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Author Topic: Doomstead Diner Daily  (Read 33561 times)

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Jeremy Scahill

November 10 2019, 6:00 a.m.

ASTRA TAYLOR: "And this is where we do need to take a sort of, cold hard look at what weíre up against."


JS: Itís also when you talk about Republicans ó and Iíve read some other interviews with you recently ó youíve described the current GOP, but also itís ideological figures, conservative columnist, pundits and others as being, and this is how you describe it, ďtired of democracy and the equality that it demands.Ē I want you to explain that but at the same time, arenít they continuing to win?

AT: Oh, yeah, right. Because the thing is, they have power. I mean, this is the thing, this is what the left always says, right, yes, they have money, but we have the many, right? [But] somehow we need to organize. Itís a collective action problem. I think weíre in a really interesting moment. And weíre similar ages and so yeah, we grew up under this neoliberal, end of history hegemony, right, this idea even if we didnít believe it, but it was there in the ether with capitalism and democracy go together. This is liberal democracy, markets, increased prosperity, lift people up, elections will follow. And thatís it, right? This is the pinnacle of human evolution [and] that marriage is breaking apart.

And we see that in some really positive ways, I think, with the resurgence of socialism as something not only that we can discuss, but itís actually gaining traction, politically. But what I found when I went out with the film, and I started interviewing people and just talking to people from all walks of life is that young conservatives, people in their early 20s, I just assumed that as Republicans, they would still speak in terms of the link between capitalism and democracy, right? They would still say, hey, markets are democratic. We get to choose. Choosing is good. Choosing is what democracy is all about, and talk in terms of a kind of Reagan freedom of the marketplace kind of rhetoric.

Thatís not what I found at all. I found young people who are keenly aware of their own status as an economic and social elite, who recognize ó they had no delusions ó they recognize that the empowerment of the majority of people would mean that they would lose some of their privilege. They would lose their economic privilege, that they would lose what is essentially the sort of affirmative action that they take for granted. Itís just how the universe should be. And so they mock democracy outright. They mock democracy, they mocked urban centers with their large populations. And they basically said, we donít want democracy. We want the Electoral College. We want the Senate. We want the Supreme Court. And we want to tell you all what to do with your lives and we do not want you fighting to increase our taxes or fighting for better treatment in the workplace, or fighting to expand the number of refugees and immigrants in this country.

So, that was interesting for me because the gloves are off and conservatives are returning to their aristocratic roots. There was a strange moment, 20th century with the USSR facing off against the United States where it was convenient for capitalists to speak in terms of democracy, to wrap themselves up in that mantle, right. They donít need it anymore and thatís where weíre at. So if they want capitalism, and they understand that itís not a democratic framework, then all then I think that radicalizes democracy.


AT: Iím saying that radicalizes democracy, because it means that we donít have to pretend that definition, that 20th century definition is the definition. We can say what democracy, it is rule of the poor, right? It is inclusion. It is public decommodified goods. Itís all the things that you rich, privileged ass holes are afraid of and thatís why I think we have to fight more passionately for the idea of democracy. Because for me, and I bet youíre the same as well, itís like, our democracy in the aughts, like 2001, two, three, four, was such a sold-out word, just taken by George W. Bush, by all of the hawks, claiming to democratize the Middle East when really they were just imposing like, when really they were just engaging in this imperial project and extracting what wealth there was and giving a about the people who actually live there. So democracy actually had this really hollow ring to me. But I think in this context, I think times change and I think weíre in a moment where, yeah, democracy, the radical implications of it are becoming more clear, not just to the left but to the right.

🔊 PODCAST (with full transcript):

Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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