28 January 2017

Thomas Frank and Jimmy Dore - Trump Is the Legacy of the Corporate Democrats


"We hold this truth to be self-evident— that government in a modern civilization has certain inescapable obligations to its citizens, among which are:

(1) Protection of the family and the home.

We have begun and shall continue the successful drive to rid our land of kidnappers and bandits. We shall continue to use the powers of government to end the activities of the malefactors of great wealth who defraud and exploit the people.

(2) Establishment of a democracy of opportunity for all the people.

We have increased the worker's pay and shortened his hours; we have undertaken to put an end to the sweated labor of his wife and children; we have written into the law of the land his right to collective bargaining and self-organization free from the interference of employers; we have provided Federal machinery for the peaceful settlement of labor disputes.

We will continue to protect the worker and we will guard his rights, both as wage-earner and consumer, in the production and consumption of all commodities.

(3) Aid to those overtaken by disaster. These obligations, neglected through 12 years of the old leadership, have once more been recognized by American Government. Under the new leadership they will never be neglected."

Democratic Party Platform, 1936

There is no 'invisible hand' that is a natural tendency in markets, unless we assume some utopian model of all people acting perfectly rational, and being as naturally good as angels.

In reality, however, the only invisible hand that exists in unregulated markets is that which is picking the public's pockets and confiscating their wealth through fraud, monopoly, and the abuse of power.

History shows this to be undeniable. The dynamic tension between the unprincipled and the public interest is written into the fabric of our experience.

The gospel of continual progress suggests that everything that we have now is different and much better than everything that has gone before. This does not apply equally well to human behavior, human nature if you will, as it does to material science.

The current establishment, an amalgamation of the moneyed interests and the professional class, does not want you to hear things that might make you think independently of the prevailing story.  They want you to be frightened, distracted, confused, and compliant.

Above all, they and their most ardent supporters and doctrinaire apologists need to hear these things.  Because otherwise they cannot change.  And if they do not change, they will not avoid the consequences that will ultimately engulf them.

The problem is that they are caught in a credibility trap.  They have become the defenders and enablers of what their party was dedicated to counteract and uproot—  the systematic abuse of the vulnerable by the powerful and well-positioned, under any rationale, whether it is race, or class, or money, or nationality.

And at the same time they personally do not wish to change, or even admit to any problems they may have caused, despite what they say and the excuses and rationales they may construct, under high sounding names and appeals to identities and sacred missions.

They are impediments to meaningful reform because this system of class and privilege, as rotten and unjust as it may be, serves their interests, and keeps them and their friends very, very secure and comfortable.

Theirs is a Faustian bargain, and it will bring ruin to them now and in the time to come.

(Caution on language)