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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:22 PM
Original message
"Democrats move to the center." Means what?
I'm going to take a soft-core Marxist view. Marx said somewhere that in a capitalist country, the government is the executive committee of the capitalist class, but serious Marxists are well aware that that is an oversimplification. To the extent that the capitalist class rules, it does so by way of proxies, who are politicians. A (somewhat!) democratic constitution favors capitalism by creating (limited) competition for the job of proxy, and creating plenty of channels through which large-scale money can assure that the government acts, if not as its executive committee, then as a reliable proxy.

To say that the Democratic Party ought to move to the center is to say that the Party ought not attempt to oppose the rule of the multimillionaire class nor advocate for other classes or groups, but make a pitch to replace the Republicans as proxies of the ruling class, on the grounds that the Repubs are too stupid or (I think) too doctrinaire and ideological actually to advance the practical interests of the ruling class.

Pretty much, that's what Carter and Clinton did. I guess we could talk about whether it worked or not, and why.

ANYWAY here's another question. Does the liberal wing of the Democratic Party ever actually oppose the rule of the multimillionaire class? Is that what is going on at all?

More to come if anybody is interested.
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The Backlash Cometh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
1. It means the DLC has decided to move to the center, where they
were all along.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. The DLC is moving towards the center, away from their extremist right-wing
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 12:31 PM by w4rma
pro-corporatist, pro-big buisness/anti-small buisness views which they tend to try very hard to hide?
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. Point being
everybody in politics is corporatist pro-big-business -- if they want to get the franchise.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #13
16. There are only a few people, comparitavely, who benefit from big buisness.
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 01:40 PM by w4rma
Most people benefit from small buisnesses and increasing their salaries.

Teddy Roosevelt fought against the scourge of monopolistic big buisness. Big buisnesses overstepped themselves and caused the Great Depression on Hoover's watch. After that FDR stepped in and set up regulations that prevented their re-rise for a number of decades, until recently.

I *reject* that everybody in politics is "corporatist pro-big-buisness". In fact nearly all of the most popular politicians on the Democratic side are pro-small buisness and anti-monopoly.
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:18 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. Well, that's a conventional view, but
The ruling class may find it convenient to make alliances -- especially if they are afraid of actually losing their wealth, through socialist revolution or fascist conquest. I think that is what we see in the second Roosevelt. Yes, the ruling class might even ally with the industrial workers, within some limits. That was very much the Republican alliance (against farmers and small business) sometimes in the 1800's.

Also, as Sweezy pointed out, the ruling class is not a monolith. There are divisions within it, and it may need to be disciplined by a central ruling body. For example, monopoly is good for the individual monopolist, but may not be good for the capitalist class as a whole -- by a policy of enforcing competition among companies in the interests of shareholders and rentiers. There we have the first Roosevelt.

Here is the question: why do these ideas succeed for the Democratic party sometimes, and fail so completely other times? I suggest: they succeed when they are consistent with the objectives of the ruling class.
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. But I am asking, what is this center thingy? eom
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
2. It means try to obliterate the differences between the Dems and Reps
in the futile hope that it will win votes.
In reality it will lose all the votes of those who believe in the Democratic principles.
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. There might be differences.
Take health care, for example. It's my conviction that a workable universal health care system would actually be to the advantage of the employing class -- that by switching the cost of insuring those who are employed from the employment relation to the general tax system, the gain in efficiency and in employer flexibility would leave the multimillionaire class better off, with enough margin left over to extend the coverage a bit.

So why should the Democrats not be able to say to the multimillionaire class, hey, the Repubs are not really advancing your interests, because their doctrinairism prevents them from doing this -- give us a shot and we will really increase your profits?

Um -- isn't that kind of what Clinton tried to do, in fact? But, somehow, it didn't work.

Seems like most of the multimillionaire class are just as doctrinaire as the Repubs -- could that be it?

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Cocoa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. not too much, imo
I find thinking on the one-dimensional, left-right continuum less and less useful.

And especially when it's totally abstract.

Maybe if the discussion related to something concrete, like the Dem Senators' comments about their 2005 agenda that I saw this morning on C-span, it would be more useful.

If you happened to catch that, does it appear they're moving to the center to you?
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. Didn't see it.
But my point was also that left-right-center doesn't mean much -- that the interests of the capitalist ruling class is what is of concern.
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:33 PM
Response to Original message
5. Count my one vote for "not interested".
:boring:
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. So why did you bother to read it and post a reply?
Exercise in irony?
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itzamirakul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. This shows how the RW views "moving center."
<snip>
New York's Hillary Clinton may have made not only the correct decision, but a politically appropriate one as well by voting for Rice's confirmation. Clinton is steadily moving to the center with her relatively hawkish work on the Armed Services Committee, her recent conciliatory speech on abortion and now her unwillingness to go over the cliff in opposing the Rice nomination.

Who has the politics of the Rice vote right? My guess is: Hillary, as usual.</snip>

Charles Krauthammer
NY Daily News 1/28/08 "Wrong to use Rice vote as dissent."

www.nydailynews.com
********
So now, Hillary gets praise from one of the most rabid rw columnists in the MSM as he continues to give Democrats advice on their political direction.

