The New Deal compromise between capital and the state is gone now. Whatever power over capital the state won in the New Deal has been taken back, and multiplied. Organized labor is near gone. The infrastructure built by those generations is in tatters. But capital has never been freer, congealing ever more densely unto itself. The state itself is politically impotent, which capitalist theory dictates is the entire point. State bad, capital good. Always.
We are the state, the body politic. Through the New Deal, America created the greatest explosion of hegemonic energy the world has ever known, putting the fire of capitalism into a furnace, harnessing it, creating rock n’ roll, the picket fence, the American Dream. Capital unharnessed will act precisely as is now evident in Ohio, with Issue 3.
When I covered this story for the Cleveland Leader, I must now confess, I never really read the language of Responsible Ohio’s attempt to monopolize marijuana. First, because there was no language yet, as RO oozed out of capital’s dripping maw, first of course in the PD. Responsible Ohio was never about weed, it was about greed.
Issue 3 is about whether or not we, through a self-governed state, can ever stand in the way of capital. The same people, using precisely the same organizational roadmap, bought the state with capital in 2009 to allow themselves a monopoly on casino gambling. At the time, Ohio was very desperate, just barely surviving capital’s latest predictably regular financial collapse in 2008. Having bought casino law, barely, after repeated attempts, from a desperate electorate, capital now seeks to control the most underutilized yet most productive plant agriculture has ever produced. How is this not predictable?
What is unpredictable is whether the state, by which I mean we, can ever muster enough political will to say no to capital. These are old fights, folks. The day the Wagner Act passed in 1935 giving workers the federal right to organized collective bargaining, its demolition began. Read my paper on one of capital’s most spectacular early victories over the New Deal. We have to look in the mirror and decide whether capitalism unharnessed has any limits at all anymore.
But Issue 3 is, kinda, about weed, and the carnage in Ohio’s legalization community which Responsible Ohio leaves behind are heavy casualties to sustain in a fight against capital. Its not really anyone’s fault. Some misname this as “crony capitalism”, when it’s just capitalism. This is how capitalism is supposed to work. People get destroyed, relationships torn apart, all so only those with the most capital, win. The dynamic RO feasted upon in a divided Ohio legalization community largely still remains, but with minefields everywhere now. The same hustle continues. Choices will again have to be made in this fight.
Self-government is not easy. Fortunately, unlike those earlier brass knuckle brawls with capital our forebears fought to give us the America we walk in today, social media makes it a bit easier to use our voice. So use your voice. Educate voters. Take that risk, it’s worth it.
Vote NO on Issue 3, and tell your friends, too.