Showing posts from August, 2020

The Democrat / Republican Switcheroo

  I've been saying online and on my radio show that there's a political realignment happening for a while now... though I keep changing my mind about how this realignment is happening and how it will shake out.    In the first part of the 20th century, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party switched places, and it seems to be happening again. It just occurred to me to put it this way: (and I'm not sure this completely makes sense, so help me think about it....)   The Democratic Party has become the party of the Washington establishment - they believe in listening to experts, following science and other forms of academic learning, trying to maintain some kind of consensus informed by this meritocratic expertise, and that means, when necessary, criticizing, deplatforming and silencing people who diverge too far from this consensus, and above all, maintaining some firm norms that limit the power of the government and especially its executive branch, some of them consti

What Will the World Be Like After Capitalism?

Fredric Jameson famously observed that "It's easier to imagine the end of the world than it is to imagine the end of capitalism."  But imagining the world after capitalism is not as difficult as Jameson makes it sound.  The problem is not so much that we cannot think of any possibilities of what human existence will be like after capitalism; the problem is that we can imagine too many possibilities of what life will be like, and we don't know which of our imaginings, if any, is what will actually happen.  I certainly have no crystal ball.  Still, some basic common sense - and some materialist analysis - can give us a better idea of which possibilities are more likely than the others. Will there be sexism after capitalism?  Sadly, most likely, yes.  Will the patriarchy continue to exist?  Unfortunately, it almost certainly will.  After all, sexism and the patriarchy have existed on Earth for a lot longer than capitalism has.  The roots of the patriarchy are far deepe

Don't Call Trump a Populist

I beg you, please stop referring to Trump as a "populist."  1. It's factually untrue.  Trump is an extraordinarily unpopular president.  Not only did he win the presidency after losing the popular vote, but - even more unusually - Trump's approval rating, in his entire presidency, has never been above 50%.  There have been presidents whose approval ratings have gone up and down, but this is relatively unprecedented .  Usually even unpopular presidents have some kind of honeymoon period, however brief and slight.  His is the first presidency that has never broken 50% in Gallup polling , and has the lowest average approval rating of any president in history . 2. The word "populism" has a meaning.  Populism has a history.  People like Jim Hightower and Molly Ivins are (or were) populists.  Donald Trump simply has absolutely nothing to do with the tradition of Eugene Debs, Terence Powderly, James Weaver, and William Jennings Bryan, let alone people like Ernesto