We have established 2 points in our previous installment:
(1) Improbable cross-national OECD regime harmonization, with the US as lead. We know that most of the European public detests Bush. Yet they apparently voted in their own Bushes. This should raise eyebrows.
(2) Where in an extreme incidence, and despite all US anti-democratic mechanisms (gerrymandering, Diebold voting machines, corrupt State Secretaries, the Electoral College), the public still fails to vote for capital’s selected candidate, the Supreme Court simply installs him, eg. Bush the Younger 2000.
(3) Now, it is an established fact, although not well publicized, that the US economy is almost always in better shape when the Democratic Party is running the US executive (see Henwood, Doug. Left Business Observer). The question this typically poses is: Why don’t capitalists support Democrats, given their superior economic “performance”? I propose that this question is incorrect, if we start from the assumption that capital is well-organized politically (established by Domhoff, Useem, Vogel), and if we furthermore assume that capital is confident it can determine the executive. In that case, the questions would be, at what economic growth rate does capital allow a Democrat occupy the executive, with what caveats?
(4) It is an established fact (see Pollin 2003) that whereas both Carter and Clinton campaigned on progressive-reformist platforms, upon winning office they were immediately and repeatedly visited by the chief representatives of capital (political capitalists in Carter’s time; Greenspan and Reuben when Clinton won office), whereupon their campaign promises were abandoned to a startling and remarkable degree in favor of policies dictated directly by capital. Political sociologists should be trying to uncover, if possible, the methods of coercion that capital uses, because there is some hint here that they are extreme, see history of Salvador Allende, Olaf Palme, the Kennedys, MLK, Malcom X, the Black Panthers, Paul Wellstone, Fatah– a random smattering among the many assassinated and deposed. Sure, there is capitalist structural heat on politics, but I am interested to know what sort of explicit heat capitalists’ political representatives additionally put on social democrats and progressive liberals to get them to fall in line when they attain some control over an executive office, because there’s a lot of historical indication that the political heat can be blistering. Indications are that control over the CIA (as Bush the Elder had) supports political control of the executive. Has anyone done an elite network analysis of CIA leadership?
(5) When the US Supreme Court gave Bush the Younger the executive in 2000, the Democrats rolled with nary a whimper. At what level of national prominence do party players understand their role in the capitalist state? What role does a creepy neocon goon like Rom Emmanuel play in grooming Democrats to dance properly?
(6) Hard-core Democrat party guys simply insist that people of a progressive persuasion HAVE to vote for the Democrats. But they give no substantial reason. Is the reason because Democrats are second-tier professional politicians and they want the public to let capital know that these second-tier professionals are valued so they can retain their jobs? Is it because the federal system is a patronage and pork barrel system, and Democrats who win on a local and regional level need some networks to D.C. in order to get the federal funding?
What does having two capitalist parties, an A-team and a B-team do?
(a) Legitimation. But hasn’t the Bush regime shown legitimation to be unnecessary? The voting American Middle class and small business understand that there is little difference when either party rules, and don’t care very much who rules. The Republican lack of concern for legitimation makes sense, given point 6 above. But why does capital care about legitimation? For negotiation purposes? Isn’t an electoral process an expensive tool?
(b) (Why) does capital need a “progressive reformist” subsidiary executive, in selected periods where it is very confident that progressive reform will not interrupt the accumulation process?
Given that all ruling parties in the OECD are neoliberal (even socialists and social democrats have to reform to neoliberalism in order to rule), why do European governments have to coordinate their executive with the US?