Sunday, November 19, 2017

The "Center" Is More Dangerous Than The Hard Right

Ajamu Baraka, the devoted human and civil rights activist, has said that he fears the ideology of the Democrats more than he fears that of Trump. Like Ralph Nader, Cornel West, and others who’ve voiced truths like this, Baraka has been intensely vilified and lambasted by those in the former liberal class. This is because to voice these truths is to shatter the righteous self-image of our liberal establishment.

It’s not allowed to say that our crisis hasn’t come from the Republican Party, but from a political system that’s infected both the mainstream left and right with a toxic corporate agenda. That mass incarceration was largely engineered by Democrats, who exploded the prison system during the 1990’s after embracing the racist authoritarian rhetoric of “law and order.” That both parties have almost consistently partnered to dismantle the social safety net, deregulate banks and corporations, and pass kleptocratic trade deals for the last several decades. That our “moderate” leaders have in recent years carried out the assassination of Americans without trial, the brutal persecution of whistleblowers, the use of depleted uranium in a vast worldwide military assault, and the normalization of torture.
We are, as the author Eugene Puryear says, shackled and chained. Less than a tenth of workers have the permission or awareness to be part of a labor union. Many basic civil liberties have become irrelevant to the police and the courts. Corporations and law enforcement can loot, surveil, and terrorize the population with impunity. Yet Trump and the radical right are only making our imprisonment more visible. The ones that put us into it are Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Bushes and Cheneys that Democrats now superficially praise. 
As Baraka wrote in January of last year, after Obama had constructed an unprecedented state surveillance and censorship apparatus: “Trump’s neo-fascism will be built on [the] neo-fascism of Obama and the Democratic Party.”
The liberal elite’s affirmations that impeaching Trump and electing Democrats in future elections will restore order reflects its unwillingness to confront our crisis. If Trump were removed tomorrow, Mike Pence and the government’s other competent fascists would continue the corporate capitalism and omnicidal militarism that’s destroying civilization. If Democrats dominate the 2018 elections, the new legislative members that take office in January 2019 will have one year before the estimated climate catastrophe deadline in 2020. A deadline wherein, if our current greenhouse gas emissions don’t start to stagnate or decline as of that crucial year, meeting the goals of the Paris agreement will be impossible. 
The Democratic Party, like its extensions in the corporate-funded major environmental groups, reveals itself every week as unable to save us from catastrophe. Its leadership’s continued embrace of corporate and billionaire donors, support for U.S. empire, and rejection of the Bernie Sanders insurgency renders the party’s acknowledgement of climate change inconsequential. A maintained corporate oligarchy, a military operation that keeps alive the oil economy, and a body politic that rejects radical change continues ravaging our biosphere regardless. We are being pacified into impending collapse by a soft right that, unlike the hard right, can present itself as an ally.
As the majority of the country has had our communities de-industrialized, our wages stagnate or decline, and endless debt imposed on us for trying to survive, most of the country has become aware of these evils in the system. Our concern at this point is how to defeat the corporate power structure. The desiccation of our former democracy makes fighting this structure look futile; right now we’re barely able to stop a wildly unpopular tax cut for the wealthy from getting passed, with the same situation for the corporate FCC’s plan to destroy net neutrality. Our calls to legislators and our online FCC comments go almost completely ignored. We may as well be marching on the offices of the corporations directing these events, and demanding they have their lawmakers listen to us.
These actions are as ineffectual as investing in our hollowed out liberal institutions. Our real options for revolt-building local revolutionary institutions, transforming our communities’ energy and economic systems, carrying out sustained civil disobedience-will become more apparent in the coming months and years, as our business and governmental centers fail and the state reacts by becoming more overtly repressive. With this collapse the liberal elite will likely fade away entirely, to be replaced by an uninterrupted battle between the forces of socialism and barbarism.

No comments:

Post a Comment