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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. And what does this have to do with
the interests of the ruling class? Would working families be better off if Condi got one less vote??
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itzamirakul Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #11
17. The subject of this thread is "Democrats move center - means what"
I replied to the subject title, not to some off-topic you have gotten distracted about.."interests of the ruling class"...uh-huh

Instead of making such nasty comments perhaps you should stick to the topic. It is that kind of lack of focus and digression that allows the Repubs to win their framed arguments.

I don't think this thread has anything to do with how many votes Rice got. My post reflected the way some very rabid rightwing MSM journalists feel free to advise Democrats and convince them that the centrist path is the path to take. Now if your enemy is advising you to take a certain path you can be sure he has some guns trained on you down the road. The centrist path has won for the Republicans for the last two elections. Why shouldn't they want us to continue on this losing path to certain loss?

Being a centrist Democrat is like being a little bit pregnant.
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. Are we on the same planet?
I posed the question and I offered a hypothetical answer: that for the Democrats to move to the center means they should advocate for the ruling multimillionaire class, and not attempt to oppose that class. I don't believe I made any nasty comments -- if my memory fails me, then sorry. But I do think you, and not I, wandered off the topic.
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jonnyo Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. It means another generation of facism and Democratic party failure.
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
14. Maybe the real question is
do the ruling class have any real idea what their interests are, or do they feel that things are completely out of control?

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JoshK Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
15. Yes, it's code for "We can serve the ruling class better than R's"
- as you suggested. (This was exemplified by the Kerry campaign, when he claimed he could fight a "better, smarter, more effective war on terror" -- ie, carry out Bush's policy more cleverly than Bush could.)

However, the Democratic Party has NEVER opposed rule of the multimillionaire class. (The New Deal was an effort to save the established capitalist order from itself, by forcing it to make significant short-term concessions, for the longer-term goal of continued rule.)

It is absurd and naive to conceive of the Dem Party as "the party of the people." Only idiots believe that. The function of the party is to rope in the more tolerant, less authoritarian half of the population, and keep them locked within the framework of the 2-party system, which is explicitly designed to assure continued multimillionaire class rule.

The wrong way to conceive of the political system is "Repubs are for the rich, but Dems are for 'the people.'" The correct way to understand it is that the 2-party system is a single entity that is used to fool the majority of the population, giving them the illusion of choice without the substance. It's not that the Dems are "the same" as Repubs; it's that they have a different role in the system -- namely, pacifying the tolerant half of the populace while still managing to keep them in line with the interests of big capital.

About your second question -- the lib wing of the Dems is only about 10 or 15% of the party. They are tolerated by the rest of the party purely for show -- like a decoration. The idea is to dangle a Lee, Kucinich, or McDermott out there, in hopes of keeping the antiwar & progressive types within the fold. Kucinich et al may be personally very sincere, but the rest of the party only tolerates them for its own purposes -- which are far from idealistic or progressive.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #15
20. Now *that* is an example of an extreme left-wing view. (nt)
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #15
25. But do even the liberals really oppose the ruling class? n/t
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JoshK Donating Member (112 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. No, basically they don't. That's not the function of liberals in
the system. Their position is that in the long run, the interests of the ruling class are more firmly secured, by making limited & judicious concessions to the working class. IOW, they are not interested in helping the working class for the sake of the working class. Rather, they recommend throwing the working class some bones, now and then, just to make ruling class domination a smoother ride.

Liberals are not really interested in changing the basic structure of society; they just want to round off some of the sharp edges of brute-force capitalism to make it run better.

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Tierra_y_Libertad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
18. It means a center/right party is moving more to the right.
It certainly isn't moving left.
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #18
26. But what is a center? What is a left/right?
What makes it further right, if it is not more comfortable to the interests of the ruling class?
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 01:45 PM
Response to Original message
19. It means "shutup and stop interfering with our control of the party".
They party hacks don't like grass-roots activism and will never admit
that it does anything useful.
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rogerashton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #19
27. Because that interferes with their pitch
to the constituency they really want, the ruling class of super-rich.
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
21. Moving to the center will NOT stop Swiftboat style attacks from Bush/media
Edited on Sat Jan-29-05 02:28 PM by Dr Fate
Nor will moving to the right, left or staying the same.

They will smear us w/ attacks & lies no matter what. So we may as well stay true-blue.

Until the DEM "leadership" understands that, it does not matter where we stand on issues or where we fall w/i the political spectrum...
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ElectroPrincess Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. But that's the beauty of their plan SO FAR ...
The DLC Dem's are even more deceitful and smarmy than the NON-right wing republicans. It's these a**holes that give us hope and then LOSE, i.e., remember Kerry - duh! Oh, now they are going to attempt to shore us up again but they have a rude awakening, many of us are not going to support their whiny asses any longer.

With rare exception, the Dems who are now in power like the large corporations making *all* the calls. They only pretend to be taken aback ... we get a few morsels and crumbs to calm the waters. No more.

Prepare for an ice age of republican party rule. I'd much rather vote in an honest (non-fundy or delay type corrupt) moderate republican than a corrupt DLC Democrat. At least I can see the knives coming at me and forthrightly counter their positions.
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Dr Fate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 02:31 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. My point is that Bush/media is the enemy, not each other.
We need to stop fighting over how left or moderate we are & realize the GOP/media will attack & smear us no matter what.
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