Victory! - for the Non-Resistance
Victory! - for the Non-Resistance
By Glen Ford / blackagendareport.com

“Obama is the more effective austerity president – if the Republicans will just let him work his show.”

“Get Away Sandy – God and Obama Will Save Us” read the graffiti, scrawled man-high on a cinderblock wall in the majority Black town of Plainfield, New Jersey. It is an apt articulation of African American politics as we descend into the First Black President’s second term.

Black folks may or may not have a prayer, but they certainly don’t have any earthly influence on the direction of the nation or on a president for whom they gave near-unanimous support, while asking nothing in return.

Wait a minute! I’m hearing echoes of…a familiar voice:

“We have learned that Black politicians and activist-poseurs have an infinite capacity to celebrate not having engaged in struggle with Power, and that the Black masses can be made drunk by the prospect of vicariously (through Obama) coming to power.” – Black Agenda Report, “The Obama '08 Phenomenon: What Have We Learned?” November 4, 2008.

As Marx said, history repeats itself, “first as tragedy, then as farce.” Independent Black politics, rooted in the historical African American consensus on social justice, racial equality and peace, definitively collapsed, after a long illness, with the first Obama presidential campaign. The tragedy was compounded, exponentially, by the timing, coinciding with capitalism’s greatest crisis since the Great Depression. The autumn of 2008 was an historical juncture for the nation and the world. Either the people would erect structures to protect themselves from being crushed under the dead weight of a system in terminal decay, or the Lords of Capital would swallow the State whole, and buy themselves some time.

African Americans, the most politically volatile and left-oriented U.S. constituency – a people specifically targeted by Wall Street’s machinations – had an historical role to play. “The man STRUCK,” said Frederick Douglass, “is the man to cry out.” But Black folks had already been struck silly with Obama’Laid.

“Despite his background, Obama knew enough about African Americans to pay us no attention and less respect.”

The rulers had, at long last, found our Achilles Heel, the weakest spot in African Americans’ political armor. Our reflexive racial solidarity (actually, an aspect of Black nationalism), which had served us so well, for so long, short-circuited our progressive political instincts. We became fodder for Obama, the slicker-than-Slick-Willie corporate guy with the brown face.

Despite his background, Obama knew enough about African Americans to pay us no attention and less respect. There would be no penalty. Black folks had convinced themselves that Obama needed our protection; it never occurred to most of us that we needed protection from him – not during the primaries, when he praised Ronald Reagan’s reaction to the “excesses” of the Sixties, or when he refused to endorse even a voluntary halt to home foreclosures (while Hillary Clinton and John Edwards endorsed “voluntary” and mandatory moratoriums, respectively); not in the last weeks before his inauguration, when Obama announced that Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all “entitlements” would be “on the table” for chopping under his administration.

Instead, a million Black folks gathered on the National Mall for what we at BAR called “The Great Black Hajj of 2009,” a pilgrimage, as if to Mecca, in celebration of Obama’s ascension. There, he proclaimed to the multitudes: “In the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things."

Dutifully, Black folks set aside the last vestiges of their vaunted distrust of Power. Henceforth, African Americans would consider themselves as a Palace Guard – the antithesis of independent political actors. Thus was Obama empowered to become the “More Effective Evil.”

With little resistance on the Left, and virtually none from organized Black America, Obama has worked miracles for the resuscitation of the Lords of Capital and their imperial apparatus – feats that only a Black corporate Democrat could accomplish. After saving George Bush’s bank bailout in October of 2008 (it passed only after candidate Obama’s intervention), Obama undertook the historic mission of placing the U.S. State at the total disposal of finance capital.

Under Obama’s watch, the Treasury Department and, especially, the Federal Reserve have funneled at least $16 trillion to Wall Street and its foreign annexes – a sum greater than the national GDP. The “free money” window at the Federal Reserve has become a permanent fixture of the global financial order, permanently blurring the lines between the U.S. state and international finance capital.

Obama has embedded the state into the banks, and vice versa, in ways that cannot be undone without causing the system to collapse. In a very real sense, the “good faith and credit” of the United States has become a collective corporate asset of the Lords of Capital – an outcome that fits the classic structural description of fascism. No Republican could have delivered the state apparatus so effectively to the banks – there would have been fierce resistance from within the Democratic base, as well as libertarian Right. But Obama has proven to be the more effective facilitator of the bankers’ state.

