Consultant Pete

I sit on a man’s back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that i am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible … except by getting off his back.

— Leo Tolstoy, Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence, 1886

The progressive criticism of ‘Mayor Pete’ is superfluous, irrelevant even.

We’ve all heard it by now – something along the lines of, ‘Pete Buttigieg’s policy positions are as outdated as they are corporate.’ Sure, where many Democratic presidential candidates have sworn off big donors, Pete Buttigieg is running a campaign funded by the health insurance industry, big banking executives, and billionaires; where the overwhelming majority of Democratic Party voters support Medicare-for-All, Buttigieg supports ‘Medicare for All Who Want It;’ where half the country seeks the removal of a racist President from office, Buttigieg defends his oversight of a “racist police department” and mocks people of color both in person and through his campaign while polling at an incredible 0% with African Americans; where economic inequality has become perhaps the issue of the time, Buttigieg brings a mayoral record of doubling eviction rates in poor, non-white neighborhoods and waging “war on the homeless” while at the same time, dramatically increasing subsidies to large developers for things like luxury apartments and high-end office complexes. On and on it goes.

But dissecting Mayor Pete’s policies one by one, attempting to understand his doublespeak and obfuscation, trying to discern how he might govern if elected, is not necessary.

It’s not necessary because Pete Buttigieg is not really ‘Mayor Pete’ at all.

Sure, he is the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. But this is not the place from which his presidential aspirations arise, not the reason he is being pushed so relentlessly by mainstream media and Democratic Party insiders.  It is not his current vocation which opens these doors but his former one, not the Mayor’s office but a job as a McKinsey & Co. consultant.

Haven’t heard of McKinsey?

They are the largest and most powerful consulting firm on earth, with well over 100 offices across the globe and $10 billion in yearly revenue, advising 90 of the world’s top 100 largest companies and many governments from west to east. From this position, they have constructed much of the modern hyper-capitalist world as we know it.

As Current Affairs noted: McKinsey “has acted as a catalyst and accelerant to every trend in the world economy: firm consolidation, the rise of advertising, runaway executive compensation, globalization, automation, and corporate restructuring and strategy.”

Put more succinctly: “McKinsey’s fingerprints can be found at the scene of some of the most spectacular corporate and financial debacles of recent decades.”

Put even more succinctly: McKinsey & Co. are the forefathers of just about everything progressives hate.

They advised Wall Street in favor of the practices which “poisoned the global financial system and precipitated the 2008 credit meltdown.” They were behind “the whole idea of corporate powerhouses laying off thousands of people during good times simply to juice profits—and, naturally, executive compensation.” They worked with Russian oligarchs and authoritarian governments like China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, where they “produced an internal report that tracked critics who were promoting negative views of the kingdom on Twitter.” They helped governments privatize state-owned assets in Latin and Central America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. They advised Purdue Pharma on “how to ‘”turbocharge” OxyContin sales and keep users hooked,” and worked with ICE to get “more people detained and deported and more families separated.”

McKinsey & Co. is, quite simply, the worst kind of capitalist criminal empire.

This is Pete Buttigieg’s alma mater and the worldview he represents in South Bend and in his quest for President. Democratic Party elite and mainstream media support Buttigieg because this is their worldview as well.

McKinsey members refer to themselves, unironically, as “the greatest collection of talent the world has ever seen,” while others call them the “McKinsey Mafia.” They have produced at least 70 Fortune 500 CEOs and countless members of C-suites and B-suites around the world. Now, they would like to be President of the United States in the form of a character they created called ‘Mayor Pete.’

The good news is, there’s no need to dissect Mayor Pete’s policies one by one, no need to ask what ‘Medicare for All Who Want It’ means, and if ‘want’ is being used as a clever synonym for ‘can afford,’ no need to wonder if he’s racist or just acts like it, no need to ponder what seemingly-progressive point he will flip-flop on next.

The results of a world direction steered by McKinsey are already plain to see.

Nigel Clarke is a writer and notorious vagabond. Check out his latest book, 'On the Road in Trump's America'. Connect with Nigel on Twitter - @Nigel_OnTheRoad . Read other articles by Nigel.