America’s rulers want austerity to continue

U.S. electoral

With 24 Democrats running for president and most of them lying about their plans for the nation and the world, the current U.S. electoral arena may seem chaotic. 

But the fog clears dramatically if one understands that the corporate duopoly is designed to systematically narrow the electoral choices available to the populace so that, at end of the process, the rule of Capital remains secure.

The duopoly party both facilitates and legitimizes the rule of the rich and is, therefore, a profoundly anti-democratic institution. In such an arrangement, majorities never get what they want – which is the evil genius of the system. 

Just one path 

The only path to democracy is over the dead carcasses of the duopoly parties. This is especially true for the Black polity, whose political life has been all but hermetically sealed within the confines of the Democratic half of the corporate duopoly – a political prison that the Black inmates mistake for a sanctuary.

Nearly every Black political aspiration and vote is systematically channeled through a corporate vetting process whose end result is the utter neutering of Black Power. Under the illusion that corporate Democrats are their protectors rather than jailers, much of Black America has forgotten how to formulate coherent demands. 

As a consequence, the Black economic condition relative to Whites has deteriorated to 1980 levels under the leadership of a corporate Democrat-controlled Black political class. It is been left to impoverished ghetto youth to periodically register the only effective resistance to the Mass Black Incarceration Austerity State.

White Man’s Party 

By expressly positioning the GOP as the White Man’s Party, Donald Trump guarantees himself a viable national constituency that will make no demands other than that he demonstrably share their hatred of non-White Others. Historically, such Whites have always been eager to cut off their own noses to spite Black and brown faces.  

But the challenge facing corporate Democrats and their media is daunting. Super-majorities of Americans favor austerity-busting proposals like Medicare for All, free public college and a Green New Deal, as well as higher minimum wages and other measures that would make working people more secure – the diametrical opposite of the future as envisioned by the Lords of Capital.  

Deficits no problem 

Austerity has little to do with reducing government debt. Corporate Republicans routinely run up trillion-dollar deficits with spending on war, corporate subsidies and tax cuts.

Austerity is the methodical imposition of progressively lower living standards and greater employment insecurity for the masses in order to weaken working people’s ability to reject any kind of job, at any terms of employment, thus channeling ever-greater wealth into the coffers of the oligarchs. 

Simultaneously, austerity is wholesale privatization of all human relations, eliminating as much of the public sphere as possible – thus commodifying and financializing all aspects of life. 

An austerity planet, with themselves on top, is what the Lords of Capital were seeking when they used their imperial military/economic machinery to set all the working classes of the world in competition with each other, in a Race to the Bottom. 

The workers in the U.S. and Europe saw their wages and living standards decline over the decades, most never suspecting that their own rulers had thrown them into the same boiling labor pot as the despised “gooks,” “chinks,” spics,” and other wage workers in the Global South, formerly the Third World.  

The real reason 

The whole point of the austerity project is to disempower workers and concentrate wealth at the top. Barack Obama was following orders from the oligarchs when he announced, weeks before taking office in 2009, that all “entitlements,” including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, would be “on the table” for cutting. 

Obama was a protégé of Bill Clinton, who ravaged the social safety net for poor women and children while hiring 100,000 more cops and setting the bankers free to blow up the economy eight years later. 

Democrats held both houses of Congress under Obama, who openly sought to forge a “bipartisan” austerity consensus. Although his “grand bargain” with Republicans was never fully consummated, Obama-era impediments to social spending remain embedded in the legislative structure. 

Hillary a continuation 

As the presumptive corporate Democratic nominee in 2016, Hillary Clinton was eager to deepen the bipartisan austerity regime. Bernie Sanders’ push for Medicare For All would cause “a terrible, terrible national debate,” she said , and would “never, ever come to pass.”

Now Sanders is back, hawking a raft of austerity-busting measures that have not only garnered super-majority support among Democrats, but are attractive to half of Republicans!  The corporate Democrats’ duty is to save the oligarch’s dream of global austerity from unraveling. 

Terrified that Sanders might sweep the 2020 primaries, the Democratic Party bum-rushed the Vermont senator, flooding the field with 24 candidates, outdoing the Republican establishment’s 16-candidate bid to stop Donald Trump in 2016.

The game plan: throw every type of candidate into the mix, appealing to every “identity” constituency, to fragment a Democratic primary base that was as much as 90 percent in favor of Sanders’ campaign planks. 

The bottom line: prevent Sanders from arriving at the Democratic National Convention with enough delegates to win on the first ballot. On the second ballot, the corporate-dependable “super delegates” would kick in to derail the self-styled socialist.  

Confusing supporters

However, simply throwing a multi-colored cast of candidates at Sanders was not enough. They had to mimic his super-majority political program as well to further confuse the voters. Loyal corporate hacks pretended to support Medicare for All including Cory Booker, the biggest recipient of Big Pharma money in the Congress.

Since Donald Trump’s capture of the Republican Party machinery, the Democratic Party has become the main political instrument of the ruling class. Its capture by leftish elements intent on ending the austerity regime is unthinkable to the oligarchs who are determined to defeat and discredit Sanders by any means necessary. 

Glen Ford is executive editor of Email him at



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