“Obama has embedded the state into the banks, and vice versa, in ways that cannot be undone without causing the system to collapse.”

Social Security was untouchable – until Obama laid his hands on it. Beginning with his pre-inauguration pronouncements on entitlements, Obama has been the guiding hand of an austerity offensive that did not exist on Election Day, 2008. Instead, Obama made deficit reduction his own priority, at a time when pundits were saying obituaries over the GOP. (Much as they are, today.)

The Black Democrat appointed the Right-weighted Deficit Reduction Commission to promulgate a $4 trillion blueprint for austerity, a formula that matched Republic proposals in 2011. The blueprint would have been the basis for Obama’s cherished Grand Bargain had the GOP not balked at “modest” taxes on the rich – levies that are irrelevant to those who will lose their programs under the axe. Obama is the more effective austerity president – if the Republicans will just let him work his show.

Imperial aggression has never fared better than under the opposition-less Obama. At one point, he was bombing five countries simultaneously, pretty good work for a Nobel Peace Prize winner – or did the prize help empower him to such heights of bellicosity? His ever-evolving “Kill List” includes not only individuals of all nationalities (including our own) but also any country whose government is inconvenient to the United States.

With “humanitarian” jargon as his only justification, President Obama has attempted to render international law a dead letter. No nation has any rights that he feels bound to respect. Obama, with his drone armadas and multiplying Special Forces troops, represents a far greater threat to global civilization – which must be rooted in law! – than the failed conquerer George Bush (who actually negotiated the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq). Unlike Bush, Obama has promulgated his own, novel doctrine of war, which declares that wars only exist when sufficient numbers of Americans become casualties. Under this construct, Libya was not a war, and the possibilities for U.S. non-war depredations are endless.

Preventive detention is the crown jewel of Obama’s presidential exceptionalism. Statutory authority to imprison Americans without charge or trial was beyond Bush’s reach, and he knew it. But Obama guided a bill through the Congress with very little Democratic opposition. He is the more effective secret police warden.

Now Obama has won another “mandate,” which he will use to finish the projects he started: wider wars, a more profound government subservience to finance capital, and that “new legal architecture” on national security that he warned about on the Daily Show, a few weeks ago. He looks forward to fulfilling his austerity dreams early in his new term: “I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time.”

The non-resisters have won a non-victory against an unimpressive enemy, while the more effective evil plots new atrocities.

You will note that I have not specifically mentioned Black folks since the beginning of this article; that’s because African Americans have made themselves irrelevant – not just for the second Obama presidency, but possibly deep into the future. “Power concedes nothing without a demand,” and Black folks have failed to demand even elementary respect from this president, much less concrete programs, or peace.

Obama isn’t the only one who has noted Black ineffectuality. Until an independent African American politics and political movement can be rebuilt, there is no reason for a president or Congress to pay “the Blacks” any more attention than Obama did.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

0.0 ·
0
What's Next
Trending Today
The Little Engine That Couldn't: How We're Preparing Ourselves and Our Children for Extinction
Daniel Quinn · 14,040 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...
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 13,784 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...
Debt, Inequality and the Logic of Financial Violence
David Graeber · 3,212 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.
When You Kill Ten Million Africans You Aren't Called 'Hitler'
Liam O'Ceallaigh · 2,957 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...
Prince Ea Just Put The School System on Trial and Found it Guilty of Killing Free Thought
6 min · 2,216 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...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 1,596 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...
Incredible Photographs and Witness Statements from Charlotte and Baton Rouge Protests
Mankaprr Conteh · 1,399 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 · 1,231 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 · 1,209 views today · The world has forgotten the war in Yemen but you'll remember these shocking images of its starving children.
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 989 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 · 926 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.
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 866 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 818 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...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 812 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...
Olympian John Carlos on the Power of Protest
3 min · 619 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...
It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are
Mark Wolynn · 553 views today · The past is never dead. It’s not even past. — William Faulkner, Requiem for a Nun
Bitter Lake (2015)
136 min · 507 views today · Adam Curtis: Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react...
Kids Killed by Guns: America's Daily Nightmare
3 min · 434 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...
You Should Get Naked More Often. It's Good for You.
Joni Sweet · 408 views today · When Nelly encouraged overheated people worldwide to get naked in 2002, he was unknowingly advocating much more than just a sexy, sweaty dance party. Sunbathing, sleeping...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 405 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
Victory! - for the Non-Resistance