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archive: illusions of change?

August 12th, 2017 · No Comments

R48G: revolution or extinction
November 17th, 2016 ·

http://portside.org/2016-11-16/shocked-trump-it%e2%80%99s-time-get-involved-fightback

There are many new activist initiatives suddenly being spawned in the period since 2008 to the OWS, and now in the wake of Trump. One thing we have done here, if only because it is appropriate that someone slightly to the outside to adopt this dialectical complement, is to inject the idea of revolutionary action, however counterintuitive at first.

It is easy to suffer the illusion of changing something. Look at Reagan, and then Trump. Despite obvious differences, there is a resemblance. Whatever the case, a liberal era went backwards. And now, what? Hasn’t the whole prior generation of activism been a failure? Activists try and try and yet now they have their noses rubbed in shit by a conservative extravagance, as was Reagan.

Still, progessives of the 1890’s onward also tried and tried, but then succeeded in some sense, for a while, the New Deal and all that. So I would not wish to seem purely contrary. But the point is that a revolutionary idea needs to be given consideration. The liberal world arose in revolution. Without it we would have George X still the King of these colonies and Louis X++ the ‘etat c’est moi’. Revolution alone was the channel to change.

The american system is deadlocked and getting worse: climate change has tipped the scales against deadlock into the need for emergency action. Multiple climate activists have spoken, the turning point was reached: something was underway and then the system went backwards, again. We have Trump who like Reagan is a strange parody and a deliberate grotesque (we have discussed that on still other terms in vein of ‘fascism’). The situation is warning us: emergency action is needed, but the political system is going to close that opening. Is the conclusion reachable by liberal minds?

I think therefore our consistent harping on revolutionary chords is justified, whatever the difficulty many idealistic people have with this. Their problems are understandable, and figures like Sanders haven’t helped. In fact they helped a great deal if you can decode the riddle: ‘Our Revolution’ is an old man’s hint to the young that a revolution that is designed to coopt revolution could as well generate it.

Whatever the case we should act as if a revolution were imminent and be sure we are ready. All the great revolutions were ad hoc confusions without a coherent center. Now we have the knowledge and ability to do the job right. In any case, it is very unlikely the current system can be reformed in any serious sense. As we have seen in the last generation reform never reached first base and at the end our noses are rubbed in Trump shit, a deliberate degradation to set the tone of the system as it is.
We can at least generate the effect the mere mention of revolution will have. That would at least be something.

The climate crisis is forcing the issue: revolution or extinction.

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