Reprinted from Marxism-L:


from Jeff Rubard <>
to Activists and scholars in Marxist tradition <>
date Sat, Oct 18, 2008 at 8:57 PM
subject The Credit Crunch and the Elections

A quick thought, from someone who is more sociologically than economistically inclined: is the financial crisis not a “depth charge” indicating the net weight of the American political system in the world system? However much we might wish a third-party candidate was viable at the moment, or however much we might secretly cherish the prospect of pulling the lever for Obama, both candidates will not only represent but structurally be radical breaks with the Bush administration: Obama will perversely deepen the bilateral ties between the Third World and developing European nations that developed this decade, ties Bush exploited to put together the “coalition of the willing” but will presumably assume the shape of a “Good Neighbor policy” in Obama’s hands. McCain’s genuine distaste for torture will snap the faux security state Securing a “Homeland” and wagging dogs in what could otherwise be meaningless low-level conflicts with an Axis of Unpleasantness. 

Neither candidate does what is economically essential over the long term, realizing that the US cannot be a “prestige” economy piratically exporting Ideas to other countries in exchange for cheap goods in lieu of being a normal country and having domestic industrial production for domestic consumption. But in some short term we are all living, and eagerly bowing to Schadenfreude over gnomes somewhere or other whose failed wizardry caused the material facts of production to topple over does a disservice to the possibility of American democracy — an excellent idea, and a reality which waxes and wanes with effective control over representatives and the executive by the great masses. This plays into the hands of bailout phonies and Brilliant Executives who are looking for excuses to stop going concerns rather than pay out to an empowered proletariat.