[OPE-L:8649] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: long term centers of gravity?

From: Michael Perelman (michael@ECST.CSUCHICO.EDU)
Date: Thu Mar 20 2003 - 19:02:58 EST

With bombs falling, I feel foolish defending a book that I did not read.
His point, as I understand it, was that Clinton et al were not as brazen
-- just that.  I really don't know anything more about Lind, so
apologetically, I will let the matter drop.

On Thu, Mar 20, 2003 at 03:45:29PM -0800, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:
> >I only heard him a couple of times on KPFA.  He did not discuss the
> >material you mention -- just that the old English aristocractic influences
> >without the Puritanical caveats came with the cotton from the deep South
> >to Texas.  I could not defend a book that I did not read.
> But your point here is that without those Puritanical cavaets the 
> Southern aristocracy which now runs the country has been willing to 
> grant itself tax cuts which will jeopardize the public education 
> system on which the long term health of the capitalist system in fact 
> depends. If the heirs of Puritanical capitalism had been in office, 
> then the tax cuts would not have been pushed through--this seems to 
> be your point.  Yet Clinton and Rubin enacted reductions in the 
> capital gains tax. Were Reagan and Stockman beholden to the mythical 
> Anglo Southern aristocracy when they pushed their tax cuts through?
> If we think that the anti-war  and anti-Bush movement will save 
> (real, true Puritanical) capitalism from a cabal and is thus sure to 
> win bourgeois support through patient argumentation and electoral 
> politics, we will surely have deluded ourselves to where we stand in 
> history today.
> Only working class insurgency on extra-electoral political terrain 
> will now force the capitalist class to give even the appearance of a 
> shift in policy and regime.
> I wish it were not so. The hardly hardly banal nationalism of the 
> American working class gives me very little confidence that there 
> will soon  be even the appearance of such a shift.
> I know many are filled with hope after the Seattle anti globalization 
> uprising, the student anti sweatshop agitation, the anti war 
> movements and the public statements by all those big Hollywood stars. 
> An American left which features Michael Lind and Todd Gitlin however 
> is not intellectually serious, and the American left is obviously not 
> organized except by loons who will soon rush to the defense of Kim 
> Jong-il.
> So I think we are well on the way to decisive defeat especially if 
> Bush and Wolfowitz are able to create the semblance of some political 
> democratic and material improvement in Iraq. As Perry Anderson 
> suggests, this will give Bush all the irrestibility which he needs to 
> refashion the Middle East:
> "Of course, as many otherwise well-disposed commentators have 
> hastened to point out, rebuilding Iraq might prove a taxing and 
> hazardous business. But American resources are large, and Washington 
> can hope for a Nicaraguan effect after a decade of mortality and 
> despair under UN siege-counting on the end of sanctions and full 
> resumption of oil exports, under a US occupation, to improve the 
> living conditions of the majority of the Iraqi population so 
> dramatically as to create the potential for a stable American 
> protectorate, of the kind that already more or less exists in the 
> Kurdish sector of the country. Unlike the Sandinista government, the 
> Ba'ath regime is a pitiless dictatorship with few or no popular 
> roots. The Bush administration could reckon that the chances of a 
> Nicaraguan outcome, in which an exhausted population trades 
> independence for material relief, are likely to be higher in Baghdad 
> than they were in Managua.
> In turn, the demonstration effect of a role-model parliamentary 
> regime, under benevolent international tutelage-perhaps another Loya 
> Jirga of the ethnic mosaic in the country-would be counted on to 
> convince Arab elites of the need to modernize their ways, and Arab 
> masses of the invincibility of America. In the Muslim world at large, 
> Washington has already pocketed the connivance of the Iranian clerics 
> (conservative and reformist) for a repeat of Enduring Freedom in 
> Mesopotamia. In these conditions, so the strategic calculus goes, 
> bandwagoning of the kind that originally brought the PLO to heel at 
> Oslo after the Gulf War would once again become irresistible, 
> allowing a final settlement of the Palestinian question along lines 
> acceptable to Sharon."
> rb
> >On Thu, Mar 20, 2003 at 02:31:01PM -0800, Rakesh Bhandari wrote:
> >  > >I don't know if the ruling class has split; I just noted the potential for
> >>  >a split.  I hope that it comes to pass.
> >>  >--
> >>
> >>  But Michael I don't see why Lind or anyone else accepts at face value
> >>  Bush's self-representation as a good ole, Southern boy who represents
> >>  the (very) old economy and truly likes pork rinds. This is the image
> >>  which Bush and Karl Rove have attempted to project to maintain his
> >>  electoral base in the South and the Far West. To think that Bush is
> >>  running Dell and Boeing into the ground for cattle ranches and Texas
> >>  oil patches is farcical.
> >>  Michael Lind is now only now making a political theory out of Bush's
> >>  cynical image making and thus giving credence to one of Bush's key
> >>  electoral weapons. Why the alarm bells do not go off every time Lind
> >>  writes or says something is beyond me. He has already engaged in
> >>  immigrant bashing and a pernicious nativism, Listian neo mercantilism
> >>  and a virulent and anti-third world economic nationalism, and war
> >>  mongering (in the case of Vietnam).
> >>  So I don't see why you and the Nation magazine take this demagogue 
> >>seriously.
> >>  Rakesh
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>  >Michael Perelman
> >>  >Economics Department
> >>  >California State University
> >>  >Chico, CA 95929
> >>  >
> >>  >Tel. 530-898-5321
> >>  >E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu
> >>
> >
> >--
> >Michael Perelman
> >Economics Department
> >California State University
> >Chico, CA 95929
> >
> >Tel. 530-898-5321
> >E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu

Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
Chico, CA 95929

Tel. 530-898-5321
E-Mail michael@ecst.csuchico.edu

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