Friday, September 23, 2011

Class Talk vs Political Post Modernism

Our current political discourse is dominated by a kind of "political post modernism" which cannot evaluate the truth of anything, just report that "some say that..."

Is there global climate change?  Some say "yes"; others say "no".  Who can tell?

Will cutting back federal spending revive the economy?  The House GOP says "yes"; every major economist says "no".  Who can tell?

It IS hard to tell.  Climate change deniers and House Republicans have a wealth of facts, data and anecdotes that support their position.  The argument can be endless and always inconclusive and intimidating for those who are not similarly equipped.

But Class Talk does start to get at a truth behind all this seemingly multiple truths.  It asks "who benefits?"  "Who is paying for this research and this advocacy?"

Who benefits from minimizing climate change?  Well, the big oil companies for a start.   Who benefits from lower capital gains tax rate?  Well, the biggest beneficiaries are the people who make most of their money as capital gains -- finance capital firms, wealthy investors.

Oil companies and hedge fund managers have a perfect right to advocate for government policies that benefit them, even at the expense of other groups.   So do teachers, autoworkers, and poor people, as well.  And everyone has the perfect right to argue that other people share their interest.

Wealthy investors can argue that if you lower our taxes, after we get done pimping our lifestyle, and then making capital investments to eliminate as many jobs as possible, we might get around to creating a few more jobs.  But is that in your interest?

Big oil can argue that it's not only better for them, but for all of us, to drill for oil now while it is cheap than to leave it in the ground for later, when it will be even more valuable.  Let's eat the goose now!  Do you want global warming and roast goose now?   Is that your best interests?

Each of us can make our own choices about where our self-interest lies and with whom we share interests, who are our political allies and who is working against our interests.

The reason why the right rails against "class warfare" is because they can't survive the political consequences of people honestly evaluating their own interests in politics.  There are too many of us and not enough of them.

 


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