A new study by renowned French economist Thomas Piketty in his expertise of social inequality can be invoked to explain the ongoing obsession of the US Democratic party with Russia and its alleged interference in the 2016 American presidential election.
Piketty has concluded that the historic rise of social inequality in Western states over several decades is correlated with the political collapse of leftwing parties which traditionally had professed to represent the interests of the working-class population.
In particular, it is this historic political failure of the Democrats in the US which explains their obsession with doggedly attacking Russia over the last presidential election, as indicated by the latest lawsuit launched by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) against Russia, Trump and Wikileaks.
The 2016 presidential victory of Republican “outsider” Donald Trump over Democrat rival Hillary Clinton came as a shock to the American political establishment.
Rather than facing up to real socio-economic reasons for the Democratic party’s historic failure at the polls, its leadership has ever since been seeking to make Russia and its alleged collusion with Donald Trump a scapegoat.
In a review published by the Worldwide Socialist Web Site of his latest study, Piketty traces a turning-point to the 1960-70s, when nominally leftwing parties in the US, Britain and France abandoned the political cause to challenge capitalist power. From then on, the Democrats in the US, Britain’s Labour and the Socialists in France, all became political tools of the ruling elite.
In the US, this outcome is clearly seen with the Democrats being patronized by Wall Street, big business and giant media combines, as well as the secret intelligence apparatus of FBI, CIA and NSA.
Western states have long-forfeited any pretense at being democracies, and are in practice oligarchies, says Piketty. The competing political parties are competing only for acceptance by the ruling elite. The traditional differentiation of “leftwing” and “rightwing” is thus rendered meaningless.
The collapse of the traditional leftwing party in the US, the Democrats, in terms of representing the working class, or blue-collar workers, has fueled the explosion of inequality, Piketty contends.
Arguably, all capitalist societies are prone to witnessing expanding inequality over time. But the expansion in the rich-poor gap has dramatically accelerated in all Western states because there are no longer political parties defending the interests of workers and the low-income marginalized. A policy of taxing the rich and progressive taxation has become tantamount to a thought-crime.
The Democratic party in the US has perhaps most egregiously abandoned its duty to advance the economic interests of the working population, which has manifest in the dire implosion of social conditions for the majority in US society. A handful of multibillionaires now own as much combined wealth as the bottom half of the American population – some 160 million people.
The same can be said for Britain, especially under the “New Labour” party of Tony Blair and subsequently Gordon Brown. Jeremy Corbyn has, to his credit, begun to reorient Labour back to working-class representation. In France, the Socialist party followed the same trajectory of betraying its core voter base to ingratiate itself with big business and finance capital. A factor in why ex-banker Emmanuel Macron got elected last year.
This historical perspective on the demise of the Democrats in the US is crucial to understanding why the party lost the 2016 election to Trump.
As Piketty concludes, working-class voters became disillusioned with the Democrats due to decades of betrayal of their interests and the party’s sell-out to the oligarchy. This is why voters turned en masse to “outsider” Trump in desperation for a champion to advocate for their interests. Cruelly, the election of Trump seems to be bringing only more misery and inequality for the American working class.
Nevertheless, the historic betrayal of the Democrat party of its traditional voters in the fight against capitalist exploitation is the key to why Trump got elected.
This retreat from the fight for social and economic justice by other leftwing parties also explains the rise of nationalist, anti-immigrant populism across Europe.
Still, in the face of this historic reality, the Democratic leadership, along with supportive sections of the US media and intelligence apparatus, have relentlessly accused the Russian state of colluding with the election campaign of Republican President Donald Trump and the Wikileaks whistleblower site to undermine American democracy.
The alleged affair, known as “Russiagate”, has run out of credibility from lack of evidence despite nearly two years of constant media allegations and the grandiose allusion to the infamous Watergate scandal that ousted Richard Nixon in 1974.
In an attempt to give the deadbeat narrative new life, the Democratic National Committee last week launched a lawsuit in which the Russian government, the Trump campaign and Wikileaks are named as defendants, accused of discrediting the Democratic party and stealing the 2016 election.
In announcing the lawsuit, DNC chairman Tom Perez stated: “During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign. This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for the president of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency.”
The DNC’s “explanation” for why it lost the 2016 election has continually resorted to fantasy about Russian collusion. The party is in stunning denial about why it has lost the support of many ordinary Americans.
Rather than coming to terms with its own historic betrayal of American citizens – and rather than possibly reinventing itself as a party dedicated to fighting for workers’ interests against oligarchic oppression – the Democratic leadership is seeking to evade responsibility by blaming Russia. It continues to choose Wall Street’s patronage over workers’ interests.
That means the Democratic party is in a dead-end. It is in denial about the historic fight for social justice and genuine democracy.
But moreover, in addition, the party is using Russia as a dangerous distraction from its inherent political problems.
US-Russian relations are being driven to a precipice of war from allegations that Moscow has “launched an all-out assault” on American democracy.
Despicably, the Democrats have not only deserted American citizens over the decades in their sell-out to capitalism and the oligarchy; now, to cover their shameful tracks of betrayal, the Democrats are pushing international relations to an hysterical fever pitch of war with Russia on the back of their obsession with scapegoating Moscow.