We The Elites : Why the US Constitution Serves The Few


Michael Pugliese
 

We the Elites : Why the US Constitution Serves the Few . Placed next to the new book by Senator Ted Cruz ,”Justice Corrupted: How the Left Weaponized Our Legal System ,” on the new book table at Barnes & Noble, Thousand Oaks.Next to the Cruz book was the new one by Senator Tom Cotton. “Only The Strong : Reversing The Left’s Plot to Sabotage American Power.” 

A new, radical reading of the US constitution. Written by 55 of the richest white men, and signed by only 39 of them, the US constitution is the sacred text of American nationalism. Popular perceptions of it are mired in idolatry, myth and misinformation - many Americans have opinions on the constitution but have little idea what it says.

This book examines the constitution for what it is – a rulebook for elites to protect capitalism from democracy. Social movements have misplaced faith in the constitution as a tool for achieving justice when it actually impedes social change through the many roadblocks and obstructions we call 'checks and balances'. This stymies urgent progress on issues like labour rights, poverty, public health and climate change, propelling the American people and rest of the world towards destruction.

Robert Ovetz's reading of the constitution shows that the system isn't broken. Far from it. It works as it was designed to. 


In this short video, Robert Ovetz, author of We the Elites: Why the US Constitution Serves the Few, explains how the US political system was designed by the elites in order to protect private property in perpetuity.





--


Michael Meeropol
 

I only have one quibble with this point -- and that is I am NOT SURE the elite men who wrote the Constitutiion "realized" they were protecting CAPITALISM from the masses.

Though the capitalist mode of production had permeated Great Britain as a result of the Enclosure Movement in the countryside (I learned in Graduate School that capitalism was originally agricultural capitalism long before the industrial revolution!) there was virtually no capitalism in the US in colonial times --- The founders were slave owners and merchants --- the system was a particularly American version of British Mercantilism which in fact did not transform into capitalism until the creation of the Waltham Mills in the early 19th century.  The mode of production in the northeast and (new) midwest was closer to what Marx called an Einifache Warenproducktiion -- a kind of "independent" mode of production.   

(I even think there's a reference in CAPITAL to the waves of immigrants to the US that created a true proletariat to replace the "farmers' daughters" who staffed the Waltham Mills living in dormitories to "earn" their dowries --- a highly unstable wage earning class to be sure ---- luckily for budding US capitalists these young women were replaced by Irish immigrants later on ... and then the waves upon waves from the Civil War to 1924 ...)

I think the Constitution was a profoundly anti-democratic document designed to protect the elites -- those who owned property both real (estate) and human  ---- but it had to be "adjusted" over time to support American capitalism.

(that's where the Supreme Court in its defense of corporations --- McCollough v. Maryland ??? --- and later giving "personhood" to corporations in the later 19th century comes in).

On Sun, Nov 20, 2022 at 7:32 PM Michael Pugliese <michael.098762001@...> wrote:
We the Elites : Why the US Constitution Serves the Few . Placed next to the new book by Senator Ted Cruz ,”Justice Corrupted: How the Left Weaponized Our Legal System ,” on the new book table at Barnes & Noble, Thousand Oaks.Next to the Cruz book was the new one by Senator Tom Cotton. “Only The Strong : Reversing The Left’s Plot to Sabotage American Power.” 


This book examines the constitution for what it is – a rulebook for elites to protect capitalism from democracy. 



--


Michael Pugliese
 

Michael Meeropol ; "Though the capitalist mode of production had
permeated Great Britain as a result of the Enclosure Movement in the
countryside (I learned in Graduate School that capitalism was
originally agricultural capitalism long before the industrial
revolution!) there was virtually no capitalism in the US in colonial
times --- The founders were slave owners and merchants --- the system
was a particularly American version of British Mercantilism which in
fact did not transform into capitalism until the creation of the
Waltham Mills in the early 19th century. The mode of production in
the northeast and (new) midwest was closer to what Marx called an
Einifache Warenproducktiion -- a kind of "independent" mode of
production.

Jim O'Connor , later one of my UCSC Profs, and others in Monthly
Review, had an exchange over Doug Dowd's , "The Twisted Dream :
Capitalist Development in the US Since 1776, a book that was one of my
radicalizing texts in the mid to late 70's, over this question.

"This comment is not a general critique of James O'Connor's review of
The Twisted Dream: Capitalist Development in the United States Since
1776 by Douglas Dowd (MR, March 1975). Rather, it is a response to a
specific, though major, disagreement between Dowd and O'Connor and to
the idea of independent commodity production as a mode of production.
O'Connor criticizes Dowd for his characterization of the United States
as capitalist from the very beginning of its settlement. In place of
this initial dominance of the capitalist mode of production, O'Connor
substitutes independent commodity production as the mode of
production. O'Connor admits that Dowd recognizes the existence of a
class of independent producers, made up of farmers, artisans,
teamsters, and small traders. The point at issue is that O'Connor
views these independent producers as constituting not simply a social
form within the emerging capitalist mode of production, but as the
basis of a distinct mode of production which constituted a serious
barrier to the development of capitalism in the United States"
https://monthlyreviewarchives.org/index.php/mr/article/view/MR-028-01-1976-05_5

Review of The Twisted Dream and Capitalist Development in the United
States Since 1776 by Douglas F. Dowd.
https://monthlyreviewarchives.org/mr/article/view/MR-026-10-1975-03_4

Independent Commodity Production: Mode of Production or Capitalist
Class Formation?
Leo A. Johnson ,Studies in Political Economy , A Socialist Review
Volume 6, 1981 - Issue 1 ,
https://sci-hub.se/https://doi.org/10.1080/19187033.1981.11675702 ,
full text.

Michael Pugliese


Michael Meeropol
 


Andrew Stewart
 

I have been saying for years here and in other ways that the Triangle Trade was globalized capitalism, complete with a number of currency exchanges and other devices 


Mark Baugher
 

On Nov 20, 2022, at 5:17 PM, Michael Meeropol <mameerop@...> wrote:

there was virtually no capitalism in the US in colonial times
I don't understand. In addition to AS's point about the rum triangle, North America at least was colonized with financing from joint stock companies. Not capitalist from the get go?

Mark


Michael Meeropol
 

 In response to Andrew's point he is actually raising an issue that has been debated back and forth at least since Gunder Frank wrote Capitalism and Underdevelopment in Latin America --- especially with his essay, "The Myth of Feudalism In the Brazilian Past" (did I remember the title right?) ---

perhaps it even goes back to the debate Sweezy and others had about the "Pirenne thesis" ---

What is capitalism?  Is it production for the market or is it a mode of production discernable at the POINT of production --- whether or not there is a national or international market for the product?

My inclination is with the counter-Frank argument --- that the dynamics of capitalism arise at the point of production not at the destination of the product --- 

(this may be one of those "arguments without end" that are so "interesting" for historians and those of us stuck in the present trying to draw lessons from history ...)

On Mon, Nov 21, 2022 at 2:11 PM Andrew Stewart <hasc.warrior.stew@...> wrote:
I have been saying for years here and in other ways that the Triangle Trade was globalized capitalism, complete with a number of currency exchanges and other devices 
_._,_._,_


Michael Meeropol
 

sorry -- missed Mark's point --

those joint-stock companies were royally chartered monopolies --- there were no freely incorporated private entities --- Smith in The Wealth of Nations raved against such monopolies as FETTERS on creating more wealth for the nation --- 

and yes, Gunder Frank would agree that US colonial development was capitalist ...

On Mon, Nov 21, 2022 at 2:35 PM Mark Baugher <mark@...> wrote:


> On Nov 20, 2022, at 5:17 PM, Michael Meeropol <mameerop@...> wrote:
>
> there was virtually no capitalism in the US in colonial times

I don't understand.  In addition to AS's point about the rum triangle, North America at least was colonized with financing from joint stock companies.  Not capitalist from the get go?

Mark


stevencolatrella@...
 

I agree that the slave trade was capitalist, and there were probably a few other sectors,  finance in particular,  that might fit that description,  in pre-1870s America. But I believe capitalism  was one competing mode of production among many, and as I tried to show in my book "Looking Over the Abyss ", independent farmers and other small scale owner-operators were indeed a significant obstacle to capitalist development in the US, one overcome only by the mass immigration of mostly the European agricultural population that, lacking that very same condition of independent ownership us the vote, were expropriated en masse from the land as recounted by Oscar Handlin in "The Uprooted" and became the needed labor force denied capitalism by the power of the Populist movement.  


John Reimann
 

I haven't seen this new book, but an absolutely wonderful book is Charles Beard's "Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States". After its publication (back in the 1930s, I believe) Beard, who was a liberal, was accused of being a Marxist, and I doubt Marxists would have very much to disagree with about that book. In it, Beard sets the framing of the Constitution in its historic context, which is to say the class struggle that was ongoing at that time. He shows how the Articles of Federation were completely inadequate to protect the slave owners and to develop capitalism. He gives a short rundown of who the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were - their economic interests. He explains the purpose of the main clauses of the Constitution, including the famous "separation of powers". He meticulously analyzes the popular vote on the Constitution and shows that of the very limited group that was even allowed to vote, the evidence is that the majority voted against acceptance, or thought that's what they were doing.

All in all a "must" read for those who want to understand U.S. history.

John Reimann

--
“Science and socialism go hand-in-hand.” Felicity Dowling
Check out:https:http://oaklandsocialist.com also on Facebook