Trump has overwritten Obama’s memo which limited the amount of penalizations the student loan industry (for, as with prisons and the military, student loans today in the US are an industry) could charge.
When facists respond with ‘Well then don’t be late’, one should hear precisely in this the same matter-of-fact rhetoric Rousseau quoted a great princess as saying on hearing that the peasants did not have enough bread: ‘Let them eat cake’.
The ‘common sense’ answer reveals itself as precisely the reactionism of ideology. It is not merely that the answer is ignorant, inhumane, etc.; it is that it disregards to the point of exoneration the unjust system that creates this historical situation in the first place- the unjust system that is this historical situation.
An education is not a commodity to be sold off, and students are not barter chips. An educated polity is necessary in order for democracy to function: it is a matter of the republic itself. Sarkozy learned this back in 2006 when he railed at La Princesse de Clèves being included on government job application exams. Knowledge is not a priori compartamentalized; capitalism violently coerces knowledge. The lessons of Book VII of the Republic, the aesthetic propaganda of Triumph of the Will, the patronage of fascism by Futurism are necessary to a polity if it is to make informed, democratic judgements. Such lessons will not be learned in an education subjugated to market value and job opportunism.
Such a system wherein somebody who owes a sum is further penalized has existed before: the debtors’ prison of the 19th century. Jailing the person so that he cannot work and thus has no means with which to pay off the debt for which he has been jailed, while further indebting him if he wished while in prison to eat, to receive visitors, etc. That it is systematic abuse of human rights is proved by the fact that Article 1 of Protocol 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights expressly prohibits such imprisonment.
A ruler did once in fact create a government around him of preachy, American businessmen: the last King of Hawaii. His successor was coerced into abdication by them, her kingdom illegally and hypocritically annexed by them, so that the former Kingdom of Hawaii could be exploited for profit by and for them.
Let’s take our cue from Marx. In the ‘Address to the Communist League’, Marx wrote:
‘II. That everywhere workers’ candidates are nominated in opposition to bourgeois-democratic candidates. That as far as possible they should be League members and that their election should be pursued by all possible means. Even where there is no prospect whatsoever of their being elected, the workers must put up their own candidates to preserve their independence, to count their forces and to bring their revolutionary position and party standpoint to the public. They must not allow themselves to be seduced by such arguments of the democrats as, for example, that by doing so they are splitting the democratic party and making it possible for the reactionaries to win. The ultimate intention of all such phrases is to dupe the proletariat. The progress which the proletarian party is bound to make by such independent action is infinitely more important than the disadvantages that might be incurred by the presence of a few reactionaries in the representative body. If from the very beginning the force of democracy take decisive, terroristic action against the reaction, the reactionary influence of the latter in the election will already have been destroyed.’
Of course Trump is pure reactionism, but Bernie Sanders was the truly revolutionary candidate whom the bourgeois-democracts like Wasserman Schultz couldn’t allow to be elected. This is when the Democrats lost, before even any vote was cast. Those who, like Rachel Maddow, argued that one had to vote Hillary in order not to split the democratic vote betrayed a pure false binary, a totalitarianism covered up by calls for ‘solidarity’. But too of course, if American democracy were truly a democracy, it would be capable of the terrorism of destroying Trump (and as we know, democracy and terrorism aren’t at all mutually-exclusive); if American democracy were truly a democracy, it would not even be a structure that could allow such a reactionism to take root.
In the age of the Kardashian, that the US elected a reality television personality shouldn’t sound so surprising – and what defines the t.v. personality is the vacuity of any personality. It did after all 3 and a half decades ago get the ball rolling when it elected a B-movie actor. This is what passes for progress in America. In electing Trump, the electorate rejected the notion of the ‘possible’. That is, it signaled the virtualization of politics in America. What political identity could one ascribe to Trump? Reviled by the left inasmuch as he claimed to be their friend, and rejected as he was by Republican leaders – Trump who said of Republicans ‘They’re the dumbest group of voters in the country. They love anything on Fox News. I could lie and they’d still eat it up.’ This virtuality, an inability to predicate to him a predictable ideology which would govern his acts, is the truth in his ghostwriter calling him a ‘sociopath’. The fear in electing Trump is a fear of the virtual. But the virtual was already fully real.
That a real experience should follow then. The Left would need to wrench this out, would need become the far-left they disavowed and lost during the nomination campaign. The announcement of Hillary as the nominee was the death knell of the unimaginative for the Democratic Party. We should not forget here that Hillary was not by rights the Democratic people’s nominee; that choice was taken away from them by figures like Wasserman Schultz.