by Keith Preston
This is a question that is often debated by both sides of the conventional political spectrum…..
I’d say it depends on how you define “left” and “right.” For instance, the ostensible conservative George W. Bush sought to expand federal control over education, expand the welfare state, implement an amnesty program for illegal immigrants, and engaged in Keynesian economics. These are all positions normally associated with the Left. Yet there’s no question that the U.S. regime became more militarist and police statist during the Bush era. Leftists usually consider such things to be “rightist” but these are distinguishing features of communist states as well. But Republicans like Bush are also business-friendly which puts them on the right in the modern sense.
I’d say both sides on this debate have a point. The U.S. has certainly become more militarily aggressive, police statist, and plutocrat-friendly in the last few decades. Yet the broader society and the resulting social policies have clearly become more “liberal” in the conventional sense. Same-sex marriage, for instance, would have been unthinkable a few decades ago.
I think these trends represent the general value system of the elite. The elite want to make money, wage war when it serves their agenda, and maintain domestic political control. They shudder at the idea of drugs and guns in the hands of poor white trash or inner-city black folks. But they also want to make use of abortions and have whatever kind of sex they want. They tend not to be religious conservatives and look askance at the religious right, except as occasional useful idiots who can be counted on for jingoistic support. They want a global economy and imported labor, so of course they’re pro-immigration and anti-racist.
So the end-game of the policy agenda of the elite seems to be a plutocratic and militarized albeit multicultural and socially liberal police state.