I won't rush to judgement on the IMF chief's legal guilt or innocence ( charged with sexual assault) but for the "socialist" to be staying in a $3000 dollar a night room requires a disconnect at the practical level. In an article by Steve Clemons (hat tip to Phronesisaical) we learn the Frenchman is respected because he has a genuine concern for "the people". Clemons leaves us with this:
"..the meaning of Straus-Kahn- is vital to a world that is still trying to sort out what form of capitalism it can live with."
There is currently all kinds of emphasis on "form", neoliberal,late,state,monopoly,conscious, green.etc.. The result of all this hyper-particularizing is obfuscation and is based on the false belief capitalisms contradictions can be isolated and neutralized. These are just different blends of tobacco, some light, some mentholated,filtered, smokeless.. "Socialist capitalism" is a Virginia Slim while Greenspans is a Camel straight but they are both poison.
Since everybody likes talking about candidates, it turns out the Newt is Not Nutty Enough. Newt told Meet The Press he supports mandatory health insurance and that Ryan's plan is "social engineering from the Right". How times have changed. Next thing you know he will be saying humans affect the climate! The Old Flamethrower knows he cannot possibly outflank on the Right any more, can't out-Bachman Bachman. Let's see where he comes down on tort reform, see if that 7th Amendment means anything to our Tea party Patriots.
It started when I picked up an eight page magazine published locally called The First Edition. The cover article was titled Class Warfare and described the way "Democrats use class warfare as a tool to hold onto political power." Written by the publisher/editor, a staunch Tea Party conservative who interjects himself forcefully into local politics, the articles logic devolves after that opening salvo but I still felt compelled to write a letter to the editor to covey my own critique of the Democrats from the far left. It started an interesting exchange.
The publisher phoned me upon receipt of my letter to ask "what is a libertarian socialist?" and after a long, civil chat, he sent me a three page reply and some further questions. The first one was: "Are you saying that private property is antithetical to democracy?" He then wonders where I got the idea that "upward mobility in America is mostly a myth." He then wanted to know if I am "under the impression that everyone should have the same amount of wealth?"
The fact is, class warfare as both a term and a program have pretty much been emptied of meaning. To the extend Democrats or progressives do bring it up, it is distorted into a Common Man vs The Banksters sort of narrative or The Workers vs The Bad Politicians as in Wisconsin recently. For some it becomes a way to describe vast inequities in wealth and income or to frame this whole Pay Your Share of Taxes movement. Some speak of the Ruling Class, some speak of the Owning Class. Nobody really calls themself a prole any more.
Identity is tricky and simple subjectivization is a thing of the past. Nobody even admits to being a worker and all these vague categorizations and groupings only serve to confuse the basic antagonism into oblivion. But this doesn't mean basic exploitation has suddenly vanished.