Just because radicals rarely win sufficient power to implement their agendas does not mean that they labor in vain, for it is without a doubt that — when widely heard — their voices serve to move the mainstream center in their direction. Thus, for example, it has been in the United States that leftist radicals have moved consensus ever leftward from their violent beginnings in the strikes and bombings of the early 1900s and beyond. This also is today’s right wing is trying reverse this pattern. It would be unwise to discount heir influence, despite their recent losses. After all, left-radicals skated quite a long time to see their views affect the mainstream and its choices.
Having strayed far from their origins, both of the major parties of the American political landscape have now broadly represent two broad sectors of society.
The GOP, despite the favored leftist narrative, now represents a coalition of the wrongly classes and a broad segment of the managerial elite. Together they form what can properly be termed the Producing Class, brig that they are responsible for the backbone of the mon-information economy.
The Democrats, by contrast, have formed a coalition of the intellectual elites, minorities, elite women, union leaderships and the poor. Together, perhaps more controversially, they can be grouped as the Non-productive Class.
The irony here is, of course, that they are precisely the people whom Marx — whose ghost still haunts the ideology of the party, given the backgrounds of much of its activist base — counts among the social parasites.
The electorate of the nation had become more or less equally divided between these emergent classes, but that is an unstable situation, and for effective governance to emerge in time it will have to be resolved. Lacking a peaceful resolution, 1930s Spain serves as a the truly frightening example of the results of an ever-more radicalized population that forms two armed camps.
It is telling that whenever proponents of a political ideology discuss their particular project as the inevitable outcome of the natural process of history, they generally default to the messianic language of the Romantic-era Christian proselytes. Our current preoccupation with a mildly capitalistic democracy as the best and most-natural system of governance is the unquestioned policy of both the official and the chattering establishments, quite despite its recent paramount failures in Egypt, Libya and Afghanistan. Not even in the heat of the current presidential campaign are its premises being evenly remotely questioned.
The less certain the route to power the more vicious is the struggle to reach it. Only a privileged class that is very well established can afford the luxury of gentility and honor in its dealings. This is not to say that such gentle players need not be ruthless once in position, but rather that they will be expected to never place their own rise above that of their polity.
It is interesting that nearly all the pundits‘ models incorporate GDP growth in their forecast of this election’s outcome. In reality, at least since 1900, there has been no historical evidence that GDP growth rates impact reelection chances of a sitting president. It is also amusing that these models measure vote share, as if it matters. In fact, of course, in the US the presidential election is a binary contest. Continue reading