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Next President of the United Fates of America
The Triumph of Imperialist Feminism: Hillary vs the Immense Revolution

by Bill Martin

Quote:Herbert Marcuse said somewhere that, despite the appearance of great dynamism in capitalist society, nothing really happens. This could be Marcuse’s gloss on Shakespeare: sound and fury, etc. Written over about eight weeks, and showing the marks of particular days a bit more than I would like, the following is a long discussion of what, in the end, signifies something very close to nothing. The very simple takeaway might be that the Clintons have done a wonderful job of high-jacking certain Sixties and “progressive” motifs, and liberals, so-called progressives, and many so-called leftists are sucking it up. The result is the consolidation of what I am calling “imperialist feminism,” and the reason why so many who should know better are buying into it is that they are attached to the imperialist system in both body and mind.

Is it not an insult to women

Quote:principles to not ask the questions, either.
It would be fun to quote Levine’s paragraphs about how Hillary Clinton, “will make every other President and Commander-in-Chief in American history, even George W. Bush, look good in comparison; and there will be no way to put a happy face on that.” But what’s more important for my purposes is Levine’s assessment of Bernie Sanders, even given the probability that Bernie will fold himself entirely into the Hillary campaign–for my purposes here, one point in particular stands out: [Sanders] “demonstrated — inadvertently, but undeniably — that another Democratic Party is not possible; that the idea that Democrats could become good for anything more than keeping Republicans at bay is a pipedream at best.”
One can imagine all who are committed to the Democratic Party saying to this last, “But that’s good enough, especially this time.” Yes, it’s plenty good enough for those who can think no further than remaining compliant, narcoleptic supporters of U.S. imperialism.
Why is it the “good liberals” are so committed to “trying things” over and over again endlessly when it is fantastically, abundantly clear that nothing fundamental changes through the electoral system? I think the answer to this is easy enough to discern: the good liberals like being affluent members of an imperialist society, and feeling smug about how “good” they are. They support the system that is more or less working for them, except that, even when that system is no longer working for them, they are dramatically short on any kind of vision for a different kind of society. What is especially ugly in this picture is that, with Hillary Clinton, their cards are on the table, they want to vote for more imperialism.
The following should go without saying, but it probably does have to be said, though again it will not mean anything to Hillary supporters. There are many millions of people in the United States who would be very happy to live in a good society, and part of our definition of a good society is that there would be women at every level of leadership, and of course in every other walk of life. There is and would be no shortage of great, brilliant women to lead such a society, and it would not be a surprise if there were in fact many more women capable in this way than men. But none of this has anything to do with having a woman as the titular head of the American empire, the very bad society that we have today.
And, by the way, as for “God having a special place in hell,” it should be pointed out that the record of this same “God” on taking care of women is, to put it lightly, less than great.
There are some who are calling the present political season, mainly because of Trump but also to some extent because of Sanders, a “crisis of democracy.” The word “democracy” has been rendered more or less useless (or worse) by the workings of the American system, but it’s laughable to think that “democracy” is in “crisis” because for a change electoral politics is expressing something of what some people want, or at least their frustrations are becoming more apparent. If only this “crisis of democracy” could open up a larger crisis of the oligarchy; at least there is a start here, with the disarray in which one of the main ruling-class institutions finds itself.
This is not to say that good people should cheer or vote for Trump, with the hope of “precipitating a crisis.” That terrible strategy from the 1960s and ’70s should be studied, but not revisited.
One way we know there is a real crack in the existing order is that liberals, too, are moaning about the troubles facing the Republican “political class”; Jonathan Rouch, writing in The Atlantic (July/August 2016), warns of chaos and a system that seems to have gone “insane.”
So, the insanity that the United States has visited on the rest of the world for many decades is manifesting itself in the belly of the beast. Perhaps after only 240 years of the U.S. polity (I’m not going to say “republic,” another word almost completely desecrated, though perhaps Plato and Badiou can do something for it), we already have an inbred aristocracy, with Harvard and Yale “legacy” students at its core. That’s fast living in the modern and postmodern worlds–what can be called in the latter case “fast capitalism” (after the excellent book by sociologist Ben Agger). It’s hard to imagine that many in the wider world will feel so much sympathy for the U.S. on this point, though of course we all should steel ourselves and prepare politically for what can happen if this particular ship of state lists heavily to one side or the other.
Please, let’s bear in mind that, when the malefactorious machinators are having problems doing their nefarious business, yes, things can get dangerous, but, on the whole, this is a good thing. Lack of ease and freedom in ruling class maneuvering can be transformed into freedom for the people, if there are three elements that are gathering in intensity, even if through twists and turns: a revolutionary movement, revolutionary leadership, and real ideas–or, to put it in the terms of Alain Badiou, an Idea.
At present, all three are lacking.
Perhaps you would expect a philosopher to say this, but it is no less true for that: the key element in our moment is a new idea. There will be movements, there are already some good movements. There are some leaders, not without skill, but they are working with ideas whose time has come and gone (or, in many cases, only pseudo-ideas). There are many people who have great potential to become good leaders, but they are also in need of an idea–and, for too many, this means getting beyond the anti-theoretical slant of many who would take up leadership. The various movements will not coalesce into “the Movement,” and the leadership we need will not appear until an Idea breaks the current impasse.
To be clear, I am not saying that the world awaits “the philosopher” who will invent this idea. We need an idea in politics, in the construction of a true political sphere; philosophers may have a special role in pointing to that idea, or declaring the idea, but philosophers and intellectuals will have to get onboard with the idea like everyone else. As Alain Badiou puts it, “politics is, because people think.” We need to grapple not only with the “because” in this formulation (“because” is a word with slippery logic), but also “is,” “people,” and “think.” Let’s put our heads down, when we can, and together from time to time, too.
If there are any Hillary supporters still reading this, don’t worry too much, your candidate has things pretty well rigged. And if she can’t win an election against Donald Trump, that’s her own bloody fault, and don’t go blaming those of us who don’t want to play your thoughtless game.
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Bill Martin is a professor of philosophy at DePaul University in Chicago; at present he is also Distinguished Visiting Professor of Philosophy at Huaqiao University in Xiamen, PRC. His most recent book is Ethical Marxism: The Categorical Imperative of Liberation. Now he is at work on a large project of synthesis, bringing together elements of Buddhism, Maoism, and French Marxism (especially the ideas of Alain Badiou). He is also a musician, and recently released two albums of experimental music, Gravitas (Avant-Bass 1) and Terre de Bas (Avant-Bass 2).
Never invite a Yoda to a frog leg dinner.
Go ahead invite Yoda to a Frog leg dinner

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RE: Next President of the United Fates of America - by Wook - 07-20-2016, 06:41 PM

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