“It strikes me that what’s called the moderates are the most immoderate people possible,” he said.
DAVID GRAEBER: The kind of politics we have now, where the left is represented by this kind of Obama/Macron style centrism, where you support the market and bureaucracy at the same time is kind of horrible, right? The only possible appeal of that kind of politics is, “Well, at least they’re not Nazis!” right? So what they want is the left to be this kind of mish-mash of bureaucratic market centrism and the right to be outright fascist. To set the ball rolling in an actual left direction will make that centrism look like utterly unappealing.
In France, they talk sometimes about the “Extreme Center” and I think that is a fitting phrase. It strikes me that what’s called the moderates are the most immoderate people possible! And the reason why they’re so uncompromising, I think, is because they realize they don’t have a lot of positive arguments, they’re not really for anything. I mean, somebody like Obama, the reason he worked, was because he looked like the kind of guy who would have a vision. He acted like a visionary, he had the intonation, the way of standing and looking into the distance like he really believed in something.
And it shows you something about just how much visionary politics has been killed, it didn’t even seem to occur to people to ask what his vision actually was, because it turns out insofar as he had a vision, his vision was not to have a vision, you know, he believes in pragmatism and compromise.
That is what the center has been reduced to, it has become a pure set of performative symbols, and at the same time, you get to feel morally superior, which is ultimately what liberal centrism is about, the ability to feel better than other people.
So there is a kind of symbiosis whereby the right-wing pretend to be stupid, like George W. Bush sort of perfected this by acting like a yokel, all of the liberals make fun of him as an idiot and everyone who resents the cultural elite for monopolizing all the good jobs, will look at this sneering at Bush and think they’ll vote for Bush. Ha ha ha, I’ll vote for Bush just to stick it to them.
That shtick, Trump is just doing a more extreme version of the same thing, Boris Johnson is doing the same thing. You act like an idiot, the educated elites make fun of you, and it works. Who’s really the idiot, right? People keep falling for the same schtick.
There’s a symbiotic relationship between these centrists, who are just sort of sneering elitists, and these guys who are the scam artists who pretend to be yokels and idiots and they pretend to be fascists, they’re not even real fascists, they’re kind of phony fascists.
They are trying to set up a situation where those are the only two viable political choices because they both feed off of and complement one another.
(Hat tip to Jimmy Dore Show)