Monday, May 29, 2017

It's Not Going to Get Better If the Democrats Get Back in Power

Counterpunch |  I was very impressed by this comment from Yasser Louati, talking to Amy Goodman about the election of the revolting anti-worker neoliberal investment banker Emmanuel Macron as President of France two weeks ago: “France does not need an umpteenth new president; it needs a new republic, a new constitution, a new organizing of institutions.”

Much the same can be said about the United States. Political institutions that claim to be “democratic” while offering voters a binary choice between regressive and dissembling neoliberal shills like the Clintons, Obama, Emanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau, and Angela Merkel on one hand and neo-fascistic white nationalists like Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, Frauke Petry and Donald Trump on the other hand do, not deserve our respect.

The United States doesn’t need a new and 46th president as much as it needs a democracy, a new constitution, a new organizing of institutions – including its absurdly archaic and plutocratic election and party systems, which don’t even include direct popular election of the U.S. presidency for crying out loud.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to the end of his life with the belief that the real faults in American life lay not so much in “men” as in the oppressive institutions and social structures that reigned over them.  He wrote that “the radical reconstruction of society itself” was “the real issue to be faced” beyond “superficial” matters. He had no interest, of course, in running for the White House of all things.

The Orange-Tinted Royal Brute who currently befouls the Oval Office is an offense to humanity. Perhaps he will be forced or voted out of office in coming months and years. In the meantime, there’s “the fierce urgency of now” (King).  We need to be building great social and political movements for King’s project and Louatti’s recommendation now. The environmental clock telling us to undertake a radical and eco-socialist “reorganizing of institutions” is ticking with each new carbon-cooked planetary day.

The U.S. ruling class is divided and befuddled like no time in recent memory.  Good.  Let us build the organizations that might carry out the great popular and democratic revolution required to save the social and ecological commons and thus preserve chances for a decent and democratic future. Given capitalism’s systemically inherent war on livable ecology – emerging now as the biggest issue of our or any time – the formation of such a new and united Left popular and institutional presence has become a matter of life and death for the species.  “The uncomfortable truth,” Istvan Meszaros rightly argued sixteen years ago, “is that if there is no future for a radical mass movement in our time, there can be no future for humanity itself.”