Sunday, July 18, 2010

beyond left and right, focus on up and down


Video - who are the oathkeepers?

dissidentvoice | We should not be afraid of people on the grassroots right. If leftists don’t reach out, the white working class in this country will have nowhere else to turn. The only points of unity may be non-interventionism, civil liberties, corporate bailouts and the constitution, but considering how extreme the corporate state has become, those things may be revolutionary. Just enforcing the Bill of Rights, respecting international treaties and restoring Congress’ war powers would be huge changes.

Author Chris Hedges thinks the American Left’s terrible move was from looking at government as part of the class enemy, to seeing it as something we could employ to make things better. Marx and Lenin both warned against this. They wrote that the state was organized by one class to suppress other classes and couldn’t be reformed. But the American Left abandoned the class struggle (to be fair, most American workers did, too). As Hedges says, “The Left became identity-based, culture-based and lost our grounding in class struggle. We lost our voice and became part of the corporate structure we should have been dismantling.”

We need to find ways to ally with the grassroots right, whether in tea parties, militias, or elsewhere. As Hedges says, “Hope in this age of bankrupt capitalism will come with the return of the language of class conflict.” Yes, there are some uglies out there in the white working class. There are some racists, but racism been the issue for the working class in America since the beginning.

Former congresswoman and Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney told Hedges, “I am a child of the South. [Head of DHS] Janet Napolitano tells me I need to be afraid of people who are labeled white supremacists, but I was raised around white supremacists. I am not afraid of white supremacists. I am concerned about my own government. The Patriot Act did not come from white supremacists, it came from the White House and Congress. The Citizens United decision [granting corporations full political personhood] did not come from white supremacists; it came from the Supreme Court. I am willing to reach across traditional barriers that have been skillfully constructed by people who benefit from the way the system is organized.”

Most militias, oath keepers, and tea partiers are not white supremacists. If McKinney can work with the far right, we can work with our class brothers and sisters who oppose what are our rulers are doing. Walker suggests the Left forming its own Tea Party chapters. That may not be the best tactic, but it may well point in the right direction.