April 5, 2011

New Days

Filed under: American Revolution, Reformism Can't Work, Relocalization — Russ @ 6:15 am


Hey everyone, and thanks for your good wishes during my vacation. I hope no one expects my first post back to be anything profound, since I’m feeling rusty and will need a little time to get back into the full swing of things.
The truth is, I was feeling a little discouraged. Sometimes it looks like the system, while doomed by its own instability and depravity, may still continue to bloat, expand, self-empower, and stand, for a long time yet. It’s a bitter thought.
But that’s more of a passing mood than a conclusion. There’s nothing one can do but fight as well as one can.
As I’ve said many times, I don’t think this can be done by trying to reform representative pseudo-democracy itself, let alone the Democratic Party. The goal of forming an alternative party to bid for national power within this corporatist imperial framework is obviously flawed. If the goal is anti-corporatism and anti-imperialism, then there’s a mismatch between means and end. If the goal is simply “improved” corporatism and imperialism, that’s impossible and ignoble. No, the political struggle must proceed by other means.
At the workplace, victory cannot be achieved through reform of conventional unionism. The capitalist unions themselves were always flawed in principle. And today they’ve become irredeemably rotten in their practice. Yesterday I read about how GE, having extracted $14.2 billion in “profit” last year, will now demand wage and benefit cuts in its upcoming union contract negotiations. Evidently, the union is resigned to losing, and will simply try to mitigate how much more it must lose.
Excuse me? Someone please correct the flaw in my thinking, but if my employer had just claimed to have profited to the tune of $14.2 billion, I wouldn’t be entering the negotiation with any mindset other than to demand wage and benefit increases. That’s how things are supposed to work, right? The company does well, the workers do well. The fact that this union, and every other union, is ridden with the contrary defeatist mindset is proof of their indelible spiritual rot.
Meanwhile, we know the truth about this alleged profit. None of it is capitalistically legitimate. Every cent of it is rentier theft based on oligopoly position and stealing from the workers. So it follows that the company can only demand further cuts. That’s the only way it was able to pretend to be profitable in the first place.
No, the fact is, we can never economically win “at the workplace” for the same reason we can never politically win as democratic citizens within a corporatist political system. The very structure is an ongoing infliction of defeat.
Besides, as I’ve previously written, the economy is no longer structured in such a way that concentrated worker power will exist. So to think in terms of old forms of worker organization is doomed to fail.
I doubt many readers here need much convincing about alternative centralized parties, or any regarding centralized unionism. But I wanted to recapitulate the examples in order to emphasize again that the system’s own nature acts against our attempts to participate in it, and therefore all attempts at reform are vain.
Therefore it follows that the big change which will have to sweep America is a change of mind.
I believe the road to this change is a combination of overt education and exemplary action. The virtue here is that all the relocalization and resistance actions we should undertake in order to serve as examples are the same which will be necessary for our survival. Here I speak of survival in the face of the political and economic tyranny we face, as well as survival in the post-oil age, with the decline of the vast unearned energy increment fossil fuels supplied.
Economically, this will especially be true in the case of food, which is why I’ll mostly emphasize Food Sovereignty as a political philosophy, program, and practice. But it’ll be true in every other sector as well.
Politically, the only course left is positive democracy. True, direct democracy. We must finally take adult responsibility for ourselves, become full citizens, or lose everything.
So there’s some remarks to resume our dialogue here. Nothing I haven’t said before, but then nothing any of us says by now is new. But the essence of politics is to keep the discourse going until we find the words which bring forth the deeds, and find the deeds which bring forth our self-liberation.
This consummation certainly does exist in potential. The essence of living is to seek to make it real.
« Newer Posts