Friday, September 23, 2005

 

What's it going to take?

Your article “Katrina, the Iraq war and the struggle for socialism” certainly gets to the point. It echoes my complaints about United for Peace and Justice whose political stances, for me, represent a political dead end. What is the classic definition of insanity? Answer: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. WSWS is absolutely correct in that the system cannot be reformed or rehabilitated. Protests, marches, vigils, petitions, conferences, teach-ins and the like are fine and dandy for raising awareness. However, as, again, the above named article spells out this did not work to stop the present war in Iraq before hand and will not stop it from continuing. If humanity is to survive, as Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez forthrightly noted in his speech at the U. N., Capitalism must die. The sooner, the better.

My only concern, and it is a big one, even should a mass political movement develop here in the U. S., does anyone at WSWS really believe the ruling class will simply go away? The above named article does not hesitate to note the brutality of the U. S. ruling class in attempting to subjugate Iraq and we all saw what is in store for us in New Orleans. In short, what I want to know is that, even with a reasonably coherent mass movement, what happens when the momentum of a mass movement is met by the road block of the National Guard, The Police and, not to mention, the Blackwater mercenaries? The state understands what is at stake and this is why it quickly moved to confiscate people’s weapons in New Orleans in the same way it is seeking to make sure Iran is relatively unarmed as well. If you are not armed you are defenseless and therefore easy pickins’. Let me make myself clear, I am NOT advocating violent revolution but as someone once said, “when you block the path to peaceful revolution, you open the doors to violent revolution.”

What I have come to suspect over the last several years is that one of the hidden, but key reasons, the Left in this country has been so weak is that deep down we all know what is going to take to change things in this the belly of the beast and frankly few of us are up to the task. For many years now the Left has engaged in little more than symbolic protest at best and, at worst, narcissistic showboating (largely engaged in by privileged white middle class folks who make up much of the “official" Left and have much less to fear from the police). They really do not want to fight because that would involve, at least for the preponderantly white middle class Left, losing their privileges, tenuous as they may be at present, and real pain or even death. Nevertheless, I can’t say I blame anybody. No matter how noble the cause, nobody wants to die. However, let us be honest and frank, before this the most brutal ruling class of all gives up power, there will be rivers of blood spilled. This is the lesson I’ve learned from the whole mess in Iraq and was confirmed in my mind by the scenes in New Orleans. For the American ruling class, it appears force is now the only option. Again, the question is, can the Left deal with that?

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