Joe Biden and justice delayed

I found an image on Twitter from a user who does not make their posts public and whose privacy I will therefore respect:
ESJ6LkFVUAAMScF
Figure 1. Image downloaded from Twitter on March 3, 2020. If we assume a U.S. timezone, it was likely posted on March 2.

What’s curious here is that mainstream Democrats feel no need to respond coherently to claims such as this. Instead, we get drivel such as,

[Rahm] Emanuel’s preoccupations are about power. What sometimes comes off as casual derision for the left is rooted in two main fears, both grounded in his own experience. First, is the ease with which a liberal agenda can be weaponized by conservatives. Democrats win majorities only by carrying tough districts filled with voters who can embrace specific uses of government to make life better but are wary of Big Government in the abstract. Second, is the ease with which liberal ideals can be distorted in practice by special interests.[1]

Notice there is no attempt at a defense of progressive ideas. Rather, the conservative weaponization and the fear of “Big Government” are excuses not even to try.

This is one place where we see the neoliberal connection to capitalist libertarianism: Capitalist libertarians object only to political power over others, never to economic power over others. They sometimes deny even that the latter exists, imagining the so-called “free” (for whom, to do what, to whom?) market to be a “level playing field,” which it cannot plausibly be, and which, for their ideology to be just, it must perfectly be. Capitalist libertarians categorically refuse to address Max Weber’s critique that an exchange system (Weber refers to capitalism, but the critique applies more broadly) inherently privileges whomever has the greater ability to say no.[2]

So there isn’t even a beginning of a challenge to “Big Corporations.” Just an acquiescence to and even an active promotion of the challenge to “Big Government.” And we know where that leads.

Joe Biden thinks he can work with Republicans, just like Barack Obama thought he could work with Republicans.[3] And we know where that leads.

I am reminded of the words of Martin Luther King, Jr.:

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”[4]

Whether it be social or economic injustice, King’s words ring true. Democrats give us no reason to vote for them with a neoliberal approach.

  1. [1]John F. Harris, “Rahm Roars Back,” Politico, February 28, 2020, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/02/28/rahm-emanuel-2020-race-biden-bernie-sanders-warren-election-politics-analysis-118208
  2. [2]Max Weber, “Class, Status, Party,” in Social Theory, ed. Charles Lemert, 6th ed. (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2017), 94-101.
  3. [3]Paul Waldman, “Joe Biden still hasn’t learned the lessons of the Obama presidency,” Washington Post, December 6, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/12/06/joe-biden-still-hasnt-learned-lessons-obama-presidency/
  4. [4]Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail [King, Jr.],” University of Pennsylvania, April 16, 1963, http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.