The history of the US is tragically transparent in the legacy of the Civil War. Now the neoliberal era, and its crisis of climate change, shows in many ways a related constellation of the classic contradictions that have always cursed the American political combination. And the challenge is suddenly stark: a once vibrant democracy now on the brink of planetary destruction. I think the protests, Not Our President, evoked the right mood at the end of the election. And, while they are probably still superficial, they do by their title stage an implicit challenge to the fake democracy that has just cheated the american people and the world at large. ‘Not Our President’, fighting words, but will they fight?
We cannot allow this situation to stand. It is not democratic (and the election was rigged indeed in any case) to sit back and allow someone like Trump to finish off a planet. Democracy vanished long ago. Someone as dense as Trump has compounded the tragic muddle. The result has many echoes to the lead up to the Civil War with similar forms of deadlock. And the lesson of that war was that a shrewd genius appeared who serendipitously (if that’s the right interpretation of a classic mystery of its starting point) did one thing on the way to another. In a word, an un-imitatable constellation from the past but overall a suggestion to our present. Then we must forget the past and focus on our present, but the analog, if that, is a reminder that we are saying one thing as ‘revolution’ lurks in the other unsaid bit, maybe. Clear, murky? Everyone is talking activist bullshit, but unconsciously spelling the real answer, at a whisper. That situation could abort. We must wake up and take the reins.
We don’t have to beat about the bush now, let analogs be analogs, and let us proceed whatever the case to either the inexorable civil war or, couch potatoes to the last: slaves and our descendants slaves to a new form of totalitarian politics. The ‘civil war’ option is a spectrum. I think we forget a rattlesnake can be taken by the neck: that’s a bit melodramatic? We have few options but to proceed at first along a non-violent path, but at the least a net outcome as revolutionary postcapitalism seems indicated/arrived at by whatever route, an electoral revolution…Frankly I think the whole question involves a lot more than just the US: we should have had a global leftist movement underway already: after all, the war against imperialism (to change the analog to the american revolutionary war) in that case was from agents external to the British empire. In the current case we have exterior and interior equivalents to imperialism, the American system, and need interior and exterior equivalents as revolutionary challenges. A network revolution of global systems, yet an american core challenge whose leadership, if it existed, could help the exterior to challenge the immense power of the current Uncle Sam nexus of horror.
The point here is that as with the Civil War everyone is saying one thing while overall the situation is leading to another.
Some kind of framework is needed. We can’t deal with this situation with little more than single issue groups, although the one issue of climate change and its groups is a possible seeming example.
We need to see the overall crisis of climate as a crisis of capitalism and a whole form of civilization and do what our ancestors did to create our first modernity: generate via revolution.
We stop here and interpolate our considerations of market neo-communism as a path to postcapitalist democracy. The american system was a failure from the start and we are condemned to a new correction and restart.