The American dilemma

POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AND PARTIES AND RACIST AMERICA’S EFFORTS TO SHUT BLACK FOLKS OUT OF AMERICAN POLITICS

Ozodi Osuji

      Political science has delineated what it calls political ideologies. A political ideology is a belief on how society ought to be organized. The political ideologies are nationalism, fascism, conservatism and mercantilism; liberalism, communism, socialism, corporatism (you could also add capitalism, for that, too, is an ideology, a mere belief on how economic activities in society ought to be conducted, not a natural phenomenon).

     Briefly, nationalism is fervent belief in one’s nation-state and working towards making sure that it survives; people all over the world work for the survival of their tribe and ethnic group; apart from individualism, nationalism is people’s earliest ideology, the group’s survival. Individuals do sacrifice their lives so that their group may survive.

     Conservatism is working to preserve what is perceived as good in one’s ethnic group, nation, tribe; it tends to be conjoined with nationalism; in the USA it is also conjoined with capitalism; conservatives want to make their nation great and pay taxes to make the government militarily powerful but do not care for the individual; they want the individual to fend for his self, to do what he can to survive or die off; they believe in Herbert Spencer’s Social Darwinism, the idea that we live in a competitive universe where we are all struggling for survival  and the strong survive and the weak die off.

     Fascism is extreme nationalism; the only addition is that it not only seeks group power but teaches that the individual can be sacrificed for the glory of the group; both Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler said that the nation-state has a right to use the individual at wars that glorify the state and that his death at such wars is heroic for him, for, ordinarily, he lives a life of, what Henry Thoreau called, quiet desperation, humdrum existence. The state is more important than the individual, fascism says. One should feel lucky of serving the heroic Fuhrer, unto death.

     Mercantilism was the economic system that preceded what Adam Smith in his 1776 book, The Wealth of Nations, called Free Enterprise. In Mercantilism the state decided who its people traded with, what ships they used in conveying their goods from place to place etc.; the American founding fathers revolted against British mercantilism more than anything else.

      Communism is belief that the state, the collective people ought to have control over capital, over the means of production, to prevent the excessive disparity in wealth between the owners of capital, the industrialists, and their workers. Until the 1930s, workers used to be worked eighteen hours a day and from about age ten and died before age forty, no pension plans and no health care provided, the worker was just a slave used and when he is no longer useful, discarded like a rag doll.

     Just as communism was a reaction to the oppressive nature of early capitalism (read Proudhon, Fourier, Robert Owen, Bakunin and other writers on communism), Socialism is a reaction to the excesses of communism. Russian communism led to a group of strong persons, the Bolshevik party, telling every person what to do and the state became totalitarian and authoritarian and the bureaucracy a monolithic instrument of the political party for oppressing the people. Socialism wants to elect socialist people to the legislature and have them govern democratically. The French Socialist Party and the German Social Democratic Party (and the English Labor Party… Labor Party is the outgrowth of English Fabian Socialism), so far, have been elected to power and relinquished power when voted out, as opposed to the Russian, Chinese and Cuban communists that seized power by force and stay in office until they die or are kicked out by force.

     Corporatism is a milder form of socialism; here, the state cooperates with industry to work for the glory of the the country; this is the economic model of Japan, China and most Asian countries.

      Capitalism is the revolt against mercantilism; in the USA it has been deified and made a god and worshipped by some economists, such as Milton Friedman of the Chicago School of Economics and Arthur Laffer of the University of Southern California. In the USA, a human idea on how to organize economic activities to allocate goods and services more efficiently, is made divine and worshipped; they have built a golden cow and worship it as their god instead of seeing it as containing useful aspects, taking those aspects and mixing them with what is good in socialism, and developing a Scandinavian type social democratic society (I am a believer in the economics of John Maynard Keynes).

     Liberalism is the Western belief in the individual’s right to political freedom and civil liberties and elected governments. John Locke, in his Second Treatise on Government, responding to Thomas Hobbes’ (Leviathan) absolutism, visualized a liberal government that listened to and did only what the people asked it to do, limited government.

       Liberalism applies to much of western Europe but in the USA it is associated with belief that the people’s tax dollars could be used to help the poor, provide some relief for them whereas Republicans want the people to swim or drown…Republicans fund mostly  the military and other instruments for controlling the people, such as courts, police, prison; whereas conservatives do not care to help the people they generate wars  and conscript the children of the poor to go fight and die  to protect their properties.

