Can you take class struggle out of politics? R. Baker

That’s a real interesting question, in my opinion. You cannot ever really take the class struggle out of politics. Why not?

Once the instinctive tribal social interaction factors that governed social political and relations are is removed from business decisions, it can become a wise and profitable business decision to starve millions. That deeply imbedded factor will always haunt all mass economies, including socialistic ones. The best counter-examples we see in the modern world are arguably (IMO)) the Scandinavian governments that seem to have successfully restrained their capitalists by cultural tradition combined with law. Why buy Scandinavian politicians when the payoff is so much greater when you buy them in the USA?

Under Bush we have seen unrestrained corporate looting and corruption of many kinds. Obviously, this sets the stage for a dialectical backlash via the only permitted, socially programmed alternative in the USA, which is voting Democrat. So you have a class struggle Democrat like Edwards appearing with Hillary who wants to take all the sting out of politics by emphasizing that like most Americans, she is in favor of change.

The US economic crisis not being so serious yet (but give it another year!), there is room for an Obama who says he is for polite struggle within the system, and as compared to Edwards who sounds too serious about being ready to fight the guys in suits who are ripping about 90% + of us off.

So now we have the centrist managerial types below saying that class conflict, as filtered through one vote every four years for one of the two parties, is too likely to make the system lurch toward the left, with unstable and unpredictable consequences; something like the French Revolution maybe. Maybe Barack would give in to pressure to swing way to the left. They are managerial non-partisans who perhaps sense the economy is headed off a cliff and want to see the country go back to being “well-managed”, in the sense the USA was unified and productive during WWII.

These guys want to engineer some kind of historic political compromise, in which capital would promise to behave, coming out of the smoking ruins of the corporate-led Bush era. (Maybe the visionaries understand the deeper implications of peak oil and global debt that can never be repaid by a global economy based on a foundation of cheap-oil infrastructure: see here

…On three successive days, the Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle, and Time magazine addressed the issue. With oil prices on fire, editors started to realize that it is not enough to simply blame high gas prices on speculators, the falling dollar, and national oil companies. They seem to get it: production is not keeping up with soaring demand, and if prices do not fall soon, serious economic damage will likely follow…)

Of course a genuine compromise between current polarized class interests would require a major rewrite of the laws . And also kicking all the battalions of lobbyists who specialize in selling their ability to influence Congress by means of harnessing their instinctive tribal social interaction talents.

Roger Baker

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Bloomberg and Others Begin Talks on a Nonpartisan Path
Brandi Simons for The New York Times

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York City Sunday with David L.
Boren, left, his host for a conference in Norman, Oklahoma.

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
Published: January 7, 2008

NORMAN, Okla. — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and a dozen current and former elected officials from both parties arrived in this college town Sunday evening with little fanfare but grand ambitions.

Over a Sunday dinner, Mr. Bloomberg and other participants in the conference were to begin discussing ways to end “partisan polarization” in Washington, according to the invitation sent last month.

The conference was organized by two former Democratic senators, David L. Boren of Oklahoma, now president of the University of Oklahoma here, and Sam Nunn of Georgia.

Last month, the former senators suggested that they would consider urging Mr. Bloomberg to mount an independent presidential campaign if the major-party nominees do not formally embrace bipartisanship to address the nation’s problems.

“Today, we are a house divided,” the two men explained in their invitation. “We believe that the next president must be able to call for a unity of effort by choosing the best talent available — without regard to political party — to help lead the nation.”

Mr. Bloomberg and his aides have toyed for months with the idea of such a campaign, though officially he says he plans to complete his second term as New York City’s mayor, which ends next year.

He is a repeat guest of Mr. Boren’s, having delivered the commencement address at the university last year.

Other participants in the conference include Christie Whitman, a Republican and the former governor of New Jersey; Senator Chuck Hagel, the Republican senator from Nebraska; and the former senators Charles S. Robb of Virginia and Gary Hart of Colorado.

The private meetings on Sunday will be followed by a private breakfast on Monday and a public panel discussion, after which the participants may issue a brief statement of shared principles.

Arriving for dinner at Mr. Boren’s residence, Mr. Bloomberg brought gifts: three cheesecakes — one plain, one chocolate swirl, one raspberry swirl — from Junior’s, the famed Brooklyn outpost of pickles, pastrami and pastries.

Mr. Boren asked the mayor, who has taken a variety of actions to encourage a more healthy lifestyle among city residents, if there were any trans fats in the cheesecakes. Mr. Bloomberg responded: “No trans fats whatsoever.”

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