FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

‘Political Revolution’ is Not Just a Sexy Slogan

shutterstock_328825136 (1)

There has been much talk about the relative prospects for the success of a Clinton or Sanders nomination for the Democratic Party – and much debate over whom – Sanders or Clinton – would be the real ‘change-maker.’  There has also been much ink spilled over various strategies for overcoming Republican obstruction should either of the Democratic contenders win in November. And, there have been many reminders that the 2018 mid-term elections will provide the Democrats with the opportunity to take back the Congress – and even, and especially, with a Republican win in November.

Yet, a political revolution is not just a sexy slogan. A political revolution, born of a mass movement, is a process of radical change which will succeed or fail dependent on the persistence and tenacity of a grassroots struggle which must remain active and grow in intensity beyond the formal process of voting. The scale of change needed to truly ‘crush the oligarchy’ requires long term vision and commitment to continuous fighting on a day to day basis regardless of the outcome of the election. We are well aware that our electoral system is inherently corrupt – beyond Citizens United – and that political revolution requires the cultivation of a momentum to completely overturn a fraudulent and undemocratic system.

Most of us are aware of the challenges that such a political revolution will entail – and the depths and expanse of change that will be needed to carry out a radical program of democratic renewal. Such a transformation is not merely a return to FDR style politics, focusing on re-allocation in the domestic arena. It requires a thorough re-thinking of the meaning of democracy not only at home but also abroad.

This is why, as the saying goes, nothing should be off the table. Not merely the voting system or campaign finance reform, but an entire transformation of business as usual. Not merely a more humane or trade oriented foreign policy, but a radical re-assessment of the place of the United States in the world order.

Nothing should be off the table. At home: the repeal of the National Security Act, which arguably has subverted the Constitution for nearly seventy years, the elimination of the CIA, FBI, DEA; the democratization and de-marxrevolutionmilitarization of criminal justice organizations, a doctrine of economic rights, land reform, the restoration of indigenous lands, drug policy reform, a rigorous movement for public ownership, free healthcare (and not just health coverage), and free education, to name a few.

Abroad: The elimination of NATO, the IMF, repressive trade treaties and other hegemonies, such as the permanent war economy, which underline the dangerous doctrine of American Exceptionalism. A thorough revolution in the United Nations: the elimination, through the amendment process of the UN Charter, of a permanent security council of conquering nations (from 70 years ago), one which will serve the needs and aspirations of the vast array of unrepresented and unheard nations of the world. Again, to name only a few.

But, who will deliver such a revolution? Will it be Clinton whose record looks like most republicans and whose interests rests squarely with the corporate and oligarchical establishment? Only if her presidency spurs on the existing mass movement not to be satisfied with holding the White House. Clinton is not a change maker and never has been. Her nomination will assure a low voter turnout and her presidency – if such a monstrosity could ever be achieved – will quickly descend into farce and quagmire, most likely leading to her impeachment and indictment. She will not be able to hide behind the presidency since she will inevitably have a hostile congress.

Will the revolution be delivered by Bernie Sanders? Perhaps, but only if the mass movement behind him – a nearly unprecedented grassroots endeavour in modern politics, delivers not only the White House, but also a Congress of ‘Sanders democrats’ in 2016 and 2018. Yet, such a possibility will rely upon the continuous growth and proliferation of the grassroots movement which does not set aside its marches and signs with the first scent of victory or defeat. A political revolution must be serious and must have a long term vision to accomplish the radical renewal of American democracy and liberation from the oligarchical corruption of our current system.

Again, nothing is off the table. Even if Sanders loses the presidency or even the Democratic nomination, the political revolution and the movement underlying it must fight even harder to reclaim our democracy from the corruption and decadence to which it has descended.   In the event of a Sanders loss, it will not be sufficient to merely state: ‘Well, your political revolution has failed – it did not win the election.’ If the system were not inherently corrupt, as if we existed in a utopian scenario, such a capitulation may perhaps be acceptable.

