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 Post subject: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 6:22 pm 
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Historically, I have simply used the financials to estimate who will win presidency, and it has been highly successful. This year even in the Democratic Primary it has proved very accurate. The ratio between Clinton's campaign fund and Sanders' is 2:1 and the ratio of delegates won is also 2:1.

But on the Republican side, Trump is winning while having a small fraction of the sum that Cruz has.

That puts me at something of a loss.

Usually the bourgeois will endorse their chosen representatives in their natural currency of currency. And so that candidate will typically win whatever position they are running for granted that they have the most money. But that doesn't seem to be holding true in the Republican primary as of now.

This says a few possible things to me.

1. The Republicans have no chance of winning the general election and the majority of the bourgeois aren't even bothering with that party. Evidenced by the fact that there's a lot more money being thrown around in the Democratic primary in general than the Republican ones. (source for all my financial numbers etc. is http://www.opensecrets.org/pres16/ btw).

2. Most politicians are the representatives of the bourgeois, granted, they also tend to be on various boards of trustees etc. but Trump is a bona fide member of the ruling class, not just a representative of them. He doesn't need the endorsement of the bourgeois, he IS the bourgeois, or at least an individual representing a section of the bourgeois (which is what politicians are anyway and so seems circular but perhaps you understand my point regardless).

3. This is some exception where the financial endorsements of the bourgeois don't matter as much because the social forces behind the candidates is strong enough without the finances and those finances would just be wasted if they were also thrown into that.

4. I'm wrong about money winning elections, or am missing some numbers somewhere.

5. Primaries don't matter as much, the general election does, the finances will matter more then.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:42 am 
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I think that the populist rhetoric is probably working heavily in trumps favor to separate him from the rest, especially at a time when people are sick of the status quo and the establishment in general. The only ones to recover since 2008 are the rich, and with another crisis looming around the corner people are angry want solutions.

In fact, I would argue that the reason so much money is being thrown at the democratic primary as opposed to the republican primary is because capital wants to make damn sure that hillary wins by any means necessary and they see Sanders' campaign as a real threat. Barring the voter supression and fact that the primary process is obviously rigged, Bernie would certainly be winning as general election straw polls all indicate. The ruling class is probably also scared of trump and his outright unpredicatability, hence favoring the loyal clinton (who is also part of the ruling class mind you just as much as trump is, in the same sense that you describe), but as any good capitalist they would rather have a fascist win than someone who might be an adversary of capitalist interests on the whole.

I'm curious to see if bernie's campagin will actually translate into any real world movements though. Right now that energy is being all zapped up towards getting him elected obviously, but once the campaign is over it will be interesting to see if the connections made in the process will translate into support for grassroots movements such as the fight for 15 or black lives matter. My gut tells me no, but given how Bernie has been changing the dialogue and actively states that "the movement" has to be more than just him getting elected president it'll be interesting to see where things end up. Of course, we can't give Bernie all the credit when in reality capitalism has been doing a fine job of making people sick of it and searching for answers.

EDIT: Given that the global economy is on the downswing again, we very well could see that organization translate into real world movements if the timing is good enough in all honesty as I think about it. The class struggle will most certainly intensify in the coming years if that's the case. People who have met each other through the campaign will likely reach out to each other in an attempt to organize. It certainly won't be all members, probably not even a majority, but I think for a lot of people the Sanders campaign has highlighted just how corrupt the election process is this cycle. At least that's what it seems like on /r/sandersforpresident. Regardless, I think we definitely are seeing history made, especially when you have a US presidential candidate readily accepting the label of socialist (having whatever reservations about the accuracy of that you may), which is certainly reflective of the severity of the current crisis I feel.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:24 am 
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ScientificSocialist wrote:
I think that the populist rhetoric is probably working heavily in trumps favor to separate him from the rest, especially at a time when people are sick of the status quo and the establishment in general. The only ones to recover since 2008 are the rich, and with another crisis looming around the corner people are angry want solutions.


I think a pretty central part of Marxism would disagree with the fact that rhetoric alone would be capable of propelling someone to the presidency of a relevant nation. It's very hard to talk about "people" being sick of the status quo with respect to the types of people that are supporting Trump. These aren't the same angry "people" we as Marxists are interested in helping out. Arty speaks to this somewhat here when he says.

