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Capitalist Activism | Masquerading As Agents For Change
October 31, 2012
by Jay Taber
In 2008, I cobbled together some discussions from comments on a now defunct blog that in 2006 had an incredible ongoing dialogue amidst the chaos of the second Bush/Cheney Administration. Titled American Psyche, my compilation admittedly lacks the context of the missing posts they were discussing, but they nevertheless contain some perhaps interesting and useful ideas.
Much of what we were talking about was focused on discussions led by Sara Robinson, a neo-liberal guest columnist hosted on Orcinus blog, who wrote about such things as fear-mongering.
At the time in 2006, the Democratic Leadership Council was setting Obama up to be the president-elect in 2008, by arranging for him to sell his soul to Goldman Sachs. Harper’s magazine covered the deal, and traced it back to meetings in 2004, but 2006 was when Obama was first introduced to a national audience as the new golden boy.
With this as background, the Democratic Party network was funding fake grassroots groups like the Campaign for America’s Future — of whom Sara Robinson by 2009 was an up and coming pseudo anti-fascist — with a two-pronged agenda. One, to promote the idea that Republicans were the equivalent of Nazis, and two, that anyone who didn’t support neo-liberals wasn’t worthy as citizens of full participation in public policy development.
As the Nazi theme faded as a hot topic, Ms. Robinson shapeshifted into a Hillary wannabe on climate policy, offering cover for corporate states planning to undermine civil society and indigenous nations at the climate change talks in Copenhagen. Her effrontery as a self-proclaimed visionary futurist was something to behold. If the incoherence of this capitalist activism sounds bizarre now, imagine our encounter at the time.
As it turns out, she apparently hasn’t been writing anything for almost a couple years, which is just as well.With all the environmental, civil society and human rights corporate sycophants running around, though, I thought it might be good to talk about how the propaganda of this professional milieu I sometimes call capitalist activists influence public perceptions and policy regarding indigenous peoples. Sara Robinson may be defunct as a mouthpiece of the political status quo masquerading as an agent for change, but others like her abound.
The examples of her particular nonsense, nonetheless, are illustrative of the techniques of marginalization that help insulate the oligarchy and their institutions from social disapproval and civil indignation. The red-baiting and other anti-collectivist memes they propagate help legitimize the neo-colonial brutality toward the Fourth World we see worldwide, and characterizing the Fourth World as illegitimate obstructionists to progress is likely to accelerate with the concomitant depletion of key resources. While neo-liberals like Robinson are careful not to express their bigotry openly, their ideological arrogance serves the same purpose.