A Marxist Analysis of Hillary

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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… and the whole Clinton dynasty … and maybe the Bushes too: Now that we are all Marxists, we need to uncover the materialist basis of even seemingly non-economic phenomena. Take Hillary Clinton’s campaign/non-campaign for President. Is she running or not? Why won’t she say?

Let us start answering this question by asking another: What is the specific mode of production of the Clinton dynasty? Here a clue is provided by the petty bourgeois publication Politico, in a piece on Hillary’s tacit embrace of the financier ruling class:

“Clinton, after all, was New York’s senator for eight years, where the financial district was a key constituency. She had many Wall Street rainmakers as advisers and friends. Her family has continued to work that network to try to stock the Clinton Foundation with a $250 million endowment before a presidential run. And she’s been out on the financial services speaking circuit, giving talks to Goldman Sachs and fireside-style chats with the heads of the Carlyle Group and the investment firm KKR.” [Emphasis added]

Aha! There are still legal limits to how much money Wall Street can funnel into the Clinton political campaigns qua campaigns. But those limits presumably don’t apply to the Clinton Foundation, or to Bill and Hillary’s speaking fees. Hence eye-popping figures like $250 million.

Now, ask yourself, what happens to all this money if Hillary says she’s through with politics and wants to spend the rest of her life, say, touring the world with Tina Brown to improve the status of women? Answer: Much of the money dries up, as surely as the cottage hand-weaving industry dried up with the invention of the power loom! Of course, some Hillary advisers and friends give money to her (and to the Clinton Foundation) out of sincere affection or appreciation of her dynamic speaking skills. But a lot of it is just a way to buy favor in a potential future Clinton Administration that might have a lot to say about the structure of the financial sector. We Marxists were not born yesterday. We have studied the laws of the bourgeoisie!

The Clinton mode of production, then, is running for office or serving in office. That is the material basis for the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton lifestyle and the whole Clinton institutional structure. In order to keep this mode of production from breaking down, the Clintons–one of them, at any rate–must be at least potentially in the running for a powerful office at all times. If Hillary doesn’t really want to run, she can’t admit it in public. She must maintain the facade of candidacy until the last minute–or else the Foundation will have to cut back and Ira Magaziner might need to find a job. If it looks like Hillary might not run–perhaps because of health reasons–the model would predict that another Clinton, presumably daughter Chelsea, would start making noises about launching a political career. Voila! Data point confirmed. The theory is off to a good start. …

P.S.: Does this same materialist theory explain the Bush dynasty? Perhaps. More research is needed into how the Bushes make their money. Their lifestyle appears to have at least some material basis that does not require continually occupying or seeking office (oil, lawyering, trading on past connections). Plus there are so many of them that the issue of candidacy is overdetermined!

P.P.S.: The Obamas, on the other hand, seem to be about to totally miss the gravy train break with this dynastic dialectic. Which Obama is going to run once Barack leaves office? Unless Organizing for Action (OFA) becomes a more powerful and permanent force than it is, Wall Street will not feel the need to shower the ex-President and his family with millions. If he is a secret Marxist, he’s not a very good one. …

Mickey Kaus