One of the tragedies of the American system is the way the voice of the people has been corrupted by the manipulations of government, the economic elite, and the new machiavellianism. (New??)
We see it in consumerist issues: who cares about the miners of Coltan in the Congo if ‘my’ smartphone is at stake. Who cares about global economy is the american system picks up again. Who cares about global warming if the price of gas goes down via fracking…
The list here is long and unsettling. But for leftists the realization must sink in (it did so in fact a long time ago, but in a wrong way) that a popular movement is never going to emerge. All the crap about OWS is now almost finished. We can face the reality of the ‘Lenin’s bargain’. It should be called something else, since we don’t have a good model there. But the point is the democratic givens are no longer given. A democracy of manufactured idiots is too far gone to be anything but dead weight: a communist revolution cannot trust its own proletariat/middle class.
The job done on the proletariat has been gruesome, and the variant done on the middle class has been equally degrading.
But this reality, referring to the US mainly, is beset with the larger reality that the question of democracy is irrelevant in the US: the whole system exploits the rest of the planet, and the working class is no exception.
The point here is the unsettling yet somehow obvious point that revolutionary leftists are stuck with the least desirable option: vanguardism in its perilous bypass of democratic fundamentals. But we have no others options at this point. This dreadful fact is not easy to reckon. The first bad consequence is that, as with bolshevism, the vanguard that wins out will be the stupid remnant and begin to carry out a nightmare. A little democratic feedback might have helped, along with a respect for liberal rights in context.
In any case the left has to create a vanguard, and yet reinvent that to create a transition neither democratic or not, since briefly government ceases to exist, but able to balance authority and democratic essentials in the context of taking on the world of globalization and the whole %1. If the bolsheviks could have been smarter on communist economics itself, less addicted to secret police mania, almost totally unnecessary, and the whole legacy of a ‘vanguard’ which by survival of the fittest thugs produces a gang of police state zombies.
This situation has made us nervous nellies, convinced OWS nice guys, saintly anarchists.
In any case, the question of democracy in a nation state is irrelevant now. The American democracy is a tyranny to the rest of the world, a horror system where upgrades to smartphone nonsense requires sacrifices of Moloch, etc… The basic point is: no taxation without representation, and that includes the terminal ‘life tax’ on the outer world impressed in the imbalance of the American system. Democracy must move to reinvent itself on a global postcapitalist basis, and a revolutionary communism was the original Rx here. I think that the legacy here needs a recreation, but the point is clear: American democracy is a trick play now: the perfect disguise for a new form of tyranny, one that is getting worse by the decade.
In any case ‘democratic chatter’ should be met with either silence, or the aggressive refutation it deserves. No asshole like the american asshole thinking he is the top dog of the world.
This is not complacent leftist thinking: the issue is fearful: the one in myriad combination of leftist principles will evade the failure of, e.g. bolshevism. We have to chance a vanguard combination and be able to fight off the neanderthals who will move to seize control with with dead stalinist dogmas. This venue then is not idyllic: it will result in divide and conquer strategies on all sides and liquidation factions trying to dominate the outcome. So the fair chance will also need to liquidate and start over several times.
This could fail, but we will have failed worse in the past generation in the total failure of almost all movements on the left.