We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
The People's Summit, June 17-19, 2016, Chicago: Movements + Electoral =Progress
I think this is an excellent descriptive summary of what occurred in this conference of Bernie activists--and Romer should be congratulated. That is the only thing that I can write in a positive sense about it. My immediate reactions: the conference was one part grieving over the loss of their hero in the primary elections and one part inspiration to move on--where to move on was left undecided, but it appears that most people left with this hopeful answer: we need to wait to see what Bernie says.(!)
Then I had some secondary reactions. I noticed that the attendees did not seem very representative of the vast numbers of Sanders' supporters--there was marked disproportionate number of older people in attendance. It was highly organized by the organizations of nurses, unionists, and professional liberals who imposed a top-down control of the convention. The latter people allowed the testimonies of "bottom" people to vent their sorrows as a way of "healing", as they would put it. But as I would put it, it was a method designed to defuse the grieving so that people could move on to the next stage which would be the necessity to support Hillary in the final presidential election.
This is "new politics"?! This political movement would be an hilarious joke if it didn't have such dire consequences for real change at the center of the Empire.