The I.S.O.’s publication editorializes on why the “the Democratic Party is celebrating health care reform—and so is Corporate America”.
Today, the Socialist Worker (SW), publication of the International Socialist Organization, editorialized the ‘reforms’ recently passed on healthcare and recently proposed by the Democrats on the financial system. The article is excellent.
It quotes Firedoglake “toward explaining why Wall Street was so upbeat about a bill that supposedly attacks economic inequality” and “stocks related to the health care industry went up” the day after the healthcare ‘reform’ was passed. It should be uncontroversial when the SW calls it a “business-friendly bill” as we can safely assume that Wall Street wasn’t pumping into a cartel that was in any risk any time soon, adding:
Not only does the law mandate the purchase of insurance, it imposes a 40 percent tax on plans whose value exceeds $10,200 for individuals or $27,500 for families. That means the new law will accelerate the shift in health care costs from employers to workers, forcing more people to switch to inadequate, bare-bones plans.
Little Alex recently commented on the celebrations that ensued shortly after the bill was passed that it was “slaves doing the masters’ bidding”, quoting Prof. Noam Chomsky’s The Common Good (1998), a collection of interviews with David Barsamian, where he correctly stated pre-9/11: “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum—even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” (p. 43)
SW spells out how this process, which Prof. Chomsky described, played out:
You wouldn’t know all that from the right-wing Neanderthals screaming “socialized medicine,” of course. By stirring up the bigots and racists in the tea party crowd, the Republicans managed to make a heath care measure based on their own proposals sound like a radical breakthrough. So it’s no wonder that so many people were relieved–and happy–to see the Republicans lose a big political showdown.
Indeed, for many people who are sick and tired of conservatives getting their way, the bill’s passage signaled a potential shift in the political winds in Washington. So after months when it appeared that the right was making a big comeback, the health care reform could translate into a growing confidence that working people can make real progress today after all….
It’s in the context of this two-party straitjacket–where there are no other options beyond two parties that both represent big business–that it’s possible for some people to view this lousy health care reform as a victory.
Democrats weren’t celebrating the “business-friendly bill”. They were celebrating a legislative loss by the Republican Party. But, oddly enough, this wasn’t a loss to them. They never proposed an alternative. The Republicans forfeited with nothing more than an anti-message while lobbyists shaped the bill in the interests of the cartel. Democrats on the hill knew this and drummed up support as nothing more than anti-Republican. The celebration was nothing more than an anti-celebration—juvenile, ignorant and self-defeating.
SW goes on to show that the proposed ‘reforms’ to the financial system are nothing more than the empowerment of the Federal Reserve, the quasi-governmental arm of the elite financial institutions criminally hoarding the global wealth. Its quasi-governmental legal status with these ‘reforms’ Teflon the criminal cabal to continue expropriating from it global plantation and unborn generations to come. This, the SW says, is reason to be convinced that: “If matters are left to the Democrats, we’ll see a repeat of the healthcare reform debacle, in which widespread demand for fundamental change is diverted into weak legislation that leaves powerful economic interests unchallenged.”
Much focus from the ‘progressive’ media pushing the “business-friendly bill” was on the lobbyist hired to kill the bill. In actuality, we have no idea how many were hired with that motive. The end result shows the lobbyists were hired to, at worst, shape the bill to the interests of its clients in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. The same is currently happening with financial ‘reform’:
Wall Street’s lobbyists have been following the example of the health care industry, which spent more than $500 million and dispatched some 3,400 lobbyists in Washington in 2009 alone. So long before the final congressional vote on health care, the fix was already in, as Democrats made sure that their supporters in the health care industry got their cut. Now, it’s the bank lobbyists’ turn.
So while the Democrats and Republicans argue over the shape of health care or financial reform in the halls of Congress, there’s far more that they actually agree on…. While the two parties may clash over specific policies, they’re in full accord with the larger project–upholding a system that guarantees corporate profits.
And even if individual Democrats don’t directly profit from corporate money–though most of them do–they still accept the confines of a corporate-dominated political system….
It’s too soon to tell whether the proposed toothless financial reform legislation will end up the same way. But with the bankers and Republican politicians again squawking about supposedly radical anti-business measures, the Democrats will once again try and use the legislation to pose as defenders of working people.
The criticism of those who see past the Newspeak of lose-lose legislation is that nothing is proposed as an alternative. First, this is a bullshit argument when ‘both’ proposed options are “business-friendly” and anti-worker, anti-liberty, anti-justice conservations of the status quo. Or worse, when it is—as Sheldon Richman calls it—the “status quo on steroids“.
Second, there is a clear solution to many of the systemic problems we face in society and that’s being pro-active because, as we see every time the government does just about anything, leaving it into the hands of elites will only result in those elites serving the interests of them and their financiers. We, on the other hand, have a milieu of common interests that include justice and a lower cost of living, thereby we can add enjoyment to our lives. This requires taking power of these systems away from the political realm and into our own hands where we have a direct stake in the results and control of how to get said results.
The SW concludes:
We deserve much better. To get it, we have to build independent organizations and movements that take on pro-business, anti-worker policies–whether they’re put forward by Republicans or Democrats.
Little Alex posted an extensive comment on the financial system we can all take control of our labor in our own lives. Professor Gary Chartier recently videotaped a presentation of his article, “Radical Healthcare Reform: An Anarchist Approach“. Kevin Carson recently finished a flawless study at the Center for a Stateless Society on the American monopoly healthcare system to show the goals for which people should be striving; goals that politicians will never have an interest in pursuing for you because that which serves and empowers you, only serves to threaten their power. It’s the cynical, centralized, authoritative institutions that need to be dismantled in the pursuit of justice, not begged upon to enrich its own authority in ways that will never serve any of our interests. Celebrating the successes of the technocrats, bureaucrats and cartels only encourage their tyranny.
Serious libertarians didn’t have a cynical, racist, people-hating motivation to ‘kill the bill’, but to kill the false narrative coming from Democrats and Republicans that people were actually believing. Unlike, Democrats and Republicans, decentralists of the anti-authoritarian left actually want to live in a system that removes the institutional barriers of progress and replaces them with ones controlled by those they effect.