Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Essentials of Disruption/Destruction

I've said I'm not much interested in the presidential campaign this year largely because the two main candidates are.... simply appalling. That's not to say that one or the other doesn't have some positive qualities, that's not the point. The point is that both of them represent ideals of the State and society that are loathsome. They are both ideologically neoLibCon. They are both exploiters and oppressors. Neither has a shred of faith in or genuine interest in the well-being of the masses.

Hillary is the avatar of the perpetuation of the status quo, and under other circumstances, that might be enough to get her back into the White House all by itself. After all, we've been propagandized for years that "everything's fine," the world is a better place, the economy is steaming along nicely, everyone who wants a job can find one, and now we are learning that incomes for the Lesser People are rising for the first time since 2007!!!! Yay!!!!!

Whut? Think about it. Household incomes are rising for the first time since 2007... what does that imply? Obvious, isn't it? Household incomes have been declining or flat since 2007. Ah, now that makes sense, because that's clearly the case. Actually, statistically, the median household income has been in decline since 1997. There may -- or may not -- have been a slight uptick in 2015 over 2014, but the overall trend is downward, and that hasn't changed.

Think. When was Obama elected on a promise to halt/reverse the Great (for the Rabble, the Endless) Recession? Ah. 2008. And guess what? He hasn't done it. At least not for the Rabble, not even close. The High and the Mighty, however, have made out like the bandits they are.

For many of them, there never was any Recession at all.

And Obama made sure that situation was institutionalized.

Hillary represents the continuation of, indeed the intensification of, the policies that make it so.

Thus, of course, the majority of the Highest of the Mighty support her candidacy over that of one of their own class, Donald Trump.

At least they have until recently.

Now after Hillary's Unfortunate Incident at the 9/11 Memorial, they seem to be hedging their bets. Trump may not be The One -- yet -- but if Herself craps out, who they gonna turn to? And after all, Trump has long been One of the Tribe and he seems to be picking up steam among the Ignorant Rabble, soooooo.... why not?

After all, he is a Disruptor/Destructor. And that's important to the success and well-being of his class.  Part of their culture is the disruption and destruction of rivals below them. Trump is a master at that. He showed it on his TV show for years and years, and he is certainly adept at it in life. Not only does he disrupt and destroy, he often gets his victims to like it. Now that is a highly desirable skill among the rich and powerful. In fact, it is a necessary one given the ideological foundations of the modern political economy.

Obama has that skill too, though he's far more subtle about it than The Donald. He's been soothing the savage beast of the Rabble throughout his entire reign at the top, and he's better at it than any politician I know of.

Hillary simply does not have that skill, though her husband does, though that can't overcome some of his other qualities that we need not get into here.

Hillary inspires resistance, not so much because she's The Devil Incarnate (as she's been characterized by a large segment of the Internets) but because she tends to scold rather than uplift, tends to negatively characterize her opponents, tends to be less than inspirational in large gatherings, tends to be so wedded to preserving and extending the status quo, she's all but unable to recognize that the status quo hasn't worked for the majority for a generation or more.

She can see discreet elements of failure, but not the whole, basically because she's wedded to the whole picture, a picture which from below is horrendous.

She doesn't seem to see that, nor can she grasp it.

On the other hand, Trump sees it clearly -- because he's profiting from it -- and seeks to exploit the Rabble to the maximum degree he can, first by being elected, and then who knows what will follow?

No one.  No one can be sure, and that is a big part of his appeal. This was also part of Reagan's appeal. There were lots of dog whistles for those who were attuned, and there was his (suddenly forgotten and ignored by the media) governorship of California that clued some people into what his governance as President would become, but it was an era of hailing the hero, in contrast to the "failed" status quo represented by Carter, and in the public eye, a celebrity is almost always Heroic, no?

But nobody could be sure what Reagan would do, anymore than they could be sure what  Trump will do in the White House.

Hillary, like Carter, they already knew all about -- too much about. And they could anticipate policies that would do little or nothing on their behalf, or would actually make things worse for the many while ensuring that things would get better and better for the few.

Trump on the other hand can play the Rubes like a room full of marks much like the hucksters who sell real estate courses do. They dazzle the Rabble with the promise of getting rich! rich! rich!. But when it comes to it, the only one who really gets rich! is the course promoter. Gee, who'd a thunk?

Trump is pure show business, pure con-man. But that's what it takes anymore. Obama is more cerebral, but he's just as much a con-man, as too many people found out after he was elected. The con was that he held out such promise to the Rabble, but he delivered mostly  to the High and the Mighty whom he served.

Trump is a different kind of con-man; he serves no one but himself. No one. The concept of "public service" is anathema to him -- something he makes clear if you cut through his gobbledygook. He's in this for himself alone, period. End of discussion.

OK. So why does that appeal to anyone else? Well, why are gangsters often held in high esteem? Because, at least for those on their side, they hold out a promise of well-being, even prosperity, so long as you don't cross them. In other words, if you're on their side, you'll be OK -- until you aren't.

Gangster rule works, at least it can, but it is also disruptive and destructive of the Established Order.

Gangster rule is a rival and a threat to the Establishment. And the Establishment has to make deals with the Gangsters or be uprooted and destroyed by them. "Deals" are what Trump promises. "Deals".

Hillary offers essentially nothing new at all. She started her campaign with the implied slogan: "No you can't," and she really hasn't budged an inch since then. It's still a "No you can't" campaign, and it's hard to see any resonance among the People. She offers the Rabble nothing but a long-hard slog to gain marginal improvements -- eventually. "Stronger together," indeed, but to what object, when ultimately her message is that "nothing can be done," and "there is no alternative." (h/t Baroness Thatcher, may she burn in Hell.)

Further, Hillary posits that she knows best, and the rest of y'all need to go along with it. It's for your own good after all.


Trump promises to upend and overturn all that, sweep t all away, and in the end rule as a dictator, strongman, gangster. This is the ideal of his class after all. Whether this is the time for that, I can't say, but I was shocked to the bone in 1980 when Reagan won against arguably one of the nation's best presidents -- one who was, however, incapable of controlling the pile on of negative forces that undermined his authority and ability. Reagan just swept all that aside. This is what Trump promises to do as well.

If the status quo doesn't work for the majority -- and arguably it doesn't -- then a quasi or literal revolution is required.

But as I've long maintained, if the Revolution is to come, it will come from the Right.

I didn't think it would be quite as openly gangsterish, but that's what it looks like is in the offing.

Oh boy.

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