What Does It Mean to Be an American Liberal Today?
Liberalism is “an ideology rooted in a nation founded upon imperial conquest and rabid capitalist exploitation.” Its main proponent is in the Democratic Party, which “has become the engine of US imperial rule.” Hillary Clinton is a twin of Barack Obama. “While Obama intensified imperial war, austerity, and domestic repression, liberal supporters sat on the sidelines and watched.” Liberals wage fake wars on Republicans and real wars on the world.
What Does It Mean to Be an American Liberal Today?
By Danny Haiphong / blackagendareport.com

An American liberal is the arbiter of a more effective politics of exploitation and oppression.”

If anything, the 2016 elections have exposed the steep descent into bankruptcy of liberal politics in the US. The concluding years of the 1970s began a right-wing, authoritarian process in the US that grew from the roots of a capitalist economic base in decline. Historians and left academics framed this process not as a sign of decline but as a right-wing backlash. The term neo-liberalism was created to describe the backlash. However, "neo-liberalism" was less new than it was an exposure of what has always been true about American liberalism. American liberalism has always been an ideology created by and for the interests of the American capitalist empire, regardless of the period.

To be a liberal in America has meant being a participant in the highest form of opportunism. Liberals have historically championed the freedoms of American capitalist society and defended developments like the enslavement of Africans as a necessary evil. Once these evils become unmanageable, liberals jump ship and look to support more palatable forms of exploitation. For example, during the Civil War, many American liberals did not oppose slavery. It wasn't until the combined force of African rebellion and industrial capitalist development dug the slave-ocracy's grave that many liberals warmed to the idea of abolition.

“It was the bankrupt liberal leadership of the labor movement that collaborated with President Roosevelt to "stabilize" capitalism.”

During the Great Depression, US capitalism was on the verge of collapse. A recovery in the system seemed nowhere in sight. Socialists played a key role in organizing unions across industries to strengthen the position of the working class in this time of crisis. It was the bankrupt liberal leadership of the labor movement that collaborated with President Roosevelt to "stabilize" capitalism. This leadership proceeded to settle for legislative gains and purge socialist elements. And so began the labor movement's descent into the back pockets of the Democratic Party.

American liberalism has thus historically been able to fester and thrive in the US political landscape in periods of reforms in the capitalist order. The transition from chattel slavery to industrial capital, and subsequently from industrial capital to the so-called age of social welfare, gave American liberals political space to adjust their bourgeois principles to fit the needs of the time. In the current period of capitalist decline, this is no longer possible. The rule of capital has reached its highest stage and it must eliminate all that stands in its way of unfettered profit accumulation.

This period of capitalism has stripped liberalism naked of its supposedly "progressive" veneer. US capitalism has no room for welfare politics. The system's rate of profit is falling and its corporate debt is mounting. Finance capital has speculated the economic base of US society into a hole it cannot crawl out of. It is under these conditions that liberalism has revealed itself for what it really is: an ideology rooted in a nation founded upon imperial conquest and rabid capitalist exploitation.

“Finance capital has speculated the economic base of US society into a hole it cannot crawl out of.”

In the US, the home base for liberal politics resides historically in the Democratic Party. During the height of anti-communist hysteria and Black liberation insurgency in the mid 20th century, the Democratic Party was compelled to promote itself as a force of progress. To this day, the Democratic Party takes credit for Civil Rights reforms and anti-poverty programs that were pressured into existence by grassroots movements. However, the wheels of reform have reversed. No longer able to deceive the masses with crumbs, the Democratic Party has become the engine of US imperial rule.

Liberals have been instrumental in this political shift. The Obama era has been the quintessential example of what liberal bankruptcy looks like in the age of neo-liberal, capitalist decline. While Obama intensified imperial war, austerity, and domestic repression, liberal supporters sat on the sidelines and watched. In some cases, liberal forces cheered on Obama's policies (like the intervention in Libya) and decried Republican "obstructionism" as the primary reason for why social conditions continued to worsen under his rule. Yet these same liberals refused to acknowledge that it was Obama who sidestepped a Democratic Party majority in the House and Senate in 2009 and 2010 to push through the corporate Affordable Care Act and dash any hopes of universal healthcare being instituted in the US in the near future. 

“While Sanders is no revolutionary force, his brand of liberalism is now outmoded by the world capitalist system that he seeks to manage.”

