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Bowling with Picasso. Some Notes on Bernie Sanders.

Asked what it was like to work with Michael Jordan in Space Jam, Wayne Knight said, it was like bowling with Picasso.

We were reminded of that after Bernie Sanders announced his version of the Green New Deal.

Costing somewhere around 16 trillion dollars it offers a set of necessary transformations to save the planet and what we charitably call, civilization.

We like Bernie, certainly more than the malignant troll currently squatting in The White House and more than a few of the other relatively reasonable people in the race. Which is not to say we think he’s right about everything but compared to Trump he’s Abe Lincoln with the Avengers as a supporting cast.

The problem isn’t with Bernie per se, because he, like most of the rest of the so called Progressives and Democratic Socialists, is correct – the environment is in free fall, and the current system is a cross between an economic gulag and a social thunder dome with gladiatorial combat thrown in as a circus side show.

The problem as we’ve discussed before, with Sanders, and Warren and The (not so) Young Turks, and the Democratic Socialists, is not that they’re wrong but that as liberals with an attitude (because the truth is, they are really not that different from the neo liberals who are their favorite rhetorical punching bags) they refuse to admit that in order to enact the changes they advocate, there’s going to have to be a revolution.

And that’s not a revolution as Bernie describes it but the real thing, with people being killed probably in their millions.

And no, we’re not now nor have we in the past advocated killing anyone either individually or in apocalyptic numbers. After all, we’re not in favor of earthquakes but we are aware that they occur.

The issue is that Bernie’s plan is essentially a blueprint for eliminating capitalism.

And he’s not wrong.

Capitalism is incompatible with saving the environment – a point lost on Cenk Yugur and Anna Kasparian and the other bourgeois Progressives who think they can, as they keep saying, have capitalism with a fresh coat of paint and universal healthcare and a few other things just so long as they can also keep their iPhones.

Apparently because, there are a lot of Chinese slaves and well, someone has to pick the high-tech cotton.

But more importantly, when Bernie says, he wants to add 20 million jobs and end unemployment, that’s not so subtle code for ending capitalism.

And that is more important than the rest of his plan.

The argument, such as it is, that the plan is too expensive is ridiculous – you just have to rewrite the tax code and seize off shore accounts.

And fly to the moon on wings of gold.

He’s not wrong, exactly because it is doable and some version of it is necessary. But wanting and accomplishing are not necessarily the same.

But adding millions of jobs, with the government employing them means Uncle Sam replaces Wall Street.

Since the United States no longer produces anything except, video games, Marvel movies, mass shootings and weapons systems, the psychopaths on Wall Street have been searching for other ways to add piles to their piles of loot.

One solution was to monetize debt.

The buying and selling of debt allows the ruling class to buy and sell people because being shackled to debt is a way of transforming people into chattel or wage slaves or both.

It is not a coincidence that student debt has become morbidly obese over the last 20 years.

Additionally, in order to increase their hedge funds and stock portfolios, the ruling class has to maintain artificial scarcity. After all, if everyone could afford a house then the housing market would collapse. And take with it a host of related industries like real estate empires and construction companies and box stores selling home improvement products manufactured by, Chinese slaves.

Consider it a circle of capitalist life.

And in addition to ginning up the real estate mafia, the system also creates ghettos. Ghettos aren’t an accident anymore than student debt is an accident. It’s a direct result of artificial scarcity which requires poverty. Without poverty stocks would collapse because everyone could afford them.

And once you have ghettos you create economic stimulus packages for drug dealers, gangs, cops, and the rancid civil liberty destroying war on drugs as well as providing a reason for bigots to scream about the lazy welfare queens who need a boot up their asses.

That in turn feeds into foreign policy which is currently being conducted as if it were a cross between a heroin induced coma and a patch of dialogue from a Tarantino movie.

What’s that you say? You and your children are on the run from psychopathic drug dealers, fascists and terrorists who are a by product of decades of America’s sado masochistic corrupt imperial boot up Central and South America’s ass?

Well what the fuck were you doing wearing that short tight dress in that neighborhood? Of course being raped is your fault and here’s a detention center where we can stash you, terrorize you and kidnap your children.

Again, a cycle of capitalist life.

In order for Bernie to be successful he first has to get the nomination.

Then he has to win the election.

Notwithstanding that the ginned up mouth breathing knuckle dragging roach motel geniuses who hate women, will at Trump’s urging turn from screaming about Hillary to screaming about Bernie the Kike who wants to take your money.

And then there’s the establishment media who are tools of corporations who are invested in maintaining a permanent underclass of wage slaves because it boosts the value of the artificially inflated stock of the corporations that own the media.

And then if he gets passed all of that he has to get a Democratic controlled House and a Democratic controlled Senate or a large enough minority that crypto Confederate reactionary neo-feudalist rat fuckers like Mitch McConnell can be beaten into political submission.

And then he would have to get passed the loose affiliation of billionaires who over the preceding decades have done everything imaginable to keep capitalism afloat.

And that runs the gamut from bribes to coups to murder.

There is not one example anywhere of any effort to improve the lot of working class wage slaves that does not include the ruling class killing people.

And then there are the Freikorps of ex not so ex special forces and intelligence agency goons who drift around the world as guns for hire and tend to be either a-political and lethal or fascists and lethal.

Anyone who thinks these people don’t include significant numbers of psychopaths willing to set off a bomb or stage a coup is whistling passed the graveyard.

For a spot on fictional version go watch Three Days of the Condor and for an authentic account read up on the Bologna Rail Station Bombing.

And this of course is the problem with Bernie and his supporters. They posses a firm commitment to avoiding the truth – not about the front end of the crisis – but about the back end nature of the people who profit from the crisis.

But calling them out as fascists, means defining capitalism as organized crime. It means watching The Godfather Films and realizing that among other things what you’re seeing is how the American sausage gets made.

And if you call the system what it is, and you say you’re going to change it, it means revolution.

Bernie probably knows that. He also knows that if he calls it as it truly is, his opponents on the right and in the center where moral hermaphrodites like Nancy were capitalists get used to it Pelosi live, will call him a Bolshevik.

This in turn is not a new argument. Karl Marx used to get into fights with German leftists and French leftists and English leftists over whether or not the revolution had to be violent or not.

The socialists and the more militant left side of the liberals hate the idea of violence because it’s bad for business and might get them killed. And then they wouldn’t have their iPhones.

The authentic leftists are as gangsterish as the fascists because either they’re just as psychotic or because they know that unless you’re Gandhi, and Dr. King, your non violent strategy is not going to work and besides, both King and the Mahatma were executed by “lone gunman” who just happened to have sketchy connections to the establishment thugs.

Politicians are rarely also philosophers or even intellectuals. And when they are it is no guarantee they will be any better at solving problems than your average bureaucrat. Thomas Jefferson is probably the smartest person to ever be president and even he had to dispatch Steven Decatur to beat up Muslims in North Africa.

The idea that history is a trap – that reality is a Mobius loop is not something politicians can handle. The tragedy of politics, said an intellectual, is that it must translate ideas into the business of facts.

Bernie means well. At least he does with most of what matters but he has an unfortunate habit of falling back on simplistic binary notions of how thing work or should work.

While we would never confuse Fran Liebowitz with Dorothy Parker, she was on to something when she described Bernie as a weird old narcissist.

We’re more charitable and less inclined to hurl rhetorical napalm at him even if we still think he’s pulling a Eugene Debs 2.0 and is about as likely to succeed as Debs was.

The issue is that the ruling class will never willingly surrender and they certainly will not do it peacefully.

It will not be Berlin in 1989.

It will be more like Tiananmen Square.

Or far worse because no one in China owns a gun except the cops and the military and the mafia who work for the government.

A man’s got to know his limitations, said one of America’s mythic gun slingers.

We wonder if Bernie knows his.

 

 

 

For a look at Sander’s Green New Deal proposal:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-sanders-climate-idUSKCN1VC15L

Worth noting, here is a quote:

“Among the proposals in the book are that employees should have 50% of the seats on company boards; that the voting power of even the largest shareholders should be capped at 10%; much higher taxes on property, rising to 90% for the largest estates; a lump sum capital allocation of €120,000 (just over £107,000) to everyone when they reach 25; and an individualised carbon tax calculated by a personalised card that would track each person’s contribution to global heating.

In an interview with the French weekly news magazine L’Obs, Piketty made no apologies for the impact his ideas would have on the stock market. He said: “[Yes], it will also affect the price of real estate that is crazy in Paris, and it will allow new social groups to become owners and shareholders.””

Here’s the entire article:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/sep/09/thomas-pikettys-new-magnum-opus-published-on-thursday

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