The Sanders’ grassroots experiment, however – its challenge to the system of ‘bought and paid for’ elections, delivered by a corporate media intent on preserving establishment interests – can only be just the beginning. It is a reminder that our nation fought with its blood to give birth to a new form of government, and that a rigged election is simply the fulfilment of a corrupt and undemocratic process – the very target of the political revolution that is sought and for which people should be prepared to make the highest sacrifice.

Otherwise, ‘political revolution’ is merely a sexy slogan with no meaning or commitment to truly smash the oligarchy, take back our democracy, and enter the next chapter of building a more perfect union. Much is a stake: the lives of countless generations in the future and those living all around the world in the present. We must not be the generation which shrugs its shoulders, as Atlas, and lets the entire democratic experiment fall into oblivion. There may not be another chance.

More articles by:

James Luchte is a philosopher, author and activist in the United States. He is also Visiting Professor of Philosophy and Aesthetics at Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. He is the author of Marx and the Sacred Revolution. His latest book is titled “Mortal Thought: Hölderlin and Philosophy” (Bloomsbury 2016).

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
August 19, 2019
John Davis
The Isle of White: a Tale of the Have-Lots Versus the Have-Nots
John O'Kane
Supreme Nihilism: the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto
Robert Fisk
If Chinese Tanks Take Hong Kong, Who’ll be Surprised?
Ipek S. Burnett
White Terror: Toni Morrison on the Construct of Racism
Arshad Khan
India’s Mangled Economy
Howard Lisnoff
The Proud Boys Take Over the Streets of Portland, Oregon
Steven Krichbaum
Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests
Cal Winslow
A Brief History of Harlan County, USA
Jim Goodman
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is Just Part of a Loathsome Administration
Brian Horejsi
Bears’ Lives Undervalued
Thomas Knapp
Lung Disease Outbreak: First Casualties of the War on Vaping?
Susie Day
Dear Guys Who Got Arrested for Throwing Water on NYPD Cops
Weekend Edition
August 16, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Uncle Sam was Born Lethal
Jennifer Matsui
La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
Rob Urie
Neoliberalism and Environmental Calamity
Stuart A. Newman
The Biotech-Industrial Complex Gets Ready to Define What is Human
Nick Alexandrov
Prevention Through Deterrence: The Strategy Shared by the El Paso Shooter and the U.S. Border Patrol
Jeffrey St. Clair
The First Dambuster: a Coyote Tale
Eric Draitser
“Bernie is Trump” (and other Corporate Media Bullsh*t)
Nick Pemberton
Is White Supremacism a Mental Illness?
Jim Kavanagh
Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit
Andrew Levine
Have They No Decency?
David Yearsley
Kind of Blue at 60
Ramzy Baroud
Manifestos of Hate: What White Terrorists Have in Common
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The War on Nature
Martha Rosenberg
Catch and Hang Live Chickens for Slaughter: $11 an Hour Possible!
Yoav Litvin
Israel Fears a Visit by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Neve Gordon
It’s No Wonder the Military likes Violent Video Games, They Can Help Train Civilians to Become Warriors
Susan Miller
That Debacle at the Border is Genocide
Ralph Nader
With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now
Victor Grossman
Warnings, Ancient and Modern
Meena Miriam Yust - Arshad Khan
The Microplastic Threat
Kavitha Muralidharan
‘Today We Seek Those Fish in Discovery Channel’
Louis Proyect
The Vanity Cinema of Quentin Tarantino
Bob Scofield
Tit For Tat: Baltimore Takes Another Hit, This Time From Uruguay
Nozomi Hayase
The Prosecution of Julian Assange Affects Us All
Ron Jacobs
People’s Music for the Soul
John Feffer
Is America Crazy?
Jonathan Power
Russia and China are Growing Closer Again
John W. Whitehead
Who Inflicts the Most Gun Violence in America? The U.S. Government and Its Police Forces
Justin Vest
ICE: You’re Not Welcome in the South
Jill Richardson
Race is a Social Construct, But It Still Matters
Dean Baker
The NYT Gets the Story on Automation and Inequality Completely Wrong
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Retains Political Control After New US Coercive Measures
Gary Leupp
MSNBC and the Next Election: Racism is the Issue (and Don’t Talk about Socialism)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail