Home > Critical Thinking, Current Affairs, Dystopia, Links > Interesting Links: May 13, 2016

Interesting Links: May 13, 2016

Here are links to a few interesting articles I came across recently. They are about the democratic party and its republican counterpart betrayed (and are still betraying) the working and middle class in USA.

Link 1: Our awful elites gutted America. Now they dare ring alarms about Trump, Sanders — and cast themselves as saviors

The worst offenders of all are the American left’s cultural warriors, who daily wage some new battle over some imagined cultural offense, which has nothing to do with the lives of normal people but only the highly tuned sensibilities of those in the academic, publishing, and media ecospheres. The Hillary supporters have the authoritarian mentality of small property owners. They are the mirror image of the “realist” Trump supporters, the difference being that the Trump supporters fall below the median income level, and are distressed and insecure, while the Hillary supporters stand above the median income level, and are prosperous but still insecure. To manipulate them, the Democratic and Republican elites have both played a double game for forty years and have gotten away with it. They have incrementally yet quite comprehensively seized all economic and political power for themselves. They have perverted free media and even such basics of the democratic process as voting and accountability in elections. Elites on both sides have collaborated to engineer a revolution of economic decline for the working person, until the situation has reached unbearable proportions. The stock market may be doing well, and unemployment may theoretically be low, but people can’t afford housing and food, they can’t pay back student loans and other debts, their lives, wherever they live in this transformed country, are full of such misery that there is not a single word that an establishment candidate like Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush says that makes sense to them.

Link 2: Unnecessariat

Prince, apparently, overdosed. He’s hardly alone, just famous. After all, death rates are up and life expectancy is down for a lot of people and overdoses seem to be a big part of the problem. You can plausibly make numerical comparisons. Here’s AIDS deaths in the US from 1987 through 1997. The number of overdoses in 2014? 47,055 of which at least 29,467 are attributable to opiates. The population is larger now, of course, but even the death rates are comparable. And rising. As with AIDS, families are being “hollowed out” with elders raising grandchildren, the intervening generation lost before their time. As with AIDS, neighborhoods are collapsing into the demands of dying, or of caring for the dying. This too is beginning to feel like a detonation. There’s a second, related detonation to consider. Suicide is up as well. The two go together: some people commit suicide by overdose, and conversely addiction is a miserable experience that leads many addicts to end it rather than continue to be the people they recognize they’ve become to family and friends, but there’s a deeper connection as well. Both suicide and addiction speak to a larger question of despair. Despair, loneliness, and a search, either temporarily or permanently, for a way out.

In 2011, economist Guy Standing coined the term “precariat” to refer to workers whose jobs were insecure, underpaid, and mobile, who had to engage in substantial “work for labor” to remain employed, whose survival could, at any time, be compromised by employers (who, for instance held their visas) and who therefore could do nothing to improve their lot. The term found favor in the Occupy movement, and was colloquially expanded to include not just farmworkers, contract workers, “gig” workers, but also unpaid interns, adjunct faculty, etc. Looking back from 2016, one pertinent characteristic seems obvious: no matter how tenuous, the precariat had jobs. The new dying Americans, the ones killing themselves on purpose or with drugs, don’t. Don’t, won’t, and know it. Here’s the thing: from where I live, the world has drifted away. We aren’t precarious, we’re unnecessary. The money has gone to the top. The wages have gone to the top. The recovery has gone to the top. And what’s worst of all, everybody who matters seems basically pretty okay with that. The new bright sparks, cheerfully referred to as “Young Gods” believe themselves to be the honest winners in a new invent-or-die economy, and are busily planning to escape into space or acquire superpowers, and instead of worrying about this, the talking heads on TV tell you its all a good thing- don’t worry, the recession’s over and everything’s better now, and technology is TOTES AMAZEBALLS!

Link 3: Burying the White Working Class

The media takeaway was clear: somehow, someway, West Virginia’s vote for a Jewish socialist Brooklyn native was a vote for racism. “I don’t want to say it,” said Chris Matthews on election night “but West Virginian voters are, you know — conservative on social issues — but there’s another word for that …” MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald claimed, “Many attributed the outcome to West Virginia voters’ discomfort with Obama’s race. The state is one of the whitest in the country.” To be fair, it’s now widely known that Hillary Clinton keeps hot sauce in her purse at all times. These kinds of statements are the name of the game for today’s Democratic elite. The party has established a clear line on the white wage-earning class: they’re all either dying (demographically or literally), irrelevant in an increasingly nonwhite country, or so hopelessly racist they can go off themselves with a Miller High Life-prescription-painkiller cocktail for all they care. As liberal hero and Sanders nemesis Barney Frank put it a couple of weeks ago, “the likelihood that fifty-eight-year-old coal miners are going to become the solar engineers of the future is nil.”

