By Staff of Single Payer Action – And the only Senate member of the Progressive Caucus — Bernie Sanders — is dragging his feet on introducing a companion single payer bill in the Senate. Recalcitrant Democrats say they are too busy defending Obamneycare to get behind single payer. Typical is Progressive Caucus member Don Beyer who said that while he has voiced support for single payer in the past, his immediate priority is “protecting the health care achievements of President Obama.” There is a history here, of course. Back in 2009, a young single payer activist, Nick Skala, ran into the same kind of stonewall from the Progressive Caucus, when he presented the case for single payer.
By Mitchel Cohen. CJ Hopkins has penned, below, a very perceptive, snide (and funny) analysis of what we’re facing. Might as well call it “Manufacturing Dissent.” I pretty much agree with it, except that as a participant in many radical movements I’ve noted that things happen in the course of movements that the puppet-masters can’t control, although they try. So the neoliberal Dems’ bolstering of the anti-Trump movement is a gambit that they’re willing to risk, just as they’ve done many times in the past. Usually they’ve emerged victorious, but with unanticipated side effects. Our job is to make those “side effects” come back to haunt them. Remember when the robber-baron Jay Gould in the 1880′s bragged that he could hire half the working class to kill the other half? His observation was correct — and so workers organized into the Knights of Labor, Western Federation of Miners, the Wobblies, and other militant working class organizations whose goals included unifying sectors of the working class around defending workers through direct action.
By Richard Moser for Counter Punch – Truly massive movements take shape around affirmations of goodness most powerfully represented by the promise of universal values. Our task is to fulfill this promise, recognizing that we doom our efforts to win people’s support and allegiance if we too often rely solely on criticism, resistance, and opposition. It is far, far better thing that we be authors of a new world rather than critics of the old one. If we envision revolution as radical departure or complete discontinuity from the existing world we are likely to both overlook real change and leave the millions behind. A transformative movement works on culture and works with history.
By Beverly Bell for Truth Out – In the toxic political environment of the US, love is an act of protest. At least, that is what Dr. Martin Luther King, whose 88th birthday we celebrate Monday, said in many ways. As just one example, he wrote in his book Strength to Love, “Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” But today, with such dangerous and violent power at play, is love a priority? Should it, or even can it be a fundament of our organizing and mobilization, especially amongst the sectors suffering the rampant attacks and threats?
By Staff of Be Freedom – Independence is more than freedom from empire or oppression. Independence is the power to achieve self-governance. In its Constitution, the United States asserts that power as belonging to “We the People.” For the Irish it’s “Sinn Féin” (“We Ourselves.”) In Xhosa, South Africans chanted “Amanda Awethu!” (“Power is Ours!”) The Black Panthers “All Power to the People” became “Power to the People,” perhaps the most widely loved ideal in the movements of the Sixties and Seventies. Listen to John Lennon or Rootz Underground sing it. All these revolutions — and many more — aspired to universal values and moved millions. We need millions because the challenge is steep. Surely, we have lost our democracy.
By Red Wedge Magazine. John Berger is dead. There are very few people who, when they pass on, leave you at such a loss for words. Mostly because there are so few as versatile and prodigious as he was. Art critic, painter, poet, novelist, socialist. And he was consistently brilliant in every one of these roles. Often, he was more than one simultaneously. His first novel A Painter of Our Time was available for a month in 1958 before the publisher withdrew it under pressure from the anti-communist Congress for Cultural Freedom. When he won the Booker Prize in 1972, he donated half the prize money to the Black Panthers. Landscapes, a recently published collection of his works, nestles musings on Cubism next to moving tributes to Rosa Luxemburg.
By William I. Robinson for ALAI – Barack Obama declared to CNN this past December 26 that he could have beaten Trump had he the chance to run against the president elect for a third term, but he may have done more than anyone else to assure Trump’s victory. While Trump’s election has triggered a rapid expansion of fascist currents in US civil society and the political system a fascist outcome is not inevitable and will depend on the fight back that has already begun. But that fight back requires clarity as to how we got to such a dangerous precipice. The seeds of a 21st century fascism were planted, fertilized, and watered by the government of outgoing president Barack Obama and the bankrupt liberal elite that Obama’s presidency represents.
By Cleve Kevin Robert Arguelles for The Conversation – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed that he killed three men during his time as mayor of Davao city, despite officials trying to downplay an earlier admission. Duterte’s comments might yet hurt his popularity but that seems unlikely. Duterte’s national crusade has resulted in an alarming daily average of 34 drug war-related murders. Despite this death toll and international condemnation, public satisfaction with his anti-drug war is at a significantly high rate of 78%. How can this be explained in a country that a mere 30 years ago brought down a dictator without resorting to violence?
By Gilbert Achcar for Jadaliyya. What started in the Arab region in 2011 actually is a long-term revolutionary process which, from the beginning it was possible to predict, would take many years, or even several decades, and would not reach a new period of sustained stability short of the emergence of progressive leaderships capable of bringing the Arab countries out of the insuperable crisis into which they have fallen after decades of rotting under despotism and corruption. This brings us to the second issue that it is necessary to emphasize on this anniversary of the uprisings. To say that the old Arab regime is better than the revolt against it is like saying that the accumulation of pus in a boil is better than incising the boil and letting the pus out. The tragedies that we are witnessing now are not the pro.duct of the uprising, but indeed the product of decades of accumulation of rot in the heart of the old regime. The “Arab Spring” provoked the explosion of this accumulation, which inevitably would have happened sooner or later. The truth is that the longer the explosion was delayed, the more rot accumulatedIf there is indeed one thing to be regretted in the Arab explosion, it is not that it happened but that it took so long to happen.
By Kathleen Neal Cleaver for The New Press – 1969. Algiers. The spectacular panorama of the first Pan-African Cultural Festival transformed the North African capital basking in the July sun. Musicians, dancers, horsemen, poets and painters, writers, filmmakers, scholars, and political leaders filled the city’s hotels. Southern African freedom fighters and veteran guerillas from Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau at war with the Portuguese joined the colorful delegations arriving from all over the vast continent.
By John Atcheson for Common Dreams. One of the most remarkable things about Sanders’ campaign was how it electrified the young, reinvigorated progressives, and forced Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party to lurch desperately to the left. Of course, once she got the nomination, she wasted no time in tacking back to the right of center and doing what Democrats have always done – assuming that progressives would fall in line because there was nowhere else to go. But the level of support Sanders got from those under 45 was unprecedented. If that support can be consolidated and mobilized, the future belongs to progressives, and more importantly, the ideals of progressivism. Which makes getting Our Revolution right, all the more important. Unfortunately, the launch failed to ignite the same passion and commitment that Sanders’ campaign did.
By Dan Kovalik for Counter Punch – On Saturday, August 13, the world will celebrate the 90th birthday of Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro Ruz, the only individual ever to be acknowledged by the UN as a “World Hero of Solidarity.” It is very hard to think of a more important world leader than Fidel. The contribution he has made to the world socialist movement, to the Third World liberation struggle and to social justice has been monumental – especially when one considers that he has been the leader of a tiny country with roughly the same population as New York City.
By Staff of Popular Resistance – The People’s Convention is where people eager to reclaim their democracy will join together to unite behind a common policy framework, rather than a personality or party. This one day event will take place on July 23rd at the historic Arch Street Meeting House (ASMH) in Philadelphia. Organizers from around the country will be in attendance in order to ratify a People’s Platform, participate in movement building exercises and to discuss next steps for the political revolution spearheaded by Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
By Gareth Porter for Truthout – The People’s Summit in Chicago June 17-19 dramatically displayed both the strengths and the vulnerabilities of what has emerged in 2016 as one of the most potentially powerful movements for fundamental change in the United States in many decades. The event, which brought together 3,000 committed movement activists to rally in support of the “political revolution” given impetus by Bernie Sanders’ campaign, was an opportunity to ensure that the movement will not dissipate in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s clinching the Democratic nomination.
By Richard Moser for Be Freedom – To organize millions, the revolution has to create, not destroy. Truly massive movements take shape around affirmations of goodness most powerfully represented by the promise of universal values. Our task is to fulfill this promise, recognizing that we doom our efforts to win people’s support and allegiance if we too often rely solely on criticism, resistance, and opposition. It is far, far better thing that we be authors of a new world rather than critics of the old one.