Glenn Loury: ‘We’re Being Swept Along by Hysteria’ About Racism in America

A somewhat interesting interview with a leading black conservative.

I would be inclined to argue that, at present, substantial sectors of the capitalist class (including some major capitalist entities) along with their allies in the new clerisy/new class that dominates the “ideas industries” are fueling anti-racism hysteria in order to deflect attention away from the class-based nature of the insurrection. They do this because a race war is less antithetical to their interests than a class war. However, contra the Marxists and left-anarchists, it doesn’t stop at class either. Even a class war is more co-optable than a direct war against the state itself.

All of this follows an easily identifiable pattern in US history.

The abolitionist movement was co-opted to create a stronger state-capitalist regime in the nascent American Empire that was better able to facilitate the continued conquest of the Native North American, Caribbean, Central America, and Pacific nations.

The class-based insurgency of the classical labor movement was co-opted by the state in order to save the capitalist class from revolution, expand the Prussian model public administration bureaucracy (“progressivism”) and facilitate the managerial revolution within state-capitalism (the New Deal).

The black insurgency of the 1950s and 1960s was co-opted by the civil rights paradigm in order to deflect attention from more radical tendencies like Malcolm X, the Black Muslims, and the Black Panthers, using the civil rights paradigm to develop and co-opt the black middle class, while simultaneously using the war on drugs and police state to repress the urban black lumpenproletariat. Similarly, the class-based dimensions of the 1960s uprisings were co-opted through the expansion of the welfare state in order to secure the loyalty of the older sectors of the working class (Medicare), turn the poor underclass into wards of the state (welfare), and co-opted middle-class left-wing activists and the labor aristocracy (EPA, OSHA, etc.).

The system will respond to the racial components of the present uprising through token reforms at the local level (fewer SROS, more prosecutions of killer cops, which costs the ruling class nothing) while strengthening the federal police state and reinventing the local police state under the guise of the nanny state (cops as social workers) while pushing even more diversity initiatives to include more skin colors among the ranks of exploited workers, consumers, voters, soldiers, students, taxpayers, among the lower managerial sectors (bureaucrats, police officers, prison guards), and among the white-collar class (tech workers, professionals, middle managers) and pushing the PC ideology as the self-legitimating infrastructure of the ruling class to an even greater degree, thereby exacerbating and escalating conflict among ethnic, political, religious, and socioeconomic groups.

What we need to do is give the system what they most fear. We need many more CHAZs. The CHAZs need to become Cherans. The Cherans need to become Rojavas. The Rojavas need to become Hezbollahs. And the American Hezbollahs need to give the American state what the Lebanese Hezbollah gave the Israeli state in 2001 and 2006.

And then the American ruling class needs to go the way of the Communist ruling classes of Eastern Europe and the USSR between 1989 and 1991. The overthrow of the military-industrial complex is the Holy Grail.

The Brown University economist and outspoken critic of Black Lives Matter discusses George Floyd, social progress, and the state of political discourse.

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