"That Trump is now more than less dispensing with the codes and explicitly appealing to racists doesn't mean we can "speak" to those "populists" and give them an "alternative" way to "channel that rage." If there ever was a "liberal" response to a class struggle that's it. Our appeal needs to be to the migrant workers, to the most exploited sector of the working class, and it has to begin with proposing the dismantling of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and attacks on workers."

http://thewolfatthedoor.blogspot.com/20 ... s-out.html

Quote:
In fact, I would argue that the reason so much money is being thrown at the democratic primary as opposed to the republican primary is because capital wants to make damn sure that hillary wins by any means necessary and they see Sanders' campaign as a real threat. Barring the voter supression and fact that the primary process is obviously rigged, Bernie would certainly be winning as general election straw polls all indicate. The ruling class is probably also scared of trump and his outright unpredicatability, hence favoring the loyal clinton (who is also part of the ruling class mind you just as much as trump is, in the same sense that you describe), but as any good capitalist they would rather have a fascist win than someone who might be an adversary of capitalist interests on the whole.


You have to keep in mind that the last time I ran those numbers (Yesterday) the campaign fund ratio and delegates ratio was standing at something like 1.7:1 and 1.6:1 Clinton:Sanders so Sander's IS receiving monetary support from the bourgeoise. It remains impossible to see Sanders as any sort of threat to the Capitalist mode of production especially keeping in mind how the Democratic Socialists behaved at the outbreak of WW1 where everyone simply flocked to support their own national interests in the war.

In general, a quadra-annual election cycle that the bourgeois themselves created isn't something that is going to incite too much fear in them. They have too many checks in place to ensure no one genuinely threatening would ever have a chance, not least of which is the fact that as a President there wouldn't even be terribly much you could do to further working class interests without an existing working class movement having penetrated its way into the State apparatus in general. Which should apparently not appear to be the case.

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I'm curious to see if bernie's campagin will actually translate into any real world movements though. Right now that energy is being all zapped up towards getting him elected obviously, but once the campaign is over it will be interesting to see if the connections made in the process will translate into support for grassroots movements such as the fight for 15 or black lives matter. My gut tells me no, but given how Bernie has been changing the dialogue and actively states that "the movement" has to be more than just him getting elected president it'll be interesting to see where things end up. Of course, we can't give Bernie all the credit when in reality capitalism has been doing a fine job of making people sick of it and searching for answers.


I think you've answered your own question somewhat here. Populist campaigns and such tend to redirect active energy away from working class struggles. Instead of organizing defense of migrant workers from immigration enforcement attacks they're trying to elect some guy to presidency. I think if Sanders were genuinely going to further working class interests, he'd drop out of the running and use all that money to help organize a defense of migrant workers from capitalist attacks.

Quote:
EDIT: Given that the global economy is on the downswing again, we very well could see that organization translate into real world movements if the timing is good enough in all honesty as I think about it. The class struggle will most certainly intensify in the coming years if that's the case. People who have met each other through the campaign will likely reach out to each other in an attempt to organize. It certainly won't be all members, probably not even a majority, but I think for a lot of people the Sanders campaign has highlighted just how corrupt the election process is this cycle. At least that's what it seems like on /r/sandersforpresident. Regardless, I think we definitely are seeing history made, especially when you have a US presidential candidate readily accepting the label of socialist (having whatever reservations about the accuracy of that you may), which is certainly reflective of the severity of the current crisis I feel.


I think the bankruptcy of the election system in place in the USA has been highlighted a few times historically speaking, I'm not sure why this time would be terribly much different. It is also worth noting that the USSR called itself Communist, but that didn't change the fact that it certainly wasn't fighting in working class interests.

I think what is more likely to be happening is that Trump is being used/serving to funnel right-wing energies into the legitimate channel of presidency in order to spark outrage from the left and thereby rally to defeat Trump with Sanders. Sanders in turn is taking left wing energy and keeping it from leaking to something more useful like the organization of migrant workers.

It is worth keeping in mind that Marxism is neither left nor right winged.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:31 pm 
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[quote="Broletariat"]These aren't the same angry "people" we as Marxists are interested in helping out.


