Focal Points: Republican Party
People: Newt Gingrich
The inane politics of Newt Gingrich and his ilk is a symptom of the degeneration of U.S. capitalism, which has created a danger to humanity — Editors
Answer: no, he is a real idiot. What to say of a man who, a few decades ago as leader of the Republicans, was able to shut down Washington, succeeding in paralyzing government agencies in a political dispute with the Democrats and the White House as a (rather delusional) show of political power? As a consequence, Mr. Gingrich, the “anti-government” ideologue, made everybody, that is, the public at large — contractors, veterans, retired people, businesses, school children, hospital workers and patients, etc. — keenly aware of how much the daily work of the government was vital for the everyday life of the whole nation. I don’t know of a worse piece of political “strategy” than that.
Now, in an interview for a pro-Israel political group, Mr. Gingrich calls the Palestinians an “invented” people. Not only is the man shameless in displaying his profound ignorance and bad faith in public, which is no surprise at all considering Mr. Gingrich himself and the party of the late Ronald Reagan and Bush, but he opens the way to the questioning of Israel itself as an “invented” state. Invented in fact in 1948!
One might begin to think that Mr. Gingrich is an “invented” candidate, invented by the Obama party to facilitate the reelection of a president whose politics of defending the interests of finance capital at all costs has alienated an important part of his support base.
Beyond the episodic nature of the opinions of an ignorant right wing politician (certainly a redundant phrase nowadays), the occurrence is a reminder of the pitiful state of the American political scene, where a man like Newt Gingrich, with his history of private and public scandals and demonstrated incompetence, is at this time a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination.
“When it rains, it pours”, as the saying goes. It appears that the current troubles of the U.S. are only in their initial stages: a general crisis of leadership is ever more patent. It is a crisis of the quality, intelligence and vision of those in positions of power, inside the state apparatuses, inside the party machines, etc, but also within the more restricted or “selective” power circles of the ruling class, right and “left,” conservative or liberal. And when compounded with the structural crisis, it is accelerating the debasement of the once “sole superpower.”
U.S. neoliberal capitalism has created its own Nomenklatura: Closed groups and closed circuits of economic, political and media power are alienated from society at large, from the daily troubles and struggles, from the hopes and needs of the working people. And it is more grave and dangerous that this Nomenklatura increasingly believes in its own fabrications and lies.
This is indeed a sign of a group of people that has exhausted its usefulness. The U.S. ruling circles show more and more signs that they are about to or have already exhausted their capacity to master the crises they are compelled to eternally produce and reproduce in order to sustain their power and the structures of power they depend upon. This is a ruling class clearly condemned – in the long run, if not sooner — to the “dustbin of history.” As the creator of instability for all and of insecurity and misery for the many, it wants to make sure by all means necessary that we all will go down with it.
Just as Mr. Gingrich once paralyzed a Democratic administration, they will act out their fantasies of omnipotence in the same “paranoid-schizophrenic” fashion as the present Republican candidate for the presidential nomination; that is, with acts of violence against a reality that stubbornly frustrates the final realization of their desires: the absolute and universal empire of the commodity form.
In fact, they have already deepened the economic crisis as a matter of policy or strategy: profit at all cost is both the means and the goal. Individuals, social groups and social classes, institutions, countries, and states must all serve the dictatorship of global capital or be disciplined and/or eliminated. Their unchecked power is more and more clearly a danger to us all. Their dream they are acting out is our collective nightmare.
– Paulo Morel is a Latin American writer