Slavoj Zizek's brilliant analysis of the U.S. election results

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I'm just asking people to recognize a duality in this:  Yes, Trump is not the sum of all evil in life, yes OBVIOUSLY we need to challenge the neoliberal consensus, as people were increasingly doing under Obama and would have kept increasingly doing had a Hillary victory(as it would have done, with he flaws)would at least have saved us from the alt-right being massively enabled-but NO, it is not a harmless, innocuous thing that Trump is in power.  And it can't be anything but arrogant to dismiss all the misery Trump's presidency has caused to precisely the coalition of people whose support would be needed to actually create a broad-based Left party in the U.S., since there will never ever be a time when the majority of working-class whites will back such a party, even though more may do so now than in the past. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

Yes, Hillary is a hawk.  No, I didn't want her nominated either.  Her hawkishness, however, is not the only thing in the damn universe that matters. 

No she is a "feminist" who not only stood by her man when he abused his power and was getting blowjobs in the Oval Office, she actually attacked all the women who also came forward and said her ass grabbing cheating husband had fucked them.  Her family who supposedly has been in "public service" for thirty years is worth millions, even her children. How does one get that wealthy on a Senator's salary? 

You are right there is more than just the fact that she cheers when leaders of sovereign countries get murdered without any due process by US proxy terrorists.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Yes, Hillary is a hawk.  No, I didn't want her nominated either.  Her hawkishness, however, is not the only thing in the damn universe that matters. 

No she is a "feminist" who not only stood by her man when he abused his power and was getting blowjobs in the Oval Office, she actually attacked all the women who also came forward and said her ass grabbing cheating husband had fucked them.  Her family who supposedly has been in "public service" for thirty years is worth millions, even her children. How does one get that wealthy on a Senator's salary? 

You are right there is more than just the fact that she cheers when leaders of sovereign countries get murdered without any due process by US proxy terrorists.

Her response to the assassination of Qadaffi was unconscionable, but he would have been killed by a GOP administration at the same time, and no higher level of support for the Greens in 2008 or 2012 would have prevented it.

It's worse that we've got Trump.  And we can assume he'll be assassinating foreign leaders too, at some point.  You don't think he's already got the murder of Maduro planned?  Or maybe of Evo Morales?  

We weren't spared anything by Trump being elected.  Ask any Yemeni.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

No one is spared when Americans, generation after fucking generation, vote for the lesser of evils. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Your voters are insane. Nothing will change until US citizens stop drinking the oligarchies kool-aid.

If you and your peers had been working on an alternative since the Clinton era there might be hope but instead you voted for the lesser of evils every time without fail.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Some of us were working for an alternative.  In presidential politics in the U.S., that can only be done within the Democratic Party.  I learned this supporting Nader in 2000-a campaign which proved, for the rest of eternity, that it can't be possible to build a left through third-party presidential politics, since no losing third-party presidential campaign can leave anything behind that can be built into a left.  Nader's campaigns proved it.  John Anderson and Barry Commoner's campaigns proved.  Every campaign Gus Hall ever ran proved it.  The only ones that were worth supporting were in the pre-New Deal era...Gene Debs when he ran, LaFollette in 1924.  After that, it became permanently futile to support third-party presidential politics, as the Electoral College hardened into an institution which made alternative presidential campaigns unelectable and thus futile.  If Bernie had run on the Green line in the fall, he could only have gone down to a humiliating defeat exactly as Henry Wallace did in 1948.  Nothing else would have been possible.

A lot of us worked for Kuchinich.  It truly looked to grassroots progressives as though a movement would be build out of the Obama campaign-no one could guess that that movement would be squashed, and again there was no chance of building anything that mattered by voting Green.

