Apologies for disappearing, but a car accident put me out of action for a while. All I could do was leave an occasional comment at Rodger’s blog.
Before I get going on my topic for today, I note that the European Council is threatening to impose fines on the governments of Spain and Portugal if those governments do not further increase their austerity.
The European Council is now making the following demands…
 The Spanish government must enact another 10 billion euros in tax hikes and spending cuts.
 The Spanish government must surrender total economic control to the EU.
 The Spanish government must send quarterly reports on austerity measures to the European Commission. Failure to send these reports every three months will result in ever-higher fines and ever-tighter controls from Brussels.
In response to threats of EU fines, Spanish Economy Minister Luis de Guindos announced on Tuesday (21 July 2016) a rise in corporate taxation, which will be passed on to workers in the form of salary cuts.
In Spain and Portugal, all politicians (all of them) favor more austerity for the masses, and more obedience to EU dictates, since all politicians are directly or indirectly on the EU payroll.
This includes politicians with the faux-leftist Podemos coalition in Spain, along with politicians in the anti-socialist “Socialist” Party.
In Portugal the faux-leftist “Left Bloc” is allied with the faux-Communist “Communist” Party. All of them favor more austerity, and more control by the EU.
All of them.
The “Left Bloc” in Portugal wants the government to hold a referendum on whether the Portuguese government should submit to the EU’s latest demands. This fake referendum will allow the the “Left Bloc” blame austerity on the other parties.
The French government’s budget deficit is far larger than the Spanish or Portuguese governments’, but the EU tyrants are not threatening to fine the French government. Reason: France is not a peripheral nation like Greece, Spain, or Portugal.
The blame for all this lies not with the bankers or politicians, but with the peasants who refuse to dump the euro that is killing them.
Change of topic…
Socially liberal; fiscally conservative
I intended to write about this a couple of weeks ago, but a car accident knocked me out of action for a while. Let me start by paraphrasing a Counterpunch article.
A corporate liberal is someone who supports anything progressive that does not challenge corporate power. The corporate liberal fights for progressive identity politics such as feminism, gay rights, and reproductive rights. He supports African-American protests against police brutality, unless the protests threaten the corporate establishment. (It was Bill Clinton who initiated the prison industrial complex that incarcerates huge numbers of minorities.)
Hillary is a corporate liberal. She claims to oppose racism and so on, while she supports the capitalist greed that worsens racism and other social frictions. Hillary is a liberal on social issues like “gay rights,” but she is fanatically right-wing when it comes to war, Wall Street, Israel, and financial inequality.
In fact, all politicians today are either right-wing fanatics, or corporate liberals.
The problem is that many average people are the same. They call themselves “social liberals and fiscal conservatives,” meaning they care about things like racism and “gay rights,” but they largely ignore the things that maintain the gap between the rich and the rest. Things like war, austerity, neo-liberalism, or “free trade” treaties.
These people are useful idiots for the rich and the bankers. By focusing on equality between races, genders, and so on, they distract from the most important equality of all, which is financial equality.
Back to the Counterpunch article…
We are expected to support whatever Democrats do, because Democrats are supposedly better than Republicans. We must support Democrats even if this means a deteriorating quality of life for all identity groups. Even if it means lower incomes, higher unemployment, bigger personal debts, fewer jobs, less social support, more inequality, more incarceration, more suicide, more alcoholism, more drug abuse, more stress, more violence, more crime, more war, and more unhappiness.
Hillary will privatize Medicare and Social Security. She will ram through the TPP. She will nuke Iran if she can get away with it. She will start new wars, and perhaps start World War III with Russia.
Still, we must vote for Hillary in order to defeat the Republican (Trump) — even though Trump opposes the TPP, opposes the privatization of Medicare and Social Security, and opposes war with Russia. (Trump is a buffoon, while Hillary is a psychopath.)
Hillary will increase every social ill in America today. Nonetheless we must vote for Hillary because Trump said he wants to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border (which already exists).
