By Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.
In the final section of this essay, I will look at the
combined effect of the conflicts and collusion between the two types of
Machiavellian political actors that dominate the higher offices and influential
media organizations in the United States and to a lesser degree in other
countries today. Looking solely and
narrowly at one party or the other encourages myopia and the creation of a “voodoo
doll” in which all manner of evil is thought to be embodied, i.e. projected
onto. Thus our tendencies towards psychological “splitting” from our childhoods
are supported by finding the supposedly single locus of “bad”. The process of
collapse of our democracy is more complex and encompassing than just the
description, criticism and/or demonization of one party or set of actors.
The focus on just one actor as the primary source of
political evil has split progressives and the Left in the period 2016 to the
present: there are some who focus almost exclusively on the neoliberal
Democratic Party and its neoconservative militarist allies as essentially the
“worst human beings” in or near seats of political power. Others focus almost exclusively on Trump, the
Trumpist Republicans and/or the far right outside the Republican Party. These essays here are an attempt at synthesis
of what might be called a “two-front” battle for the future of American democracy
and, in an era of rapid climate deterioration, generalized to other nations,
the future of human civilization on the planet.
I will at the end offer an outline of what an anti-Machiavellian
politics and policy orientation would look like.
By Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.
While describing the machinations of the Democratic Party
Establishment creates an repellent vision of political scheming and ethical
compromise, today’s Republican Party is a few qualitative steps more repellent,
more reactionary, and at the same time simpler to describe. To compare and create a realistic vision of
the current American political landscape, one has to be able to conceive of
both “bad” and “worse”, i.e. degrees of moral compromise and turpitude in
political (and social-economic) life.
With the re-mobilization of the anti-New Deal, anti-civil
rights, anti-Communist Far Right following its crushing electoral defeat in the
1964 Republican Presidential Election (the aftermath of the Goldwater campaign)
and the emergence of the New Right in the 1970’s, the Republican Party has been
over a period of decades fully transformed into a party of open reactionaries
and racists, determined to defend a couple centuries of sometimes ill-gotten
gains and privilege of wealthy white European-origin people on the North
American continent, with a massive propaganda campaign and gun-enabled domestic
(This is a 3-part essay divided here into a total of 4 installments, with the first part divided into two)
By Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.
Attracting Popular Discontent
The basic structure of concentric circles of the discourse
and ideological “space” of a political party or partisan organization,
described in the foregoing could apply to almost any political party or for
that matter any group with a relatively passionately held set of beliefs
against which they believe others are opposed.
Using this schematic diagram of a group, the specific role of
“containment vessel for popular discontent” is more likely to be, in the now
almost 50 year old neoliberal era, to be slated for a party like the Democratic
Party or one of the Parties of the
Socialist International, like the British Labour Party, the German SPD, the
Australian Labour Party, etc.
On the other hand, when such center-left parties fail to
attract popular discontent and they in agitating outside governing roles or
acting in governing roles generate more popular discontent, other political
actors, including center-right and far right political actors and movements,
can capture popular discontent for their own purposes. Such was the case in
2016 in the United States, in Great Britain through the Brexit process with the
emergence of UKIP and then the “Brexit Party”, the Northern League in Italy,
the Alternative für Deutschland in Germany, the National Front in France,
the BJP in India, etc. Less successfully
or durably, other newer left of center parties like Syriza in Greece, Podemos
in Spain, La France Insoumise, or various Green Parties have attempted to
represent discontents at one point or another which the traditional parties of
the Left have failed to address.
By L. Randall Wray
This blog is based on the testimony I provided to the US
House of Representatives. My written statement will be published in the
Congressional Record (a version is also at the Levy Economics Institute: http://www.levyinstitute.org/publications/statement-of-senior-scholar-l-randall-wray-to-the-house-budget-committee.
The full statement was co-authored with Yeva Nersisyan.
I will argue that the Federal Government’s deficit and debt
are not so scary as we are led to believe.
Neither the deficit nor the debt ratio is on an
unsustainable path. In some sense, chronic deficits and a rising debt ratio are
They are not due to out of control spending—now or in the
future. They serve a useful public purpose. In any case they are largely
outside the control of Congress.
[ed. This was part Randy’s Talk at ICAPE.]
By L. Randall Wray
First I’ll clearly state what MMT is and then outline four
paths that lead to MMT’s conclusions: history, logic, theory and practice.
What is MMT? It provides an analysis of fiscal and monetary
policy that is applicable to national governments with sovereign currencies.
There are four requirements that identify a sovereign
currency: the national government
a) chooses a money of account;
b) imposes obligations (taxes, fees, fines, tribute, tithes) in the money of account;
c) issues a currency denominated in the money of account, and
accepts hat currency in payment; and
d) if the National government issues other obligations, these
are also payable in the national government’s own currency.
a 3-part essay divided here into a total of 4 installments, with the first part
divided into two)
Michael Hoexter, Ph.D.
The on-again, off-again political war now being waged inside and around the Democratic Party between a new generation of progressives and the Democratic Party Establishment requires a new or expanded lens to help understand what is going on. This quite intense “war” of varying intensities is being waged in an era when simultaneously the Democrats represent the only established political vehicle within the United States to unseat the monstrous Trump Administration and the Republican Party that backs them. Perversely, it seems, the Democratic Establishment has tried and continues to try, at almost every turn, to suppress enthusiasm for ideals and policies as well as the representatives that most nearly embody those policies and ideals that would be its own political energy source, the basis for Democratic political identity.