A huge number of people campaigned from Bernie.  Once Hillary was nominated, there was no way to build anything progressive by refusing to accept her nomination and voting Green instead, OR by pushing, as huge numbers of people did in the States, for Hillary to be stripped of the nomination after the convention and the nomination handed to Bernie instead when everyone knew the Dems were never in a million years going to do that.  Also, there was a real progressive case for supporting the ticket AS A WAY TO BUILD AN ALTERNATIVE There had been major concessions to the Sanders positions in the platform-by some estimates at least half the platform language was Sanders positions.  The platform gains, at that point, were the best that could be done in 2016.  By contrast, there was never any possibility of Stein or Bernie running on the Green line could have won or even outpolled Hillary, or even carried a single state, and if that had happened on a widespread basis(increased Green support in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania may have been what doomed us to Trump solely on the numbers), it couldn't have had ANY other effect but hardening the Democratic party against engaging with progressive voters while continuing to leave the same progressives with anywhere else at all to go.

She shouldn't have been nominated, but it was massively important to stop Trump.  You can't seriously argue that she was so inhumanly evil that keeping her out of the White House was WORTH having all the misery of the last two years happen-misery that did probably irreparable damage to the groups who would have to be the basis of any broad-based Left.  

The way to build the alternative would have been, and would still be, to focus exclusively on races where the Electoral College is not involved.  Why NOT focus on contests where electoral victory is actually possible, while at the same time working for electoral reform-pr in legislative races, initiatives in as many states as possible to distrubute Electoral College votes proportionately?  Why, instead of that, place defeating the Democratic presidential ticket above any and all other things?  Making sure the U.S. president is permanently Republican, in and of itself, achieves nothing, and DOES nothing to build an alternative.

Pondering

If things getting really really worse caused uprisings the people of Greece would have risen up by now.

We don't need an uprising. We live in democratic countries. If the majority of people agreed with us then a party on the left would rise to power. The truth is the majority of people don't agree with us.  The majority support the trade deals and even pipelines.

Somehow economic success these days results in poor roads and overloaded health and education infrastructure along with a shrinking middle-class and growing underclass. Economic recovery leaves workers behind which has me questioning the definition of economic success for a country.

They say trade deals create winners and losers but then pretend the winners are consumers who can buy goods more cheaply and the losers are in the minority and just have to transition to a more competitive environment.

The role of government is to provide a vehicle through which we can act collectively for our common benefit. The role of politicians is to manage the organizations we have created to serve us. They are doing a piss poor job of it if you will excuse the language.

The right uses that as an argument for shrinking government. The problem is not the size of government it's performance. Performance is not improved by shrinking. I thought I read somewhere that under Harper government increased rather than shrunk. It's services that have been shrinking and failing to meet the needs of the population while government perpetually grows.

The right causes government to fail then uses the failure of government to justify privatizing as much as possible. That's the type of argument we have to counter.

The left has complained about the media for years. Now the right has taken that and twisted it putting the left in the position of defending mainstream media which we may have to do even more strongly in future. I saw a report on how easy it is to create fake video of people doing things they didn't do or saying things they didn't say and that it is difficult to detect. We have to have some sort of system we trust not to be creating or showing false videos.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Great Ken, the rest of us in the world, who have no vote in your elections, are waiting for you to do something instead of the same old same old. In the meantime I will reserve my right to denounce all of your imperialist leaders even the lesser of the two evils because they are all fucking evil. I am ashamed at what Canada has become in the last two decades. We too are in a state of perpetual war but our mainstream parties do not talk about it. When I worked to elect peace loving NDP MP's they spoke against Canada's role in NATO and decried Israel's genocidal policies. After silencing those people the NDP voted to bomb Libya and now we get to discuss how nice our new leaders suits are.

After working on election campaigns since 1972 I can say that the most important changes in Canada have come from activists pushing the laws on abortion and litigating LGBT rights under the Charter and First Nations litigation.  The politicians by and large just try to jump into the front rows of any parades that gain majority support. Otherwise they just talk about how to tweak the status quo for the "middle class." 

