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

Saturday, January 26, 2019

The Yellow Vests, the Crisis of the Welfare State and Socialism [a must-read and understand]

Click here to access article by Michèle Brand posted on CounterPunch

This analysis of the welfare state ("social democracy") is brilliant, and a must-read and understood by you if there is any chance of survival of humans. The welfare state has been used as a weapon against workers in the advanced West to preserve the capitalist ruling classes and their system of  capitalism  that has delivered so much wealth and power to this tiny class. It has been used as a pacifier for workers of Western capitalist countries to prevent them from becoming too discontented with capitalist rule, but at the enormous expense and sacrifice to Third World workers. The only alternative which can save humanity from the twin threats to their survival--their habitat destroyed and a global nuclear war catastrophe--is a socialist system created by ordinary workers throughout the world.

The author concludes the analysis with this profound insight:
Socialism is what we should fight for. In abandoning the aspiration toward the welfare state model, we’re certainly not abandoning the struggle for workers’ rights, social services, and all the other advantages associated with the welfare state. We’re fighting for these with a clearer vision of the goal: socialism.

The yellow jacket movement’s weakness is the vagueness of its demands, calling for the return of the welfare state. But its force is its dynamism, its determination, its size, and its deep-set, justified feeling of anger at economic injustice and inequality. To win, we should stop looking backward, and start looking forward, toward the construction of socialism.