It isn’t socialism and the status quo is most likely unjust when 95% of the whose who sympathize with the elite “clique that revolves around Washington, D.C. and Wall Street” prefer the corporatist president to the constitutionalist congressman, according to a recent poll.
A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds 42% ever-so-slightly support President Barack Obama over the 41% who prefer Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) in a head-to-head matchup with the option of preferring “some other candidate” or considering themselves “undecided”.
More telling is the “blowout” in terms of excessive support for the president among the “Political Class”, 95%.
As a former pollster myself for a cynical Beltway consulting firm, I accept that aspects of polling heavily mistaken for science are in actuality more of an artform. That said, Scott Rasmussen is a relatively accurate political scientist in terms of gauging public opinion on low-content subjects. It should be noted that Rasmussen Reports Election 2008 poll released on the morning of Nov. 4, 2008 predicted Pres. Obama to win the election with 52% of the vote against 46% for his primary opponent, Senator John McCain (R-AZ). The final results of the actual popular vote is widely accepted as 52.9% for the president and 45.7% for his opponent.
More important than its results, as far as I know, the organization’s methodology are about the closest to objective as you’re going to find and very transparent to be scrutinized. The overall favorability and head-to-head elements of this poll is pretty inconclusive with most polled (32%) unsure of whether or not they had a favorable opinion of Dr. Paul, with only 39% voicing “very favorable” (10%) or “somewhat favorable” (29%) and 30% somewhat or very unfavorable.
Rasmussen separates the “Political Class” from the “Populists” and “Mainstream Class” as agreeing with at least two of the three following statements:
- “Generally speaking, when it comes to important national issues”, the judgment of “America’s political leaders” is to be trusted “more”;
- The “federal government” has not “become a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests”; and
- “Government and big business often work together in ways that” don’t “hurt consumers and investors”.
12% of those polled fit this description of the “Political Class” while 81% disagreed with at least two of the three statements, but it would be an extreme error to discount the exponentially greater influence of this 12% than the rest of the sample. They are the masters and house negroes of the American plantation.
Agreeing with any of these three statements is, at the least, blue-pill ignorance, but this is what the pollsters regard as the “Political Class”. I don’t think this is an accurate view of the political class, but a very accurate test of whether one believes control in best in the hands of elites as opposed to in the hands of people—the opinion that top-down command authority is desired over bottom-up forms of democracy, self-determination, self-management.
The Trilateral Commission, a David Rockefeller think-tank which has influenced the propaganda machine of the Democratic Party more than any other force, published a report in 1976 titled, The Crisis of Democracy [.pdf], on the “governability of democracies” in Europe, the U.S. and Japan. The section on the U.S., written by Harvard University professor Samuel Huntington, states the methods that ought to be employed for “democracy to function effectively”.
“The effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups”, Prof. Huntington wrote, proposing “inherently undemocratic” measures of “marginality” to ensure “apathy and noninvolvement” among the governed. To the ends of technocrats’ “effective operation of a democratic political system”, like that to the scale of the U.S. federal government, “less marginality on the part of some groups thus needs to be replaced by more self-restraint on the part of all groups”. This begs the question: effectively operating for which “part of some groups”?
Mr. Rassmussen defines this class as “the clique that revolves around Washington, D.C. and Wall Street” along with those who sympathize with them. The article on polling for classes quotes his new book, In Search for Self-Governance, stating: “In that world, some see self-governance as little more than allowing voters to choose which of two politicians will rule over them. Others in that elite environment are even more brazen and see self-governance as a problem to be overcome.”
More importantly, this “clique” shapes, finances, propagates and executes actual policy. They are the technocrats who also communicate the policy and stage the ‘debates’ that revolve around them to pacify the people to sympathize with the elites.
58% of the “Mainstream Class” favored Dr. Paul over the president, but the fact that this isn’t higher shows the extreme success of the elites propaganda machines to brainwash people to actually believe the president’s interests are more in line with democratic people power than the reality shown by the favorability among the elites. That the president is somehow of a different persuasion than “American political leaders” who ought not be ‘trusted more’, the “federal government” which is “a special interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests and the “government” that ‘often works together’ with “big business” in “ways that hurt consumers and investors”.
The people who actually benefit from this illusion are obviously having their interests served better than they perceive they would under a hypothetical Ron Paul Administration. Adolf Hitler once said, “What good fortune for governments that the people don’t think.”
