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 Lapp√©, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Monday, October 31, 2016

Brexit and the Future of the Left [a best post]

Click here to access article by Boris Kagarlitsky from Globalizations

The author criticizes much of the left in Britain over their lack of leadership and support for the working class in their vote to leave the European Union which was thoroughly organized to promote neoliberalism and the interests of the international capitalist ruling classes. He sees the same phenomenon here in the United States with the popularity of Trump and the rejection of Hillary Clinton. 

Most of the left in Britain, Europe, and the US have been so co-opted, compromised, and intimidated that they have so far failed to articulate the class issues of this revolt and to lead the working class in their incoherent struggle against the capitalist ruling classes and their neoliberal agendas. Kagarlitsky concludes his essay with this warning:
The struggle for power requires an organization and much more rigid mechanisms of mobilization than network structures. But most of all, it requires a strong will and political independence. The political transformation, which is currently under way in the US and Western Europe, is changing the conditions under which people in the entire world live and struggle, opening new opportunities for them. The opposite is also true: Syriza’s betrayal, Sanders’ capitulation, Corbyn’s wavering are not just issues of Greek, American, or British politics?…?. These are failures for which not only the left but all humanity will pay the price.

The neoliberal system, which the likes of Hillary Clinton and Francois Hollande are trying to preserve, is already so dysfunctional, so decayed that every day it survives undermines the basic means of societal reproduction. If we are not ready to fight for its deconstruction, it will break down naturally. But the alternative will not be a new nice social order imagined by anti-globalists, but rather chaos and barbarism growing spontaneously.

A paralysis of will, which struck the left movement during the epoch of neoliberalism, must be overcome.