Last Chance

2020 is pretty much our only chance to get anybody anti-neoliberal in power. Younger candidates and voters don’t have the slightest idea that there might be anything wrong with neoliberalism. I mean, they are very negatively impacted by it, a lot more than the oldsters. But they don’t know it. They have no frame of reference. They diagnose their malaise using neoliberal terminology.

Look at Obama. He was young (for a politician), obviously well-meaning, obviously a good person. But he seemed genuinely incapable of articulating a single non-neoliberal thought. He still is.

The oldsters remember life before the neoliberal revolution. And that’s good. But it’s also bad because their only response to it is let’s go back to the past, Make America Great Again, make America’s taxation system great again. Both Bernie and Trump look to the past for an alternative to the present.

What I’d love to see is somebody who:

1. Understands that neoliberalism creates enormous inequality and consigns many people to the dustbin of history in the capacity of “human waste” (the definition is Bauman’s, in case anybody wants to start assuming this is from Fox News).

2. That neoliberalism is not just about the economy. It’s a “structure of feeling.” There’s an enormous ideological apparatus attached to it, and it’s a chicken and egg situation because nobody can really say which comes first.

Bernie very clearly understands the first but is utterly blind to the second. He won’t succeed at anything as long as he thinks it’s all about a set of tweaks to the taxation and spending system and that by making this system more like it used to be (here or in the Finland of the past) the problem will be solved.

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10 thoughts on “Last Chance”

  1. If we lose this year, there’s always a chance Sherrod Brown runs in 2024, so not our absolute last chance. But I don’t know that he would, so we can’t count on it.

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  2. Inside The World Of Stay-At-Home Moms Who Blog For Profit
    …For the first decade of the history of blogs (which most people agree started around 1994), most blogs were unpaid creative outlets for people with day jobs who wanted a place to post their writing. They were (and are!) cheap and fast to set up, requiring very little expertise. Blogging was first and foremost a tool for people who needed to write and didn’t want to wait for some publication’s permission.

    In that way, blogs were a tool of personal liberation. They allowed great writers to be discovered, and then to get paid for their work by getting published by larger outlets, or by running ads on their sites as their audiences grew. Eventually, marketing evolved to reward the most popular bloggers with sponsorships, and social media (especially Instagram) created an efficient, consistent platform for those sponsorship deals, and thus we have influencers.

    ..The curious thing about the affiliate marketing and Shopify mommy blogs is that their history moves in the opposite direction: These bloggers — who generally don’t have other jobs — start their blogs initially hoping for a source of extra income, and then teach themselves to write posts and draw in readers as a way to reach their sales goals….
    What is more interesting to me about this shadow-realm of mommy blogs that simulate other, more successful blogs in the hopes of earning money is the way it feels a bit like peering around a bend into a future paradigm of online life. Though it might be tempting to characterize this niche economy in dystopian terms, I think it’s better described as marginal. These blogs read like assemblages of information and content scavenged from other parts of the internet, like a content favela mushrooming up around the gleaming cities where the high-paid influencers live….

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    1. At least, they are getting paid. There are crowds of people who do the same stuff on FB and FB gets paid. That I could never understand.

      Every time I think of commenting on FB I wonder what’s the use of it for me and don’t comment. I just don’t see the point. Even selling stuff on it has become dead. I do almost all of my business in my online store on Craigslist. $470 this week. And zero on FB this whole month.

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      1. Clarissa: Twitter is the spot for the hot political nonsense; Instagram is where people your age post their baby/brag pics; and FaceBook is where old people recycle the chain email forwards of yesteryear. I don’t know what the youngs are doing now.
        Snapchat and YouTube? I know the “stories” feature on Instagram is a dupe from Snapchat.

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  3. Randomly:

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      1. Fun fact: the Mike Gravel twitter account is run by teenagers, and Gravel himself has nothing much to do with it (though the teens have his permission.)

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    1. News flash:

      Earlier this month Mike Gravel officially filed to run in the Democratic primary for president. His campaign team, mostly composed of teenagers, has so far amassed only a bit over 14,000 of the 65,000 donations needed to earn Gravel a spot on the ballot.

      His Twitter account claims that in a new Iowa poll, he beats Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Julian Castro, and Jay Inslee — not bad for an eighty-eight year-old ex-senator from Alaska!

      Some of us have actually thrived and done quite well under neoliberalism. (I wish it would win and finish the wars it starts, but what the hell — as long as the stock market keeps going up, I can be brought off.)

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