I was never trying to imply that they were, but rather given how vocal he is about his positions (i.e. "telling it how it is"), outright willingness to just state what's on the mind of his supporters at the core (******* and spics ruin everything!), and be the center of attention through his absurdity all helps him. In fact, it might actually back fire on the GOP because there are people who are "loyal republicans" who feel so alienated by his rhetoric that they're disillusioned with the party itself. Not that this necessarily means a gain for us, but the GOP could be shooting itself in the foot here.

[quote="Broletariat"]"That Trump is now more than less dispensing with the codes and explicitly appealing to racists doesn't mean we can "speak" to those "populists" and give them an "alternative" way to "channel that rage." If there ever was a "liberal" response to a class struggle that's it. Our appeal needs to be to the migrant workers, to the most exploited sector of the working class, and it has to begin with proposing the dismantling of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and attacks on workers."

Fair enough, I can agree with that 100%.

[quote="Broletariat"]It remains impossible to see Sanders as any sort of threat to the Capitalist mode of production especially keeping in mind how the Democratic Socialists behaved at the outbreak of WW1 where everyone simply flocked to support their own national interests in the war.

By no means do I think Sanders represents a threat to Capitalism in the sense that it would topple US capitalism of course. I do think however that capital clearly has an interest in making sure someone who will tow the line makes it into office, which is why Hillary is the clear winner for them. Sanders is willing to abstain from taking corporate donations and has a pretty honest record as far as politicians go. While he might be limited in his powers as president (with congress likely blocking him every step of the way), he would still have the ability to make concessions such as stopping NSA spying (unlikely), appointing favorable supreme court judges, etc. Not only that but finance capital especially doesn't want to see him elected with his plan to tax trading and use it for university funding.

The idealist in me hopes that sanders getting into office would help show people just how powerless the president is without a labor movement. While the liberal conclusion will be "oh, we just need to vote more of the right people!" or something, I think for others it would hopefully show them the futility of voting. However, as I'm sure you'll argue only a change in material conditions will really do anything to raise true consciousness, such that it won't matter until people actively are engaging in the class struggle through necessity and the contradictions of capitalism further threaten people's livelihoods (automation, climate change, etc), with which I'm inclined to agree especially with your bit about the USSR.

[quote="Broletariat"]I think what is more likely to be happening is that Trump is being used/serving to funnel right-wing energies into the legitimate channel of presidency in order to spark outrage from the left and thereby rally to defeat Trump with Sanders. Sanders in turn is taking left wing energy and keeping it from leaking to something more useful like the organization of migrant workers.

Eh, I think Trump just has an enormous ego and actually believes his own ******** the same way Eric Cartman does. I don't think that's a conscious plan of the bourgeoisie though, because the candidate that's clearly being pushed for here is Hillary and the media has tried their damnedest to make Sanders look like he's lost every step of the way. If that were the case they should just be pumping up Sanders' campaign, but they're not. Besides, that's a really finicky plan to rely on, especially on the off chance that it somehow empowers the labor movement and actually helps in making concessions.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:33 pm 
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[quote="ScientificSocialist"]By no means do I think Sanders represents a threat to Capitalism in the sense that it would topple US capitalism of course. I do think however that capital clearly has an interest in making sure someone who will tow the line makes it into office, which is why Hillary is the clear winner for them. Sanders is willing to abstain from taking corporate donations and has a pretty honest record as far as politicians go. While he might be limited in his powers as president (with congress likely blocking him every step of the way), he would still have the ability to make concessions such as stopping NSA spying (unlikely), appointing favorable supreme court judges, etc. Not only that but finance capital especially doesn't want to see him elected with his plan to tax trading and use it for university funding.


The fact that Sanders' campaign fund has recently begun to nearly rival Clinton's, both of which far outstrip Trump's, shows pretty blatantly that capital has no real problem with Sanders.

It should be kept in mind that it is occasionally a tactically valid move for capital to put someone in office with a friendly face to the working class to placate them in that manner. Typically that is followed up with a boot to the face once everything is said and done.

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Eh, I think Trump just has an enormous ego and actually believes his own ******** the same way Eric Cartman does. I don't think that's a conscious plan of the bourgeoisie though, because the candidate that's clearly being pushed for here is Hillary and the media has tried their damnedest to make Sanders look like he's lost every step of the way. If that were the case they should just be pumping up Sanders' campaign, but they're not. Besides, that's a really finicky plan to rely on, especially on the off chance that it somehow empowers the labor movement and actually helps in making concessions.


