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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Strategies of Deception

Strategies of Deception

By William T. Hathaway
Dissident Voice.org
Wednesday, April 04, 2012

To get a preview of Obama’s strategies for winning a second term, we just need to read the liberal press. They are giving lip-service praise to the current protests while trying to steer them in a direction that serves the Democratic Party.

Seeking to restore the fading illusion that the Democrats work
in the interests of the 99%, they imply that if Obama is given
a second term, his true nature will emerge and he’ll crack down
on the greed and corruption of the 1% and lead the country in a
progressive direction.

They conveniently ignore that he’s done the opposite during his
three years in office.

They also try to scare us into voting for him by claiming a
Republican president would be much worse. In fact the differences
between Republicans and Democrats are mostly a matter of image and style.

Their military policies are equally aggressive, and their economic
policies differ only in nuances.

But the Democrats put a friendly face on their administration of
capital. Their rhetoric is sprinkled with populist slogans as they’re
bailing out banksters and dropping bombs.

The more blatant style of a Republican president might actually be
better now because it would generate more opposition at home and
abroad.

This opposition needs to build into militant resistance before it will
produce real change.

To prevent this sort of uprising was one of the reasons the
corporate elite backed Obama. And until recently he’s succeeded
in quieting dissent.

With masterful PR legerdemain, he put the antiwar movement to
sleep while continuing to fight the wars.

Under a Republican president we could revive the spirit of revolt
and mobilize the people of the world against the empire.

It’s going to take that kind of international struggle to overthrow
this colossus.

Another strategy of deception is to claim that the good old days of
middle-class prosperity can be brought back. Both major parties say
their policies will restore high employment at good wages.

But those times are gone.

Those were the conditions in the prior, Keynesian phase of
capitalism, when the main market for products was the home
country. Wage increases were tolerated then because they
stimulated consumption.

Now the market is global, and corporations face severe
competition from emerging industrial powers such as China
and India, which have far lower labor costs. To compete
with their prices, US and European corporations must slash
wages and benefits.

If they are to maintain long-term dominance, they must also
extend their hold on essential resources. Control over Mideast
oil and a pipeline through Afghanistan aren’t just things they’d
like to have.

They need them to hold on to their power in the present
consolidation phase of capitalism, when the less effective
predators are eliminated and wealth concentrates in fewer
and fewer giant corporations.

The system demands they impoverish their workers and kill
millions of people.

Capitalism is inherently aggressive and predatory, and this
intensifies in its later stages.

Reforms can’t change its basic nature.

In addition to pushing reformism, the liberal media portray
the economic crisis as being a problem of distribution.

The 99% have too little, the 1% have too much, so the 1%
should be taxed and regulated so the rest of us get a fair share.

This sounds good, and it has elected a string of Democrats
who talk about it while loyally serving the interests of the 1%.

The core problem is not distribution but ownership.

If forced to, the 1% will accept higher taxation and regulation,
as long as they maintain ownership.

With the economic power in their hands, they can reverse the
taxes and regulations later, as we have seen.

The only fair share is an equal share for everyone.

To achieve that we must take the means of production — the
natural resources, factories, banks, and major corporations —
away from the 1% and use them for the benefit of us all.

The 99% doesn’t need a bigger piece of the pie. We need to own
the pie.

We planted the seeds for the pie, tilled and harvested them,
ground the flour, cut the sugar cane, churned the butter, bake
the pie, delivered it to the store, rang up the sale, and made
the owners rich.

It’s our pie! But we’re going to have to take it back.

We’re not going to do that through liberal regulations and reforms
that leave ownership in the hands of the 1%.

And we’re also not going to do it through a dictatorship such as
the Soviet Union or China.

Those societies had no tradition of democracy, so they kept
their totalitarian character. We however can build a democratic,
decentralized form of socialism.

The first step towards that is to free ourselves from the strategies
of deception with which the oligarchs try to shape our minds.

The second is to join with others in active struggle.

Just being angry isn’t enough; to succeed we must be organized
and militant. Dissident Voice is a resource for both these steps.


William T. Hathaway's other books include A World of Hurt
(Rinehart Foundation Award), CD-Ring, and Summer Snow.
He is an adjunct professor of American studies at the
University of Oldenburg in Germany.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/04/strategies-of-deception/

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