      In this five-page article (it is meant to be read in ten minutes) my goal is not to provide an exhaustive description of political ideologues but just to mention them. In every human polity you can find the various political ideologies in one form or another. This is called the political spectrum, or political continuum. People array themselves on the continuum with most people congregating in the center (such persons are called centrists or moderates, neither lurching to the left, communism or to the right, fascism).

     If a human polity allowed the formation of political parties reflecting people’s political ideologies, there would be about six political parties in each country. France comes closest to this ideal.

     In the USA and Britain, we mostly have two political parties, conservatives and liberals. The reason is because the Anglo-Saxon political culture and political socialization gets people to accept mostly two political parties and work under their umbrella; they believe that two political parties make for undivided human polity; they viciously oppress those who try to form third or more political parties. They are particularly vicious towards the political fringes, such as communists and fascists.

     Fascism and authoritarianism are on the rise in an Anglo-Saxon USA. This dangerous phenomenon is the cause of this writing.

POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES AND PARTIES IN THE USA

     Right from its inception, the 1787 constitution, the USA has had two political parties; the original factions, as George Washington called them, were the Federalists and the Anti-federalists.

     Political parties are organizations of citizens with common beliefs on how to govern their society; the parties have one purpose, to capture the government, ideally, through elections, and use the government to translate their members aspirations to public policies that serve their interests. Political parties’ campaign at elections and whichever one wins forms the government.

     Interest groups supplement the activities of political parties; they collaborate with political parties and government to make sure that their members interests are translated to public policies.

     Both political parties and interest groups try to capture parts of the media and use them to propagate what serves their interests. The US Fox News Corporation exists to propagate Republican and big business interests while pretending to be an objective media outlet.

      The original two US political factions transformed to the Whig Party and the Democratic Party; the Whig Party imploded in the 1840s and was replaced by the Republican Party.

      The Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln, used to be the progressive party of the country, the anti-slavery party, whereas the Democratic Party was the racist party and mostly found in the southern USA.

     A whole lot of political developments, including Franklyn D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies (a kind of velvet socialism) and the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s led to political party realignment.

      From about 1964 to the present, the South that used to vote for the Democratic Party, and was racist to the core, is now solidly Republican.

     Southern Democrats killed most proposed legislation in Congress to end racial discrimination; that led the NAACP to change tactics and focused on judicial cases; the landmark case of Brown v Topeka, Kanas Board of Education, in 1954 ended the 1896 Jim Crow ruling that legalized racial segregation.

     Well, folks switched parties, racist whites became members of the Republican Party; the Democratic Party tried to walk the middle road between racism and whatever else they do.

      The party realignment did not alter the basic structure of American politics but simply was a game of musical chairs where names are changed but the political behavior remains the same.

     In the USA there has always been a party of racists and a party of grudging non-racists; that is still what exists.

     The worrisome development is the present situation where members of the Republican Party, beginning in the 1960s, believe that the Democratic Party has gone too far, and they want to reverse the situation.

     What do they mean by going too far? They do not mean giving their people publicly paid health care and education through university, as Europeans did, but that they have accommodated Black folks too much. They insist on a divided country, Black and white country.

     The Republican party used to support apartheid South Africa; I can still see Newt Gingerich, on Television, talking infantile rubbish to the effect that said that political liberalization in South Africa would be the end of that country. These racist folks believe in the alleged inferiority of Black folks and that they cannot govern themselves right; that is what they want to prevent in the USA, Black folks messing up their country as they did in Africa.

     Whereas in the past the two political parties in the USA easily handed power to the other after each election, members of the Republican Party no longer want to do so.

     We all saw what they did after the 2020 election. They challenged the result of the election, all the way to the Supreme Court, and when they lost those challenges, they went back to the states to recount the votes and finding no fraud, and on January 6, 2021, stormed Capitol Hill, Congress to prevent the Senate from certifying the victory of Joseph Biden.

    Their goals were to stop Congress from handing power to a person they perceive as part of the Black Lives Matter, the party handing America to nonwhite folks.

      I do not need to rehash the events of January 6, 2021; what we need to pay attention to is what they symbolize, the Republican Party, now synonymous with the White Nationalist Party, does not want the Democratic Party, now seen as the party of Black, Latino and women folks to rule the USA.

