Friday, August 13, 2010
Capitalism's ground zero posted by Richard Seymour
Not that this is a purely 'red state' phenomenon. A correspondent points out that naked anti-Muslim racism is emerging in liberal redoubts such as Seattle, where local sex columnist Dan Savage has engaged in vitriolic attacks on 'Muslim culture'. Here, traditional American nativism, imperial ideology, and pro-Israel doctrine are fusing into a vicious racist brew that, incubated by the 'war on terror', is now being used to buttress the prospects of the most reactionary class warriors for the rich, as a new recession looms. For this racist hysteria about the 1 or 2% of Americans who are Muslim is, while it has a lot to do with bolstering support for a flagging empire, certainly also a weapon of class struggle. As always when capitalism experiences a crisis, it regurgitates all existing barbarisms into a toxic new formula for bludgeoning the working class. In Arizona, the victim is immigrant labour, elsewhere it's the Muslims.
The big struggle today is no longer over healthcare - that's dead, killed for the second time by the Democrats and their allies in big capital, not least the pharmaceutical and insurance giants. The struggle now is over social security, which the Obama administration is going after: more of that accumulation-by-dispossession. Bush was soundly defeated when he tried this, but Obama is the 'progressive' president. Liberals will defend him to the bitter end. If the Republicans win big in the mid-terms, as they are expected to, they will provide a stronger bulwark of support for cuts to social security than even the most right-wing Democrats would. It will provide him with the alibi he needs - the country is right-wing, we can't risk running liberal programmes any more, we just have to save what we can, etc. So much for hope. So much for the small change you could believe in.