In The Common Good (1998), a collection of interviews with David Barsamian, Professor Noam Chomsky 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)
Dr. Paul’s views on immigration and abortion are extremely troubling to me, and should be to any objective moral agent (which I go into greater detail here, here and here). And, though, he remains an exquisite, informative writer, he is not the eloquent speaker to accurately communicate the principles of liberty in a comprehensive manner to everyday people. That said, it still communicates extremely well. But the criticism of his philosophy is the perception that markets freed from coercion are the equivalent of corporatism. If so, wouldn’t the actually existing corporate class prefer Dr. Paul to the president? If the president were more in line with principles of socioeconomic justice, wouldn’t the figures from these classes reflect the opposite sentiments? Even if we correctly assume the masses are grossly misinformed, wouldn’t the privileged favor he who best serves the interests of their privileges?
I wouldn’t support a presidential campaign by Dr. Paul in 2012 and am morally and intellectually opposed to electoral politics at such scales, but to the general consensus of people who understand that the status quo is fundamentally wrong and unacceptable, the views of the “Political Class” toward the president should be enough to convince on to withdraw consent from him to govern.
Kevin Carson recently wrote: “There’s an old saying about the definition of a liberal, as opposed to a radical: a liberal is someone who thinks the system is broken and needs to be fixed, whereas a radical understands it’s working the way it’s supposed to…. A liberal who doesn’t think the system is working, doesn’t understand what it’s supposed to do.”
Chris Hedges, a pretty consistent opponent of the corporate warfare State, wrote in early March that so-called ‘progressives’ “owe Ralph Nader and Cynthia McKinney an apology” because were “right about Barack Obama”, “about the corporate state” and “had the courage of their convictions and they stood fast despite wholesale defections and ridicule by liberals and progressives”.
“Obama lies as cravenly, if not as crudely, as George W. Bush,” he added. “He promised us that the transfer of $12.8 trillion in taxpayer money to Wall Street would open up credit and lending to the average consumer. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), however, admitted last week that banks have reduced lending at the sharpest pace since 1942. As a senator, Obama promised he would filibuster amendments to the FISA Reform Act that retroactively made legal the wiretapping and monitoring of millions of American citizens without warrant; instead he supported passage of the loathsome legislation. He told us he would withdraw American troops from Iraq, close the detention facility at Guantánamo, end torture, restore civil liberties such as habeas corpus and create new jobs. None of this has happened.”
He added the healthcare bill being shoved “down our throats… would give hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to the private health insurance industry in the form of subsidies, and force millions of uninsured Americans to buy insurers’ defective products”. That the policies “would come with ever-rising co-pays, deductibles and premiums and see most of the seriously ill left bankrupt and unable to afford medical care”.That the president “has left us at the mercy of corporations such as ExxonMobil”, “empowers Israel’s brutal apartheid state”, “has expanded the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where hundreds of civilians, including entire families, have been slaughtered by sophisticated weapons systems such as the Hellfire missile, which sucks the air out of victims’ lungs”, while “he is delivering war and death to Yemen, Somalia and perhaps Iran”.
Mr. Hedges observes: “The timidity of the left exposes its cowardice, lack of a moral compass and mounting political impotence. The left stands for nothing. The damage Obama and the Democrats have done is immense. But the damage liberals do the longer they beg Obama and the Democrats for a few scraps is worse. It is time to walk out on the Democrats.”
In 2010 and 2012, Mr. Hedges accurately predicts: “We will again be told by the Democrats that the least-worse candidate they select for office is better than the Republican troll trotted out as an alternative. We will be bombarded with slick commercials about hope and change and spoken to in a cloying feel-your-pain language. We will be made afraid. But if we again acquiesce we will be reduced to sad and pathetic footnotes in our accelerating transformation from a democracy to a totalitarian corporate state.”
And though Mr. Hedges isn’t averse to participation in national electoral politics, he accepts: “Social change does not come through voting. It is delivered through activism, organizing and mobilization that empower groups to confront the hegemony of the corporate state and the power elite. The longer socialism is identified with the corporatist policies of the Democratic Party, the longer we allow the right wing to tag Obama as a socialist, the more absurd and ineffectual we become.”
With an opposing view toward markets, Dr. Paul, accurately, reiterated Mr. Hedges’ point at the recent Southern Republican Leadership Conference (0:56):
- When You ‘Work Hard and Play by the Rules,’ the House Wins (Kevin Carson)
- Left: Against The Capitalistical Imperative (Little Alex)
- Sheldon Richman on Capitalism v. The Free Market (Video)
- Statism ≠ Socialism; Pro-Market ≠ Pro-Business (Kevin Carson)