Link of the Day

It’s very good to see people finally talk about the class dimensions of the ongoing cultural revolution:

For these corporations, this revolution is more about returning transnational capital to a place of unquestioned primacy than it is about protesting the abuses of police power. If Trump can be cowed (or better still—removed), then his policies that have ever-so-slightly slowed capital accumulation in the tech and retail sectors (which have become deeply intertwined) can be reversed. Capital, then, is our Mao; these sectors of capital are the disempowered regime leaping at the opportunity afforded by the middle and lower-class youth revolt. They wish to return to a position where they can make decisions unfettered by even mild rebukes to their interests (here in the form of tariffs), and the educated but stagnant middle class want to improve their own position by toppling bureaucrats above them in the hierarchy. In other words: antiracism and police abolition for the managerial and lower classes, free markets and unimpeded supply chains for the corporate boardrooms.

5 thoughts on “Link of the Day”

  1. I agree that the corporations are only looking out for their own interests.

    They’d much rather people be focused on police brutality (real or imagined), antiracism, transgender rights – anything but themselves.

    The excerpt above feels several decades behind the times, though. The most important economic factor is technology.

    Apart from being a huge industry in and of itself, it’s a growing part of large corporations in almost any other industry. Retail companies use it to make their products available online, to manage their supply chains, storage, shipping, and delivery, and to track, analyze, and optimize as much of that as possible. That’s what the author means by deeply intertwined, but it’s not just retail.

    There is no bureaucracy in the hierarchy above the middle class, and increasingly less of the managerial class. Those are the middle class. Above are professionals (doctors for now, lawyers – fewer b/c of technology, bankers – same, the technology professionals themselves), and then the rich.

    Tech companies are increasingly integrated into people’s social lives. Amazon and Facebook are doing super amazingly unimaginably well with people staying inside more instead of just amazingly well. Other technology companies benefit more from people getting out and socializing – AirBnB, Uber (well, it loses more money), Venmo, etc.

    Physical goods affected by tariffs are a smaller chunk of the economy than 50 years ago. Thinking that the big companies in general are rebuked by Trump’s policies is just nonsense. There is no returning to a (better) position or being disempowered.

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  2. Great twitter thread by the same guy:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Didn’t the time period when you could have a decent life and a stable job without much formal education consist of just a few decades after the Second World War? That seems to be the time period many Americans think of as the good old days, when their parents could buy a house and raise a family on just their dad’s salary from a manufacturing job.

    I see it as an aberration of history made possible by a combination of world events (no war in the continental USA, with Europe devastated) and US government policy.

    When I say aberration, I don’t mean that people without a formal education or inherited wealth don’t deserve decent lives. I’m just describing human history as I see it. From what I’ve read, another time period when average people’s lives were pretty good was before humanity developed agriculture, but even then women worked (gathering).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s absolutely true. It’s definitely an aberration. This is impossible to explain to Americans but a factory worker keeping a non-working wife and a couple of kids on one salary in a house with a lawn and two cars is a fluke. It’s a great fluke but it’s still a fluke.

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