Let's Talk "Internal Contradictions"
in respect of our ruling class
Back in the day our Marxist friends were big on the “internal contradictions” of capitalism. The Workers World says it all:
Bosses expropriate what the workers produce
Anarchy built into capitalist production
Capitalism breeds monopolization
Irrational system creating its gravediggers
The expropriation notion comes out of Marx’s analysis of the market economy using the classical economic notion of “exchange value” and “use value.” And he was right: there was a problem. Fortunately, economists agree, the internal contradictions of exchange and use value were exploded in the marginal revolution of 1870. But many of our lefty friends have yet to get the message. They don’t get out much.
And yes: bosses make a profit on the workers; the market really has it ups and downs; weaker players keep getting bought out or driven out of business; the buggy-whip makers are all in their graves. “Tush, man, mortal men, mortal men,” as Falstaff said.
But now let us talk about the internal contradictions of educated-class rule, especially as revealed to us by the “Three Stoogettes” of the Ivy League and by antisemitism at the nation’s universities.
(Apologies to The Three Stooges, who were all Jews.)
The three female Ivy League college presidents found themselves batting on a bit of a sticky wicket at the US House of Representatives the other day. In our modern universities we don’t allow transphobes to misgender transgenders, but we do allow mostly peaceful protesters to harass Jewish students. What the heck?
(By the way, a trans person was recently outraged that a coworker addressed transgenders as “my esteemed colleague.”)
The sticky wicket on which the Ivy League bat-people were playing is a consequence of the internal contradictions of the political formula of our present rulers, which is that they are Allies of the Oppressed Peoples against the White Oppressors.
According to the political formula it is OK to mount mostly peaceful protests against the White Oppressors of the Oppressed Peoples but not the other way around.
But what do you do when one of the parties is Palestinian, victimized by the partition of Palestine, and one of the parties is Jewish, victim of the Holocaust?
Not to mention, what do you do if one of the parties is a feminist woman, oppressed by the patriarchy, and one of the parties is transgender, oppressed by transphobes?
Now, Freedom of Speech says that
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
But whatabout shouting “Fire” in a crowded theater?
Now My Guy Jürgen Habermas, borrowing from Husserl and Heidegger, writes about humans that “live in community in the world with other humans with whom they communicate and develop moral agreement” dwelling “in a lifeworld of shared cultural tradition.”
When people live in the same lifeworld they do tend to rub along. But when people separate into different silos, as we tend to do in the abstract world of the city, then it is one short step to thinking of people with a different world view as the enemy.
And, as any student of Nazi jurist Carl Schmitt will tell you, politics is all about the enemy, so any of the adepts of the rulers — like university presidents — will tend to recite the Narrative of the rulers, which usually comes down to the horror of the existential peril posed by the enemy.
I say that practically every political formula dreamed up by the bribed apologists of a ruling class is a bunch of baloney. And you can often tell a thing or too from the romances that the rulers tell themselves of an evening. The feudal lords of the medieval romances of the Middle Ages imagined themselves as noble knights seeking the Holy Grail: King Arthur, Sir Percival, Sir Galahad & Co. Our rulers today imagine themselves as devoted activists in what I call the Activist Culture.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to imagine a ruling class and a political formula that does not require such lies to prop up its rule. You won’t get a Nobel Prize for your efforts, but you will be of enormous benefit to humankind.