Sunday, November 25, 2018

Money Still Rules US Politics — Paul Heideman interviews Thomas Ferguson

Though pundits have been scrambling to find new and inventive ways to describe the extraordinary nature of this year’s midterm elections, in one respect they’re just like the 2014, 2010, and 2006 contests: they’re the most expensive on record. Money has poured, in particular, into Democratic candidates’ coffers, with mediagenic figures like Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke collecting massive amounts from out-of-state donors.
Thomas Ferguson is the leading scholar of money in American politics, having produced study after study on the subject since the 1980s. In books like Right Turn: The Decline of the Democrats and the Future of American Politics and Golden Rule: The Investment Theory of Party Competition and the Logic of Money-Driven Political Systems, he has traced the way “investors” in political parties have shaped US politics from the American Revolution to the present. In a paper on spending in the 2016 election, for example, Ferguson and his colleagues found that while Hillary Clinton was certainly the biggest beneficiary of capital’s largesse, money pouring into Republican senate races was actually central to Trump’s victory.
Now, in a new paper, Ferguson takes on an even more controversial topic: voter behavior in 2016. Since the election, the liberal press has been quick to dismiss interpretations of Trump’s victory as linked to the stagnating economic fortunes of most Americans. These kinds of explanations, they argue, simply excuse the racism that drove Trump to power. While not dismissing the role of racism in Trump’s election, Ferguson and his colleague’s new work shows the way an economy for the 1 percent paved the way for Trump’s victory.
In the following interview, conducted by sociology PhD student Paul Heideman, Ferguson discusses his research on the 2016 election, the future of the Democratic Party, and the state of US politics on the eve of today’s midterms....
Gives Marx's M-C-M' new meaning by defining "C" not as "consumption" but "campaign finance."

Money Still Rules US Politics—An Interview With Thomas Ferguson
Paul Heideman interviews Thomas Ferguson is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Massachusetts Boston

See also
In their new book Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don’t Tell You About British Foreign Policy (Até Books), doctors T.J. Coles and Matthew Alford debate the rationale of Anglo-American policy towards Russia.
US-British Threats Against Russia Have a Long History
T.J. Coles – Matthew Alford

See also
In 1987, Paul Kennedy, a British professor of history at Yale University, unleashed a political and intellectual firestorm with the publication of his great (677-page) book, “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.” Kennedy produced a magisterial overview of the competition for global power over the past 500 years from 1500 AD to the present.
Kennedy proposed the thesis that any power that achieved, imagined it had achieved or sought to achieve and maintain a dominant hyper-power role of global dominance was doomed to lose it and then rapidly decline in overall power, wealth, prosperity and influence.
Kennedy argued – with a wealth of detail drawn from different nations over his vast period of half a millennium – that the very attempt to achieve and maintain such power forced every nation that attempted it into a ruinous pattern of strategic overstretch....
Strategic Culture Foundation
Written in History: The Death of America’s Hyper-Power Fantasy
Martine Sieff

See also
Speaking about the process of feudalism rotting within the framework of the arising capitalist society, Marx and Engels wrote that the most difficult thing is the process of torturous rotting when elements of the old departing system (remnants, as they called it) exist alongside the elements of the new and emerging one, and neither of them have enough forces for a historical victory. It is precisely such a period that the whole world, including Russia, now passes through. Capitalism in its remnants departs, it weakens, but it is still rather too strong to depart. But what’s new is still being formed and can’t force out the old system.
In the words of Antonio Gramsci, "The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." (Quaderni del carcere, « Ondata di materialismo» e « crisi di autorità », volume I, quaderno 3, p. 311.)
The new substance of society, which still hasn’t been understood and named, starts to be born. The old and new coexist together for some time, creating special social tension. Old mechanisms already cease to work; the new ones are in the process of creation and can’t be used. The intermediate state is the most torturous. No overtaking will bring salvation, but on the contrary – it is capable of slowing down the ripening of the new one.
The Vineyard of the Saker
Putin and the Rules of the Elite
Aleksandr Khaldey
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard

1 comment:

Kaivey said...

They keep telling us TINA!