Podcast 1619’s episode 5 part 2 provides an example of why anti-democratic, anti-mob politics are resonant in Anglo-America. In this episode we see how in the US South, local bankers, local bureaucrats, and local committees in charge of distributing loans to farmers all refuse to recognize Black farmers, and withhold credit and cooperation from them.
- This anti-Enlightenment refusal to extend democratic, human recognition has been termed stranger fetishization (Sarah Ahmed, 2000) in the cultural-determinist approach. One could say that Vivek Chibber’s (2013) critique of postcolonial scholars’ overextension of the difference framework–to the exclusion of inequality (see Therborn 2013)– is also a critique of stranger fetishization, as conservative stranger fetishization is adapted to liberal concern with improving capitalist hospitality (hospes, see Pagden 2013: 252-3; 361). The twenty-first century Ontological Turn in Anthropology is another example of stranger fetishization.
Further, we hear from a cartoonish, hideous thug Southern White farmer who has benefitted from the bank-driven Primitive Accumulation of a Black family’s farm, and is justifying his windfall, while threatening people’s lives. Calling Jordan Peele: Horror has the mic.
Of strategic concern: This emotion, horror (shock), fuels the perpetuation of inequality by aligning liberal opponents of slavery-derived racism with the inegalitarian agenda of further constricting cooperation and quality credit, further investing society in punitive institutions (Murakawa 2014). Warfare factions develop, managed by the two political parties, each vying for the prize of favorite runt to the capitalist daddy. This is a coordinating mechanism for reproducing capitalist American inequality.
Key institutions need to be dismantled and built to clear a path back to democracy in the US, upon democratic social movement advancement:
- Infrastructure transfer from antidemocratic to democratic institutions: Deploy policing and military budget and personnel to working with civilian designers, architects, and landscape architects in building quality public infrastructure in former slave counties, enhancing public infrastructure in longtime waged-labor counties.
- Reforming anti-democratic socialization & dispositions: Import Finnish education experts to coordinate campaign reforming K-12 education for democratic capacity, including (non-commercial) scientific-craft capacity.
- Transfer policing and military budgets into cooperative scientific, design, and carework education, retraining guard personnel for productive contribution to society.
- Defund and criminalize national and international private prison corporations. Reduce prison corporation profiteers’ citizenship rights, revoking citizenship from prison corporation owners and top managers.
- Amnesty, freedom, record expunging, and resettlement & publicly-funded cooperative scientific, design, and carework education for all non-violent prisoners in the US.
- Fund new rural pastor troops to disperse across rural US, compete with business-funded rural pastors, reorganize rural US for democratic development. Fund rural colleges as public, community assets.
- Develop and implement cross-US university curriculum, institutionalized in two new disciplines, building regional, public financial innovation literacy and negotiation capacity (per Pistor 2019), and cooperative and organizing capacity (per McAlevey 2016). Along with Pistor’s other chapter-nine recommendations, the goal would be to build capacity (human capital, incentives) to limit state sponsorship of socially-irrational asset claims, the foundation for spillover regional destruction.
- Limit private capital-asset transfer. Institute bureaucracies (with efficiency oversight) for assisting succession from smallholders to cooperatives, cooperative capacity-building.
- Make bond-raters an international public institution with multi-jurisdictional democratic oversight. Goal: Dismantle a mechanism of capitalist strike.
- Implement policy: High inflation automatically triggers institution of public pricing board, involving a committee including ILO, union economists. Goal: Dismantle a mechanism of finance-coordinated capitalist strike.
1619, Episode 5, Part II.
Ahmed, Sarah. 2000. Strange Encounters: Embodied Others in Post-coloniality. Routledge.
Chibber, Vivek. 2013. Postcolonial Theory and the Specter of Capital. Verso.
Left Business Observer 2019. Doug Henwood’s interview with Corey Robin: on Clarence Thomas.
McAlevey, Jane. 2016. No Shortcuts. Oxford.
Murakawa, Naomi. 2014. The First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America. Oxford.
Pagden, Anthony. 2013. The Enlightenment, and Why It Still Matters. Random House.
Pistor, Katharina. 2019. The Code of Capital. Princeton.
Therborn, Goran. 2013. The Killing Fields of Inequality. Polity.