But even with such “dangerous” and “unrealistic” expectations why do elite liberals seem to focus so particularly on white wage-earners? Part of the explanation is that unlike with the white working class, many of the hardships workers of color face fit neatly within an acceptable liberal narrative about what’s wrong with our society: racism. And when racism can be blamed, capitalism can be exonerated. Liberals can delude themselves into believing that it is nothing more than the accumulation of individual prejudices stashed away in the minds of powerful white people that has destroyed black and brown communities in Detroit, Ferguson, and Chicago’s South Side. Class stratification, capital flight, and the war against organized labor are thus sidestepped completely. The liberal elite is spared from having to question the fundamental injustices of capitalism. Unfortunately, the miseries, hardships, and exploitation of white workers don’t fit into an easy capital-friendly framework. Liberals then have two options: blame the individual moral failings of white workers or call into question the very nature of capitalism itself.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Bobby
    May 14, 2016 at 5:39 am

    “white wage-earning class: they’re all either dying (demographically or literally), irrelevant in an increasingly nonwhite country,”…

    Not so fast….conservatives are gambling that many hispanics will become “white”….remember people like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio walk down the street as “white people” not hispanics.

    If the president and first lady of Mexico were walking down the street in the rural south…most would consider them to be “white”…

    http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/president-of-mexico-enrique-pea-nieto-and-first-lady-angelica-rivero-picture-id458344448

    If conservatives can successfully turn the “whiter” part of latinos into “white” people…then the US has a strong white majority again…..

    • P Ray
      May 15, 2016 at 12:23 am

      Bella Thorne is considered white, isn’t she?
      She’s from Cuba … 🙂

  2. May 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    you might get a kick out of this political cartoonist…

    http://grrrgraphics.com/index.html

    all the adolphonso’s have been stealing his name and putting it on badly drawn nazitoons…

  3. May 14, 2016 at 3:51 pm

  4. May 14, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    “There’s that guy who’ll walk into the bar and say anything to get laid,” Cuban said at a conference in Las Vegas on Thursday. “That’s Donald Trump right now to a T. But it’s all of us who are going to get fucked.”
    http://www.rollingstone.com/sports/news/mark-cuban-says-donald-trump-is-a-g-ddamn-airhead-20160513#ixzz48hCavelG

    hahahaha, all the game evangelists should love that…

    it would be funny if he doesn’t let roosh v back in the country because he’s a muzzie….

    • P Ray
      May 15, 2016 at 12:25 am

      I dunno that Roosh V would identify as Muslim,
      as this pill-popping girl I knew once said
      “I’m not Iranian, I’m Persian”(LOL, the Persian empire hasn’t existed for hundreds of years)

      • May 15, 2016 at 10:37 am

        haha, remember when rooshiepoops got a drink thrown in his face and said it was offensive because he’s moslem (outdated spelling used by him but if I used it, I’d be wassist….

        he does cuddle up to the white nationalists…

  5. P Ray
    May 15, 2016 at 12:29 am

    “Our awful elites gutted America. Now they dare ring alarms about Trump, Sanders — and cast themselves as saviors”
    These are the same people who tell others “I made all my money through hard work” …
    at which point one should ask the question “Whose hard work?”

    Nobody can make at most about USD100,000+ per person through their own labour.

    In short, all these “self-made millionaires” and “self-made billionaires” had an army of peons to help them rake in the cash. It seems that the rich are curiously ungrateful or oblivious that other people contributed to their success.

    But then again, I suppose being rich for some people, shrinks their ability to empathise or understand they are just one accident or acid-facing away from losing everything.

    Typical CONservative mindset – “Stealing and abusing others is wrong, except when I do it.”

  6. P Ray
    May 15, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Whoops, typo
    Nobody can make at most about USD100,000+ per person through their own labour.”
    should read
    Individuals can make at most about USD100,000+ per person through their own labour.”

    • hoipolloi
      May 15, 2016 at 12:31 pm

      You mean per year? I agree

      • P Ray
        May 15, 2016 at 2:42 pm

        Yup, per year.
        I can tell you that people who sell hotdogs from a cart in the night can clear that if they are living in an area with a student population or 24hour business enterprises.

        In a day those vendors typically have about 200 – 300 patties, each patty takes about 5 minutes to cook, there is space for about 4 per frying surface, and they cook about 40 – 50 per hour. And charge about USD5+ per burger.

        It’s an interesting business to watch.

  7. Yusef
    May 16, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    “The worst offenders of all are the American left’s cultural warriors, who daily wage some new battle over some imagined cultural offense, which has nothing to do with the lives of normal people but only the highly tuned sensibilities of those in the academic, publishing, and media ecospheres.”

    The American “left’s” cultural warriors are deplorable, but why is it necessary to say they are the worst? “Left” and “Right” at the “elite” level are all so terribly bad there’s no real reason to distinguish them. I don’t even think the labels “left” and “right” at the elite level are pertinent or operative.

  8. ant
    May 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    RIP Prince 😦

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