How we move forward

My group of local friends share a Slack group. This morning one of them asked:

(What the is the matter with the @$&-“.! Democrats)

No doubt a response to the recent maneuverings in regards to legislation for Covid relief and raising the minimum wage.

Here’s the response I posted and upon posting decided it should be a blog post here.

Oh, I’d say nothing is the matter. They seem to be doing EXACTLY what they always do. There’s absolutely nothing out of the norm with this.

This is who they are. On the whole are just a slightly less fucked up version of the Republicans. Add to that the politics of getting reelected, blah, blah, blah and all the other garbage of this filthy fucked up system and this is exactly what we have had for decades.

While the Trumper folks are unhinged and racist and seeping in conspiracy, the anger and rage and frustration seems to be a fairly common trait amongst much of the population… hence Occupy Wall Street. The 99% – which is why the whole system really does need to be uprooted

All we’ve accomplished is temporary removal of an idiot, arrogant, fascist wannabe dictator.

The dysfunction of the 2 party system is still in place. It will function well enough for the 1% as it has for decades. And that’s all that matters.

I’d guess that the democrats will remain split, progressives and establishment… they’ll fumble around for 2 years then 2 more years. Meanwhile, the republicans will do what they can to suppress the vote in future elections. It’s a clusterfuck that won’t end until the polite liberals of the U.S., step out of their apathy and get a bit angrier, more agitated and more willing to engage. That said, seeing the lunacy of the angry right, I don’t know what an energized liberal population would really look like. How would it, could it, actually engaged with the “other half” of the 99%?

It would seem to me that the way forward, if there is a way, is to chart some new social territory.

Which is to say, the structure has to be rebuilt. And, which is to ask, are the people that would need to work together to do this capable of doing it? Can common ground be found and trust established so that the 99% can figure out a way forward? Personally, trying to not veer into pessimism but to remain honest, and I don’t know what it would take in this current culture for people to begin that move. Is it possible for us to just be neighbors, to view one another as people and step past the labels, emotions, distrust, fear, etc?

Which brings me to the way forward. I’ve spent the past couple weeks dwelling again in thoughts of Social Ecology and Murray Bookchin’s ideas for how humans might organize society more democratically, more rationally. In short, building local, community based democracy as the foundation and working up from there. It would mean turning everything we know about government and economy on it’s head.

So, what’s possible? Is this kind of radical change possible in the U.S.? It’s interesting that we, as a nation, have become so pessimistic about the possibility of change. And yet, we can look elsewhere on the planet and see such examples. Most recently and very inspiring is Rojava. Why would this not be possible here? Of course it would be possible.

Thinking about what is possible or not possible. Somewhere along the way we, as a national culture, fell into a deep rut of pessimism. The idea that we might turn things on their head seems an impossibility! Why, why, we couldn’t do that! We just can’t! Direct, participatory democracy?? No, it’s simply not possible! We collectively seem to have lost (or given up) our ability, our will, to experiment, to problem solve and to really work towards solutions.

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