By Billy Bob
I have been listening to a lot of analytical discussions from the array of alternative analysts that are publicly available on social media and I feel moved to once again comment on what appears to be the most glaring blind spot in this world of alternative analytical discourse. While I appreciate all of them and could list a few dozen names, none of them engage the topic below in a way which is even close to being satisfactory.
There seems to be an across the board embrace of analysis through the nation state-paradigm and an equally pervasive *lack* of analysis from the perspective of the fundamental reality of oppositional class interests. It is my humble opinion that the former is deliberately pushed into the mass consciousness while the latter is deliberately erased from the mass consciousness and the passive acceptance of the superficial nation-state paradigm results in a far inferior analysis.
Each and every one of the millions of news items and bits of analysis that is daily shared over the billionaire-owned platforms of mass communication, assumes a world-view that is predicated on the nation-state paradigm. Meanwhile the word class and the reality of oppositional class interests is verboten and nowhere to be found, seen, or heard within the billionaire owned and manufactured echo chamber.
But the reality observed by Marx is that “the history of all heretofore existing societies is the history of class struggle”. It is impossible for me to stress this fact enough. The reality of oppositional class interests is the prime contradiction of the age of capitalism. There is no single contradiction which even comes close to influencing the strategies, policies, and behavior of the ruling capitalist-class or their Western empire as their own understanding and appreciation of their class interest. A class interest which simultaneously perceives the working class to be a threat which needs to be attacked and pacified through cradle to grave indoctrination as well as seeing them as a resource to be exploited and profited from. It is this fundamental awareness of their own class interest and their perception of the threat that the working class can potentially pose to their obscene disproportion of wealth, power, and privilege, which can most satisfactorily explain why things are as they are (which is the entire point of honest analysis).
I assert that class contradictions are far more relevant and far more impactful on history and contemporary reality than the superficial nation-state paradigm. Approaching geopolitical analysis through the nation-state paradigm while ignoring the class paradigm is akin to ignoring the elephant in the room while focusing on the mouse in the corner. Yes the mouse exists, but what about the elephant? I submit that it is illusory to speak of a singular “national interest” because nations are comprised of classes which have interests that are mutually exclusive and often in competition.
Before going further, let me offer a quick word to those that are not familiar with the concept of oppositional class interests. When I speak of class, I am referring to the Marxian definition based on ones relationship to the means of production (including mental production). The working class is comprised of the vast majority of us that must sell our labor in order to survive. We are aligned by shared interests including the desire for peace, prosperity, and greater access to quality education, healthcare, housing, transportation, jobs, and the right to have a say in the system that governs our society. Here’s the thing though. The capitalist class opposes these basic interests. Because they are the owners of the means of production, their material interests are often in opposition to the material interests of those whose labor they profit from.
I prefer to conceptualize the capitalist class as being comprised of multiple factions with competing but also overlapping economic and political interests. They are united in their desire to maintain their system and to keep working class people confused, ignorant, divided, distracted, and disenfranchised. But they often disagree amongst themselves on which strategies and policies to pursue and which approach to adopt towards any particular issue. There is not unanimity on how best to confront the challenges posed by Russia, China, and indeed the West’s own domestic populations. For instance, the Trump faction has recently gone to war with the establishment consensus and tried hard to leverage massive disgust and distrust of the establishment in order to replace it with a more nationalist oriented approach. We watched this internecine battle play out in real time and it continues to this very day.
Another key feature of the capitalist class is their complete lack of regard for principle. While they are experts at utilizing principles to manipulate and deceive the masses and to convince them to go along with whatever policy they happen to be trying to push at any given moment, the only thing they truly care about is the maintenance of their own obscenely disproportionate share of wealth, power, and privilege. considerations of their own core security, economic, and political interests far outweigh any particular “principle” including silly things (silly at least from their perspective) like democracy, freedom of speech, human rights, etc, etc. We know with certainty that these principles are meaningless to them and that they will eagerly disregard them if there is a quick buck to be made or if they feel that adhering to such principles will endanger their profit margins.
Because they account for an obscenely disproportionate share of wealth (in the US, the richest 0.1% accounts for more wealth than the poorest 90%) they understand that they would be *disproportionately funding* any program that was honestly designed to improve access to and the quality of, education, healthcare, or housing, for the masses. Also, they know that if they pay us more wages, they will make less profit as a result. So, the capitalist class is not interest in investing in these programs which they would have no need of themselves and which would only benefit the working class. Instead of wanting to invest in the working class, the capitalist-class prefers to invest in themselves and in things that benefit their own economic and political interests. They invest in a global empire and a global propaganda apparatus. They invest in war, regime change, the capture of markets and resources, and the repression of any society that dares to resist their exploitative efforts. They invest in the manufacture of a false historical mythology which obfuscates the centrality of class and develops nonsense paradigms like “democracy vs. totalitarianism”. They invest in a political system which they call “democracy” but in reality is nothing more than oligarchy. They invest in propaganda narratives both historical and contemporary in order to obfuscate reality and to keep people from understanding the things I am trying to describe in this post.
The capitalist class understands that politics is a zero sum game and that any political enfranchisement of the working class (any increase in genuine democracy) will result in a decrease in their own political power. So they have developed an oligarchic political system that has managed to entirely disenfranchise workers while their propaganda apparatus works overtime to deceive workers into believing misconceptions and into advocating for things that are nonthreatening to core capitalist-class interests.
Inevitably even the best alternative geopolitical analysis seems entirely ignorant of everything I have shared above. Because of this fact, I have seen no sensible answer to the question of “why is Europe destroying itself to benefit the US”? The answer to this question can not be found if we limit ourselves to the nation-state paradigm. We must engage in class analysis to understand the self-destructive behavior of these supposed “sovereign states”.
I think it is mistaken to view Western Europe simply as a collection of sovereign states aligned by shared democratic values and a love for human rights. What a joke Europe is a collection of countries aligned by the fact that they are controlled by the same capitalist class. A class that is united in their interest to maintain their global empire against a rising Russia and a rising China that is actively displacing their global hegemony.
To avoid being displaced, the ruling capitalist class will eagerly sacrifice the interests of their working class citizenry while simultaneously using their propaganda apparatus to convince the working class to blame Russia and China for all the sacrifices and pain which will be asked of them. The pain will not be felt by the capitalists that have chosen the path of confrontation and war. The capitalists will not go cold or hungry and they will not be asked to sacrifice their livelihood in furtherance of their own capitalist-class and Western imperialist interest. On the contrary, the capitalists will use their propaganda apparatus to convince the working class that working class sacrifice is necessary in order to benefit the “national interest”. The “national interest” though in a country run by the capitalist-class is nothing other than the consensus capitalist-class interest.
But it is times of crisis and struggle where it becomes difficult for the ruling class to maintain there fictitious narratives and where people start to question what is truly going on as they wonder why they are being asked to sacrifice. These are the times that provide an opportunity to wake people up and to help them to better understand those things that they previously had no interest in perceiving. Let’s do our best to inject the prime and fundamental reality of oppositional class interests into the alternative analytical discourse which is still infinitely better than the discourse found coming from the capitalist-class’ propaganda apparatus.
Notice the representation below of the obscene disproportion of wealth enjoyed by the capitalist class. These are the resources at their disposal and which they squander not on the eradication of poverty or the development of humanity, but on empire, war, and the maintenance of their political hegemony all in order to secure and maintain this obscene disparity: