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1 Education – especially secondary education – guarantees the reproduction of capitalist modes of production Whitehead 14 (Patrick Whitehead. 21 Feb. 2014. Whitehead is a professor of psychology at Albany State University and has a P.h.D. in phenomenological psychology. “Schooling as and Ideological State Apparatus.” Academia.edu. https://www.academia.edu/7908351/Schooling_as_an_Ideological_State_Apparatus)[PM] While the apt management of a classroom may be a useful component of Classroom Management qua William Chandler Bagley (who authored the 1903 text of the same name), it is by no means the chief impetus; this privilege is left to “social efficiency.” Spring (2011), historian of American education, explains that “[u]nder the doctrines of social efficiency, the ideal was to socialize students for cooperation in large-scale organizations where each individual would be performing a specialized task” (239). One might see the benefit of maintaining predictable order in a classroom, which is a project of behavioral management, but this takes a back-seat to the socio-corporational indoctrination that typifies modern education qua classroom management. For the remainder of this section, “Classroom Management” will refer to the method of training students in “social efficiency”. If this conception of our schooling fails to incite controversy, perhaps a few more examples are in order. Spring continues: Classroom Management became a standard teacher training text… between 1907 and 1927. Bagley believed that the primary role of the school is to build good industrial habits of the type needed on the assembly line. …everything was reduced to rigid routine. Bagley stated that the expert observer could immediately gauge the efficiency of the teacher by “the manner in which lines pass to and from the room.” (p. 259) It should be noted that Bagley was not the only progenitor of ideas concerning schooling in the early twentieth century. Dewey’s “progressive education” represents an alternative to classroom management. However, Dewey’s laboratory school at the University of Chicago was tasked with the same ideal of social efficiency represented in the other popular texts at the time. It is little surprise that his process-oriented, problem-centered approach did not win esteem as the most socially efficient. One final example should serve to further demonstrate the purpose of social efficiency as the guiding philosophy of contemporary education. William Lewis, also writing at the beginning of the twentieth-century, has argued that “the high school’s largest service is to the best possible training for economic efficiency, good citizenship, and full and complete living for all its pupils” (in Spring 2011, p. 239). He goes on to explain that this may be most expediently brought about by extricating from the curriculum the superfluous disciplines of literature, poetry, algebra, and foreign languages - though these, he admits, may be offered as electives (p. 240). If it has been assumed that the focus of schooling is on learning broadly conceived, then the alternative emphasis of social efficiency may seem disconcerting. Indeed, some may remain reluctant (and, perhaps, indignant) to see the parallels to the contemporary project of schooling. There might even be the claim that the emphasis on social efficiency must represent a pre-war and pre-depression American education, and this would be accurate. This, however, does not mean that it does not also represent twenty-first century education. Should readers find themselves among the skeptics, consider the following explanation of the appeal of schooling and see if it can easily be placed either in this century or the beginning of this century past: “most of the world’s policy leaders promote education as an economic solution for unemployment and improved living conditions. Students often consider schooling as the key to their economic future” (Spring 2011, p. 236). This sounds much like the contemporary political debate concerning unemployment and underemployment, despite coming to us from the early twentieth century. Thus far, two things have been demonstrated. First, the original incentive behind of American schooling has been that of social efficiency, which may be understood as the training in being a good corporate or factory worker (bureaucrat or machine, respectively; below); this is still the case with contemporary schooling. Second, this training in “social efficiency” has been packaged and sold to Americans as the single most important opportunity in life. The explanations provided to enhance the attractiveness of this final point include, but are not limited to: increasing intelligence, establishing oneself, investing in a future, the right thing to do (that is, as an ethical obligation), and, as pernicious as it is mundane, simply ‘that which comes next’ as in the anonymously assumed sequence of life. In this regard, schooling is the paramount system for ensuring the status of the American capitalist economy. And this is no secret! “Students often consider schooling as the key to their economic future.” The only thing misleading about this is that it is not the students’ economic futures that are guaranteed, but the investors and owners of the corporations that will enjoy the future patronage and wage-labor of students. Despite lip-service paid to student-centered interests, which includes the eminent and edifying value of education, the purpose is for guaranteeing the reproduction of existing capitalistic means of production. This is the conception of the school as an Ideological State Apparatus (ISA; Althusser, 1970; or, more accurately, Ideological Corporate Apparatus, as the fiscal power has increasingly moved from the public to the private sector; Deleuze, 1992, p. 7; See Boyles, 2012) because it satisfies Althusser’s (1970) definition of ISAs. “All ideological State apparatuses, whatever they are, contribute to the same result: the reproduction of the relations of production, i.e. of capitalist relations of exploitation” (p. 154). Hegemony eats itself---capitalism causes international conflict---hegemony fails and only incites broader violence Ashley Smith 2016 – (member of the International Socialist Review editorial board, “The asymmetric world order,” International Socialist Review #100, Spring 2016, http://isreview.org/issue/100/asymmetric-world-order)//a-berg We have entered a new epoch of world imperialism. Its flashpoints fill the daily news. The United States and China are jockeying for hegemony in Asia. In Eastern Europe, Russia and the United States have locked themselves in a new Cold War. These powers are also backing opposing sides in the spiraling interstate conflict in the Middle East. Such rivalry disproves the Kaustkyan contention at the beginning of the twentieth century that the world had reached a new stage of capitalism, in which the ruling classes of the world, save for minor exceptions, have united for the peaceful exploitation of the world’s workers and resources. The neoliberal boom from the early 1980s through 2008 is the principal cause of this new imperial rivalry. It reorganized the tectonic plates of the world economy. States like China have become new centers of capital accumulation. Inevitably these have become increasingly assertive in the world system bringing them into conflict with its hegemonic power, the United States, which has suffered a relative decline in the wake of economic, imperial, and political crises. All of this has produced a new asymmetric multipolar world order. The United States remains the world’s only superpower. But it now faces a potential global rival in China and a host of regional ones from Russia to Brazil. It also confronts conflicts between various rising states that it is no longer able to control. The long-term global slump of the world system and China’s recent slowdown will only exacerbate tensions between the various powers. Each corner of the world is in play, from the Americas to Asia, Europe, Africa, and even the Artic and Antarctica. The Obama administration has made it abundantly clear that, in its words, “American global leadership remains indispensable.”1 But its relative decline has forced it to adjust its imperial strategy. While attempting to extricate the United States from ground wars in the Middle East and Central Asia and retreat to a policy of balancing between the region’s powers, Obama has tried to reorient American power to confront Russia in Eastern Europe, and most importantly, to carry through his pivot to Asia to contain China’s rise as a regional and prospective global power. All of this augurs increasing conflict within the world system. Capitalism breeds interimperial rivalry The classical Marxist theory of imperialism remains the best way to analyze these developing rivalries. Vladimir Lenin outlined the basic argument in his pamphlet Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism. Nikolai Bukharin developed it in a more systematic form in his book, Imperialism and World Economy. Phil Gasper summarizes and defends their theory on page 69 in this issue of ISR. In essence, they argue that capitalism’s logic of competition drives corporations beyond the national economy in search for resources, markets, and labor throughout the world. Each capitalist state builds huge military arsenals to enforce their corporations’ claims in the system. Thus economic competition between capitals produces imperial competition between states for the division and redivision of the world. These rivalries can trigger war between the great powers. The victors of these conflicts attempt to enforce a new hierarchy among the capitalist states. Some sit atop, others below them, and those at the bottom suffer national oppression, either directly through colonial rule or indirectly through political and economic subjection to the dictates of the most powerful states. But such hierarchies, Lenin and Bukharin argue, are never permanent. Capitalism’s law of uneven development, which Leon Trotsky developed further into a law of uneven and combined development, constantly upsets the interstate order. Old powers atrophy, new capitalist powers rise, and they come into conflict as each attempts to order the system to the advantage of its capitalist class. The classical Marxists developed their theory in a polemic against their contemporary, Karl Kautsky, who argued that capitalism could produce ultraimperialism, in which the capitalist powers could unite in the peaceful and cooperative exploitation of the world’s laboring population. His theoretical wishful thinking was disproved by the entire twentieth century, and the emerging rivalries of the twenty-first century. We have witnessed a history of phases of interimperial conflict. First was the classical period of imperialism, when the great powers in a multipolar order conducted an epic scramble for colonial empires, divided up the world, and detonated two world wars. The triumph of the United States and the USSR from that fratricidal catastrophe produced the bipolar order of the Cold War. With the collapse of the Soviet empire, imperialism and interimperial rivalry did not come to an end. It was replaced by a unipolar moment before that succumbed to today’s asymmetric multipolar world order. The unipolar moment In their influential book, The Making of Global Capitalism, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin overgeneralize the unipolar moment, believing that America’s global dominance—which they see as persistent and unchallengable—invalidates Lenin and Bukharin’s theory.2 The United States did indeed seek to secure a unipolar world order and prevent the rise of any peer competitors. It succeeded for a time until the neoliberal boom and America’s own crises undermined its hegemony. It developed a grand strategy to incorporate and subordinate all the world’s states into the political, economic, and military structures it had created in its Cold War bloc. As the Nosferatu of American imperialism, Zbigniew Brzezinski, argued in his book, The Grand Chessboard, “The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”3 The United States was successful in this project in the 1990s. The American capitalist class restructured its economy restoring its relative economic dominance over Japan and Germany. It tried to integrate its former Cold War rivals in its imperium. It had already struck an alliance with China in the 1970s; during the 1990s it tried to transform it into an export-processing platform for American as well as international capital. It, along with its allies, imposed neoliberal structural adjustment on Russia and gobbled up its empire in Eastern Europe, admitting many of the newly independent states into the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO). The United States used various international bodies like the UN to politically assimilate states that had been in the Russian or nonaligned camp. It intensified its use of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, as well as the newly christened World Trade Organization (WTO), to crack open state-controlled capitalist economies and subject them all to an American-overseen neoliberal economic order whose rule book was deregulation, privatization, and globalization. The unipolar moment did not bring peace or the promised peace dividend. Instead the United States maintained its massive military apparatus and used it to enforce its informal neoliberal empire against so-called rogue states like Iraq and North Korea; it took upon itself the task of being the world’s policeman to impose order on so-called failed states like Somalia and Haiti; and it brandished its vast armada to intimidate any and all from challenging its rule.
STEM education reform naturalizes the zombie economics of capitalism---their uniqueness and solvency arguments are manufactured by an economic elite in order to maintain class power. Ajay Sharma 16 – (Ph.D, Associate Prof., Dept. of Educational Theory and Practice at University of Georgia, “STEM-ification of Education,” Journal for Activist Science & Technology Education, Volume 7, Issue 1, May 2016)//a-berg In fact, even if we do not rely on international comparisons and just focus on the workforce requirements for the U.S. economy, it is clear that the fears of a “skills gap” are overblown and without much basis. First, quality wise science and engineering graduates from universities in the United States rank better than graduates from nations, such as China and India, that are supposedly threatening its economic and industrial superiority (Gereffi, et. al., 2008; Loyalka, et. al., 2014). Second, the supply of science and engineering graduates is more than enough for what the United States economy needs. In fact, U.S schools and colleges supply qualified science and engineering graduates far in excess of the demand (Xie & Killewald, 2012). For instance, only one out of every two STEM graduates are employed in a STEM job, and computer science and engineering departments in US universities produce 50% more graduates than are hired (Salzman, Kuehn, & Lowell, 2013). Similarly, researchers find that the real reasons behind recruitment of foreign workers in the tech industry have little to do with labor shortages but with the capitalist imperative to reduce labor costs and get “indentured” workers (Matloff, 2013). A well regarded review of research on the “skills gap” issue from the National Bureau of Economic Research, therefore, concluded: Overall, the available evidence does not support the idea that there are serious skill gaps or skill shortages in the US labor force. The prevailing situation in the US labor market, as in most developed economies, continues to be skill mismatches where the average worker and job candidate has more education than their current job requires. Persistent, high levels of unemployment reflect the fact that job seekers still outnumber available job openings. While it is certainly true that a bigger supply of cheaper labor would be useful to employers, it is not clear that such a situation would be useful for the country as a whole, and any claims to that effect should be examined carefully. (Capelli, 2014; pp. 46-47). Thus, it is evident that the rationale of “skills gap” for the current push for STEM education in United States public education has no life to it. And yet, it continues to animate the public discourse and provide legitim1acy to current STEM initiatives. What gives? In the next section, using the trope of zombies I present a historical context to the recurrence of the “skills gap” threat in different garbs over the decades in the United States, and in the section that follows, with the help of conceptual ideas borrowed from post-structuralism and actornetwork research, I offer an explanation for the “skills gap” ‘crisis’ and its recurrence in different garbs over the decades in the United States. STEM-FICATION OF EDUCATION AS A ZOMBIE REFORM Once in an interview Ulrich Beck used the term ‘zombie concepts’ or ‘zombie categories’ to refer to “‘living dead’ ideas, such as nation-state, which govern our thinking but are not really able to capture the contemporary milieu” (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2002). Ever since, the use of this term has been broadened by social scientists to include theories that appear alive and important to supporters but in fact fail when matched with available evidence and current scholarship. For instance, John Quiggin (2012) has written extensively about ‘zombie economics’ – the dead ideas, such as market liberalism, the great moderation and the efficient markets hypothesis, that the great recession of 2008 was supposed to have disproved and killed for all times to come, but we find that they somehow continue to dominate the policy world. Scholars have also found zombie ideas in other disciplinary fields, such as sciences (Moles and Ollerton, 2016) and education (Kern, 2013). The idea that public education is not living up to its core purpose to support the demands of the nation’s economy also qualifies as a zombie idea that resurrects itself to haunt public education every few years with unnerving regularity. As we saw in last section, the notion that the U.S industry is being harmed because of the existence of a “skills gap” for which public education is to be blamed has little merit, and yet it not only survives but also dominates the thinking of nation’s economic, political and policymaking elite. Just a few years earlier, the putative failure of the public education system was seen reincarnated as the reason why the U.S was facing a ‘gathering storm’ in terms of competition to its industrial prowess from rising nations like China and India. These fears were given a concrete, actionable shape by the publication of a very influential report, Rising above the gathering storm, from the Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century (2007). This report led to the legislation of America COMPETES (Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science) Act that was passed with broad and a rather unusual bipartisan support in the Congress and got prompt presidential approval in 2007. Through this legislation politicians and policymakers committed substantial financial and political capital in support of revitalization of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in the nation. Of course, then as now, there was little evidence that the putative poor quality of education in public schools is to be blamed for the ‘gathering storm’ that bedeviled the imaginations of economic elite and policymakers (Salzman and Lowell, 2007). A couple of decades ago in 1980s, the public schools were blamed for the perceived loss to Japan of unchallenged pre-eminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation. A Nation at Risk, a report from the National Commission on Excellence in Education (1983) constituted by Ronald Reagan warned, Our nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world … the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur – others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments. (p. 2) As Owens (2015) concludes, “Unfortunately, for the next thirty years, the report became an example of dogma on a national scale, leading to the notion that the American public school system was an utter failure” (p. 27). This threat was used to usher an unprecedented influence over public education by business groups through the standards and accountability movement that still shows no signs of abating. Again, the fact that this perceived threat had little basis in reality was revealed by the following confession of one of the members of the commission that wrote the report: In order to be more effective some alarming language had to be used. That was immediately there, it was understood that we have to say things in an alarming kind of way – even to the point where the statistics may not have been quite correct. (Sommer as cited in Owens, 2015; p. 28). Going further back one finds that in 1960s following Soviet Russia’s Sputnik success fears of Russian dominance in space and technology were used to usher sweeping changes in the science curricula (DeBoer, 1991). Of course, as the historians recall that the blaming and shaming of public schools by business groups has been going on for more than a century. For instance, Cuban (2004) reports that “the skills-deficit argument first appeared in the late 19th century, when industrial leaders also were deeply concerned about global competition, at that time from German and British manufacturers” (p. 238). Here again we see the zombie idea that the public schools offer poor education that hurts the industry being let loose up to haunt public education and thus force it to change in ways that benefit the material interests of the economic elite. WHY IS THIS ZOMBIE IDEA SO HARD TO KILL? Given the relatively long history of the involvement of industry in public education and its ability to influence the purposes of education, it is fair to say that the state as well as the general public has largely accepted the claim made by big business that it is indeed “a major “consumer” of the education “product” as well as an investor in the education system through philanthropic and tax dollars” (President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, 2011; p. 12). Thus, any position taken by the business community becomes important in shaping the education policy of the state. In a democracy discursive legitimacy is critical for a perspective to influence policymaking. This legitimacy to the narrative espoused by big business on schools and their role in economy and the resulting STEM initiatives come from their close alignment with the neoliberal discourse that has lately become so dominant and hegemonic both in society at large as well as public education system. Taking a Foucauldian standpoint, I see neoliberalism as a discourse of governmentality that seeks to elevate individualized, market-based competition and exchange as the central and most desirable governing principle for organizing human action and social life, even in areas usually considered non-economic, such as education (Foucault, 2008). Since 1970s, the economic elite in the United States as well as in most develop nations have selectively used this discourse to protect and enhance their material interests. Or as Harvey (2005) alleged that neoliberalism has always been “a project to achieve the restoration of class power” (p. 16). Neoliberalism has profoundly impacted schools and the education they offer by reconstituting schools as service providers, parents and students as consumers and education as an investment that a student makes to enhance her capital (Engel, 2000; Hursh, 2007; Lakes & Carter, 2011). Naturally, then such a discourse (a) legitimizes the business elite’s view of students as ‘products’ to be ‘consumed’ by them, (b) lends credence to any claims made by them as to ‘defects’ in the ‘products’ churned out by schools of the nation, and (c) positions STEM education as the only rational educational reform for schools to adopt. Legitimation by a dominant discourse is definitely important for a claim to have any purchase among policymakers. But, what is also critical is the material support that keeps such claims in constant circulation both in the mainstream media as well as the policy world. Discursive legitimacy and material power tend to go hand-in-hand in democratic societies. In an interesting and influential paper on oligarchy in the United States, Winters and Page (2009) used the data on the US distributions of income and wealth to show how wealthiest Americans are in a position to exert far greater political influence than average citizens, and can exercise their material power to dominate policy in certain key areas. This exercise of material power is usually hidden from public view because, as Bowen (2015) suggests the discourse of liberal democracy in nations like the United States, “serve to mystify the more material relations of power that lurk under the surface of democratic institutions” (p. 53). If we demystify the STEM education reform and the “skills gap” crisis, we can discern the material power of the economic elite in action in: (a) composition of national committees, such as the one that drafted Rising above the Gathering Storm report in 2007, that get to frame and normalize the problems facing public education and the solutions to overcome them; (b) having direct access to policymakers, usually through groups like the Business Roundtable (Edmund, 2005); (c) framing of the issues in public media through steady dissemination of press releases and specially prepared reports (Miller, 2011); (d) advising elected officials on STEM educational policy (Jost, 1991); and (e) direct investment in STEM education reform, such as by major chemical, pharmaceutical, technology, and aerospace corporations (“STEM: Growing our next”, 2016).
The collapse of capitalism is inevitable---it will happen soon, the aff’s predictions are wrong, and the impact is extinction---only the alt solves. Wolfgang Streeck 16 – (Emeritus Director of the Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Societies, Cologne, How Will Capitalism End?: Essays on a Failing System, p. 1-15) Capitalism has always been an improbable social formation, full of conflicts and contradictions, therefore permanently unstable and in flux, and highly conditional on historically contingent and precarious supportive as well as constraining events and institutions. Capitalist society may be described in shorthand as a 'progressive' society in the sense of Adam Smith 1 and the enlightenment, a society that has coupled its 'progress' to the continuous and unlimited production and accumulation of productive capital, effected through a conversion, by means of the invisible hand of the market and the visible hand of the state, of the private vice of material greed into a public benefit.' Capitalism promises infinite growth of commodified material wealth in a finite world, by conjoining itself with modern science and technology, making capitalist society the first industrial society, and through unending expansion of free, in the sense of contestable, risky markets, on the coat-tails of a hegemonic carrier state and its market -opening policies both domestically and internationally. 3 As a version of industrial society, capitalist society is distinguished by the fact that its collective productive capital is accumulated in the hands of a minority of its members who enjoy the legal privilege, in the form of rights of private property, to dispose of such capital in any way they see fit, including letting it sit idle or transferring it abroad. One implication of this is that the vast majority of the members of a capitalist society must work under the direction, however mediated, of the private owners of the tools they need to provide for themselves, and on terms set by those owners in line with their desire to maximize the rate of increase of their capital. Motivating non-owners to do so- to work hard and diligently in the interest of the owners - requires artful devices - sticks and carrots of the most diverse sorts that are never certain to function - that have to be continuously reinvented as capitalist progress continuously renders them obsolescent. The tensions and contradictions within the capitalist political-economic configuration make for an ever-present possibility of structural breakdown and social crisis. Economic and social stability under modern capitalism must be secured on a background of systemic restlessness4 produced by competition and expansion, a difficult balancing act with a constantly uncertain outcome. Its success is contingent on, among other things, the timely appearance of a new technological paradigm or the development of social needs and values complementing changing requirements of continued economic growth. For example, for the vast majority of its members, a capitalist society must manage to convert their ever-present fear of being cut out of the productive process, because of economic or technological restructuring, into acceptance of the highly unequal distribution of wealth and power generated by the capitalist economy and a belief in the legitimacy of capitalism as a social order. For this, highly complicated and inevitably fragile institutional and ideological provisions arc necessary. The same holds true for the conversion of insecure workers - kept insecure to make them obedient workers - into confident consumers happily discharging their consumerist social obligations even in the face of the fundamental uncertainty oflabour markets and employment.' In light of the inherent instability of modern societies founded upon and dynamically shaped by a capitalist economy, it is small wonder that theories of capitalism, from the time the concept was first used in the early 1800s in Germany" and the mid-1800s in England/ were always also theories of crisis. This holds not just for Marx and Engels but also for writers like Ricardo, Mill, Sombart, Keynes, Hilferding, Polanyi and Schumpeter, all of whom expected one way or other to see the end of capitalism during their lifetime." What kind of crisis was expected to finish capitalism off differed with time and authors' theoretical priors; structuralist theories of death by overproduction or underconsumption, or by a tendency of the rate of profit to fall (Marx), coexisted with predictions of saturation of needs and markets (Keynes), of rising resistance to further commodification oflife and society (Polanyi), of exhaustion of new land and new labour available for colonization in a literal as well as figurative sense (Luxemburg), of technological stagnation (Kondratieff), financial-political organization of monopolistic corporations suspending liberal markets (Hilferding), bureaucratic suppression of entrepreneurialism aided by a worldwide trahison des clercs (Weber, Schumpeter, Hayek) etc., etc." While none of these theories came true as imagined, most of them were not entirely false either. In fact, the history of modern capitalism can be written as a succession of crises that capitalism survived only at the price of deep transformations of its economic and social institutions, saving it from bankruptcy in unforeseeable and often unintended ways. Seen this way, that the capitalist order still exists may well appear less impressive than that it existed so often on the brink of collapse and had continuously to change, frequently depending on contingent exogenous supports that it was unable to mobilize endogenously. The fact that capitalism has, until now, managed to outlive all predictions of its impending death, need not mean that it will forever be able to do so; there is no inductive proof here, and we cannot rule out the possibility that, next time, whatever cavalry capitalism may require for its rescue may fail to show up. A short recapitulation of the history of modern capitalism serves to illustrate this point. 10 Liberal capitalism in the nineteenth century was confronted by a revolutionary labour movement that needed to be politically tamed by a complex combination of repression and co-optation, including democratic power sharing and social reform. In the early twentieth century, capitalism was commandeered to serve national interests in international wars, thereby converting it into a public utility under the planning regimes of a new war economy, as private property and the invisible hand of the market seemed insufficient for the provision of the collective capacities countries needed to prevail in international hostilities. After the First World War, restoration of a liberal-capitalist economy failed to produce a viable social order and had to give way in large parts of the industrial world to either Communism or Fascism, while in the core countries of what was to become 'the West' liberal capitalism was gradually succeeded, in the aftermath of the Great Depression, by Keynesian, state-administered capitalism. Out of this grew the democratic welfare-state capitalism of the three post-war decades, with hindsight the only period in which economic growth and social and political stability, achieved through democracy, coexisted under capitalism, at least in the OECD world where capitalism came to be awarded the epithet, 'advanced'. In the 1970s, however, what had with hindsight been called the 'post-war settlement' of social-democratic capitalism began to disintegrate, gradually and imperceptibly at first but increasingly punctuated by successive, ever more severe crises of both the capitalist economy and the social and political institutions embedding, that is, supporting as well as containing it. This was the period of both intensifying crisis and deep transformation when 'late capitalism', as impressively described by Werner Sombart in the 1920s, 11 gave way to neoliberalism. Crisis Theory Redux Today, after the watershed of the financial crisis of 2008, critical and indeed crisis-theoretical reflection on the prospects of capitalism and its society is again en vogue. Does Capitalism Have a Future? is the title of a book published in 2013 by five outstanding social scientists: Immanuel Wallerstein, Randall Collins, Michael Mann, Georgi Derluguian and Craig Calhoun. Apart from the introduction and the conclusion, which are collectively authored, the contributors present their views in separate chapters, and this could not be otherwise since they differ widely. Still, all five share the conviction that, as they state in the introduction, 'something big looms on the horizon: a structural crisis much bigger than the recent Great Recession, which might in retrospect seem only a prologue to a period of deeper troubles and transformations: 12 On what is causing this crisis, however, and how it will end, there is substantial disagreement- which, with authors of this calibre, may be taken as a sign of the multiple uncertainties and possibilities inherent in the present condition of the capitalist political economy. To give an impression of how leading theorists may differ when trying to imagine the future of capitalism today, I will at some length review the prospects and predictions put forward in the book. A comparatively conventional crisis theory is probably the one offered by Wallerstein (pp. 9-35), who locates contemporary capitalism at the bottom of a Kondratieff cycle (Kondratieff B) with no prospect of a new (Kondratieff A) upturn. This is said to be due to a 'structural crisis' that began in the 1970s, as a result of which 'capitalists may no longer find capitalism rewarding'. Two broad causes are given, one a set of long-term trends 'ending the endless accumulation of capital', the other the demise, after the 'world revolution of 1968', of the 'dominance of centrist liberals of the geoculture' (p. 21 ). Structural trends include the exhaustion of virgin lands and the resulting necessity of environmental repair work, growing resource shortages, and the increasing need for public infrastructure. All of this costs money, and so does the pacification of a proliferating mass of discontented workers and the unemployed. Concerning global hegemony, Wallerstein points to what he considers the final decline of the U.S.-centred world order, in military and economic as well as ideological terms. Rising costs of doing business combine with global disorder to make restoration of a stable capitalist world system impossible. Instead Wallerstein foresees 'an ever-tighter gridlock of the system. Gridlock will in turn result in ever-wilder fluctuations, and will consequently make short-term predictions - both economic and political - ever more unreliable. And this in turn will aggravate ... popular fears and alienation. It is a negative cycle' (p. 32). For the near future Wallerstein expects a global political confrontation between defenders and opponents of the capitalist order, in his suggestive terms: between the forces of Davos and of Porto Alegre. Their final battle 'about the successor system' (p. 35) is currently fomenting. Its outcome, according to Wallerstein, is unpredictable, although 'we can feel sure that one side or the other will win out in the coming decades, and a new reasonably stable world-system (or set of world-systems) will be established: Much less pessimistic, or less optimistic from the perspective of those who would like to see capitalism dose down, is Craig Calhoun, who finds prospects of reform and renewal in what he, too, considers a deep and potentially final crisis (pp. 131-61). Calhoun assumes that there is still time for political intervention to save capitalism, as there was in the past, perhaps with the help of a 'sufficiently enlightened faction of capitalists' (p. 2). But he also believes 'a centralized socialist economy' to be possible, and even more so 'Chinese-style state capitalism': 'Markets can exist in the future even while specifically capitalist modes of property and finance have declined' (p. 3). Far more than Wallerstein, Calhoun is reluctant when it comes to prediction (for a summary of his view see pp. 158-61 ). His chapter offers a list of internal contradictions and possible external disruptions threatening the stability of capitalism, and points out a wide range of alternative outcomes. Like Wallerstein, Calhoun attributes particular significance to the international system, where he anticipates the emergence of a plurality of more or less capitalist political-economic regimes, with the attendant problems and pitfalls of coordination and competition. While he does not rule out a 'large-scale, more or less simultaneous collapse of capitalist markets ... not only bringing economic upheaval but also upending political and social institutions' (p. 161), Calhoun believes in the possibility of states, corporations and social movements re-establishing effective governance for a transformative renewal of capitalism. To quote, The capitalist order is a very large-scale, highly complex system. The events of the last forty years have deeply disrupted the institutions that kept capitalism relatively well organized through the postwar period. Efforts to repair or replace these will change the system, just as new technologies and new business and financial practices may. Even a successful renewal of capitalism will transform it ... The question is whether change will be adequate to manage systemic risks and fend off external threats. And if not, will there be widespread devastation before a new order emerges? (p. 161) Even more agnostic on the future of capitalism is Michael Mann ('The End May Be Nigh, But for Whom?: pp. 71-97). Mann begins by reminding his readers that in his 'general model of human society', he does 'not conceive of societies as systems but as multiple, overlapping networks of interaction, of which four networks - ideological, economic, military and political power relations - are the most important. Geopolitical relations can be added to the four .. : Mann continues: Each of these four or five sources of power may have an internal logic or tendency of development, so that it might be possible, for example, to identify tendencies toward equilibrium, cycles, or contradictions within capitalism, just as one might identify comparable tendencies within the other sources of social power. (p. 72) Interactions between the networks, Mann points out, are frequent but not systematic, meaning that 'once we admit the importance of such interactions we are into a more complex and uncertain world in which the development of capitalism, for example, is also influenced by ideologies, wars and states' (p. 73). Mann adds to this the possibility of uneven development across geographical space and the likelihood of irrational behaviour interfering with rational calculations of interest, even of the interest in survival. To demonstrate the importance of contingent events and of cycles other than those envisaged in the Wallerstein-Kondratieff model of history, Mann discusses the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Great Recession of 2008. He then proceeds to demonstrate how his approach speaks to the future, first of U.S. hegemony and second of 'capitalist markets'. As to the former, Mann (pp. 83-4) offers the standard list of American weaknesses, both domestic and international, from economic decline to political anomy to an increasingly less effective military- weaknesses that 'might bring America down' although 'we cannot know for sure: Even if U.S. hegemony were to end, however, 'this need not cause a systemic crisis of capitalism'. What may instead happen is a shift of economic power 'from the old West to the successfully developing Rest of the world, including most of Asia. This would result in a sharing of economic power between the United States, the European Union and (some of) the BRICS, as a consequence of which 'the capitalism of the medium term is likely to be more statist' (p. 86). Concerning 'capitalist markets' (pp. 86-7), Mann believes, pace Wallerstein, that there is still enough new land to conquer and enough demand to discover and invent, to allow for both extensive and intensive growth. Also, technological fixes may appear any time for all sorts of problems, and in any case it is the working class and revolutionary socialism, much more than capitalism, for which 'the end is nigh: In fact, if growth rates were to fall as predicted by some, the outcome might be a stable low-growth capitalism, with considerable ecological benefits. In this scenario, 'the future of the left is likely to be at most reformist social democracy or liberalism. Employers and workers will continue to struggle over the mundane injustices of capitalist employment [ ... ] and their likely outcome will be compromise and reform .. .' Still, Mann ends on a considerably less sanguine note, naming two big crises that he considers possible, and one of them probable - crises in which capitalism would go under although they would not be crises of capitalism, or of capitalism alone, since capitalism would only perish as a result of the destruction of all human civilization. One such scenario would be nuclear war, started by collective human irrationality, the other an ecological catastrophe resulting from 'escalating climate change'. In the latter case (pp. 93ff.), capitalism figures - together with the nation state and with 'citizen rights', defined as entitlements to unlimited consumption - as one of three 'triumphs of the modern period' that happen to be ecologically unsustainable. 'All three triumphs would have to be challenged for the sake of a rather abstract future, which is a very tall order, perhaps not achievable' (p. 95). While related to capitalism, ecological disaster would spring from 'a causal chain bigger than capitalism' (p. 97). However, 'policy decisions matter considerably', and 'humanity is in principle free to choose between better or worse future scenarios- and so ultimately the future is unpredictable' (p. 97). The most straightforward theory of capitalist crisis in the book is offered by Randall Collins (pp. 37-69) - a theory he correctly characterizes as a 'stripped-down version of (a] fundamental insight that Marx and Engels had formulated already in the 1840s' (p. 38). That insight, as adapted by Collins, is that capitalism is subject to 'a long-term structural weakness: namely 'the technological displacement of labor by machinery' (p. 37). Collins is entirely unapologetic for his strictly structuralist approach, even more structuralist than Wallerstein's, as well as his mono-factorial technological determinism. In fact, he is convinced that 'technological displacement of labor' will have finished capitalism, with or without revolutionary violence, by the middle of this century - earlier than it would be brought down by the, in principle, equally destructive and definitive ecological crisis, and more reliably than by comparatively difficult-to-predict financial bubbles. 'Stripped-down' Collins's late-Marxist structuralism is, among other things, because unlike Marx in his corresponding theorem of a secular decline of the rate of profit, Collins fails to hedge his prediction with a list of countervailing factors,' 3 as he believes capitalism to have run out of whatever saving graces may in the past have retarded its demise. Collins does allow for Mann's and Calhoun's non-Marxist, 'Weberian' influences on the course of history, but only as secondary forces modifying the way the fundamental structural trend that drives the history of capitalism from below will work itself out. Global unevenness of development, dimensions of conflict that are not capitalism-related, war and ecological pressures may or may not accelerate the crisis of the capitalist labour market and employment system; they cannot, however, suspend or avert it. What exactly does this crisis consist of? While labour has gradually been replaced by technology for the past two hundred years, with the rise of information technology and, in the very near future, artificial intelligence, that process is currently reaching its apogee, in at least two respects: first, it has vastly accelerated, and second, having in the second half of the twentieth century destroyed the manual working class, it is now attacking and about to destroy the middle class as well - in other words, the new petty bourgeoisie that is the very carrier of the neocapitalist and neoliberal lifestyle of 'hard work and hard play', of careerism-cum-consumerism, which, as will be discussed infra, may indeed be considered the indispensable cultural foundation of contemporary capitalism's society. What Collins sees coming is a rapid educational work by machinery intelligent enough even to design and create new, more advanced machinery. Electronicization will do to the middle class what mechanization has done to the working class, and it will do it much faster. The result will be unemployment in the order of 50 to 70 per cent by the middle of the century, hitting those who had hoped, by way of expensive education and disciplined job performance (in return for stagnant or declining wages), to escape the threat of redundancy attendant on the working classes. The benefits, meanwhile, will go to 'a tiny capitalist class of robot owners' who will become immeasurably rich. The drawback for them is, however, that they will increasingly find that their product 'cannot be sold because too few persons have enough income to buy it. Extrapolating this underlying tendency', Collins writes, 'Marx and Engels predicted the downfall of capitalism and its replacement with socialism' (p. 39), and this is what Collins also predicts. Collins's theory is most original where he undertakes to explain why technological displacement is only now about to finish capitalism when it had not succeeded in doing so in the past. Following in Marx's footsteps, he lists five 'escapes' that have hitherto saved capitalism from self-destruction, and then proceeds to show why they won't save it any more. They include the growth of new jobs and entire sectors compensating for employment losses caused by technological progress (employment in artificial intelligence will be miniscule, especially once robots begin to design and build other robots); the expansion of markets (which this time will primarily be labour markets in middle-class occupations, globally unified by information technology, enabling global competition among educated job seekers); the growth of finance, both as a source of income ('speculation') and as an industry (which cannot possibly balance the loss of employment caused by new technology, and of income caused by unemployment, also because computerization will make workers in large segments of the financial industry redundant); government employment replacing employment in the private sector (improbable because of the fiscal crisis of the state, and in any case requiring ultimately 'a revolutionary overturn of the property system' [p. 51]); and the use of education as a buffer to keep labour out of employment, making it a form of 'hidden Keynesian ism' while resulting in 'credential inflation' and 'grade inflation' (which for Collins is the path most probably taken, although ultimately it will prove equally futile as the others, as a result of demoralization within educational institutions and problems of financing, both public and private). All five escapes closed, there is no way society can prevent capitalism from causing accelerated displacement of labour and the attendant stark economic and social inequalities. Some sort of socialism, so Collins concludes, will finally have to take capitalism's place. What precisely it will look like, and what will come after socialism or with it, Collins leaves open, and he is equally agnostic on the exact mode of the transition. Revolutionary the change will be - but whether it will be a violent social revolution that will end capitalism or a peaceful institutional revolution accomplished under political leadership cannot be known beforehand. Heavy taxation of the super-rich for extended public employment or a guaranteed basic income for everyone, with equal distribution and strict rationing of very limited working hours by more or less dictatorial means a la Keynes' 4 - we are free to speculate on this as Collins's 'stripped-down Marxism' does not generate predictions as to what kind of society will emerge once capitalism will have run its course. Only one thing is certain: that capitalism will end, and much sooner than one may have thought. Something of an outlier in the book's suite of chapters is the contribution by Georgi Derluguian, who gives a fascinating inside account of the decline and eventual demise of Communism, in particular Soviet Communism (pp. 99-129). The chapter is of interest because of its speculations on the differences from and the potential parallels with a potential end of capitalism. As to the differences, Derluguian makes much of the fact that Soviet Communism was from early on embedded in the 'hostile geopolitics' (p. 110) of a 'capitalist world-system' ( 111). This linked its fate inseparably to that of the Soviet Union as an economically and strategically overextended multinational state. That state turned out to be unsustainable in the longer term, especially after the end of Stalinist despotism. By then the peculiar class structure of Soviet Communism gave rise to a domestic social compromise that, much unlike American capitalism, included political inertia and economic stagnation. The result was pervasive discontent on the part of a new generation of cultural, technocratic and scientific elites socialized in the revolutionary era of the late 1960s. Also, over-centralization made the state-based political economy of Soviet Communism vulnerable to regional and ethnic separatism, while the global capitalism surrounding it provided resentful opponents as well as opportunistic apparatchiks with a template of a preferable order, one in which the latter could ultimately establish themselves as self-made capitalist oligarchs. Contemporary capitalism, of course, is much less dependent on the geopolitical good fortunes of a single imperial state, although the role of the United States in this respect must not be underestimated. More importantly, capitalism is not exposed to pressure from an alternative political-economic model, assuming that Islamic economic doctrine will for a foreseeable future remain less than attractive even and precisely to Islamic elites (who are deeply integrated in the capitalist global economy). Where the two systems may, however, come to resemble each other is in their internal political disorder engendered by institutional and economic decline. When the Soviet Union lost its 'state integrity', Derluguian writes, this 'undermined all modern institutions and therefore disabled collective action at practically any level above family and crony networks. This condition became self-perpetuating' (p. 122). One consequence was that the ruling bureaucracies reacted 'with more panic than outright violence' when confronted by 'mass civic mobilizations like the 1968 Prague Spring and the Soviet perestroika at its height in 1989', while at the same time 'the insurgent movements ... failed to exploit the momentous disorganization in the ranks of dominant classes' (p. 129). For different reasons and under different circumstances, a similar weakness of collective agency, due to de-institutionalization and creating comparable uncertainty among both champions and challengers of the old order, might shape a future transition from capitalism to post-capitalism, pitting against each other fragmented social movements on the one hand and disoriented political-economic elites on the other. My own view builds on all five contributors but differs from each of them. I take the diversity of theories on what all agree is a severe crisis of capitalism and capitalist society as an indication of contemporary capitalism having entered a period of deep indeterminacy - a period in which unexpected things can happen any time and knowledgeable observers can legitimately disagree on what will happen, due to long-valid causal relations having become historically obsolete. In other words, I interpret the coexistence of a shared sense of crisis with diverging concepts of the nature of that crisis as an indication that traditional economic and sociological theories have today lost much of their predictive power. As I will point out in more detail, below, I see this as a result, but also as a cause, of a destruction of collective agency in the course of capitalist development, equally affecting Wallerstein's Davos and Porto Alegre people and resulting in a social context beset with unintended and unanticipated consequences of purposive, but in its effects increasingly unpredictable, social action. '5 Moreover, rather than picking one of the various scenarios of the crisis and privilege it over the others, I suggest that they all, or most of them, may be aggregated into a diagnosis of multi-morbidity in which different disorders coexist and, more often than not, reinforce each other. Capitalism, as pointed out at the beginning, was always a fragile and improbable order and for its survival depended on ongoing repair work. Today, however, too many frailties have become simultaneously acute while too many remedies have been exhausted or destroyed. The end of capitalism can then be imagined as a death from a thousand cuts, or from a multiplicity of infirmities each of which will be all the more untreatable as all will demand treatment at the same time. As will become apparent, I do not believe that any of the potentially stabilizing forces mentioned by Mann and Calhoun, be it regime pluralism, regional diversity and uneven development, political reform, or independent crisis cycles, will be strong enough to neutralize the syndrome of accumulated weaknesses that characterize contemporary capitalism. No effective opposition being left, and no practicable successor model waiting in the wings of history, capitalism's accumulation of defects, alongside its accumulation of capital, may be seen, with Collins, '6 as an entirely endogenous dynamic of self-destruction, following an evolutionary logic moulded in its expression but not suspended by contingent and coincidental events, along a historical trajectory from early liberal via state-administered to neoliberal capitalism, which culminated for the time being in the financial crisis of 2008 and its aftermath. For the decline of capitalism to continue, that is to say, no revolutionary alternative is required, and certainly no masterplan of a better society displacing capitalism. Contemporary capitalism is vanishing on its own, collapsing from internal contradictions, and not least as a result of having vanquished its enemies - who, as noted, have often rescued capitalism from itself by forcing it to assume a new form. What comes after capitalism in its final crisis, now under way, is, I suggest, not socialism or some other defined social order, but a lasting interregnum - no new world system equilibrium ala Wallerstein, but a prolonged period of social entropy, or disorder (and precisely for this reason a period of uncertainty and indeterminacy). It is an interesting problem for sociological theory whether and how a society can turn for a significant length of time into less than a society, a post-social society as it were, or a society lite, until it may or may not recover and again become a society in the full meaning of the term. ' 7 I suggest that one can attain a conceptual fix on this by drawing liberally on a famous article by David Lockwood to distinguish between system integration and social integration, or integration at the macro and micro levels of society. An interregnum would then be defined as a breakdown of system integration at the macro level, depriving individuals at the micro level of institutional structuring and collective support, and shifting the burden of ordering social life, of providing it with a modicum of security and stability, to individuals themselves and such social arrangements as they can create on their own. A society in interregnum, in other words, would be a de-institutionalized or under-institutionalized society, one in which expectations can be stabilized only for a short time by local improvisation, and which for this very reason is essentially ungovernable. Contemporary capitalism, then, would appear to be a society whose system integration is critically and irremediably weakened, so that the continuation of capital accumulation - for an intermediate period of uncertain duration - becomes solely dependent on the opportunism of collectively incapacitated individualized individuals, as they struggle to protect themselves from looming accidents and structural pressures on their social and economic status. Undergoverned and undermanaged, the social world of the post-capitalist interregnum, in the wake of neoliberal capitalism having cleared away states, governments, borders, trade unions and other moderating forces, can at any time be hit by disaster; for example, bubbles imploding or violence penetrating from a collapsing periphery into the centre. With individuals deprived of collective defences and left to their own devices, what remains of a social order hinges on the motivation of individuals to cooperate with other individuals on an ad hoc basis, driven by fear and greed and by elementary interests in individual survival. Society having lost the ability to provide its members with effective protection and proven templates for social action and social existence, individuals have only themselves to rely on while social order depends on the weakest possible mode of social integration, Zweckrationalitiit. As pointed out in Chapter 1 of this book, and partly elaborated in the rest of this introduction, I anchor this condition in a variety of interrelated developments, such as declining growth intensifying distributional conflict; the rising inequality that results from this; vanishing macroeconomic manageability, as manifested in, among other things, steadily growing indebtedness, a pumped-up money supply; and the ever-present possibility of another economic breakdown;'9 the suspension of post-war capitalism's engine of social progress, democracy, and the associated rise of oligarchic rule; the dwindling capacity of governments and the systemic inability of governance to limit the commodification of labour, nature and money; the omnipresence of corruption of all sorts, in response to intensified competition in winner-take-all markets with unlimited opportunities for self-enrichment; the erosion of public infrastructures and collective benefits in the course of commodification and privatization; the failure after 1989 of capitalism's host nation, the United States, to build and maintain a stable global order; etc., etc. These and other developments, I suggest, have resulted in widespread cynicism governing economic life, for a long time if not forever ruling out a recovery of normative legitimacy for capitalism as a just society offering equal opportunities for individual progress- a legitimacy that capitalism would need to draw on in critical moments - and founding social integration on collective resignation as the last remaining pillar of the capitalist social order, or disorder. 20
The alternative is to reject the affirmative in favor of an ongoing class war against the bourgeoisie---only revolutionary praxis can create a bridge between action in the present and communism in the future---your role as an educator is to align with the dismantling of capitalism. Dave Hill 2016 – (Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Chelmsford Campus, Anglia Ruskin University, TRANSFORMATIVE EDUCATION, CRITICAL EDUCATION, MARXIST EDUCATION: POSSIBILITIES AND ALTERNATIVES TO THE RESTRUCTURING OF EDUCATION IN GLOBAL NEOLIBERAL/NEOCONSERVATIVE TIMES, Knowledge Cultures; Woodside 4.6 (2016): 159-175)//a-berg We Marxists seek to serve and advance the interests of the working class. We, as teachers, as educators, are working class, too, we sell our labor power to capitalists and to the apparatuses of the capitalist state, such as schools and universities. We have to consistently and courageously challenge the dominant ideology, the hegemony of the ruling class, the bourgeoisie, the capitalist class. We are in a battle for dominance of our ideas; there are 'culture wars' between different ways of looking at/interpreting the world. We have to contest the currently hegemonic control of ideas by the capitalist state, schools, media, and their allies in the religions. But the situation we face is not just a war of ideas, an ideological war: it is also an economic class war, where the social and economic conditions and well-being of the working class are threatened and undermined by the ruling class and its capitalist state (Campagna, 2013). David Blacker (2013) goes even further, and argues that contemporary and future capitalist onslaughts will result in deaths for 'superfluous' workers and sections of the non-working industrial reserve army (such as elderly people, for example the 13,000 extra deaths of old people in the winter months in the UK due to lack of affordable heating). If we sit and do nothing, if their ideas are not contested, then capitalism will continue to rule, to demean, to divide, to impoverish us, and the planet. At certain times in history, and in certain locations, the disjunction - the gap, the difference - between the material conditions of workers' existence on the one hand, our daily lived experience, and, on the other hand, what the newspapers and the media and the imam and the priest and the rabbi say/ preach, that gap becomes so stark, so obvious, that workers' subjective consciousness changes. This is particularly likely when workers with more advanced revolutionary consciousness succeed in bringing about a widespread and more evenly distributed consciousness amongst the class as a whole. At this moment - now - in some countries in the world, the gap between the 'official' ideology that 'we are all in together' and that 'there is no alternative' (to austerity), or, in schools and universities faced by commodification and managerialism and (pre)-privatization - that gap becomes so large that the ruling party, and the ruling capitalist class, and capitalism itself, loses legitimacy. And so, as in Greece now, and in Portugal, in Spain, in Turkey and Brazil, the USA and the UK, and in other countries such as Britain and India, we Marxists are necessary. Necessary in leading and developing changes in consciousness, a change in class consciousness, and in playing a leading role in organizing for the replacement of capitalism. Programme In 1938, in 'The Transitional Programme', Trotsky addressed the types of programmes moving the discussion beyond the minimum programme (minimum acceptable reforms, such as those to protect and improve existing rights and entitlements, such as rights at work, social and political rights)) and the maximum programme (socialist revolution, with the type of society ultimately envisaged by Marx, a socialist non-capitalist/ post-capitalist society) that were advanced by late nineteenth and early twentieth century social democrats and by communists of the 3rd international and articulated a new type of programme: the transitional programme. Trotsky, with a distinct resonance to today's struggles, wrote: The strategic task of the next period - prerevolutionary period of agitation, propaganda and organization - consists in overcoming the contradiction between the maturity of the objective revolutionary conditions and the immaturity of the proletariat and its vanguard (the confusion and disappointment of the older generation, the inexperience of the younger generation. It is necessary to help the masses in the process of the daily struggle to find the bridge between present demand and the socialist program of the revolution. This bridge should include a system of transitional demands, stemming from today's conditions and from today's consciousness of wide layers of the working class and unalterably leading to one final conclusion: the conquest of power by the proletariat. Classical Social Democracy, functioning in an epoch of progressive capitalism, divided its program into two parts independent of each other: the minimum program which limited itself to reforms within the framework of bourgeois society, and the maximum program which promised substitution of socialism for capitalism in the indefinite future. Between the minimum and the maximum program no bridge existed. And indeed Social Democracy has no need of such a bridge, since the word socialism is used only for holiday speechifying. The Comintern has set out to follow the path of Social Democracy in an epoch of decaying capitalism: when, in general, there can be no discussion of systematic social reforms and the raising of the masses' living standards; when every serious demand of the proletariat and even every serious demand of the petty bourgeoisie inevitably reaches beyond the limits of capitalist property relations and of the bourgeois state. Trotsky continued, Under the menace of its own disintegration, the proletariat cannot permit the transformation of an increasing section of the workers into chronically unemployed paupers, living offthe slops of a crumbling society. The right to employment is the only serious right leftto the worker in a society based upon exploitation. This right today is leftto the worker in a society based upon exploitation. This right today is being shorn from him at every step. Against unemployment, "structural" as well as "con junctural," the time is ripe to advance along with the slogan of public works, the slogan of a sliding scale of working hours. Trade unions and other mass organizations should bind the workers and the unemployed together in the solidarity of mutual responsibility. On this basis all the work on hand would then be divided among all existing workers in accordance with how the extent of the working week is defined. The average wage of every worker remains the same as it was under the old working week. Wages, under a strictly guaranteed minimum, would follow the movement of prices. It is impossible to accept any other program for the present catastrophic period. [...] The question is not one of a "normal" collision between opposing material interests. The question is one of guarding the proletariat from decay, demoralization and ruin. The question is one of life or death of the only creative and progressive class, and by that token of the future of mankind. If capitalism is incapable of satisfying the demands inevitably arising from the calamities generated by itself, then let it perish. "Realizability" or "unrealizability" is in the given instance a question of the relationship of forces, which can be decided only by the struggle. By means of this struggle, no matter what immediate practical successes may be, the workers will best come to understand the necessity of liquidating capitalist slavery (Trotsky, 1938). Conclusion The 'decay, demoralisation and ruin' Trotsky speaks of, are, for many millions of workers' families - including what in the USA and elsewhere are called 'middle class' workers - an everyday reality in this current era of capitalism, neoliberal capitalism, or 'immiseration capitalism'. This immiseration is apparent through the rich as well as the poor worlds. The precise organisation and characteristics of the resistance to the depredations is a matter for strategic and tactical considerations, relating to the current balance (strength, organisations, (dis)-unity) of class forces in specific local and national contexts. What is clear, though, is that the problematic regarding capitalism, for Marxist activists and educators, is not just to reform it, welcome though such reforms, such as 'minimum programme' are, and active in campaigning for and to protect such reforms we must be. But, regarding capitalism, our task is to replace it with democratic Marxism. As teachers, as educators, as cultural workers, as activists, as intellectuals, we have a role to play. We must play it.
� Case The aff’s figuration of education as production of human capital facilitates a post-fordist futurity that harvests black and brown bodies for return on investments Gill-Peterson 2015 [Julian, Assistant Professor of English and Children's Literature at the University of Pittsburgh | “The Value of the Future: The Child as Human Capital and the Neoliberal Labor of Race,” Women's Studies Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 1/2, (Spring/Summer 2015)] Ten9Eight is in part a racial uplift film for a multicultural era, in which the celebration of ostensible legal equality and the cultural relativism of ethnicity authorize rigid competition between assimilating immigrant groups and the exceptional isolation of African Americans (see Chow 2002 and Sexton 2008). While the students in Ten9Eight are all African American, Latino, or recent immigrants, the communities and families of the black competitors incur the most diegetic pathologization. Melodra- matic and stereotyped tales of drugs, alcohol, prison, sexual abuse, foster care, homelessness, teen pregnancy, and the specter of death govern their biographies. In the face of this cultural pathology, an individual narrative of overcoming is rehearsed: Ten9Eight unambiguously suggests that start- ing businesses is the only way for black children to break a pattern derivative of the Moynihan report. As with Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s The Negro Family (United States Department of Labor 1965), systemic inequalities and the planned maldistribution of life chances by race can be criticized as a moral wrong, but their actionable field of remedies is simultaneously confined to the private sphere of individual improvement. The will to overcome and disavow the signifier "inner city" in places like Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, and Washington, DC returns again and again in Ten9Eight. One competitor, JaMal Wills, explains that he wants to win the competition because he "doesn't want to end up dead.” Rather than understanding these narratives of black childhood only as representations of a purely ideological devaluation, a cultural ruse for the neoliberal states institutionalized racial exploitation, an analysis of the proposed labor function of the film s children maps the new social contract for which they are targeted as human capital. Not for nothing do Ten9Eighť s promotional materials emphasize that Thomas Friedman of the New York Times said, Obama should arrange for this movie to be shown in every classroom in America" (qtd. in Ten9Eight: Shoot for the Moon 2014). There is an ideological conceit in Friedmans suggestion, since the film is not addressed to every classroom but rather targets under the category of "inner city" the black and brown bodies whose futurity is of so little value to the nation that public investment in their education or communities is absolutely out of the question. Still, Friedmans proposition is also symptomatic of a mode of investment in the productivity of children whose dispersed strategies cohere through the calculating force of what we habitually signify in using the terms "race," "gender," and "class." The value of the future contracted through neoliberal child labor assigns risk and speculates on the future of kids as the incorporation of race, gender, and class - economic coefficients that materialize as the growing bodies of children. Ten9Eight suggests that the racialization of labor and investment might be understood as originary of American neoliberalisms reason, its political economization of life s growth from infancy to adulthood through childhood. Under this neoliberal social contract childhood becomes a form of futures trading. The phrase is not métonymie, but emphasizes that capitalism does not mobilize subjects with a preexisting race, gender, or class; rather, it is a subjectification machine that reorganizes human life into those categories. As with UNCF, Ten9Eight transforms black and brown children into human capital by restaging education as an entrepreneurial labor. In his 1978-79 collected lectures, The Birth of Biopolitics, Michel Foucault (2007) turns likewise to the child as his example in diagramming American neoliberalism. What distinguishes American neoliberalism, according to Foucault, is its theory of human capital, a theory that permits "the extension of economic analysis into a previously unexplored domain," the social (219) - once Annies shelter. American neoliberalism reproaches political economy for ignoring the centrality of labor to the production of capital, but unlike Marx, it makes labor into capital (224). Human capital makes Homo economicus into an entrepreneur of the self, taking the self as its basic resource, projected into the future through potential wages. This enterprising self represents a theory not of labor power but what Foucault calls "capital-ability" (225). When neoliberal economists began to define human capital in the 1950s and 1960s they argued that all human behavior could be analyzed in economic terms by adapting theories of utility max- imization from Adam Smith and Jeremy Bentham. Gary S. Becker, one of human capitals major proponents, worked over his career on economic analyses of racial and gendered discrimination, crime and punishment, marriage, divorce, and child-rearing, which he summed up in the title of his Nobel Prize lecture (Becker 1992): "An Economic Way of Looking at Life." The economic rationalization of human life also worked to discredit state projects to reduce inequality or combat poverty, especially where they accounted for race and gender. By making human value and its return a factor of private investment in the individual, human capital rendered unreasonable alternate modes of economic redistribution, particularly those both public and based on social justice. Becker s Treatise on the Fam- ily , for instance, argues that a sexual division of labor, where women stay at home investing in the human capital of children while men work, is more efficient than equal pay for equal work (1981, 22-23). Becker also argued that state programs aimed at redressing racialized economic inequality were less effective than a color-blind and competitive labor market (1957, 129). Within this framework the theory of human capital deploys the child to recalculate the value of the future in terms of private investment. The theory’s scriptural basis is a passage in Smiths Wealth of Nations on "fixed capital" ( 1909, 225), capital held as stock for the enhancement of the production, but not the circulation, of commodities. According to Smith, there are four types of fixed capital: machines, buildings, land, and "the acquired and useful abilities of all the inhabitants and members of a society" (228). This last form becomes human capital. Smith continues: "The acquisition of such talents, by the maintenance of the acquirer during his education, study, or apprenticeship, always costs a real expense, which is a capital fixed and realized, as it were, in his person. Those talents, as they make a part of his fortune, so do they likewise that of the society to which he belongs. The improved dexterity of a workman may be considered in the same light as a machine or instrument of trade which facilitates and abridges labour, and which, though it costs a certain expense, repays that expense with a profit" (228). Human capital names a production cost that enhances the quality of workers, repaid with a surplus in future output. As Foucault emphasizes, the theory of human capital is less preoccupied with innate capacities than with acquiring new skills. Education was hence the first target of economists: in one classic essay, Jacob Mincer (1974) calculates the increase to workers' salaries from additional years of schooling through regression formulas. Yet human capital is also dependent on childhood, understood as the critical period of development, and for this reason Foucault turns his attention to the child in The Birth of Biopolitics . Through "the inversion of the relationships [sic] of the social to the economic" (2007, 240), in his words, "we thus arrive at a whole environmental analysis, as the Americans say, of the child’s life which it will be possible to calculate, and to a certain extent quantify, or at any rate measure, in terms of the possibilities of investment in human capital" (230). Foucault does not broach race in this lecture. Yet the theory of human capital might be understood as a global strategy for rationalizing American racism, consolidating work on "discrimination coefficients" (Becker 1957, 6) and the rational value of crime (1968) to explain ostensibly irrational, nonproductive human behavior. In Becker s work on family economics, he understands what he calls "the price of children" (198 1, 93) in opposition to the Malthusian anxiety about fertility, according to which children are valuable in quantitative terms. Becker suggests that it is instead "the interaction between quantity and quality" that explains parental investment in children, and he points to Anglo-American history, where, as quantitative income, education, and health increased toward the end of the nineteenth century, the amount of children born declined sharply, a trend repeated after the postwar baby boom (106-7). Becker reads these demographic trends as parents concentrating their resources more efficiently to invest in the increased quality of each child born. A child in whom more time and money is invested from birth will eventually yield greater returns on human capital, obviating the need for more kids. Although it leads to a color-blind conclusion, race is far from absent in Becker s formulas. The child is not a tabula rasa for him; rather, "rates of return on human capital are more sensitive to endowments" than other commodities (113-14). An "endowment" might be as ambiguous as personality or attractiveness, but it also includes "the sex, race, ability, age, allocation of time, social background, and many other characteristics of children 3 ' ( 120). Race is a primary coefficient of American human capital, affecting the average base value of children's bodies, as well as the rate of return on investment, something of which parents are conscious. "Families usually must commit most of their investments," Becker suggests, "before they know much about their children's market luck" (119). Human capital hence turns childhood into futures trading for parents, who have to specu- late on the effect of endowments like race and gender on their investments. This framework rationalizes racism in taking the perspective of the abstract parents who always "maximize their utility by choosing optimal investments in the human and nonhuman capital of children" (136). In this calculus, as Becker puts it, "discrimination against minorities not only reduces their income but also the effect of their family background on income" (137), thus lowering the value of their future. As an example, he argues, "Black families should be less stable than white families, if only because blacks are much poorer and black women earn much more relative to black men than white women do to white men" (231; emphasis added); not surprisingly, he cites the Moynihan report as evidence. Black families both would have less money to invest in the human capital of their children and would expect less of a return than white families, reducing their incentive to make investments, and by analogy reducing the state s incentive to do the same. Becker suggests that taxes levied for "public education and other programs to aid the young may not significantly benefit them because of compensating decreases in parental expenditures" (153). Since children are assumed to be property of parents, if the state steps in to redistribute inequality through public education parents will invest less in human capital to compensate. Given that human capital rationalizes investment as a private practice, even though race and gender are under- stood as coefficients their value remains private, so that the conversion of education and other forms of care into labor becomes the only way to address endemic inequality. This genealogy of human capital contextualizes Ten9Eighťs otherwise presumptuous claim: if children of color have almost no public value to the United States, then it becomes reasonable, even "rational," for them to shoulder the labor of their own education by covering its cost through entrepreneurship. Not only does the state have no motivation to invest in the future of black and brown kids but also the cost of public education is so risky for the nonwhite contestants in Ten9Eight that they must bear it in competition to prove their future value to the nation. In this light, Foucault’s definition of American neoliberalism misses the originary force of racialization in evaluating human life s course by monetizing the grow- ing body of the child. And while Foucault adds that the return on invest- ment in human capital is "the child's salary when he or she becomes an adult" (2007, 260), thirty-five years later, in a digital economy the salary of the child is not necessarily only bound to adulthood. Childhood is also futures trading because increasingly children are generating revenue streams during childhood as supplements to or substitutes for future salaries, particularly through a digital economy of social media and mobile phones that decomposes children into data aggregates of likes, consumer interests, tastes, and attitudes that can be bundled and exchanged. In this form of child labor, a feminized, stylized whiteness in social media juxtaposes itself to Ten9Eight. Consider the "haul" video. On YouTube haul videos are usually included as a recurring segment on channels devoted to fashion or beauty. In a haul video, the host presents her shopping from the day. Clothes are not usually modeled but taken out of the bag, held up to the camera, and presented with commentary on how to wear them, what they go with, why they are good for this season, or how cheap they are. In a viral video con- temporaneous with Ten9Eight , Blair, or "juicystar07," who has hosted her channel since 2008, presents "Forever 21 Haul" (2009). Blair is sixteen at the time and emphasizes that she works two service industry jobs to buy the clothes and makeup she features. In this video, which has to date about 1.75 million views, she intersperses items for winter from Forever 21 with appeals to her viewers to follower her on Twitter and watch her other vlog posts. The haul video exemplifies the role of digital labor in childhood as futures trading because it produces value through what is otherwise a purely social activity: style. It is an example of how consumption is pro- duction, considering that its identification with a store is free advertising (as is this essay unfortunately). YouTube also generates profit through views, quantifying attention as a capacity of users: at the point of 1.75 mil- lion views, Blair is paid a percentage of the ad revenue that YouTube pulls in from her video. (I had to watch a thirty-second ad to see Blair s video on YouTube, so I was also compelled to produce value through attention within the once ostensibly nonmarket activity of thinking and writing.) Finally, the haul video foregrounds the collapse of labor and consumption: many, like Blair s, are about saving money. She, for instance, is most proud of a six-dollar pair of jeans on clearance. It is fair, further, to speculate that the jeans were made by the hands of a girl or young woman whose value to the global economy is calculated very differently from Blair s, in a factory in Southeast Asia (Hicken 2012). The juxtaposition of children in these contemporary forms of child labor is not incidental: on the one hand, there is the black child, often a boy, on the threshold of social or biological death; on the other hand, there is the cheery, suburban white girl to whom futurity accrues easily. As Ten9Eight dramatizes, the privatization of public education requires that its investment risk be devolved onto children through entrepreneurship of the self, particularly for black and brown bodies that have almost no public value to the nation, save for programs like UNCF. The YouTube haul videos produced by white girls add that even investment in the ideologically valuable child as human capital cannot wait until adulthood to begin demanding returns, not even for the white Annie of reproductive futurism: surplus value must be extracted through digital labor below the threshold of inhumanity attached to "child labor" by Progressive Era reformers, Western feminism, and human rights discourse (see Macleod 1998, 107-20). The white girl is called upon to produce surplus value online through gendered rehearsals of consumption, which cultivate human capital as good style. No longer a dramatic inhumanity, child labor in its digital form passes quietly under the radar because it is fully socialized ģ. it happens without calling itself work. Side by side, Ten9Eight and the haul video underscore how neoliberal child labor has served to intensify stratifications of race, gender, and class by recontracting how value is added to and produced by human life. These calculations of human capital far outrun the child figure given by Edelman. Even Blair is no Annie; if her style channel is akin to Annie s virtuosic labor of singing and dancing, Blair still works two jobs to pay for her clothes. Moreover, the fact that a black boy s or girls value remains so low to the nation that walking down the street is enough reason to incur murder at the hands of a police officer or civilian who will not be held responsible, a fact painfully repeatedly demonstrated, underscores the insidiousness of Beckers economic rationalization of American racism. Still, Ten9Eight remains the celebrated solution to the racialized dimension of human capital, the outcome of a total privatization of race that has restricted politics to the narrowest economy possible. To understand the contemporary arrangement of child labor beyond industrial forms, in which the value of the future has to be calculated as it arrives, and in which labor both consists of entrepreneurship of the self while also reaching digital simulation online, what we might pursue is a materialism of the child that does not need to "fuck Annie." The demands on American children today, violently maldistributed by race, class, and gender, call upon a materialism that understands the child as more than a Symbolic figure underwriting reproductive ideology. The child today is the focus of a broader unequal distribution of wealth, the perpetuation of debt, the extension of work to all life-building activities, and the implosion of public education and welfare. In a sense, the child is as central to capital as it was during Fordism, but the contours of that centrality have changed with the value of the future. A materialism of the child that dispenses with the imperative of affirming no future at all will be left with the more complex task of working toward something other than the labored austerity offered by Ten9Eight or YouTube celebrity. It remains to be seen if Better Futures can be unyoked from its trademark.
Reproductive futurism culminates in a homonationalist consolidation of empire where imperial wars secure the future through the extermination of deviant communities of color Schotten 2015 [C. Heike, Associate Professor of Political Science and an affiliated faculty in Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston "Homonationalist Futurism:“Terrorism” and (Other) Queer Resistance to Empire." New Political Science 37.1 (2015): 71-90.] In queer theory, No Future has largely been read as making an argument regarding the constitutive heteronormativity of the social order. Edelman names this heteronormativity “reproductive futurism” and argues that it inevitably dooms homosexuals—branded as non-reproductive sexual nihilists—to instantiating society’s death drive. I contend, however, that No Future can be understood more generically as a work of political theory, especially given that Edelman explicitly describes its subject matter—reproductive futurism—as “the logic within which the political itself must be thought.”14 Identifying this political theory, however, requires some appropriation, given that, ultimately, Edelman is more concerned with Lacan than politics. Reading with and into the text, then, I propose three modifications of the psychoanalytic politics Edelman advances in No Future in order to more fully appropriate it for political theorizing.15 The first is to insert a distinction between the “futurism” and “reproductive futurism” he discusses, the latter being understood as a specific version of the former. Put simply, futurism is synopsized by the “presupposition that the body politic must survive,”16 the putatively apolitical article of faith in the necessary continuity of politics as such. “[E]very political vision,” Edelman claims, is “a vision of futurity.”17 More specifically, reproductive futurism is characterized by “a set of values widely thought of as extrapolitical: values that center on the family, to be sure, but that focus on the protection of children.”18 The iconographic signifier of reproductive futurism is the child; its mantra, “Whitney Houston’s rendition of the secular hymn, ‘I believe that children are our future,’ a hymn we might as well simply declare our national anthem and be done with it.”19 Reproductive futurism is the apolitical imperative that the present be held in service to the children’s future adulthood: [W]e are no more able to conceive of a politics without a fantasy of a future than we are able to conceive of a future without the figure of the Child. That figural Child alone embodies the citizen as an ideal, entitled to claim full rights to its future share in the nation’s good, though always at the cost of limiting the rights “real” citizens are allowed. For the social order exists to preserve for this universalized subject, this fantasmatic Child, a notional freedom more highly valued than the actuality of freedom itself, which might, after all, put at risk the Child to whom such a freedom falls due.20 Whether discussing the survival of the body politic (futurism) or the future as symbolized by the child (reproductive futurism), Edelman is clear that the presuppositions of both are deemed apolitical, although that is precisely what makes them “so oppressively political.”21 For the presuppositions of (reproductive) futurism are the very terms of politics as such. To participate in politics at all, even in protest or dissent, requires that one “submit to the framing of political debate—and, indeed, of the political field—as defined by the terms of ...reproductive futurism: terms that impose an ideological limit on political discourse as such.”22 This is how and why Edelman says that there is no future for queers: politics itself designates “queers” as futureless. By definition, politics seeks to install an order of sameness through the ideological (re)production of a future that promises a seamless plenitude of meaning. Rather than acknowledge the impossibility of such an achievement, however, this failing is instead foisted onto a person, people, or set of forces that instantiate that impossibility in their very existence. These unforgivable obstacles to futurism’s achievement are “queers”: “the queer dispossesses the social order of the ground on which it rests: a faith in the consistent reality of the social ... a faith that politics, whether of the left or of the right, implicitly affirms.”23 Defined as non-reproductive sexual nihilists, the positioning of queers as culture’s self-indulgent, sex-obsessed death drive thus functions to secure the health, happiness, and adult normality of heterosexually reproducing humanity. While this persuasive reading of heteronormativity and homophobia has generated the most critical enthusiasm for No Future, I want to argue that reproductive futurism is neither exhaustive of the political nor futurism’s exclusive form. However hegemonic, reproductive futurism is only “one of the forms” this “calamity” might take.24 For clearly one can invest in the future as signified by any number of possible oppressive and unattainable ideals: not only the child, but also, for example, Christ, security (for example Hobbes), or the American way. As Edelman himself observes, “The Child, in the historical epoch of our current epistemological regime, is the figure for this compulsory investment in the misrecognition of figure.”25 Futurism itself, however, he calls “the substrate of politics.”26 My second proposed modification follows from the first, its mandate being to situate Edelman’s political theory more distinctly within history.27 In this regard, suspicious reader John Brenkman helpfully provides the political theory references missing from No Future, noting that “modern critical social discourse, whether among the Enlightenment’s philosophes, French revolutionaries, Marxists, social democrats, or contemporary socialists and democrats” all engage in the kind of future-wagering Edelman describes as definitively political.28 Historically, Brenkman is correct—futurism is a distinctively modern phenomenon that must be tethered to, among other things, the advent of industrial capitalism, colonialism, and the rise of the nation-state. This second modification makes clear that, in naming futurism, Edelman has identified a fundamental baseline of modernity and the workings of modern politics. However, Brenkman’s concern is less with history than the fact that Edelman seems to foreclose the possibility of such critical discourse by consigning it to the same status as the discourse of the Catholic Church and the religious Right. While Brenkman’s point is well-taken, it is already Edelman’s. For, whether liberal or conservative, Left or Right, communist or fascist, every modern political theory is invested in the repetition and reproduction of the social order, cast as a future aspirational ideal, to which the present is held hostage. This is as true of conservative movements as of radical or revolutionary ones—modern politics as such is defined by its investment in reproducing an order of sameness at the expense of the difference of now.29 Tavia Nyong’o has argued that Edelman’s reading of homophobia operates as a kind of nostalgia for a political moment already past, a moment when homosexuality really did pose an ominous and spectral threat to the social order, but does so no longer.30 However—and this is the third modification I wish to assert—the “queer” of No Future is by no means a crudely identitarian homosexual subject, nor is the child solely emblematic of procreation and childrearing. Edelman would agree with at least part of this point. He insists there is “nothing intrinsic to the constitution of those identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, transsexual, or queer” that “predisposes them to resist the appeal of futurity, to refuse the temptation to reproduce, or to place themselves outside or against the acculturating logic of the Symbolic.”31 And indeed, it is not difficult to find examples of gay reproductive futurism, the most obvious being the movement for “marriage equality.” As former Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Joe Solmonese puts it: “The fight for marriage equality for samesex couples is quite possibly the most conventional, family-friendly equal rights struggle ever.” He continues, “History bends not only toward fairness and equality, but also toward common sense. Marriage strengthens couples and families, who in turn help strengthen their communities, one at a time—leading ultimately to a stronger, more robust nation.”32 Mixing nationalism into a gay progress narrative of ever-expanding equality and familial inclusion, Solmonese here writes the playbook for reproductive futurism’s political palatability. Tellingly, Andrew Sullivan’s earlier praise of gay marriage is even more explicit on this count, invoking the importance of the future’s promise not just in the name of the children, but more specifically for gay children, who must be saved from having otherwise been born into futurelessness: More important, perhaps ... its [marriage’s] influence would be felt quietly but deeply among gay children. For them, at last, there would be some kind of future; some older faces to apply to their unfolding lives, some language in which their identity could be properly discussed, some rubric by which it could be explained— not in terms of sex, or sexual practices, or bars, or subterranean activity, but in terms of their future life stories, their potential loves, their eventual chance at some kind of constructive happiness. They would be able to feel by the intimation of a myriad examples that in this respect their emotional orientation was not merely about pleasure, or sin, or shame, or otherness (although it might always be involved in many of those things), but about the ability to love and be loved as complete, imperfect human beings. Until gay marriage is legalized, this fundamental element of personal dignity will be denied a whole segment of humanity. No other change can achieve it.33 As we can see, even when the Child is gay, its salvific promise is neither diverted nor diluted. It simply straightens out the queer threat potentially posed by bent children.34 Dangling the lure of “constructive happiness” before the eyes of youths for whom not sugarplums but sex parties dance in their heads, Sullivan here offers up the gay version of reproductive futurism, paternalistically reassuring us that a life of sex for sex’s sake is the meaningless, self-indulgent, anti-civilizational existence every good moralizer ever told us it was. Taken together, Sullivan and Solmonese helpfully illustrate the fact that Edelman’s argument is, in the end, not really about identity and not even about gay people (or, for that matter, straight people). Futurism is a logic that transcends the specifics of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and “queer” in Edelman’s vocabulary does not necessarily—or, perhaps, even primarily, anymore, as Nyong’o suggests—stand in for gay and lesbian people. But, to return to my third modification, this also means that the child is not irrevocably tied to the existence, reproduction, or raising of “historical children.”35 In other words, even as the non- or anti-identity politics of Edelman’s figure of queerness is increasingly evident, he neglects to establish the similarly and necessarily nonidentitarian iconography of the future he inscribes (which also returns us to my first proposed modification, the distinction between futurism and reproductive futurism). The queer as homosexual and the Child as historical child may be concrete, daily exemplars of (certain ubiquitous if not exclusive versions of) heteronormativity. However, understood as a specific form of a more generalized futurist logic, it becomes clear that the child cannot simply be equated with reproduction, child-bearing, and child-rearing, just as the “queer” cannot simply mean “homosexual” in Edelman’s temporal sense. The child, along with the queer, is a crucial space for political and historical concretization of Edelman’s radical but otherwise unduly narrow political project. Puar: Terrorism, Homonationalism, and US Sexual Exceptionalism The HRC’s language of nationhood and the non-exclusivity of the child as futurist icon are the places to begin pushing Edelman’s queer theory toward an explicit engagement with the politics of race, nation, and US empire. For Solmonese’s statement is not simply the rhetoric of reproductive futurism. It is also the language of homonationalism, a term Jasbir Puar has coined to document the “transition under way in how queer subjects are relating to nation-states, particularly the United States, from being figures of death (in other words, the AIDS epidemic) to becoming tied to ideas of life and productivity (in other words, gay marriage and families).”36 Homonationalism is an abbreviated combination of the words “homonormative” and “nationalism,” the former term borrowed from Lisa Duggan, who describes “the new homonormativity” as a political realignment of the late 1990s/early 2000s in which gay rights became compatible with certain neoliberal, anti-statist, conservative, American nationalist viewpoints.37 Combining homonormativity with nationalism, then, Puar augments Nyong’o’s critique, arguing that the assimilation of certain gay and lesbian subjects into the mainstream of American normalcy, respectability, and citizenship has entailed the “fleeting sanctioning of a national homosexual subject”38 who is “complicit with heterosexual nationalist formations rather than inherently or automatically excluded from or opposed to them.”39 One effect of homonationalism in the post-9/11 context of the “War on Terror” is the perverse sexualization or “queering” of Arabs and Muslims (and all those held to be such) in the figure of the “terrorist,” a figure of monstrosity, excess, savagery, and perversion. To be clear, Puar is not suggesting that the “terrorist” is the new queer. Rather, she is arguing that “queerness is always already installed in the project of naming the terrorist; the terrorist does not appear as such without the concurrent entrance of perversion, deviance.”40 Neither an identity nor a defining behavioral activity (for example, homosexuality), Puar elaborates queerness as a biopolitical tactic that functions to define and divide populations through processes of racialization, a “management of queer life at the expense of sexually and racially perverse death in relation to the contemporary politics of securitization, Orientalism, terrorism, torture, and the articulation of Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian sexualities.”41 In this view, “the contemporary U.S. heteronormative nation actually relies on and benefits from the proliferation of queerness.”42 Homonationalism, as a biopolitics of queerness, functions to discipline and (re)produce homosexuality as white, American, patriotic, and upwardly mobile while designating people of color, immigrants, and Arabs and Muslims as both heterosexual and yet dangerously “queer”—as “terrorists” or “failed and perverse” bodies that “always have femininity as their reference point of malfunction, and are metonymically tied to all sorts of pathologies of the mind and body—homosexuality, incest, pedophilia, madness, and disease.”43 As is evident, queerness in Puar’s account veers from any simple conflation with gay and lesbian subjectivity; as she says, “Race, ethnicity, nation, gender, class, and sexuality disaggregate gay, homosexual, and queer national subjects who align themselves with U.S. imperial interests from forms of illegitimate queerness that name and ultimately propel populations into extinction.”44 The happily married couples that populate the HRC’s literature and website, then, would be the homonational, or properly queer; the “monster terrorist fag” abjected into existence through torture at Abu Ghraib or Guanta´namo, detained indefinitely in any of the US’s many illegal prisons, surveilled incessantly in mosques and cafes, and stigmatized as suffering from arrested development by the psychologizing literature of security studies, would be the improperly queer.45 Puar’s point is that these queernesses go together and require one another, much as, I think, Edelman can be seen to be arguing that the child and the queer go together and require one another. What Puar concretizes, however, in theorizing queerness as a “process of racialization”46 is not simply the analytic point that “queer” and “homosexual” are distinct but, more importantly, the urgently political point that the abjected or improper queer who stands outside the social order and is in effect antagonistic to it is, in this contemporary moment, much more likely to be a Muslim or someone perceived as “looking like” a Muslim to the American gaze than, let us admit it, the newly engaged same-sex couples thronging state houses in Minnesota, Connecticut, and Colorado (much less the “homosexual” figure of queerness in No Future). Understanding queerness as a process of nationalization and racialization also concretizes and expands the understanding of heteronormativity or, in Edelman’s words, the future. For the terrorist in Puar’s analysis resists or denies a future that is symbolized and defined not only or simply by the child, but also by the American nation and secular Christianity. As she says, “In the political imagination, the terrorist serves as the monstrous excess of the nation-state.”47 Post-9/11, Puar notes that this terrorist threat is undeniably linked with Islam, which often serves as its “explanation.”48 As she observes, Islam signifies, to the ostensibly secular and modern US, both “excess” and “savagery”: “Religious belief is thus cast, in relation to other factors fueling terrorism, as the overflow, the final excess that impels monstrosity—the ‘different attitude toward violence’ signaling these uncivilizable forces.”49 Puar’s reading suggests that Islam threatens the futurist temporality of American empire. Cast as retrograde, backward, and frozen in pre-modern religiosity, Islam threatens the progress narrative of US imperial wars which are alleged to bring ever-greater freedom, not only to women and homosexuals, but also to uncivilized, savage, and undemocratic people(s) and nations around the world.50 Finally, then, it is important to note that as Islam has been queered or come to signify queerness, it does so in two ways: first, through the phobic association of Islam with terrorism; and, second, through the racist and Orientalist conflation of Islam with homophobia, anti-feminism, and sexual backwardness more generally. Putting Puar’s analysis in an Edelman-esque frame, we might say that the figure of the “terrorist” who threatens national goals, progress, hope—indeed, the nation’s very existence—can be cast as the excessive, anti-social, future-denying figure of the “queer” in Edelman. Or, we might say that just as the domain of normativity has expanded to include some gay people, correspondingly, the domain of (inassimilable) queerness also has shifted. Puar’s analysis of the collusion “between homosexuality and U.S. nationalism”51 as producing two