As Marxists we're not terribly concerned with what anybody's conscious plans are, merely how they actually function in capitalist society and what those functions do for capital.
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 Post subject: Re: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:06 am 
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[quote="Broletariat"]It should be kept in mind that it is occasionally a tactically valid move for capital to put someone in office with a friendly face to the working class to placate them in that manner. Typically that is followed up with a boot to the face once everything is said and done.


Not disagreeing, but it still seems pretty obvious that either the majority or a highly influential section of capital is shoving their money (and influence) towards Hillary and not Bernie. I also think boiling things down to just number of monies is missing out on the power part of the equation of capital here. Also the nature of Sander's campaign funds are somewhat different, given that a lot of his backing is coming from individuals instead of corporate PACs. Not that it really changes the dynamics entirely, and capital will swallow that pill if they have to without much problem, but yeah. He still represents a threat to the rate of profit imo if he's at all successful in raising taxes and gets congress to somehow go with it.

I'll pretty much leave it at that though because I don't feel like I have anything useful to say at this point, I'm tired and recovering from illness. We'll see how **** develops.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:43 pm 
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You've said what needs to be said without realizing it I think.

Clinton perhaps does have the majority, or most influential section of capital behind her. But Sanders also has a section of capital behind him as evidenced by his campaign funds. We've basically merely come to the point where we are stating what parliamentary democracy is, the contest between different factions of bourgeois to have greater or lesser control of the State apparatus.

By way of example, from what I understand Sanders is talking about free university education funding or something. Universities are already quite rich institutions generally, now he's offering to funnel yet more money towards them? You better believe that capital invested behind universities is happy about that. You may like the specific product that this specific capital produces, and thus it would be 'good' for you then to have Sanders as president, but the same could be said if you liked GM cars about Bush (he bailed out GM that wasn't Obama right?).

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 Post subject: Re: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 6:53 pm 
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GM entered bankruptcy in 2009; the "new" entity that took over GM's assets was created with the backing of the US Treasury during the Obama administration.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 7:34 am 
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Looks like Trump is calling recession folks. Of course his solution is to cut taxes to restore profitability as one would expect, but interesting to see regardless.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-0 ... est-stocks


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 Post subject: Re: 2016 American Presidential thing
PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 5:03 pm 
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Trump is viewed as a threat to, and hence ultimately external to, the 'establishment.' In this sense, people seem to be referring to a purely political establishment, which is abstract and meaningless, and indeed it is fairly obvious to people in most other cases that politics does not have an 'establishment' wholly separable from the economic sphere or its influence as such. In that sense, Trump is an obvious case of an 'establishment' figure who nonetheless opts to pretend to be against some sort of existent 'establishment,' and is enthusiastic about doing this for an extended period of time. In that sense, they would of course be fairly aware that the political realm is in many ways subjected to the economic, and hence limited and subject to influence, and therefore they would seem to have to postulate an 'establishment' outside of this, or extending beyond it and applying also the political field, or in brief presumably they believe in the 'Illuminati' or something.

[quote2="Broletariat"]Eh, I think Trump just has an enormous ego and actually believes his own ******** the same way Eric Cartman does.[/quote2]
Or maybe Trump does actually base their politics off South Park. Obviously, if a person is to say a thing and channel enthusiasm about it, past a certain point they do have to believe it. If they say it essentially because they have to, or to pander to others, then they can't have any particular objections to it. People cannot switch in and out of being empty vessels - they are either empty, and others can write all over them, or they are not in that sense. Obviously, Trump is generally associated with pandering to people, and in this sense there is no question of portraying him as an autonomous being who 'believes' things in the same way that Savage or Kontrrazvedka might.

Edit: "The party’s presumptive nominee had also insulted Mr. Cruz’s wife, baselessly alluded to extramarital affairs and labeled him “Lyin’ Ted.” - So while Ted Cruz might make a decent Vladimir Lenin, Trump ain't no Stalin. They just been stealing from the working class, and encouraging others to do so, the good-for-nothing tosser.

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