The case of Bernie Sanders in particular and the 2016 elections have broadly exposed the Democratic Party and its bourgeois liberal base for the agents of Empire they've always been. Hillary Clinton and her supporters have tirelessly attacked Sanders throughout the duration of his campaign. The reason for the attacks is simple. While Sanders is no revolutionary force, his brand of liberalism is now outmoded by the world capitalist system that he seeks to manage. Finance capital cannot back a candidate that calls for universal healthcare, affordable public university, or higher taxation of the rich. These policy proposals run in contradistinction to neo-liberal capital's need to turn everything into a profitable market to ensure its survival.

When one asks what an American liberal is today, it is important to be honest. An American liberal is the arbiter of a more effective politics of exploitation and oppression. The American liberal supports the Democratic Party by waging a fake war with the Republicans while the entire establishment moves ever more rightward. The American liberal is no less an enemy of social progress than the right-wing, Republican oriented populace. The American liberal must be combated or its ideological stranglehold over emergent movements now and in the future will continue to lead them astray.

Danny Haiphong is an Asian activist and political analyst in the Boston area. He can be reached at wakeupriseup1990@gmail.com.
4.2 ·
2
What's Next
Trending Today
Rap News Special Edition: Hillary Clinton Vs Donald Trump
7 min · 13,370 views today · Hello world. RAP NEWS is back for a special episode on the 2016 USA Election mayhem, feat. Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump + a touch of Jill Stein & Gary Johnson. This one's...
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 12,985 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
Daniel Quinn · 10,669 views today · In a recent semi-documentary film called Garbage, a toxic waste disposal engineer was asked how we can stop engulfing the world in our poisons. His answer was, "We'd have to...
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 4,972 views today · Take a look at this picture. Do you know who it is? Most people haven’t heard of him. But you should have. When you see his face or hear his name you should get as sick in...
Debt, Inequality and the Logic of Financial Violence
David Graeber · 4,142 views today · Five years after Occupy, organizer and anthropologist David Graeber speaks to ROAR about the power of finance, the history of inequality and the legacy of the movement.
Prince Ea Just Put The School System on Trial and Found it Guilty of Killing Free Thought
6 min · 3,453 views today · Albert Einstien once said "Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid". Today Prince...
The Culture of Maximum Harm
Daniel Quinn · 2,056 views today · People have lived many different ways on this planet, but about ten thousand years ago there appeared one people who believed everyone in the world should live a single...
Incredible Photographs and Witness Statements from Charlotte and Baton Rouge Protests
Mankaprr Conteh · 1,823 views today · On September 20, a black father named Keith Lamont Scott was fatally shot by an officer of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. It is not clear if he was armed...
How You Can Support Standing Rock
Thane Maxwell · 1,568 views today · This is your pipeline battle too. Whatever you have to offer, we need it. Wherever you are, take one step deeper. Find your voice. Find your own front lines.
Yemen's Forgotten War and Famine Fuelled by Weapons from The West
3 min · 1,497 views today · The world has forgotten the war in Yemen but you'll remember these shocking images of its starving children.
The Left Deserves Better Than Jill Stein
Kate Aronoff · 1,449 views today · Stein’s Green Party run doesn’t offer a plan to win, or to build power. The Left is capable of so much more.
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 1,197 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 945 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Kids Killed by Guns: America's Daily Nightmare
3 min · 937 views today · On an average day in America, seven children and teenagers will be shot dead.Gary Younge tells the stories of the lives lost on one random day - 23 November 2013. Ten children...
Olympian John Carlos on the Power of Protest
3 min · 904 views today · 1968 Olympic athlete John Carlos protested racial inequality by raising his fist in a Black Power salute on the medal stand. He has some advice for athletes like Colin...
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 867 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 847 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Gabor Maté: Why Our Culture Makes So Many Of Us Unhappy
3 min · 713 views today · Dr. Gabor Maté explains why it is that our culture makes so many of us unhappy, unkind to one another, miserable, alienated from ourselves, etc. Watch the full interview in Part 2.
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 649 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
This Satirical Trump Vs. Bernie Debate Is Both Hilarious and Highly Disturbing
44 min · 615 views today · Comedians James Adomian (Bernie Sanders) and Anthony Atamanuik (Donald Trump) bring two of the most controversial candidates in history, head-to-head, or rather bald-to-toupee...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
What Does It Mean to Be an American Liberal Today?