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, November 4, 2015

Arguments for revolution

Click here to access article by Jack Farmer from Revolutionary Socialism in the 21st Century (rs21) [Britain]. 

It seems to me that the workers of Europe will be the first to make cracks in the capitalist Empire's domination of the world. This appears to be case because they are suffering the worst under the Empire's austerity and neoliberal policies, and economic sanctions against Russia. Added to these frustrations are the Empire's destabilization actions against nearby countries which have resulted in never-ending wars, destruction of entire countries, the rise of fascist groups, and waves of immigrants fleeing from war torn areas. This article from a revolutionary oriented group in Britain is another indication that revolution is once again on the agenda of at least left-wing British workers.

I am especially impressed with Farmer's closing paragraphs:
Whatever happens in the coming months, we must build up the social movement that sparked Corbyn’s rise and without which he will be powerless. For a radical left that has spent decades in a defensive posture, there is a big danger that we position ourselves on the sidelines, smugly preaching the impossibility of change within the framework of parliament or capitalism. Instead, we’ve got to be shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone desperate for Labour to deliver change, while arguing that only the growing self-activity of ordinary people can win the change people yearn for. Just like a TV gameshow, you’ve got to be in it to win it.

Revolutionary socialists have a lot to teach – and a lot to learn. We draw inspiration and lessons from history, and especially from the experience of Lenin and the Bolsheviks, but if we allow ourselves to be satisfied with just an unchanging, desiccated “Leninism”, we’re dead. Marxism means learning: learning from each other’s mistakes and successes, learning from the past, learning how to intervene today to ignite people’s self-confidence. We never really graduate from the school of rebellion.

Putting this kind of politics into practice is far more difficult than politics-as-usual, leaving it to the professionals. But changing the world is never going to be easy.