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U.S. Entering A Four-Party System But Even Three Would Be Nice

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  • Reynolds
    Moderator
    • Oct 2018
    • 2432

    U.S. Entering A Four-Party System But Even Three Would Be Nice

    US enters brutal ideological civil war as four-party system begins to take form
    Slavoj Zizek
    11 Feb, 2020




    Despite Trump’s impeachment victory, the US is entering into an ideological civil war, because the real conflict is not between the Democrats and the Republicans, but within each of those parties themselves.




    When did the US exert moral leadership over the world? Under Reagan or Bush? The US has 50 percent of the world’s wealth but only 6.3 percent of its population. In this situation, our real job in the coming period…is to maintain this position of disparity. To do so, we have to dispense with all sentimentality…we should cease thinking about human rights, the raising of living standards and democratisation.” In this we find an explanation of what Trump means by “America first!” in much clearer and more honest terms. So we should not be shocked when we read that “the Trump administration, which came into office pledging to end ‘endless wars,’ has now embraced weapons prohibited by more than 160 countries, and is readying them for future use. Cluster bombs and anti-personnel landmines, deadly explosives known to maim and kill civilians long after fighting has ended, have become integral to the Pentagon’s future war plans.”




    It’s true that Trump exemplifies the new figure of an openly obscene political master in disdain of the basic rules of decency and democratic openness. The nature of power out of any serious democratic control is clearly spelled out here. What was taking place in the ongoing debates about Trump’s impeachment was a case of the dissolution of the shared common ethical substance which makes argumentative polemical dialogue possible: the US is entering into an ideological civil war in which there is no shared ground to which both parties to the conflict can appeal – the more each side elaborates its position, the more it becomes clear that no dialogue, even a polemical one, is possible. We shouldn’t be too fascinated by the theatrics of the impeachment process (Trump refusing Pelosi’s handshake, Pelosi tearing up a copy of his State of the Union address) because the true conflict is not between the Democrats and the Republicans but within each of the parties. The US is now transforming itself from a two-party state into a four-party state: there are really four parties that fill in the political space - the establishment Republicans, establishment Democrats, alt-right populists and democratic socialists.




    There are already offers of coalitions across party lines: Joe Biden hinted that he might nominate as his vice-president a moderate Republican, while Steve Bannon mentioned, a few times, his ideal of a coalition between Trump and Sanders. The big difference is that, while Trump’s populism easily asserted its hegemony over the Republican establishment (a clear proof, if one was ever needed, that, in spite of all Bannon’s ranting against the “system,” Trump’s reference to ordinary workers is a lie), the split within the Democratic party is getting stronger and stronger – no wonder, since the struggle between the Democratic establishment and the Sanders wing is the only true political struggle going on. Only one thing is certain: the worst imaginable stance is the one of some Western “radical Leftists” who tend to write off the working class in developed countries as a “workers’ aristocracy” living off the exploitation of developing countries and caught in racist-chauvinist ideologies. In their view, the only radical change can come from “nomadic proletarians” (immigrants and the poor of the Third World) as a revolutionary agent (maybe linked to some impoverished middle-class intellectuals in developed countries) Read more ...

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