Democrats & Republicans: A Political Cartel | AmericaWakieWakie
Cartel: An association of manufacturers or suppliers with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and restricting competition.
Liberals and conservatives are two factions of the same team (read capitalists); we just perceive them as markedly different because of the degree to which the spectrum of political possibilities has been narrowed. A complex system of normalized indoctrination exists in our lives which ensure radical (read communist and anarchist) solutions are weeded out, or marginalized in one way or another.
The end result is a set of normalized choices manifested in a political cartel, or an association of political parties with the purpose of maintaining concentrated political power and restricting or repressing competition. What is valued as acceptable within this cartel comprising the modern political sphere then is a tiny spectrum which reflects only the range of needs of private corporate power and nothing more.
Creating the Cartel
“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
― Karl Marx
Think of politics as a market for power. In this market ideas are currency.
As CrimethInc elaborated, “[I]deas function as capital in much the same way money does. Individuals who can get others to “buy in” to their ideas obtain a disproportionate amount of control over their surroundings; large conglomerates can come to rule large parts of the world this way, just as corporations do — indeed, there can be no entrenched political or financial power without ideological capital to back it up.”
What would happen then if the market was rigged by its very nature and some individuals could bolster their idea(s) to gain control of all others?
Revisiting CrimethInc, they explain “Little “start-up companies” of competing ideas can enter the market to contest such [idea] monopolies, and sometimes one unseats the reigning creed to become the new dominant paradigm; but as in any capitalist system, power tends to flow upward to the top of a hierarchy, from which the masters, the ones qualified to employ it, decide matters for everyone else.”
Liberals and conservatives wholeheartedly participate in the concentration of power when they take a set of political positions which express the basic ideas of capitalism and then present a range of indoctrination within that framework — so any “solution” only enhances the strength of capitalist institutionalization, ingraining it in our minds as the entire possible spectrum of choice that there is.
This is the purpose of electoral politics, to present from our capitalist masters individuals whose ideas keep the flow of power moving upward; to normalize indoctrination; to, in effect, control the market by maintaining the perceived pedigree of capitalist ideas and restricting competition through the marginalization and repression of ideas new or contradictory.
Extensive history of this tendency may be demonstrated through the violent anti-radical consensus of liberals and conservatives following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States noted:
“In early September 1917, Department of Justice agents made simultaneous raids on forty-eight IWW [International Workers of the World] meetings across the country, seizing correspondence and literature that would become courtroom evidence. Later that month, 165 IWW leaders were arrested for conspiracy to hinder the draft, encourage desertion, and intimidate others in connection with labor disputes. One hundred and one went on trial [en masse] in April 1918; it lasted five months, the longest criminal trial in American history up to that time… [T]he jury found them all guilty. The judge sentenced [IWW president William “Big Bill”] Haywood and fourteen others to twenty years in prison; thirty-three were given then years, the rest shorter sentences. They were fined a total of $2,500,000. The IWW was shattered.”
Perhaps most telling though is the later liberal/conservative agreement, spurred forward by the Cold War policy of containment, on a mono-doctrine of imperialist foreign policy best described herein by a popularized euphemism of the time — “Partisanship ends at the water’s edge.”
"The United States was trying, in the postwar decade [of World War II], to create a national consensus — excluding the radicals, who could not support a foreign policy aimed at suppressing revolution — of conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, around the policies of the cold war and anti-Communism. Such a coalition could best be created by a liberal Democratic President, whose aggressive policy abroad would be supported by conservatives… [I]f the anti-Communist mood became strong enough, liberals could support repressive moves at home which in ordinary times would be seen as violating the tradition of liberal tolerance. (Zinn)"
Imperialist consensus not only generated cohesion on foreign policy, but, as alluded, it furthered a coordinated relationship of narrowed power between liberals and conservatives (Democrats and Republicans), providing the groundwork to enact within our own boarders gross political repression of all radical elements in American society. Repression of previous magnitude would continue against not only the IWW, but against the Socialist Workers Party, the AFL-CIO, the Teamsters, the Black Panther Party and American Indian Movement of the ’60s and ’70s, and most recently against Occupy Wallstreet.
“Government is the shadow cast by business over society.”
— John Dewey
Our political system is the wholesale of government to private corporate interest. Capitalism’s existence is predicated on expansion, and as such, when the natural boundaries of freedom and democracy infringe upon this imperative, it must co-opt government to facilitate its survival. The repression of radicals by liberals and conservatives, both abroad and domestically, has always served these capitalist ends, and will continue to do so.
This comes at a great disservice to the American underclasses, for no viable alternatives have entered the public lexicon for nearly a century. By keeping ideas narrowly framed within a capitalist paradigm, the monopoly of power rests completely within a tiny spectrum of political and economic possibilities, all of which enable and perpetuate a statist, classist society.
To paraphrase Noam Chomsky, if you want to change government you have to attack the substance of it, not the shadow. Attacking the shadow, government alone, does nothing because in a political cartel it does not matter who we elect — liberal or conservative — so long as the cement between private corporate power and government remains un-fractured. Until this basic obstacle is confronted, none of us will exist outside an illusion of choice.
All we really have is an illusion of choice and voting is a complete waste of time.