In order to help refugees, we must vote for Democrats like Obama, who has deported more refugees than any previous president did.
Since Democrats are always the “lesser evil,” Democrats always get away with perpetrating the greater evil.
Democrat presidents oversaw the USA’s entry into World War I and II, plus the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Kosovo War, the destruction of Libya, and the proxy war on Syria. Nonetheless we must vote for Democrats because Republicans are “pro-war.”
A Democrat (Bill Clinton) gave us NAFTA, and he repealed laws such as Glass-Steagall. Nonetheless we must vote for Democrats because Republicans are “pro-corporation.”
The point here is that too many people get caught up in identity politics (e.g. “gay rights”) while they ignore class warfare. They are social liberals, but fiscal conservatives, meaning they echo the lie that the U.S. government is “bankrupt,” and should have a balanced budget.
Wall Street uses this lie to reduce the masses to debt slaves. And the masses eagerly put their heads into the noose…
Rich people are fiscal conservatives and social liberals, meaning they support any development in society long as it doesn’t challenge their control of society. For example, David Koch of the Koch brothers says, “I’m a conservative on economic matters and I’m a social liberal.”
For Koch, this is camouflage. By condemning racism, he distracts public attention from his racist actions, such as his support for privatized prisons that seek more profits by incarcerating more people of color.
Put another way, in Western societies what matters is not what you do, but what you say. You are praised for doing racist things like supporting austerity, charter schools, and privately owned prisons. But you are condemned for saying racist things. You are praised for supporting the extermination of millions of Muslims. But you can’t say that all Muslims are evil (unless you are a Jew). This is why the fanatically anti-progressive Hillary is considered a “progressive.” It is why Trump is considered a racist bigot even though, in practice, he is far less racist than is Hillary.
Again, it’s okay to do racist things, like destroy Libya and Syria, but not to say racist things. This is true not only in the corporate media outlets, but in society at large. Trump is a “racist” because of what he says. Hilary only does racist things, like supporting institutionalized racism, and the mass extermination of Muslims.
Establishment Republicans hate Trump because he blew their cover. Trump said racist things. Because of Trump, Republicans now realize that if they want to continue promoting economic inequality, then Republicans must say socially liberal things, like Democrats do. Republicans must become socially liberal and fiscally conservative. Just as there are “New Democrats” (who support financial inequality) there must be “New Republicans.”
Current drug policies in the United States perpetuate a permanent black and brown underclass of underpaid, disenfranchised, disempowered servants, sentenced to do shit work at low wages for their entire lives. And let’s not forget the slave labor provided by prisons. Hillary supports all this, but she is not a “racist,” since she doesn’t say racist things.
Hillary’s neoliberalism means more privatized prisons, whose profits depend on an ever-increasing number of Black inmates.
But Hillary is not a “racist,” since she doesn’t say racist things. She only promotes and advances racism.
Neoliberalism means more monopolies, more pollution, and more abuses of workers. “Free trade” lets corporations move overseas where they can hire non-white children to toil 16 hours a day in unsafe and unsanitary mines and sweatshops. This is Hillary’s “non-racism.”
The point, again, is that rich people and their puppets (like Hillary and Obama) do racist things, but they avoid saying racist things in public. They are social liberals and fiscal conservatives, meaning they want less government spending on the “welfare state,” and more on the warfare state.
The essence of Libertarianism (in practice anyway) is to support all progressive movements except those that promote financial equality. The Koch brothers call themselves Libertarians. They want liberty for themselves and a police / surveillance state for you.
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for President, calls himself “socially liberal, and fiscally conservative.” He wants a balanced federal budget. That is, he wants to reduce federal spending on programs that help average people.
Genuine equality means economic equality. What does it profit a man if he is allowed to eat at an integrated lunch counter, but he is paid so little that he cannot buy lunch? Social rights mean nothing without economic rights alongside them.
Looked at another way, you cannot claim to support any form of equality until you support all forms of equality.