I kind of like this exchange, where anon accused me of arguing that full communism is possible long before it was demonstrated by the sudden shutdown to contain the pandemic. Read the rest of this entry »
Let’s say you’re the President of these United States and you order your generals to leave Afghanistan.
But your generals tell you that if they leave Afghanistan all hell will break loose and the shit will hit the fan, yadda, yadda, yadda…
Nevertheless, being president, and being in charge, you look your generals in the eyes and tell them in no uncertain terms that by a date certain their asses should be out of Afghanistan and you don’t want to hear no more fucking discussion on this stupid subject out of them.
“Fine,” say your generals and salute smartly.
And they begin to hatch a plot to make you look like the biggest loser asshole president in the history of loser asshole presidents — I mean a real Kennedy-style Bay of Pigs fiasco to turn the entire country over to the Taliban as they walk out the door.
In the interim, however, this other guy — let’s call him “Jim-Crow Joe” Biden — steals the election and you’re forced to… um, retire to Florida.
Now “Jim-Crow” also wants to leave Afghanistan and the generals can’t convince him otherwise either. But thank god they are still in charge of all the planning and execution of the withdrawal.
And who is better to organize a disaster than the guys in charge of planning the entire operation in the first place — who were against it from the very beginning?
So, its all good.
WTF! I guess Q was right. Turns out the FBI and DoD really were diddling little girls, while trying to get rid of Trump.
Somebody tell Kliman.
Biden’s Covid-19 mandate was a surprising u-turn. In a single set of measures, he:
Had he so desired, Biden could as easily have dramatically reduce climate change with the similar set of measures. Simply by reducing the workweek to four days:
And, perhaps, one additional measure:
This likely would reduce the U.S. carbon footprint well below its current impact.
The difference, of course, is that the Covid-19 vaccination is all about restarting surplus accumulation, while ending climate change threatens accumulation.
In the previous post, I showed how the Soviet party-state apparat disorganized food distribution and forced unpopular decisions on Khrushchev in an attempt to hurt his popularity before driving him from office.
Today, we are seeing a similar campaign against Joe Biden, who had the temerity to demand the complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan by August 31st — essentially sticking to the decision of his predecessor, Trump.
Biden is in the unfortunate position of having to rely on a recalcitrant state machinery that does not want to withdraw from Afghanistan (or anywhere else, for that matter) to plan and execute his ordered withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31st.
President Biden’s decision to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan ran counter to the recommendations of his top military commanders, who feared it could undermine security in the country.
Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Gen. Austin “Scott” Miller, who leads NATO forces in Afghanistan, and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all recommended retaining the current force of 2,500 troops while stepping up diplomacy to try to cement a peace agreement, U.S. officials say.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, himself a retired military commander for the region, shared the concerns of the senior officers, cautioning that withdrawing all U.S. troops would suspend what amounted to an insurance policy for maintaining a modicum of stability in the country, the officials said. (Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2021)
But these are the very people who planned and executed Biden’s orders. Being in charge of the planning of the withdrawal meant they could sabotage it from the inside at every step of its execution.
Jim-Crow Joe will pay dearly for Trump’s withdrawal. This clusterfuck was a trap they had laid for Trump if he followed through with the withdrawal, but Jim Crow Joe walked into it instead.
But the debacle has its own logic too: It is unlikely that Biden will want to face off against the NatSec apparat down the road to withdraw troops from — say — Korea, Syria or Iraq after this chilling debacle.
He likely has learned his lesson.
I almost laughed when I read that headline on one radical Leftist rag site.
Let me see if I get this: the United States occupies your country for two decades and bombs the hell out of everything that moves until it gets tired and bored with the slaughter.
Then it withdraws, leaving the country in the hands of semi-feudal clerics with iPhones.
This somehow amounts to a defeat in the opinion of the radical Left?
You have to be kidding me. Do you really have this little imagination left?
Jasper Bernes has written an essay that I have reblogged here. Much of it I find of great interest. However, this passage, in particular, I take great issue with for obvious reasons:
There is also in Marx a tendential theory alongside the heuristic theory. The light of communism revealed for Marx a directionality to capitalist production, one that pointed toward its ruin but also its overcoming by communism. The tendencies identified are numerous and complexly entangled: mass proletarianization, immiseration, and increase in superfluous populations, concentration and centralization of capital, globalization of trade, rising organic composition of capital, falling rate of profit, depletion of the soil, colonization, and imperialism. Chief among all these tendencies, however, was the tendency for capitalism to produce its own gravediggers in the rising, militant proletariat. The tendencies are also, it should now seem needless to say, illuminated by a future communism. This is because, first, the rising proletariat is already practically oriented toward communism, and second, tendencies within capitalism lead inexorably toward communism. Tendencies are directional, and directions are not neutral, but stained with the dye of class struggle, progressive and reactive.
Much of the tendential theory has not held up, at least if read strictly, and in some instances, it must be admitted, Marx was badly wrong. But the fact that any of it has held up, despite the fact that the communist revolution has not occurred, and capitalism soldiers on long after Marx could have thought such a thing imaginable, counts as no small feat. None of his contemporaries fare better. The tendential theory must, in any case, always return to the facts of the world, of class struggle, for confirmation. But it also must know what it’s looking for, where it hopes history will lead. Here again Marx can appear most grandiose when he is in fact being most modest. He need not proselytize and inveigh, draw up battle plans and programs, for the tendencies of capitalism are already doing the work of forming a resistance adequate to it. The tendential analysis is not prescriptive, but diagnostic, highlighting limits and opportunities. But these are opportunities that, for Marx, the working class must come to understand one way or another. It is class struggle itself which brings these opportunities to mind for Marx—his work is to clarify and refine political tendencies, the communist movement principally, already in the process of formation.
While I would agree that Marx saw in capital a directionality (is this a word?) of sorts that points to its own ruin (I prefer the term “self-negation”), I am not so sure I agree with Bernes’ phrasing of capital’s relation with communism. In particular, I don’t think I like the phrase, “its overcoming by communism.” Rather, I would stick to Marx’s characterization that capital unconsciously creates the material requirements of communism.
The material requirements of communism have absolutely nothing to do with classes or class struggle, nor do they seek class struggle for confirmation. They are material requirements. The class struggle is merely political. Even if there were no class struggle or, as at present, the class struggle were severely attenuated, capital would remain no more than a historically limited mode of production, creating the material requirements of communism. The class struggle has nothing at all to do with this. It has absolutely no impact on the nature of capital.
To say this another way: The proletarians do not and cannot put an end to capital. Capital negates itself. The proletarians can speed up or retard this process of self-negation only. If capital does not negate itself, there is nothing the class struggle can do to put an end to capital since both classes constitute the relation.