No US political party can end your imperialism because elected politicians don't have the power in our Western liberal democracies. Trump has at least put on full display the fact that elected officials are only one small part of the ruling elite that make the decisions as to what laws even get debated let alone passed.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Great Ken, the rest of us in the world, who have no vote in your elections, are waiting for you to do something instead of the same old same old. In the meantime I will reserve my right to denounce all of your imperialist leaders even the lesser of the two evils because they are all fucking evil. I am ashamed at what Canada has become in the last two decades. We too are in a state of perpetual war but our mainstream parties do not talk about it. When I worked to elect peace loving NDP MP's they spoke against Canada's role in NATO and decried Israel's genocidal policies. After silencing those people the NDP voted to bomb Libya and now we get to discuss how nice our new leaders suits are.

After working on election campaigns since 1972 I can say that the most important changes in Canada have come from activists pushing the laws on abortion and litigating LGBT rights under the Charter and First Nations litigation.  The politicians by and large just try to jump into the front rows of any parades that gain majority support. Otherwise they just talk about how to tweak the status quo for the "middle class." 

No US political party can end your imperialism because elected politicians don't have the power in our Western liberal democracies. Trump has at least put on full display the fact that elected officials are only one small part of the ruling elite that make the decisions as to what laws even get debated let alone passed.

I'm with you on denouncing and distrusting politicians, and on working to change them from below.  All I was saying is that third-party PRESIDENTIAL campaigns can't play any effective role in doing that.  Never said electoral politics would be enough or that you shouldn't denounce U.S. politicians.  At this point though, with Hillary now a permanent figure of the past, why is it so important to double down on singling her out as uniquely evil, though?  What purpose does that serve?  She's not going to run again or anything.

And whatever happens in the future depends on building a real coalition between the young progressives who backed Bernie in 2016 and the groups who felt, for whatever reason, that they could only trust Hillary-people of color, women, the majority of LGBTQ+ people, recent immigrants.  

Something has to be done to blend the social justice and economic justice agendas, as they used to be blended before Hillary created the artificial divisions on that she created in 2016.  Something has to be done to dual-center social AND economic justice and work from intersectionality to build a real program of justice.  Something has to be done to create trust between those who could create a long-term progressive majority in the U.S. 

Continuing to obsess on vilifying Hillary, a retired politician, a figure of the dead past, when doing so reads as dismissal of their issues by people of color, women, and LGBTQ+ voters, sabotages the work of creating grassroots progressive unity from below.  

There needs to be a discourse that moves past that and focuses on the future.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

As to Zizeks' analysis, I hope he is right that the shock will produce a more authentic left in the U.S. and other countries. 

NDPP

re: "Hillary, a retired politician"

Hillary Will Run Again

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-will-run-again-1541963599

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

NDPP wrote:

re: "Hillary, a retired politician"

Hillary Will Run Again

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-will-run-again-1541963599

That's just two former aides saying that.  Can't be assumed to reflect her feelings on the matter.

Sean in Ottawa

Ken Burch wrote:

NDPP wrote:

re: "Hillary, a retired politician"

Hillary Will Run Again

https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-will-run-again-1541963599

That's just two former aides saying that.  Can't be assumed to reflect her feelings on the matter.

Seems like babble is living up to its name -- we have jumped the shark and now sense and logic are absent from most dicussions which have degenerated into silly conspiracies, fake facts and trolling. Sucks. It is worse than when it was overwhelmed by spammers; more crazy than when a bunch of one-month political posters arrive during an election. Too many of the more level-headed posters are gone.

Perhaps the political train-wreck south of the border is turning many off politics.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

As far as Hillary running is concerned this song says it all for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUiFYWd6xNs

6079_Smith_W

Ken Burch wrote:

As to Zizeks' analysis, I hope he is right that the shock will produce a more authentic left in the U.S. and other countries. 

Oh, like it did in 1933.

It's easy for him to spout shit like that if he isn't the one who has to has to worry about winding up shot or in jail.

More authentic left. File that one with "noble savage".

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