Monday, November 6, 2017

How The Corporate State Will Fall

Neoliberalism and imperialism are collapsing around the world. Groups like the Democratic Socialists of America are growing as a bumbling and hedonistic billionaire president tries to destroy our remaining social services. Green and socialist parties have gained massive new power in the U.K. the NetherlandsNew Zealand, and other countries that succumbed to the neoliberal revolution. America’s endless counterinsurgency wars have been resulting in diminished U.S. military power and obscene debt and austerity within the United States.

This unraveling has reached the point where elites, lacking an effective counter-argument to the revolutionaries, are trying to crush all dissent. Red baiting and yellow journalism have been brought back to outlets like the New York Times, which have helped the public rationalize crippling new censorship measures from online companies. Activists in New Zealand, the U.S, and other places are being targeted through surveillance, blacklistings as Russian agents, and police violence. Law enforcement is being further militarized while the CIA’s director vowed last month to make his agency “much more vicious.” Republican lawmakers this year in eighteen states introduced laws to ban various forms of peaceful protest, and some of them have passed.
This means that if the social movements we’ve seen gain power in recent years can sustain themselves, the power structure will soon be defeated. The French Aristocracy’s repressions against the revolutionaries were so violent that at least 170,000 are thought to have died in them. Still the French revolution succeeded within ten years after its start. At a certain point, the revolutionaries didn’t need to sustain the initial growth of their movement. By the time the activities of their newspaper network peaked in 1783-when the state’s repression was becoming bloodiest-they’d gained enough strength to continue chipping away at the power of the monarchs. Six years after that peak, the royals were finished.
The collapse of faith in the two major parties, the legacy media, and the plutocratic agenda they serve puts us at a similar advantage. But if we don’t sustain our revolt, the oligarchy will remain in place indefinitely. “The moment the powerful are no longer frightened,” writes Chris Hedges in his latest column The Cost of Resistance, “the moment the glare of the people is diverted and movements let down their guard, the moment the ruling elites are able to use propaganda and censorship to hide their aims, the gains made by resisters roll backward. We have been steadily stripped of everything that organized working men and women—who rose up in defiance and were purged, demonized and killed by the capitalist elites—achieved with the New Deal. The victories of African-Americans, who paid with their bodies and blood in making possible the Great Society and ending legal segregation, also have been reversed.”
Those movements, unstoppable as they seemed in the 60’s and 70’s, were crushed by taking advantage of that momentary weakness. The economic crash of the late 70’s was used to justify a new paradigm of austerity, privatization, and tax privileges for the wealthy. The waning civil rights movement was unable to stop the implementation of a racist drug war and mass incarceration. The Democratic Party was turned into an inauthentic opposition whose job was to neutralize social movements. The Carter administration crippled the environmental movement by shifting the burden of carbon reduction from the oil industry to ordinary people, and prepared the populace for decades of declining living standards by telling them they needed to live with less.
Since the killing of the 20th century’s social movements, inequality and destitution have exploded around the world. Most of Americans are now regressing into a developing world lifestyle, and the corporate capitalism and neo-colonialism imposed on much of the developing world has made that world impoverished and unstable. This puts us on the advantage. If we continue speaking against the deceptions of the corporate state and the military industrial complex, if we keep organizing to rebuild the left’s institutions, if we stage more strikes and protests, the corporate state won’t be able to stop its own demise.
The existing power structures will either be replaced by a landscape of nationalism, anarchistic violence and religious fanaticism that a despairing populous creates, or by a society based on compassion and respect for the natural world.

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