NEW YORK, March 11 —The fiasco that cost New York governor Eliot Spitzer his job has far more to do with politics than prostitution. Decadent behavior is rampant and rarely punished within the exploiting class. What really fuels the scandal is bitter infighting over the direction of U.S. capitalism during a period of widening imperialist war. Spitzer represented the dominant faction of U.S. rulers seeking to subordinate the economy to their war needs. His task was to impose police-state discipline on Wall Street by reining in speculative investment and exorbitant salaries and steering policy and profits in the direction U.S. imperialism required.
Up until now, Spitzer was doing an effective, if heavy-handed, job for the bosses. As state attorney-general and governor he brought down insurance giant AIG, which was too cozy with China’s bosses. He hammered Wall Street’s biggest firms with fines totaling over $1 billion for shady deals, like Enron, that drained capital from the war effort.
Details will emerge later. But it seems clear that the faction of capitalists opposed to regulation has scored a big hit in attacking Spitzer. The anti-regulation New York Post today spoke of corks popping on Wall Street. The liberal New York Times, however, lamented the loss of a leader for the “reformist agenda.” The fight is hardly over. The forces backing empire must and will strike back. The beneficiaries of U.S. control of Mid-East oil have far more at stake than the individual capitalists’ mansions and fancy cars. We can expect blood to follow the champagne flowing down the gutters of Wall Street.