      If Republics do not return to power soon and use the power of the legislature, the Presidency and the Supreme Court (that they now control by 6:3 justices), to relegate Black folks to the plantations and slavery, they are going to begin seceding from the union.

      And that would lead to civil war. The wind of war is in the air in the USA. That Civil war may begin any time after the 2024 presidential election, if Republicans do not regain the White House and Congress (they have passed all kinds of laws to suppress Black folks voting in states they control).

      If you are an African, please pay attention to what is going on in the USA. You are partially the cause of this problem. Europeans gave Africa independence in the 1960s, instead of Africans reconfiguring the countries the Europeans constructed to enable them to exploit Africa’s resources, and figuring out a way to govern Africa correctly, African leaders turned into criminals, big time, and see government as a place they went to steal from.

     Nigeria became thieves’ empire.

     Perceiving Africa as unable to govern itself, as what Donald Trump called shithole, white Americans believe that to allow Black folks into American politics is to speed up the Africanization, that is, the primitivizing of the USA.

      The election of Barack Obama, an African, as the president of these United States of America, made them lose it; they felt that it is now time to take their country back from Liberals before they hand it to Black folks who would proceed to make a royal mess of it, as they have made Africa.

     If Africans were governing themselves right, as Paul Kagame is doing in Rwanda, these racists would pause in their present mad rush to turn the USA into a totalitarian, authoritarian dictatorship that served white folks’ interests.

     Africans need to get their acts together and start dedicating themselves to the improvement of Africa, instead of being bloody thieves, looting their countries while pointing accusing fingers to what the West did to underdeveloped Africa.

     Yes, the West and the extant economic structure of the world is stacked against Africans, but with commitment to the development of Africa, Africans can get around those obstacles.

     Asians have turned their countries around and are now, operating at the level of the West but all we have in Africa is blaming the West.

      Listen up, folks know that only children blame others for their fallen house, adults roll up their sleeves and rebuild their house.

    In several books and articles, I have presented what seems to me the natural political constitution of Africa and written on the type of leadership that Africa needs, but the thieves that misgovern Africa ignore those writings and keep to their merriment of stealing from the public treasury instead of shooting to death anyone who stole even a penny from the national treasury.

DISCUSSION

      White Americans come in two verities: the rational and sane part and the irrational and insane part.

     The sane white person knows that whereas Black folks, for whatever reasons, are currently backwards, they are as good as any other human being. The insane white American latches unto whatever snippet of superficial evidence tells him that Africans are primitive and inherently unable to govern anything; they do not want any African taking part in American politics.

     From the reconstruction era (after the civil war) when the emancipation of Black folks theoretically gave them the freedom to vote and participate in American politics, racist whites have sought ways, beginning with the forming of the Ku Klaus Klan in 1877, to pack Black folks back to the plantation or to Africa.

     Thomas Jefferson said that he could not imagine in what circumstances that Black people and white folk would live as equals (this is coming from a man who had a Black lover, Sally Jennings, in his basement). Unbelievably, Abraham Lincoln had a similar view, the man saw Black folks as inferior to his people; he was not opposed to slavery but to the end of the union.

     The salient point is that the USA has a political party that is dedicated to removing Black people from American politics, by any means necessary. They are willing to transform the USA into an authoritarian and fascist country if that would accomplish their goal. Failing that they will initiate a civil war that could lead to the balkanization of the USA.

    Some racists do not mind giving Black people some southern states to govern, and the rest of the country given to White folks.

      This is what is going on in the land. Understand it and do not play the ostrich and put your head in the sand and pretend not to understand what is at stake.

     We are all party to this dilemma. If only Africans would start governing themselves correctly no racist would ever tell Black Americans to return to their shithole continent.

     I am a political realist, not political idealist; I believe that about fifty percent of white folks’ support integration and fifty percent support segregation of the races.

CONCLUSION

     The line is drawn in the sand. What are we going to do about it, realistically, not sentimentally? As a realist I do not believe that we can change people’s political ideologies; I do not even try to do so; I take people as I see them. I do not expect white racists to become non-racist.

     The issue at hand is: what are we going to do about what Gunnar Myrdal called “The American dilemma”?

Ozodi Osuji

February 6, 2022

Ozodi Osuji@gmail.com

(907) 310-8176

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