figures, the homonormative patriot and the queer terrorist, notes them as, on the one hand, the embodiment and normative achievement of the social order and, on the other hand, the dissolution and destruction of that social order.52 No longer designating “the homosexual” per se, “queer” names the monstrously raced and perversely sexualized Arab/Muslim/terrorist Other that threatens the American social and political order, an order that (some) properly gay and lesbian subjects can now, through their incorporation into normative American national life, inhabit and reproduce. In sum, we have a theorization of “queer” wherein the sexually backward Muslim is led by the irrationality and violence of her/his religion to annihilate those who serve and protect freedom for all. In this analysis of “the sexually exceptional homonational and its evil counterpart, the queer terrorist of elsewhere,”53 the “terrorist” is to the HRC what, in Edelman’s analysis, the queer is to the child.54 Edelman and Puar: Theorizing Resistance Puar’s theorization of homonationalism is a significant contribution to queer theory and an essential corrective to Edelman’s otherwise historically and racially unmarked analysis of (reproductive) futurism. Her work allows us to critique futurism in ways that are responsive to the specificities of its racial and national workings, consequences gapingly unattended to by him. While Edelman deftly parses the logic of power in terms of futurism’s hegemony, he fails fully to unpack its coercive force by focusing solely on futurism’s relationship to an exceedingly narrow version of non-reproductive homosexuality. Although he claims that the theory of politics he explicates in No Future is indifferent to race, arguing that “the fascism of the baby’s face ... subjects us to its sovereign authority as the figure of politics itself ... whatever the face a particular politics gives that baby to wear— Aryan or multicultural, that of the thirty-thousand-year Reich or of an ever expanding horizon of democratic inclusivity,”55 what is clear is that the reproductive futurism he critiques is symptomatic of a very specific bourgeois class culture within the imperial US, a culture that garners his criticism only insofar as it is bound up with heteronormativity.56 By contrast, Puar’s demand that we focus our attention on the racial and nationalized logics of queerness(es) and the unexpected complicities between queers, nationalism, and empire remains only suggestive of futurism’s determinative role, never naming it specifically. Now, this is likely because Puar neither endorses nor conceptualizes futurism as a useful diagnosis of modern politics, just as Edelman may very much wish to privilege (white male homo) sexuality in his psychoanalysis of futurism. However, I suggest that authorial intentions—both Puar’s and Edelman’s—be respectfully disregarded, not only because we have become savvy to the multiple begged questions inherent in any invocation of authorial intention, but also because more than our scholarly work is at stake when it comes to forging critical resistance to US imperial power. Indeed, while the net effect of Edelman’s analysis is that only white gay men are considered the deathly threat portended by queerness in No Future, 57 if we return to his definition of “queer” and insist on distinguishing between futurism and reproductive futurism, we note that “queer” designates anyone who fails to abide by the rules of social temporality—that is, anyone who sacrifices the future for the sake of the present. As such, futurism’s ruthless machinations stigmatize all sorts of populations as emblematic of the death and destruction of the social order. This broad array of misfits and perverts may include some gay, lesbian, and queer people. It necessarily also includes the “terrorist” and “Muslim” whom Puar argues are biopolitical targets of abjected queerness. This analysis also suggests that temporality is a crucial axis of determination regarding all “enemies” of the social order, a notion that links Edelman’s political theory to other important work in radical queer politics. For example, in her definitive essay, “Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?,” Cathy Cohen argues for a re-thinking of marginal positionality in terms of one’s relation to power rather than in terms of a binary categorization of queer vs straight. She cites the examples of the prohibition of slave marriages and the long history of obsession with black women’s reproductive choices in the US as examples of ostensibly heterosexual people inhabiting positions outside the bounds of normative sexuality because of race, class, and property status. In arguing for a more capacious, intersectional queer politics that is accountable not simply to the question of who is and is not heterosexual but, more broadly, to the question of what each of our relationships with and proximity to power may be, Cohen writes: As we stand on the verge of watching those in power dismantle the welfare system through a process of demonizing the poor and young—primarily poor and young women of color, many of whom have existed for their entire lives outside the white, middle-class heterosexual norm—we have to ask if these women do not fit into society’s categories of marginal, deviant, and “queer.” As we watch the explosion of prison construction and the disproportionate incarceration rates of young men and women of color, often as part of the economic development of poor white rural communities, we have to ask if these individuals do not fit society’s definition of “queer” and expendable. Cohen’s understanding of “queer” as a kind of non- or anti-normativity based on one’s proximity to power might also be understood in terms of futurism and its flouting by “deviants.” For, if the key characteristic of queerness is a temporal one, then having “too many” babies is just as much a threat to America’s future as not having any at all—it just depends on which queers we are talking about (not only Reagan’s welfare queen, but also recall the manufactured election-year discourse about “anchor babies”).59 Naming these explicitly makes futurism a useful tool to diagnose the contemporary political moment from a radical queer perspective that does not fetishize sexuality as either the primary domain of subordination or the sole focus of political struggle and resistance.
The affirmative’s Pro-America political orientation renews the temporal distinction between domestic peace and foreign conflict that is fundamental to U.S. nationalism. Affirmations of hegemonic control create a racialized relationship of spectatorship that disavows the interrelation between war within the international sphere and police violence. The impact is the disappearance of the mass violence of border militarization and an anti-black prison regime. Loyd, 11 - Jenna M., (“American Exceptionalism, Abolition and the Possibilities for Nonkilling Futures,” In Inwood, Joshua, and James Tyner, eds. Non-Killing Geographies. Honolulu: Center for Global Nonkilling, 103-126) There are several problems with this nationalist frame. Not only does organization for war blur sharp temporal distinctions between war and peace, it also blurs what are often thought of as spatially discrete spaces of domestic peace and foreign conflict. Further, the myth of exception shrouds the everyday, unexceptional organization and deployment of state violence on the domestic front through policing the presence and actions of people. In practice these lines are blurry, but they must be constantly renewed—discursively (e.g. media, think tanks) and materially (e.g. border fortification)—because these categories are so fundamental to national identity and to the state’s claims to singularly decide who may use force. This chapter focuses on American exceptionalism and specifically on analyzing the geopolitical imaginations of this national ideology. How do exceptionalist understandings of domestic and foreign space work to reproduce US nationalism and war-making abroad and to obscure state violence practiced domestically? By the term geopolitical imaginations, I mean understandings of places and their interrelations that inform the discursive production of meaning. The reproduction of such discourses through representations and everyday practices of identity making, statecraft and governance thereby have material effects in the world, informing and undergirding the often violent reproduction of national spaces and international relations (Bialasiewicz et al., 2007). I build on Judith Butler’s (2009) Frames of War, in which she theorizes antiviolence, from a critical geographic perspective. Butler’s essays were written as the US waged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. US practices of torture revealed by the Abu Ghraib photos and the practice of indefinite detention in Guantánamo provoked a crisis in national identity centering on the nation’s claims to democracy, freedom, and the rule of law. The temporizing frame of wartime emergency serves to legitimate such violent practices, while simultaneously obscuring how these practices were developed historically and how frequently they have been deployed (Puar 2007). Geopolitical imaginations constitute some of the most durable “frames of war.” A critical understanding of how these imaginative geographies work to sustain global power and hierarchies, including the fraught racializing line of whose lives are grievable, is imperative for cultivating a “‘nonmoralized’ sense of responsibility” within shared conditions of precarious life (Butler 2009: 177). While a good deal of critical attention has analyzed how racialized geopolitical imaginations inform and sustain popular support for war-making, there has been much less attention to how racialized imaginations of the domestic sphere also shape understandings of defense, security and organization for violence. The infapolitical line dividing who will count as human (who is grievable in Butler’s terms) from those whose lives are not grievable is a geopolitical struggle engaged not simply through external or Orientalist logics of foreignness, but also through the cultivation of internal enemies. For example, the abstract depictions of US war-making on the nightly news are not separate from racialized depictions of crime. Each set of depictions creates a racialized relationship of spectatorship that fosters viewers’ “material complicity” in state violence, while “dematerializing” its effects and erasing the interrelation between police violence and war-making (Feldman, 2004). Criticism of American exceptionalism that focuses on US war-making and empire building abroad, but ignores the systemic practices of state violence domestically, reproduces exceptionalist lens undergirding US state violence wherever it is practiced. What disappears in plain sight is the mass violence of border militarization responsible for the deaths of thousands of migrants and a US prison system whose population of 2.3 million people rivals that of the nation’s fourth largest city, Houston, Texas. In the US, “governing through crime” builds on and ratifies anti-Black racism, while also serving to police and thereby constitute gender and sexual difference (Subdury, 2005; Incite!, 2006). Yet, the centrality of confronting anti-Black racism is not frequently understood as fundamental to also ending Native colonization and genocide and war (Smith, 2006; Smith, 2010). This makes challenging the systematic, domestic practices of state violence, a site where its exercise is most hegemonic, fundamental to undermining the legal categorizations that create race and structure grievability. This chapter proceeds in four parts. First, it briefly traces Judith Butler’s discussion of making antiviolent political interventions. Next, develops an analysis of the dominant geographic imagination shaping American exceptionalism. It then provides an example of the interrelation between postCold War domestic and foreign politics, which work to perpetuate and obscure practices of US state violence. It shows how the naturalization of antiBlack racism and legitimacy afforded to state punishment have created a normalized system of state violence in the form of mass imprisonment. Fi- nally, the chapter concludes by returning to Judith Butler’s politics of antiviolence with a consideration of the politics of abolition. Economic collapse now avoids extinction – causes smooth transition to sustainable localized economies Alexander 14 (Samuel, lecturer at the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne, Australia, and author of Entropia: Life Beyond Industrial Civilisation, PhD, AND Jonathon Rutherford, “The Deep Green Alternative,” http://simplicityinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/The-Deep-Green-Alternative.pdf)
As industrial civilisation continues its global expansion and pursues growth without apparent limit, the possibility of economic , political, or ecological crises forcing an alternative way of life upon humanity seems to be growing in likelihood ( Ehrlich and Ehrlich, 2013 ). That is, if the existing model of global development is not stopped via one of the pathways reviewed above, or some other strategy, then it seems clear enough that at some point in the future, industrial civilisation will grow itself to death (Turner, 2012) . Whether ‘collapse’ is initiated by an ecological tipping point, a financial breakdown of an overly indebted economy, a geopolitical disruption, an oil crisis, or some confluence of such forces, the possibility of collapse or deep global cr isis can no longer be dismissed merely as the intellectual playground for ‘doomsayers’ with curdled imaginations. Collapse is a prospect that ought to be taken seriously based on the logic of limitless growth on a finite planet , as well as the evidence of existing economic , ecological, or more specifically climatic instability. As Paul Gilding (2011) has suggested, perhaps it is already too late to avoid some form of ‘great disruption’. Could collapse or deep crisis be the most likely pathway to an alternat ive way of life? If it is , such a scenario must not be idealised or romanticised. Fundamental change through crisis would almost certainly involve great suffering for many, and quite possibly significant population decline through starvation, disease, or w ar. It is also possible that the ‘alternative system’ that a crisis produces is equally or even more undesirable than the existing system. Nevertheless, it may be that this is the only way a post -‐ growth or post -‐ industrial way of life will ever arise. The Cuban oil crisis, prompted by the collapse of the USSR, provides one such example of a deep societal tr ansition that arose not from a political or soc ial movement , but from sheer force of circumstances ( Piercy et al , 2010 ) . Almost overnight Cuba had a large proportion of its oil supply cut off, forcing the nation to move away from oil -‐ dependent, industrialised modes of food production and instead take up local and organic systems – or perish. David Holmgren (2013) has recently published a deep and provocativ e essay, ‘Crash on Demand’, exploring the idea that a relatively small anti -‐ consumerist movement could be enough to destabilise the global economy which is already struggling. This presents one means of bringing an end to the status quo by inducing a volun tary crisis, without relying on a mass movement. Needless to say, should people adopt such a strategy, it would be imperative to ‘prefigure’ the alternative society as far as possible too, not merely withdraw support from the existing society. Again, one must not romanticise such theories or transitions . The Cuban crisis , for example, entailed much hardship . B ut it do es expose the mechanisms by which crisis can induce significant societal change in ways that , in the end, are not always negative. In the face of a global crisis or breakdown, therefore, it could be that elements of the deep green vision (such as organic agriculture, frugal living, sharing, radical recycling, post -‐ oil transportation, etc.) come to be forced upon humanity, in which c ase the ques tion of strategy has less to do with avoiding a deep crisis or collapse (which may be inevitable) and more to do with negotiating the descent as wisely as possible . This is hardly a reliable path to the deep green alternative, but it presents itself as a p ossible path. Perhaps a more reliable path could be based on the possibility that, rather than impos ing an alternative way of life on a society through sudden collapse , a deep crisis could provoke a social or political revolution in consciousness that ope ns up space for the deep green vision to be embraced and implemented as some form of crisis management strategy . Currently, there is insufficient social or political support for such an alternative, but perhaps a deep crisis will shake the world awake. Ind eed, perhaps that is the only way to create the necessary mindset . After all, today we are hardly lacking in evidence on the need for radical change (Turner, 2012), suggesting that shock and response may be the form the transition takes , rather than it being induced through orderly, rational planning , whether from ‘top down’ or ‘from below’ . Again, this ‘non -‐ ideal’ pathway to a post -‐ growth or post -‐ industrial society could be built into the other strategies discussed above, adding some realism to strat egies that might otherwise appear too utopian. That is to say, it may be that only deep crisis will create the social support or political will needed for radical reformism, eco -‐ socialism, or eco -‐ anarchism to emerge as social or political movement s capable of rapid transformation. Furthermore, it would be wise to keep an open and evolving mind regarding the best strategy to adopt, because the relative effectiveness of various strategies may change over time, depending on how forthcoming crises unfold. It was Milton Friedman ( 1982: ix ) who once wrote : ‘ only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change . When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around.’ What this ‘collapse’ or ‘crisis’ theory of change su ggests, as a matter of strategy, is that deep green social and political movements should be doing all they can to mainstream the practices and values of the ir alternative vision . By doing so they would be aiming to ‘prefigure’ the deep green social, econo mic, and political structures, so far as that it is possible, in the hope that deep green ideas and systems are alive and available when the crises hit. Although Friedman obviously had a very different notion of what ideas should be ‘lying around’, the rel evance of his point to this discussion is that in times of crisis, the politically or socially impossible can become politically or socially inevitable (Friedman, 1982: ix); or, one might say, if not inevitable, then perhaps much more likely. It is someti mes stated that every crisis is an opportunity – from which the optimist infers that the more crises there are, the more opportunities there are. This may encapsulate one of the most realistic forms of hope we have left.
