clap clap blog: we have moved
Friday, April 11, 2003
On neocons and electoral politics, Eppy had a great related blog on how limited and thus vulnerable their political power is, considering how singularly focused they are on transforming foreign policy in Palestine, Mesopotamia, and most of South Asia. I have to agree on with his assessment that this is singular obsession and that their neglect of domestic issues -- civil liberties (underming basic privacy and free speech rights), education (starving states of funds to keep public schools running), and health (using a similar strategy to let state aid to the poor, disabled, and elderly wither) -- is certainly a site for vulnerability.
But I strongly disagree with his conclusion. That this makes it easier to win. The Neo-Con Imperialists have tapped into a deep root that has sustained American politics for about two centuries (and maybe more). Since at least the consolidation of slavery and white supremacy, and maybe back to the radical Puritan founding, the United States government, it's well-healed businesses, and, well, terrorist mobs have demanded of working people of all ethnicities -- from English to Irish to Italian to Polish to Jewish -- that they give up their past and become something inexplicable but psychologically enticing: whiteness.
As I note below, this process of assimilation had been a Christianizig and missionary one, rather than a racializing one. As labor historian David Roediger concludes in his "Wages of Whiteness," even with massive unemployment, poor sanitation, horrific workplace conditions, and frequent panics and poverty, these new whites still dominated and terrorized poor people of color and non-Christians.
Wolfowitz and the rest realize that they can get the US to support their weird Christian jihad purely for their own psychological self-satisfaction. It is an old story and an old weapon and these guys know how to use it.