More Hopeless Liberals

The website Streets dot mn (sorry, no linkback bonus for you, assholes!), is a great example of misguided, dogmatic neoliberalism run amok.  They endlessly wail about this or that local transportation issue, often promoting “cures” that are worse than the disease (up there among them are “traffic calming” measures, a sort of dog-whistle for poor design and driver-angering measures, or simply bicyclist/pedestrian chauvinist moralizing).  They scrupulously avoid tackling any meaningful issues, like class, and promote a draconian, despotic PC liberal view of the world (described as “left neoliberalism” by Walter Benn Michaels and “progressive neoliberalism” by Nancy Fraser) under the cynical guise of civility or some such nonsense — in other words, anything to the left (or right) of their own positions is uncivil and therefore unacceptable, which amounts to simply depoliticizing their own highly political ideologies (characteristic of “discourse of the university” as explained by psychoanalysis).  These people should be ashamed of themselves and their “beautiful soul” blathering.  What the web site’s operators posit as technical infrastructure and and operations/maintenance problems are really symptoms of problems that are bracketed out of their purview.  The real question to ask is “what is to be done?”  When department of transportation engineers and corporate and real estate development flack politicians enact policies harmful to ordinary people, it isn’t because they haven’t considered the technocratic fixes that this web site promotes, or are mistaken about them.  It is because they represent class interests opposed to the interests of most residents.  In the case of transportation, this is often just a corollary to the “housing question”, the “property contradiction,” and other requirements and preferences of the bourgeoisie that have the state favor their own private capital accumulation.  So, what is to be done is to enact systemic change, smashing the institutions of the bourgeois class and removing that class and their supporters from power.  Then you can make transportation bike friendly and pedestrian friendly and environmentally responsible.  To insist that these kinds of solutions can’t be discussed is to defend the status quo, by naively insisting that the powerful will act against their own class interests (if only someone had suggested such class betrayals to them!).  But that is what political liberals always do, because they consistently disavow how they are actually supporters and collaborators with the classes whose policies they outwardly claim to oppose.  Oh, and this web site’s comments policy is biased and, frankly, dumb, because it effectively bans the “kritik” debate format, which you may note is the format of the present commentary, and ignores the well-documented rise of a new McCarthyism.  It is just an exercise in what Marcuse called “repressive tolerance.”  The people running the site should be sent for cultural reeducation.