Donating the Rope

On January 30, 1933, Adolf Hitler became Germany’s Chancellor after the corporate Germany decided to bet on him – in spite of his radical rhetoric – because it believed it could control him. On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama will become the 44th president of the United States in large part thanks to gigantic contributions from corporate interests, Wall Street interests, and big law firm attorneys. They, too, think that his social, cultural and economic program –- no less radical, in its peculiar way, than that of the NSDAP –- will succumb to their kind of “reality,” and that they can control him.

Lenin said that capitalists will sell you the rope with which to hang them. It’s even better than that: they’ll give it to you. As Ralph Nader notes in his “Open Letter” to Obama, never before has a Democratic candidate achieved this level of supremacy over his Republican counterpart in corporate donations:

 “Why, apart from your unconditional vote for the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, are these large corporate interests investing so much in Senator Obama? Could it be that in your state Senate record, your U.S. Senate record and your presidential campaign record (favoring nuclear power, coal plants, offshore oil drilling, corporate subsidies including the 1872 Mining Act and avoiding any comprehensive program to crack down on the corporate crime wave and the bloated, wasteful military budget, for example) you have shown that you are their man?”

Obama is not “their man,” however, although he may play their game for a while. In the fulness of time his and Michelle’s grand vision will prove to be light years from theirs, but it will be too late. Just ask Krupp, Flick, or von Papen.

The man Corriere della Sera hails as a “black Roosevelt who can save America from utter breakdown with a New Deal, who can win over the financial markets while promising to give more power to labor unions and rein in free trade,” will bring about “an utter breakdown” just as surely as January 30, 1933, led to May 8, 1945. That breakdown will entail less physical breaking (and Goebbels welcomed the Allied bombing for its destruction of the old bourgeois Germany!), but its cultural, moral and spiritual consequences will be the same.

Here in Europe, the ruling elites sense Obama’s essence far better than his corporate donors in the U.S. Their ongoing apotheosing of Obama as the Redeemer of a fallen civilization is based on their perception, which is entirely correct, that he is their ally on the same global project. Undreamt-of new vistas are now on offer to the revolutionaries who want to move beyond the Gramscian “long march,” and Brussels can hardly wait.

The silver lining is that, had McCain won, we would have had four years of Kerensky offering an illusion that the end is not nigh… while ensuring its rock-solid irreversibility. Provided he didn’t start a thermonuclear war first, that is.

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