major variants of Neoliberalism. While, MJ Roberto presents us with bigger pieces of valuable historical literature and G.Yeardon & J Hawkins explicitly reveal many corporate players who wrangled all types of "ghosted" or secret deals to support the development of Classic Italian and German Fascism while attempting to launch what we should correctly call a right-wing coup in Usamerica against FDR, we should follow the example presented by all four in style and method through our own continuing work.
The future of our work in the present deepening Structural Crisis of Capital is outlined by many of the earlier analysts of emerging Fascism in its original or Classic forms, both the European and Usamerican forms that took shape in the 1920's and 1930's. As an ensemble of seminal historic works the early analysts present us with valuable insights that continue to help guide our work today to grasp and explain the rapid mutations of Fascism in our time. Gramsci's work, assiduously developed over ten years in Fascist prisons presents us with a model that Roberto clearly attempts to follow and develop in his Behemoth. The many valuable bibliographies from the '20's into the present, help us to gain a better historical perspective on the recent work presented by the writers in Transform 2019:, Radical Left in Europe - Rediscovering Hope up-dating the history while realistically evaluating the present resurgence of Fascism in Europe while also looking with "Hope" toward openings for alternatives. History is and must be our guide to revitalizing the foundational methods of The Theory of Practice in our time. It is not enough to describe problems or even to fully explain them in our time in the style of the “left” emperists, although that effort is a must, we must meticulously show their full relevant arch of interrelated historical development to infuse our work with force that inspires action. As Gramsci astutely noted the Scientific Method is only the first cell of The Theory of Praxis.
We have two interrelated urgent tasks. We must again take up the two part dialectical studies of the concomitant development of the Modernizing "organized“, Corporate Capital with its continuing repression of the massively creative Working Class initiatives developed over the past 150 years of struggle to inspire new more creative strategies to inform tactics in the face of a rising fascist threat.