The Desperation of the Elites

The Neolib Establishment is hemorrhaging both notional wealth and political power. These twin developments are not unrelated, but I think for the moment I’ll skip my Modern Monetarist economic critique for the sake of clarity and conciseness.

In both cases it is lack of institutional control of the populace, the proletariat or 99.9% if you will, that is causing their problems, and justly so. The credibility of institutions, including the political and media class but also traditional single issue advocacy organizations has been irredeemably squandered by 40 years of bald faced falsehoods and non-performance.

These bozos, because of their laziness and complacency, are no longer even good at lying or pretending to look busy.

The United States has undergone change election after change election and people will keep voting for change until they get it or the torches and pitchforks come out.

As much as you may complain about Trump being a manifestation of racism, bigotry, cowardice, and the loss of control by privileged white males (and don’t get me wrong, he is all of that) he is also emblematic of the deep, deep rage of his supporters at the pandering ineffectuality of the Republican Party Establishment.

Who are now, because they are unprincipled sellouts and don’t care that they’re perceived as Bootlicking Toadies and Morons, attempting to suck up to The Donald and curry his favor.

You’d expect something better from Democrats and I suppose you have it if you consider La-La-La denial and vicious attacts on their core constituents in the name of a “pragmatic” status quo do nothingism that is being emphatically rejected.

I credit Barack Obama for that. His corporatist conservative policies have laid bare the rot at the core of the Democratic Party and while everything he has said in the past 8 years is now exposed as a lie at least his political failure has given us a hope for a change.

The Seven Stages of Establishment Backlash: Corbyn/Sanders Edition
by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept
Jan. 21 2016, 8:15 a.m.

The British political and media establishment incrementally lost its collective mind over the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the country’s Labour Party, and its unraveling and implosion show no signs of receding yet. Bernie Sanders is nowhere near as radical as Corbyn; they are not even in the same universe. But, especially on economic issues, Sanders is a more fundamental, systemic critic than the oligarchical power centers are willing to tolerate, and his rejection of corporate dominance over politics, and corporate support for his campaigns, is particularly menacing. He is thus regarded as America’s version of a far-left extremist, threatening establishment power.

For those who observed the unfolding of the British reaction to Corbyn’s victory, it’s been fascinating to watch the D.C./Democratic establishment’s reaction to Sanders’ emergence replicate that, reading from the same script. I personally think Clinton’s nomination is extremely likely, but evidence of a growing Sanders movement is unmistakable. Because of the broader trends driving it, this is clearly unsettling to establishment Democrats — as it should be.

A poll last week found that Sanders has a large lead with millennial voters, including young women; as Rolling Stone put it: “Young female voters support Bernie Sanders by an expansive margin.” The New York Times yesterday trumpeted that, in New Hampshire, Sanders “has jumped out to a 27 percentage point lead,” which is “stunning by New Hampshire standards.” The Wall Street Journal yesterday, in an editorial titled “Taking Sanders Seriously,” declared it is “no longer impossible to imagine the 74-year-old socialist as the Democratic nominee.”

Just as was true for Corbyn, there is a direct correlation between the strength of Sanders and the intensity of the bitter and ugly attacks unleashed at him by the D.C. and Democratic political and media establishment. There were, roughly speaking, seven stages to this establishment revolt in the U.K. against Corbyn, and the U.S. reaction to Sanders is closely following the same script.

It’s both expected and legitimate in elections for the campaigns to harshly criticize one another. There’s nothing wrong with that; we should all want contrasts drawn, and it’s hardly surprising that this will be done with aggression and acrimony. People go to extremes to acquire power: That’s just human nature.

But that doesn’t mean one can’t find meaning in the specific attacks that are chosen, nor does it mean that the attacks invoked are immune from critique (the crass, cynical exploitation of gender issues by Clinton supporters to imply Sanders support is grounded in sexism was particularly slimy and dishonest given that the same left-wing factions that support Sanders spent months literally pleading with Elizabeth Warren to challenge Clinton, to say nothing of the large numbers of female Sanders supporters whose existence was nullified by those attacks).

People in both parties, and across the political spectrum, are disgusted by the bipartisan D.C. establishment. It’s hardly mysterious why large numbers of adults in the U.S. want to find an alternative to a candidate like Clinton who is drowning both politically and personally in Wall Street money, who seems unable to find a war she dislikes, and whose only political conviction seems to be that anything is justifiably said or done to secure her empowerment — just as it was hardly a mystery why adults in the U.K. were desperate to find an alternative to the craven, war-loving, left-hating Blairites who have enormous amounts of blood stained indelibly on their hands.

But the nature of “establishments” is that they cling desperately to power, and will attack anyone who defies or challenges that power with unrestrained fervor. That’s what we saw in the U.K. with the emergence of Corbyn, and what we’re seeing now with the threat posed by Sanders. It’s not surprising that the attacks in both cases are similar — the dynamic of establishment prerogative is the same — but it’s nonetheless striking how identical is the script used in both cases.

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  1. Vent Hole

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