Heg fails and is terminally unsustainable – your authors are biased and paid off. Shlapak, Senior International Policy Analyst at RAND Corporation, 3/20/2015 David A., “Towards a More Modest American Strategy”, Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, Volume 57 Issue 2, Pgs. 59-78, The Unipolar Moment Is Over Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the world has experienced a situation unparalleled in the Westphalian era, and quite possibly since the heyday of Rome's dominance. For the past two decades, the United States has stood alone as the world's only remaining true great power.1 Even if this status did not afford the United States the ability to have its way at every turn, US primacy gave the country a freedom of strategic action – and particularly of military action – all but unseen in modern history. This unipolar moment, however, has been profoundly ahistorical, and was always fated to end. Whether we ascribe this to reversion to the norm, systemic rebalancing or the rise of a challenger, there can be little doubt that unquestioned US dominance is a tide that is ebbing. The analogy to the post-war economic system is instructive, if some-what depressing. In 1945, the United States was the only great power whose economy had not been devastated by the Second World War. America took advantage of this deeply aberrant circumstance not only to construct a domestic economy whose prosperous coat-tails its citizens still ride, but also to rebuild much of a shattered world. Perhaps most importantly, the United States used its economic dominance to put in place international institutions and arrangements that, almost seven decades later, remain the foundation of a global trade and financial order that has served the rest of the world as well as it has served America. The norms and structures established during the era of US economic hegemony ignited and sustained not just the revitalisation of Europe and Japan, but the rise of the ‘Asian tigers’ and other new economies, the success of which spelled the doom of American dominance itself. The relative decline of the US economy, in other words, was not only the inevitable result of an inescapable historical process – the world's recovery from the cataclysm of global war – but also the deliberate outcome of how the United States chose to use its unrivalled power. There is nothing to suggest that the United States’ time as the sole military great power will leave such a constructive legacy. This may, to some extent, be inevitable. The contemporary international economic order is broadly understood to be a positive-sum system, one in which the well-being of all participants can simultaneously increase. Conversely, the global security environment is typically seen as zero-sum; one actor's power gain must entail losses for others. This makes it very difficult to impose durable rules of the road for security interactions. Sadly, the residuum of US dominance may go beyond the absence of a positive inheritance – it may, in fact, be negative. America used its power to intervene in sometimes capricious ways, promulgated a doctrine of preventive and pre-emptive warfare, and warned the world at large that ‘either you are with us or you are with the terrorists’.2 America's ‘war on terror’ was in many quarters interpreted as a war on Islam, and the botched campaign in Afghanistan, among other consequences, has contributed to destabilising nuclear-armed Pakistan. The 2003 invasion of Iraq overthrew a reprehensible dictator but left behind a country in violent disarray, and created an opportunity for Iran to expand its regional influence. Afghanistan will not emerge from a decade-plus of US-led war as a secular democracy. American power could not keep down the price of oil, nudge Israel and Palestine towards a legitimate peace process (let alone a lasting peace) or halt genocides in Rwanda, Sudan and elsewhere. It did not stop North Korea from building a nuclear weapon, nor does it seem to be dissuading Iran from at minimum developing the capability to pursue one. While the world may not be worse off for America's exercise of its enormous power over the past 20-odd years, it is not at all clear that it is better off. Nor has America's military pre-eminence paid dividends at home. Including future costs for veterans’ medical care and disability payments, a Harvard study concluded that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will wind up costing the US between $4 and $6 trillion.3 Over 6,700 American service members have lost their lives in the two wars, with another 51,000 wounded in action.4 Disputes over the appropriate uses of US military muscle have contributed to the polarisation of American political life. There is also little evidence that the roughly $12trn the United States has spent on its military since the end of the Cold War has propelled the economy forward. During that span, the years when defence spending as a percentage of GDP was at its lowest were those that experienced the greatest economic growth.5 Some analyses have concluded that the ‘multiplier effect’ of defence spending – the total impact on the economy of every dollar expended on the military – is actually less than one (meaning GDP increases by less than a dollar for every one the Pentagon spends), and far lower than that of other forms of government spending.6 Meanwhile, the United States in 2012–13 had a larger defence budget than the next eight biggest military spenders combined.7 While it can certainly be argued that no other nation has global responsibilities like America's, that gap is still remarkable. Strategy looks out, not in Military strength, however, is not the same as ‘leadership’. All parties to the official debate about the future of national security appear to agree on an expansive definition of America's role in the world. The administration's 2012 guidance gave the game away with its title, ‘Sustaining US Global Leadership’. In his prefatory remarks to that document, President Barack Obama commits the country to a future with an ‘even stronger’ military that ‘preserves American global leadership [and] maintains military superiority’, and asserts that we live ‘in a changing world that demands our leadership’.8 This belief is bipartisan. In a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in July 2012, then-candidate Mitt Romney said: I do not view America as just one more point on the strategic map, one more power to be balanced. I believe our country is the greatest force for good the world has ever known, and that our influence is needed as much now as ever. And I am guided by one overwhelming conviction and passion: This century must be an American Century.9 The world is indeed complicated and messy, but this does not mean that it demands American global leadership. The world has always been complicated and messy; the human tendency to see our own time as uniquely problematic inevitably distorts our perspective. Even were the contemporary scene uniquely complex, it would not put a premium on US power. Furthermore, it is not clear that America's supremacy has begotten a world that is safer, more stable, or more affluent. There is no coherent first-principles argument that a world led by a militarily dominant United States is inherently more peaceful or prosperous than some possible alternative. There is also a frequently overlooked difference between being the world's greatest military power and being its leader. China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Russia, Egypt and Iran – seven countries who together account for nearly half of the planet's population – almost certainly do not see themselves as being led in any meaningful way by the United States. While the US does have great influence in the world, this flows less from its military prowess – employment of which has been frustrated at least as often as it has been successful – than from the strength of its economy, the creativity of its people and the example it provides of an enduring, pluralistic democracy. Each of these is threatened by an overbearing and excessively militarised approach to the world. There can likewise be little doubt that the United States’ recent security policy has undermined the nation's claim to moral leadership. Abu Ghraib, ‘extraordinary rendition’, the wildly unpopular invasion of Iraq, the use of torture in the ‘war on terror’, the noxious surveillance state revealed by recent leaks and the controversy surrounding Washington's lethal use of drones will long haunt America's reputation. It should be remembered, meanwhile, that threats to the Department of Defense (DoD)’s institutional interests are not the same as threats to American security. If US global ‘leadership’ is a commodity of questionable value, and military pre-eminence of questionable utility in attaining it, the argument for maintaining superiority indefinitely must hinge on the number and severity of threats the nation confronts.10 And, indeed, a wide array of such challenges are frequently cited as justifying – even demanding – dominance. The 2012 defence guidance, for example, warns of ‘violent extremists’ with ‘the potential to pose catastrophic threats that could directly affect our security and prosperity’.11 The catastrophic dangers are not specified; it is simply assumed that the reader will accept their existence. Threats to the so-called ‘global commons’ – the maritime, electronic and orbital lines of communication through which the world's trade and finances flow – are also cited as major dangers, although again, who is endangering them, to what extent and to what ends is not publicly explained.12 Current planning should not necessarily be the baseline for future strategy. There is an implicit but foundational assumption behind much of the discussion about the DoD's future: that the status quo is the standard against which all changes should be measured and, for the most part, resisted. This thinking is akin to looking outside during a thunderstorm and concluding that everyone should always keep their umbrellas open. Today's military is the product of an aberration The long-term status quo, from the republic's founding to the Second World War, was to field minimal armed forces, except in times of emergency. Even the more recent narrative, from the end of the Cold War to the events of 11 September 2001 – which, by the way, a larger, more powerful military could not have prevented – is one of reductions in size and budgets. Today's military is, again, the product of an aberration – a pro-found deviation from the nation's traditional approach to addressing its security concerns. The first step toward properly shaping the military the nation needs for the future is, in fact, to return to the old normal. In November 2011, all four then-service chiefs testified before Congress on the potential consequences of sequestration. Air Force General Norton Schwartz said that ‘dire consequences’ would ensue if the Pentagon were asked to absorb budget cuts ‘far beyond’ those envisioned by the Budget Control Act.13 Admiral Jonathan Greenert warned of ‘severe and irreversible’ damage to the navy resulting from budget cuts.14 General James Amos cautioned against ‘significant risk’ arising from cuts in Marine Corps end strength, while Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno said that further cuts would be ‘catastrophic to the military’ and subject the nation to ‘an unacceptable level of strategic and operational risk’.15 The latter argument in particular confuses the interests of the armed forces and the Department of Defense with those of the nation. A chain of logic, analysis and argument must be articulated to legitimately connect reductions in defence spending with ‘dire consequences’ for American security. Those links have not been forged. Instead – and whatever the good intentions of those involved – the Pentagon has developed a set of practices that are heavily biased toward maintaining the status quo. The services, inevitably seeking, among other things, to protect their budgets and force structures, dominate the process by which a set of scenarios and analytic approaches are created. These are then used to derive requirements for those same force structures and budgets. It cannot be surprising that such a circular approach does little to produce new and innovative thinking. The United States remains, in essence, a continental power buffered by two oceans that, while not as functionally large as they once were, substantially insulate it from the troubles of the rest of the world. This, among other things, means that since 1945 every American war save one has been a war of choice, and the ultimate value of fighting each has been questionable. Stalemate in Korea and defeat in Vietnam did little to materially affect the well-being of the United States as a whole, though the disagreements over the wisdom of the latter tore at the fabric of the country. Victories in Grenada, Panama, Kuwait and Kosovo arguably brought few direct benefits to the United States. The costs in money and blood of the Iraqi and Afghan adventures have already been described; there seems little doubt that the US would have been far better off not fighting the first one at all and prosecuting the second very differently. Some of these conflicts were virtuous attempts to undo unprovoked aggression or rescue threatened populations, and the intangible results in terms of stability and humanitarianism may have made them worthwhile. But that does nothing to alter the fact that of these wars, from Korea through Iraq, only one – the first phase of the Afghan conflict – was waged in response to a direct threat to the safety and security of the American people. The others were optional. One of the responsibilities of strategy is to place limits on ambition, which means above all seeking to distinguish the things that one cannot tolerate from those one would prefer not to happen. Happily free by virtue of geography from the danger of invasion, the sole national-security absolute for the United States is the requirement to prevent, with the highest possible degree of confidence, a nuclear attack on the homeland by a wellarmed state adversary. No other contingency, including a nuclear attack with a single terrorist weapon or one or two crude intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), presents a truly existential threat. Maintaining a robust deterrent against this catastrophe – absent reductions in global nuclear arsenals sufficient to make the danger disappear – is and must remain the primary mission of US armed forces.
No solvency—existing federal and state programs are sufficient but the aff can’t mobilize the private sector Garcia 3/23 [Antonio, Principal Systems Engineer, GRA Quantum | “Addressing the Cybersecurity Talent Shortage” RSA Conference, 3/23/17 | https://www.rsaconference.com/blogs/addressing-the-cybersecurity-talent-shortage ] Numerous examples demonstrate the success of vocational training programs and apprenticeships in meeting current and future workforce needs. In Germany, for example, students split their time between the classroom and the workplace, developing an academic foundation upon which they build relevant and in-demand skills and experiences. As a result, youth unemployment is low, and German companies have access to a robust pipeline of highly skilled workers. Critics may argue that, due to educational and governmental bureaucracy, this model will not keep up with the pace of technological innovation. However, vocational training programs and apprenticeships have proven highly responsive to constantly changing market needs. There is also evidence that an adaptive program could be implemented in the United States. In North Carolina, for example, curricula are updated four times in the past two decades in response to input and feedback from private-sector partners. This averages to a curriculum change every five years and demonstrates the potential for educational institutions to quickly adapt to rapid technological change and emerging industry needs. The effectiveness and responsiveness of these programs are the result of close partnerships between the private sector, educational institutions, and governments. In Austria, government and businesses not only work together to design curricula for the workplace and the classroom but they also share the burden of the program costs. Provincial and federal governments fund classroom training, and companies bear the costs of company-based training, including apprenticeship compensation. This is the key cultural difference that must be addressed for vocational training programs and apprenticeships to succeed in the United States. In the United States, a partial foundation for robust vocational training programs and apprenticeships is composed of existing federal initiatives and state educational institutions and programs. The missing piece is the private sector. Companies must discard their fear of employee attrition and take an active, shared role in the development of cybersecurity talent. From committing resources to support students to encouraging professionals to teach or mentor, the private sector must be willing to invest in developing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Abroad, in countries like Austria and Germany, and at home, in states like North Carolina, the outcomes of a more active and generous collaboration are attractive. Graduates are prepared for sustainable careers and are empowered to continue improving their skills throughout their careers, and employers meet their workforce needs.