'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Second Reagan Revolution (Part 18) 

Despite ongoing squabbling, I anticipate that, within the next few days, the President and the Republicans in Congress will agree to a grand bargain that results in significant cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, so much so with Medicaid that it will reduce it to an illusory program of medical care for the poor. Better to preserve a shell of a program, and the appearance of social support, than eliminate it altogether and make the reality of lower class distress all too obvious.

Of course, there is nothing surprising about this outcome, as the President expressed his intention to push for entitlement reform just prior to taking office. The Republican electoral victory last fall cleared away the obstruction of a Congress controlled by Democrats. The outcome was, as I posted at the time, Obama's Midterm Victory. For the vast majority of Americans who are struggling to survive in post-bubble world, the bargain, certain to be the centerpiece of Obama's 2012 campaign, will be a disaster. For the entirety of the Obama presidency, they have been subjected to a planned recession, a politically orchestrated recession, and the job losses and foreclosures that have come along with it, so as to bring about this result, the evisceration of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, in order to render their lives permanently insecure.

But there is an additional aspect of the situation that has only been glancingly addressed. Naturally, the military-industrial complex will escape the harsh austerity that is about to imposed on the middle and lower classes. Conflicts of varying degrees of intensity will continue across Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Going forward, the federal budget will reveal that the US has become a society of perpetual war, funded by the economic sacrifices of its own citizens, even more so than in the past. Economic growth, such as it is, will be significantly generated by sectors associated with the military-industrial complex, especially those involved in the development of surveillance technologies. Politically, this outcome confirms Zizek's criticism of the social democratic left for its failed strategy of contesting neoliberalism solely upon the terrain of the preservation of existing social welfare programs.

Labels: , , , , ,

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?