Democrats made fun of Donald Trump Jr yesterday for saying in the wake of the FCC’s vote to can net neutrality regulations that Ajit Pai was “Obama’s FCC chairman”, but he was partly right. Partisan hacks conveniently overlook the fact that while the aggressively anti-net neutrality Pai was indeed appointed to his position as chairman by the current president, he was appointed to the FCC by Obama.
In fact, two of the three FCC commissioners who voted to kill net neutrality were Obama appointees. Michael O’Rielly, who once infamously attacked the notion that it’s important for everyone to have internet access, was appointed by Obama as well. By keeping the FCC from being populated with commissioners who favor consumer protection over irresponsible corporate deregulation, the Democrats have allowed the Republicans to not only repeal the Obama administration’s 2015 net neutrality regulations, but regulations which have existed since the age of dial-up as well.
FACT CHECK: The FCC is not just reversing an Obama-era order. It is reversing policies that have been in place since the dial-up era. #NetNeutrality
— ACLU (@ACLU) December 14, 2017
This did not happen because Obama was fond of appointing corporatist Republicans to powerful positions (although he did plenty of that during his administration as well), but because of a traditional gentleman’s agreementbetween America’s two leading parties that the FCC should always have two Democrat and two Republican commissioners with the chairperson fluctuating with whichever party controls the White House. In theory, this prevents either of America’s two mainstream ideologies from gaining too strong a foothold within the commission. In practice, Democratic inertia toward making large pro-human progressive leaps combined with the GOP’s enthusiasm for massive rollbacks in corporatist deregulation allows for the exact sort of two-steps-forward, one-step-back march toward corporate totalitarianism we saw exemplified in yesterday’s vote.
This is the sort of one-two punch combination that the US power establishment has been pummelling the American people with for generations. In boxing, a jab with the lead hand followed by a cross with the rear power hand is the most common and fundamental punch combination thrown, in which a stunning, blinding, distance-measuring strike is used to set up a subsequent knockout blow. In US politics, the Democrats set you up, and the Republicans knock you down.
Crosses, hooks, overhands and uppercuts are the punches that end fights and wind up in highlight reels, but any boxing coach worth his salt will tell you that the most important attack in all of striking martial arts is the jab. The way a quick, straight punch from the lead hand can be used with solid footwork to control distance, disrupt the opponent’s techniques, distract, blind, and set up other strikes provides a fighter with a solid base from which to launch combinations while stifling the opponent’s offense.
In exactly the same way, Democrats are able to stifle any American movement to the left on issues of economic justice and anti-corporatism by monopolizing the space meant for leftist politics and providing little if any pushback against the pro-war, pro-oligarchy, pro-corporatism agendas of the Republicans. Even when they controlled both houses and the White House, they advanced a corporatist Republican healthcare policy while continuing and expanding all of George W Bush’s wars. Sure they don’t shove things as far to the right as humanly possible when in office like Republicans do in the same way a jab rarely lands with fight-ending force, but they hold the space and measure the distance for a crushing knockout cross to your face as soon as the GOP regains power.
Once you get this, you suddenly have an answer to all your questions about things that don’t add up about US politics. Why is it nearly impossible to get true leftist politicians elected in America despite broad support for socialist policies and making tremendous progress on social issues like same sex marriage and marijuana legalization? Why have US politics been moving steadily steadily to the right on economic issues for decades when one of the two parties purports to oppose this? Why do Democrats loudly advocate for the little guy but slam the brakes on at the point where it might mildly inconvenience the oligarchs, the intelligence agencies or the military-industrial complex?
The answer is because they’re not fighting the Republicans. They’re fighting you.
They’re fighting you for the benefit of their corporate donors. They’re fighting to stop you from attaining the economic justice which would unseat the US oligarchs. They’re fighting to stop you from mounting a real revolution. They’re fighting to keep you striving for slow, incremental changes while the plutocrats build a cage of internet censorship, Orwellian surveillance, economic totalitarianism and militarized police around you as fast as they possibly can. They’re fighting to keep you begging for human rights like abortion and social justice while they continuously bolster and expand the soul-crushing Walmart economy. They’re fighting to stop you from seizing control of your government and using it to benefit yourselves instead of benefitting war profiteers and bankers.
I always get Democratic party loyalists in my notifications criticizing me for saying that both of America’s major political parties are exactly the same, but I’ve never actually made such a claim. There is a difference between the Democratic and Republican parties in the exact same way that there is a difference between a jab and a cross: they are both distinctly different tools being used in very different ways by the same boxer to knock you senseless.
Trying to attain justice and sanity by electing Democrats is like trying to win a boxing match by stepping into your opponent’s jab the entire match. Sure you might not get knocked out straight away, but the damage will add up quickly and it’s only a matter of time before a crushing right hand follows behind it. The way to win a boxing match is not to drop your hands and try and eat less damaging punches, it’s to fight back and try to smash your opponent’s fucking head off.
Ending Net neutrality, reducing access to radical information because of Russia-gate, tax bill, expansion of military budget, police killings of black, brown and working class whites- Daniel Shaver – all reflect the one-sided class war being waged by capitalist oligarchy.
— Ajamu Baraka (@ajamubaraka) December 15, 2017
That head is not the Democratic party, and it is not the Republican party. The head of the boxer you are fighting (and you are indeed already in a fight for your life whether you like it or not) is the unelected power establishment which owns both parties. The plutocratic donor class, the intelligence community, the military-industrial complex and the mainstream media have been loosely collaborating to throw the one-two punch combination we’ve been discussing here at your face your entire life. By keeping a majority of Americans unable to save even a thousand dollars in a system where money equals political power, ordinary Americans have been rendered politically impotent while plutocrats are able to rule like kings.
The way to fight back is to shatter the illusion that the two-party system works, the illusion that the two parties most Americans cheer for are truly fighting one another. This can be done by attacking and disrupting mainstream narratives for as long as we all have access to alternative and social media, screaming with a bullhorn to snap people out of the trance of the lullaby the establishment propaganda machine has inflicted upon them. Alternative media has forced the mainstream media to overextend itself in desperation in order to try and control the narrative like it did last week with its humiliating CNN/MSNBC/CBS Russiagate debacle, and when your opponent is overextended they have no way to defend themselves from a knockout counterstrike.
We must exploit these holes in their armor at every opportunity and shove as much truth through them as possible when they open. If we can completely shatter mainstream America’s trust in establishment narratives, there will be a fighting chance for everyone to figure out what’s really happening and spot the boxer’s head behind the haze of the one-two punches they’ve been eating. When that happens things can turn around quite quickly, but we must act fast before they knock us out by closing the door on dissenting narratives via internet censorship once and for all.
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