Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Google, Apple: the CEO's behind the Obama campaign

Following on from my commentary about the crisis affecting our young people---no jobs, massive debts, living at home and more, an understandable by-product of this is that many young people that voted for Obama in 2008 are thinking about what to do next.  You can't eat hope.

Obama and the Democrats are aware of the fact that the love affair is over, that the antiwar president turned out to be much the same as Bush when it came to defending US corporations' abroad and at home. Gitmo's still there and who knows whose in it.  Afghanistan received a further 30,000 young people at a cost of $1 million apiece. EFCA? What's that? The health care "public option"? Gone. Where was Obama during the Wisconsin insurgence? Nowhere to be seen or heard.

We can see why this situation exists quite easily.  We just have to look at who is advising the Democratic candidate for president and what the strategy is to win votes in November. 

Messina and the brains behind the Obama campaign: Source Business Week
Jim Messina is Barack Obama's campaign manager.  Bloomberg Business Week describes him as "..a diligent student with access to some very smart people".  Smart, in the lexicon of the capitalist class, means able to make money without actually working.  A smart person in capitalist society, makes money through the profit of capital which has its source in the exploited and unpaid Labor power of the working class.  If you are a wage worker, whether a doctor, fireman, or plumber, you are lacking some smarts and initiative. Success is being in business, hiring others and making money from that in the form of surplus value.

On accepting the job as Obama's campaign manager, Jim Messina, "arranged a rolling series of personal seminars..." with these smartypants that he knows. To the readers' surprise, the attendees were not the young people savaged by Wall Street and their precious market, or the homeowner living in a motel after the banks sent the sheriffs to evict them. There were no unemployed workers, Union members, disabled or women and children who have suffered from the cuts in social services.  This would be a good start of course, the first step in building a movement on the ground to fight back against the 1%, unless you are the 1% or their representative in one of the political parties that represent the interests of the 1%.

No, the seminars were full of the "CEO's and senior executives of companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, and Dreamworks" BW tells us.  Messina is chuffed, "I went around the country for literally a month of my life talking about organizational growth, emerging technologies, marketing" he tells BW at Obama's campaign headquarters in Chicago.  Steve Jobs gave Messina many tips, and admonished the White House for its failings, "Last time (2008 RM) you were programming to only a couple of channels...",  Jobs tells him, "This time you have to program content to a much wider variety of channels--Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Google...."

Messina was inspired. Jobs "Knew exactly where everything was going.  He explained viral content and how our stuff could break out, how it had to be interesting and clean." Hmm!, "Interesting and clean" What's that about I wonder?   Steve Jobs, he must have been brilliant, he was rich and made lots of money off the Chinese workers in factories, like the FoxConn complex where these workers were committing suicide because the environment is so enriching. After years of Stalinist rule, the freedom and sense of self worth working in a factory making parts for Apple Inc was just too much for them. It's the same in the Nike factories, life is just too good for these people.

Business Week shares the brains behind Obama's campaign, the people guiding the election strategy and their areas of expertise:  Eric Schmidt Google CEO advising on "running a huge enterprise".  Governing human society is after all, a business opportunity, a very lucrative one which is why those that govern are all wealthy.  Steven Spielberg, advising on "how to capture an audience's attention". We all know who he is.  Steve Jobs (now deceased) who advised on the campaign's "mobile strategy". Vogue editor, Anna Wintaur advising on how "Obama branded fashion can rake in Millions", there's more but I'll stop there as it's more of the same---billionaire after billionaire. 

Spielberg "insisted" that Messina sit down with the Dreamworks marketing team.  The great Hollywood propaganda machine is a very powerful manufacturer of ideas and has a stable of handsome men and beautiful women to get the message across in between their trips abroad to adopt third world children.

In this extensive BW piece about Obama's campaign strategy I am having a hard time finding out what Obama and the Democrats are going to do for workers, the middle class, the poor.  Messina doesn't like to hang around the poor, or ordinary workers, the people that make society function.  Heck, this is the man who "cut the deal" with big Pharma to accept Obama's health care reform.

