By Ramin Mazaheri for the Saker Blog
If you had said back in May that the CARES Act would be the only fiscal stimulus in the world’s richest country surely you would have responded, “But then by October America will certainly be in pandemonium?”
Well… where’s the pandemonium?
I can best explain this American exceptionalism – that they go postal only when they should not, instead of when they should – via this October 3rd report I did for PressTV.
For those of you who don’t want to deal with the “inexplicable” glitches and stops which somehow “magically” afflict every PressTV report I try to watch from inside the US, here’s the recap: in Chicago, which is just a half-million people short of being a megacity, only about 150 people showed up for an anti-unemployment demonstration even though half the country is affected by either joblessness or under-employment.
In urban areas like San Francisco, with a metro area half the size of Chicago’s, you have 11 jobless for every one job opening, and yet… 150 people here?
As a reporter I just give the facts… and then, as I refuse to be a “useful idiot”, I also openly interpret the facts: the fact is, Americans have no idea what they are doing when it comes to politics. If you ask them whether the problem is either ignorance or apathy, they respond, “I don’t know and I don’t care.”
The problem, as I am a staunch believer in (non-Obama-related types of) hope, is not with the average Joe but with the Washington elite, who even if they came from an average Joe quite obviously do not care about the average Joe anymore.
Of course, as the currently-under-confirmation-proceedings Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett proves, those tapped for the most truly elite spots are rarely from average Joe areas: Barrett would be, incredibly, the first justice who did not spend most of her life on the East Coast. To give an objective point to those in favor of the “Americans are ignorant” theory: mention “East Coast bias” to an American and they will think you are talking about how ESPN keeps talking about the Patriots and Yankees.
But the bewildering lack of any 2nd stimulus for households so emphatically proves that the Democratic leadership does not care about the average Joe (Republicans only care about an average Joe if said Joe is willing to reject all government assistance in every form) that even CNN had to hold Nancy Pelosi’s feet to the fire for the first time since Trump won the Republican primaries in 2016. Pelosi accused Wolf Blitzer and CNN of – now get ready to laugh – being “apologists for Republicans” simply because he pressed her on the bewildering and poverty-fuelling lack of a 2nd household stimulus.
LOL – maybe the Russians have flipped Wolf, eh Nancy? Putin’s power is limitless!
No, it’s just bewildering to even the CNN journalists as to why Democratic leadership refuses to alleviate massive economic suffering. I explained it here: No 2nd stimulus? Time to admit both parties want to destroy the average American, for those in the inexperienced youth class who can’t believe that Democrats could be as merciless and self-interested as those aren’t-they-just-ghastly conservatives.
Is this another boring article of me complaining about the super-failures of the super-capitalist imperialist US in 2020?
No, it’s to point out how wrong I am. Way back on May 28, in an article titled August 1: when the unemployment runs out and a new era of US labor battles begin I correctly opined, “I think there is no chance that the US 1% authorises an extension of the $600 per week extra past August 1 – it was totally out of keeping with US ideology to begin with, and yet another indicator of the hysteria which swept the US regarding coronavirus.” But – as I often can’t keep my mouth shut – I foolishly added, “Buy some popcorn and watch the show – August 1 is going to see public labor-related rage for the first time since the 1930s.”
So it’s less than three weeks until the election – where’s the labor-related rage?
I was in Kenosha, Wisconsin, again yesterday – the place is still totally boarded up, which seems rather much to me: There hasn’t been any widespread social rebellion since the end of August, anywhere. This article asks why that is?
The answer is
the super-failures of the super-capitalist imperialist US that the US system produces tremendous political apathy, which has a side effect of increasing political ignorance.
As proof: I cannot express how pleas to “get out and vote” amazingly outnumber the advertisements for McDonalds, Coke and Beyonce combined – that seems like an impossibility, no? But such is the enormous political inertia here.
This apathy results in cases such as the nation’s third-largest city mustering only 150 people, 95% of whom were under 30, as the youth class has not relinquished that unique American optimism which eventually buckles under the reality encountered outside of school
of the super-failures of the super-capitalist imperialist US.
If the trend of calm continues, the 2020 record will have to state that it was only Black-related issues which caused public protest despite the massive, massive societal chaos.
We can perhaps explain this by noting that the only truly successful protests in the US since nearly 1917 (the first year of socialist success) have been for Black-related issues. Stick with what works, I guess?
Indeed, the last grassroots, from-the-streets victory by White Americans was in 1920 – the year that anti-alcohol Prohibition was passed, as was women’s suffrage. Ever since socialism became a real thing it should be clear that White Americans are not about to march under anything resembling that successful banner, as it obviously opposes US domination.
Don’t tell me that Baby Boomers stopped Vietnam – the Vietnamese resistance booted out the invaders in 1975, not Western hippies. Americans didn’t flee until 8 full years after the “Summer of Love”.
2020 proves what we have known since those fun, marijuana-fuelled protests of the 1960s: White Americans simply don’t protest.
Republicans don’t protest, period. After all, they are status quo-lovers, and they aren’t about to muck up the system which they believe is the best in the world and always will be.
Democrats aren’t protesting because their elite leadership in 2020 has kept them overflowing with fear (corona), anger (Trump), identity politics (Black Lives Matter (which is not nonsense to Black people, of course, but which is inherently a minority-based movement as opposed to a broad, class-based, majority movement), and – above all – the rabid, competitive, evangelical fervor to win short-term growth via any means necessary in November’s elections.
But the bottom line is: for decades Americans have insisted on the status quo and violently rejected the call for any sort of revolutionary change in the economic and political structures upon which several centuries of Western culture has been based (bourgeois, aristocratic liberalism (for those who can afford it)). They have said to any nation or person – if you are not totally with us in maintaining these structures which preserve the status quo then we are totally against you.
Indeed, this is why I have always thought that “Civil War II is coming” worries are rather nonsense and impossible: Americans, for myriad reasons – ranging from fear of each other to smug complacency to apocalyptic apathy – simply don’t upset the apple cart. They are propagandised to always be selling apples, no matter how rotten they obviously are.
So there are no protests and I am proved wrong. But it is my job to opine, and thus to look foolish because – as a journalist – my learning is done in public.
But hope springs eternal – perhaps in the coming days Americans will indeed harness their widespread inner pandemonium against a leadership class which can’t even suggest that they eat cake amid massive hunger and shortages.
Ramin Mazaheri is currently covering the US elections. He is the chief correspondent in Paris for PressTV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of ‘Socialism’s Ignored Success: Iranian Islamic Socialism’as well as ‘I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China’, which is also available in simplified and traditional Chinese.