by Mike Meyer ~ Honolulu ~ March 24, 2021
Joe Biden is doing things that no one expected him to do. Despite the disastrous collapse of Western Civilization as the modern planetary model, yes, more on that in a bit, Joe Biden is orchestrating a desperate bid for the survival of the nation-state system.
That is so clearly not what we expected from sleepy Joe that millions of people are struggling to reorient themselves to the new reality. How did it happen, and what does it really mean? The shoddy facade of representative government that is the primary emblem of democracy for the world is paralyzed at the hands of an authoritarian minority oligarchy. This is well understood, and its unquestioned inevitability is the essence of America’s greatest product, Capitalist Realism.
Joe Biden was supposed to take care of cleaning up after the Trump disaster without doing more than shoveling out the shit, prosecuting an appropriate number of the most flagrant criminals, restoring things to pre-pandemic standards, and then calling it a day. While this would not begin to fix the structural errors that allowed a policyless, massively corrupt Republican Party to become a Russian-funded fascist clique and take over the government without the trouble of winning any national election, just getting public health back on track in a pandemic was enough.
As anyone with minimum knowledge of US politics over the last sixty years knows, Joe Biden has the experience and knowledge to keep things working. His decades as an insider in the national political game were based on old-style political horse-trading. Fortunately, he managed to retain some basic humanity and, while older and a bit clumsy, he managed to avoid blatant corruption, most of the usual ridiculous blunders, and remained sane.
There is a lot to be said for sanity, as we now know, the absence of serious criminal tendencies, an ordinary sense of compassion, and the ability to think farther ahead than this evening extras now. The planetary bar is now so low and the horrors of the Trump regime so large that Joe Biden appears virtuous if not righteous.
Not to take away from his good points, but the absence of anything approaching normal competence is a stunning change, further confusing the situation. The sudden appearance of hope at a fully implemented national vaccination schedule for COVID with logical action take to assist other countries in this disaster would have been enough for large schools and even buildings to be named after Joe Biden.
Trump removed after his full coup attempt led, in Trump style, by nutcases and local hoodlums that left the ex-president disgraced and sulking in his disease-infested resort. That plus an honest, coordinated effort to restore the CDC and public health was all anyone could expect of Sleepy Joe. But somewhere in those first weeks following the failed coup, no US media could find the correct word to describe despite millions around the planet shouting: ‘it’s a failed coup, assholes!’, Joe Biden saw the future.
I have no basis for this other than nothing else makes sense. For an aging, retired establishment politician to suddenly begin pushing to correct national political failures, infrastructure mismanagement, global warming, sacred capitalist asset distortions, and institutionalized racism mean a profound transformation. That the modern dogma of Capitalist Realism is suddenly called into question by a guy who helped create that dogma is stunning.
This is bigger than Nixon going to China. That was a political coup in a still working political system, although one with serious symptoms of collapse. This is an aging politician who faces a gruesome reality with few options left on the table complicated by a national minority unable even to see that reality.
I think that reality is mortality for Joe Biden. As I’m only a couple of years younger than Joe, my feeling is that he realized his chances of getting out of this alive are not good. We know how the presidency ages people, at least those who do something besides tweet outrage and watch TV all day. As Samuel Johnson said, “. . .when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.”
When facing that ultimate reality, leaving your last great opportunity after accomplishing nothing by attempting to compromise with idiots seems hardly worth it. There is no historical hope if Biden doesn’t take his trip to our future reality. Even if the nation-state system falls, as I think it must, Joe Biden is determined to give it a chance to do what is needed.
That the Capitalist Realism we live in is unadaptable to a viable future will not be his fault. But full-scale structural changes to America are the only hope we have to break the grip of Capitalist Realism. I don’t think Joe and certainly, not his older colleagues are ready to say this aloud, but he knows it, I think.
The more likely alternative is already obvious in the rise of China and Africa. But I think, now, Joe Biden is unwilling to ignore that reality even if he must fight the minority blindly committed to dragging back whatever horrible past will keep them in power.