No, not much for working people in this election, certainly no candidate representing working people as we have no political party of our own.  The election is the struggle between different sections of the 99% over which of them will govern and plunder society for the next four years.  There's nothing in the candidates that would inspire so all the techno tricks and propaganda aimed to manipulate and baffle will be put to work.  Business Week is pretty blunt about it," For all the candidates crisscross the country, offering sweeping national visions and vowing to represent everyone, they really focus on a handful of states.  "A campaign manager's job is to spin the fantasy but not fall for it.", this prominent journal of the 1% tells its readers, reminding them that, as opposed to 2008 when Obama did expand the electorate and energize many young people, in 2012 what's "...already evident in Obama's strategy" is that it is not aimed to "expand the electorate, but persuade a sliver of it."  There you have it, straight from the horse's mouth.

The truth is that workers know its spin, they hate the parties, they hate the politicians, they believe that nothing will change for us other than further decline.  The two parties that have a political dictatorship over the electoral process agree on the basics; workers, the poor, the middle class will pay.

Obama collected 13 million e mails on his political journey to the top.  Imagine the potential if the Democrats actually were for workers like some people(not many worker fortunately) argue.  Some genuine folks will forgive Obama, "He couldn't do what he wanted to" they say. "They stopped him from carrying out his agenda".  It's not Obama's fault. The racists will blame him, and many of the misguided Tea Baggers.

Those that say it's no Obama's fault are right, the economic crisis is a crisis of an economic system, caused by internal contradictions and laws of that economic system---it is a crisis of capitalism not the fault of an individual.  Obama, and the imbecile Bush, are simply political representatives of the class that governs this system, as individuals they don't cause it. Their actions and their parties can change the outcome to a certain extent.  Under pressure from the working classes increased taxes on the wealthy or corporations are possible as in the past, we have seen all the data on on increased inequality in the US------but these gains will only be temporary, they are gains within the framework of the existing property relations and we cannot change things in a serious and permanent way without changing the social order, the system of production itself.

Workers are correct to be disgusted with US politics.  The system is corrupt and rotten, the best democracy money can buy.  And as one candidate put it after being on the losing end of a Jim Messina orchestrated campaign, "I found out quickly from Messina that there was no honor in politics." Business Week describes Messina's strategy and the ad that dealt the lethal blow:
"The ad charged Taylor with having embezzled student loans from a cosmetology school he'd owned in the 1980's. But its force lay in the music and imagery.  Set to a porn soundtrack it featured snippets of an old television ad for Taylor's hair salon that showed the candidate in a medallioned, open-shirted disco outfit, massaging lotion in to another man's face and then appearing to reach toward the man's crotch, as a narrator intoned, 'Not the way we do business in Montana.'"

US workers are right to be disgusted with this.  There is no honor in the politics of the 1% and their two political parties except when it comes to their battle with the working class.  Here they are united, have the same goals only divided on the best way to achieve them. The capitalist media loves stories like the one above as it deters people from politics altogether, not just electorally, but active, grass root politics.  But US working class history is rich in militancy, self sacrifice and heroism on the part of ordinary men and women as they fought against the Carnegie's, Jay Gould's, Rockefeller's, the Bill Gates' and Steve Jobs of past times. Many young people that correctly take up the direct action strategy of the Occupy Movement are correct in doing so but we ignore the political struggle at our peril.  We cannot change society without political struggle.  And we can't win using the Democratic Party as a vehicle for that struggle.

As a socialist, I do not believe that a political party of our own can be successful without a program aimed at transforming society along democratic socialist lines, taking in to public ownership and workers control the commanding heights of the economy including the financial institutions as well. But an independent direct action movement as well as an independent political party/movement, breaking with the party of the CEO's, is an important and necessary step toward this goal and building a future for our children and humanity.

No comments: