We don't talk about the Spanish-American War enough IMO. I understand why- it's small fries compared to the wars that would come later- but it was a HUGE turning point for this country. Not just foreign-policy wise, but even domestically. (1/?)
See, the US conception of "freedom" relied on the frontier. Freedom was defined in a Jacksonian way to be able to settle your own farmstead & not be bothered by anyone. The small yeoman farmer who gets to live his days in peace. But this was actually pretty nefarious. (2/?)
The biggest & most prominent reason it's nefarious is, ofc, HOW the land was obtained (Native genocide). But there was another less visible effect it had: the frontier acted as a safety release valve for social & political tensions in the US. (3/?)
"Didn't like the way your boss treated you? Try your luck on the frontier! Feeling conflicted about slavery? Let's put off the question as we expand west! Sickened by rampant inequality? Then see what you can create on the prairie!" (4/?)
But toward the end of the 1800s, the frontier was shrinking. The US reached the Pacific. You couldn't just "go west" anymore. And now industrialization (and with it, inequality, financial crisis, and class conflict) was on the rise. The country was in deep crisis. (5/?)
In fact, there was a "Great Depression" in the US before 1929. The OG one happened in 1873 and lasted til 1879. Robber barons and corporate tycoons dominated politics and people's lives, and w/o any state social safety net, the US was becoming almost an an-cap dystopia. (6/?)
This is where the Spanish-American War (which friggin' John Quincy Adams foresaw all the way back in the early 1800s) came in. It expanded the frontier past the actual physical frontier of the US. The frontier went from a domestic one to an imperial one. (7/?)
Now the US could both (1)expand its market overseas to its economic frontier and (2)expand its territory through actual imperial control of territories it gained in the fighting. Suddenly many of these crises, while not disappearing completely, certainly became less urgent. (8/?)
We've been trying to expand the frontier since, both directly in the case of our own backyard (hence why we have done so many atrocities to Latin America & the Caribbean) as well as indirectly through finance capital. The Cold War was the most dramatic manifestation. (9/?)
Now, as the US is a declining empire, a lot of the conflict we've put off is now starting to come home. And the militarism, entitlement, and racism we've built our empire on abroad is coming home to roost. The frontier is coming inward. (10/?)
It's not all doom and gloom, tho. Plenty of societies in crisis & decline have pulled themselves out. But we gotta be able to honestly assess our past to honestly assess our present.

As a leftist, I believe firmly our future lies in the multiracial working class. (11/11)

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More from @Dave0fReckoning

11 Jan
I usually don't get into the religion discourse cuz of how little I care about it as an agnostic, but I don't agree at all that religion is some major source of evil. Yes, many powerful religious institutions are, but that's cuz they act as arms of the ruling class.
Instead of claiming the mere idea of religion is evil (which just isn't true when we look at ppl & movements inspired to do good), IMO we should be analyzing materially how religious institutions form & attack them as institutions of power. Otherwise it's divisive bickering.
I mean, even within Christianity, look up liberation theology for an example of an entire movement/tendency within Christianity that cares about economic & social justice. There's no reason to shit on potential comrades when the real evil is capital.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
Broke: Democrats are bad at their job, they constantly shit on their base

Woke: Democrats are good at their job, they're actually serving capital

Bespoke: Democrats are bad at their job, austerity & means testing is putting capitalism into crisis
This is, of course, why so many historians (myself included) believe that FDR "saved capitalism" with the New Deal. Social democracy is the only sustainable form of capitalism, but the capitalist class is constantly trying to strip it so they can accumulate more wealth.
That's ultimately why those of us left of soc-dem believe that social democracy isn't enough. Letting the capitalists hold the keys means you can have a state with a strong safety net, but they're gonna use everything at their disposal to chip away at it til there's nothing left.
Read 4 tweets
10 Jan
The difference btwn the GOP listening to the rightwing of their party vs the Dems ignoring the leftwing of their party, isn't that it's some personal choice by the parties. It's that the right doesn't threaten the interests of the ruling class, but the left does.
The negotiation btwn the GOP & right is based on how comfortable the GOP elite are having their sense of decorum offended by the right. The negotiation btwn the Dems & left is how much wealth & power the Dems are willing to redistribute. COMPLETELY different dynamic.
I say this because a lot of leftists frequently draw the comparison between the failure of Occupy, BLM, Bernie etc compared to the Tea Party & MAGA. But it's completely ignoring how different the material relationships & threats to the elite are. The context is totally different.
Read 6 tweets
9 Jan
Marx never said poverty would be what'd make poor ppl rise up. He said that the material conditions of the working class (including how those conditions affected social structures) would.

Let's talking about that, starting with ~the dialectic~
The dialectic is between the material & ideal. In other words, the actual material/physical conditions around us & the ideas in our heads. Hegel first brought up the dialectic, saying that our ideas are basically the primary mover of things. Therefore, he was an idealist
Marx basically said that, yes, the dialectic is real & what moves history, but putting the ideal first is putting the cart before the horse. It's actually the material that comes first, because we're responding to our material (economic, physical, geographic, etc) conditions.
Read 10 tweets

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