Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Let the Fireworks Begin
On this date in 1776, an assembly of wealthy planters and merchants signed a document asserting it was "self-evident, that all men are created equal." It was America's founding hypocrisy.
What actually is self-evident to anybody over the age of 12 is that wealth creates power, and that power creates wealth. With only minimal interruptions, that has been the story of America — and the story of the world. Once in a while, economic disaster combines with an especially incompetent plutocracy, resulting in a need to make enough concessions to placate an angry mob. If things are especially bad, a new gang of plutocrats will push the old gang aside.
Whoever replaces Anthony Kennedy, rest assured she or he will be a committed corporatist, just as Kennedy has been. Kennedy joined in the Epic Systems v. Lewis decision, which places crippling limitations on class-action lawsuits, making most legal actions against corporate abuse exercises in futility, for both consumers and labor organizations. Janus was just the icing on the cake.
Since corporate America really couldn't care less about abortion rights, the fate of Roe v. Wade will be purely a political decision; but the Supreme Court already has allowed reproductive choice to be nickel-and-dimed away over much of the country, so there may be little practical change no matter how Susan Collins chooses to vote. (Corporations do care about trade policy, though — so Tr*mp's hold over corporatist Republicans may be less secure than he believes.)
So, what's a frustrated leftist – or even a small-d democrat – to do? Historical approaches include mass civil disobedience, boycotts, and strikes, preferably cloaked in populist patriotism. Sharpen your pitchforks, peasants — but always remember to point them where the money is.