The Fix-Nothing Farce of Symbolic Politics

Much of what passes for politics these days is symbolic. Anyone who studies the issue of illegal immigration concludes that the solution lies not in building $10 billion walls but in changing the incentive structure of citizenship, legal and illegal immigration. As long as successfully crossing the border enables access to free healthcare, education and sanctuary and the potential for cash work–the equivalent of winning the lottery for those with none of these benefits–walls will be tunneled under, overflown or bypassed by sea.

The Trump Administration’s proposed policies on tariffs, walls to stop illegal immigration, etc. are defended as symbolic gestures–in other words, their value is in communicating “things have changed”, not actually solving the problems facing the nation.

On the other side of the spectrum, protests in defense of a corrupt, failed status quo are also symbolic. No thinking person can claim that the status-quo policies on illegal immigration are fair, just or functional; how is letting illegal immigrants “jump the queue” ahead of the hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants who have labored patiently for years, paying all the outrageous costs of navigating the Kafkaesque complexities of legal immigration fair or just?

Protesting in defense of a racket-based status quo fixes nothing and solves nothing. Protests are also purely symbolic: the indignant express their indignation, gather to support a corrupt, venal system of rackets and then go home to stroke their egos on social media: I struck a blow today for… a corrupt system of rackets that enrich self-serving vested interests and privileged elites.

Dear Trump insiders and protesters: did either of you propose a real solution to the college debt-serfdom racket? No, you didn’t. Your symbolic gesture was nothing but a fix-nothing farce. If you think a trillion dollars of debt to pay for mostly worthless credentials is sustainable, fair, just or functional, you’re willfully blind to the ugly reality: higher education is just another cartel-state racket:

As Jim Kunstler as often observed, the status quo in the U.S. is nothing but an interconnected network of rackets run by protected technocrats to benefit a plutocracy of wealthy insiders and their political-class lackeys. These rackets–higher education, healthcare, defense weaponry, the corporate media, and on and on–are nothing but institutionalized extortion, embezzlement and fraud, systems that enrich the top 5% at the expense of the bottom 95%:

Dear protesters and Trump insiders: do either of you understand that the whole tragi-comedy of rackets passing for politics is a house of cards that depends on ever-expanding debt? Once the debt bubble pops, the rackets implode, and the real value of symbolic politics–zero– will be revealed.

The farce of symbolic politics fixes nothing. Solutions are not symbolic; solutions gut the rackets by breaking down the regulatory walls protecting the privileged elites who are stripmining the bottom 95%, “snowflakes” and “deplorables” alike.

That’s how the fraud and the rackets are enforced: get each camp to view the other as the enemy in the great coliseum of symbolic, do-nothing politics. Mix and stir, then stand back and continue skimming the nation’s wealth in whatever racket is buttering your bread while the two camps distract themselves with symbolic battles.

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  • Kcom Yaj

    The following is from:

    The result of Operation Wetback was stunning. Gen. Joseph May Swing, in
    mid-July 1954, generated a military-related movement to search and
    capture illegal immigrants from Mexico. Beginning from the Rio Grande
    Valley, Wetback spread quickly; Illegal immigrants were sent back by forced and armed military. On July 15, the first day
    of the Wetback, 4,800 illegal immigrants were “gone”. From the day
    after, about 1,100 illegal immigrants were sent back per day. The United
    States government had shown that they do not tolerate illegal
    activities; however, the operation was very disrespectful (Koestler.
    Web. 2012).

  • ICFubar

    The protests against Trump and his administration are not coming from any spontaneous response of indignation by the people but rather are a manifestation of a table stakes political battle between factions of the ruling gentry. The economic and political refugee problem on America’s southern border is a natural result of neo-liberal economic policy and neo-conservative political interference in Latin America brought about through Continuity of Agenda running through the previous three U.S. administrations. The new administration with Trump at the head looks like it will be following the same script and even moving beyond it in a rapid manner.

    While the on going battle between factions within the ruling elites seems to be centered around tactics to be employed the strategic goal of world domination remains. Expect more of the same only more so under the new management in Washington. When you have characters like Erik Prince acting as unofficial consultants suggesting the resurrection of the Phoenix program [terror, false flag and black propaganda] and Trump speaking in favor of torture and CIA black detention sites one begins to get the queasy feeling that the nasties will be given a much freer rein and that the rule of law, such as it is, is very likely to be subverted on an ever larger scale than previously.

    As for fixing anything, this new management team is as infiltrated and inculcated to Wall Streets wishes as any other administration since the Clinton presidency and in those before it where the ground work was laid for what we see today.

    • animalogic

      Great comment.

      • ICFubar

        Thank you….this is just the way I see it until proven otherwise.