Why Is This Ongoing American “Revolution” Bound To Fail?

| Strategize!

Above photo: A stylized American flag is held upside down among hundreds gathered in Boston on Tuesday to protest against police brutality following the death of George Floyd. Charles Krupa/AP.

Observed from outer space, the United States is in a revolutionary turmoil. Fires are burning, thousands of people are confronting police and other security forces. There are barricades, banners, posters, and there is rage.

Rage is well justified. Grievances run deep, through the veins of a confused and socially insecure population, in both cities and the countryside. Minorities feel and actually are oppressed. Indeed they have been disgracefully oppressed, since the birth of the country, over two centuries ago (see my latest report carried by this magazine).

There are some correct words uttered and written; many appropriate sentiments are expressed.

And yet, and yet… It looks like a revolution, it feels like a revolution, but it is not a revolution. It definitely is not! Why?

*

An expert on Communist China, a man who spent many years living and writing books about the most populous country on Earth, Jeff Brown, recently voiced something that immediately caught my attention. He described, accurately, on his China Rising Radio Sinoland, what has been taking place in his native country, United States:

Protests in the USA, land of Marlboro Man will come to nothing because there is no solidarity, no vision, nor guiding ideology to unite the people in the common struggle against the 1%. Just ask the Black Panthers and Mao Zedong.” 

This is precisely when ‘guiding ideology’ is desperately needed! But it is nowhere to be found.

For years and decades, the US (and European) elites and their mass media, as well as their educational plus ‘entertainment’ outlets, have been systematically de-politicizing the brains of their citizens. Pornography, consumerism, and sitcoms instead of deep, philosophical books and films. Massive – often booze and sex-oriented – travel, instead of roaming the world in search of knowledge, answers, while building bridges between different cultures (even between those of victims and victimizers).

Results are increasingly evident.

Citizens in the Western countries were told that the ideologies, particularly the left ones, became “something that belongs to the past,” “something heavy,” unattractive, and definitely not ‘cool.’ Western masses accepted it easily, without realizing that without the left-wing ideologies, there can be no change, no revolution, and no organized opposition to the regime, which has been plundering the world for several hundreds of years.

They were told that Democrats are representing left-wing, and Republicans, right-wing. Deep inside, many felt it is rubbish. There is only one right-wing political party in the US – Democrat-Republican one. But it was better for the great majority just to ignore its own instincts and swim with the flow.

*

It went so far that most of the people in North America and Europe reached the point when they were not even able to commit themselves to almost anything, anymore, from the Communist movements to marriages and relationships. I recently described this occurrence in my book “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism.”

There are many explanations for this. One of them: regime created society built on extreme individualism, selfishness, and shallow perception of the world. To organize, to commit, actually requires at least some discipline, effort, and definitely great dedicated effort to learn (about the world, a person, or a movement) and to work hard for a better world. It is not easy to become a revolutionary when one is positioned on a couch, or a gym, or while banging for hours every day into a smartphone.

The results are sad. Anarchism, consisting of countless fragmented approaches, is increasingly popular, but it will definitely not change the country.

When leaders of the ‘revolutionary commune’ in Seattle were approached by sympathetic journalists and asked about their goals, they could not answer. These were, undoubtfully, people with good intentions, outraged by racism, and by the killing of innocent people. But do they have plans, strategy, an organization to overthrow the system which is literally choking billions of lives on all continents? Definitely not!

On June 11, 2020, RT filed a report about the situation in Seattle:

“A few different organizations have different demands, and no one speaks for everyone, but everyone’s trying to get together,” Simone clarified, implying that the much-discussed list of “demands” that have circulated for the past few days don’t represent the wishes of the entire community. However, there are a few lines of commonality running through the settlement.

“Everyone’s upset. We all came here in unity, just over the fact that cops need accountability,” he said, declaring that his decision to join the demonstration was about “trying to send a message and get accountability held.”

“Now we’re here – let’s get the dialogue going,” Simone continued, unwilling to commit to taking over other precincts, expanding the Zone, or any of the ambitious demands made by others in the group.”

*

Russian Bolsheviks had it clear, and the same could be said about their followers. Before the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution, they spent years and decades educating people all over their vast country. Some of the greatest thinkers and writers, including novelist Maxim Gorky and poet Vladimir Mayakovski, were participating in the “project.” Even simple peasants were easily grasping the reality of their dismal existence while getting inspired by some of the greatest minds of their nation. If not for the Cold War and West’s brutal interference, the Soviet Union would survive and thrive until this day.

The same could be said about the great revolutionary struggles of China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, Venezuela, where hundreds of millions of tremendous works of philosophy, fiction and poetry have been distributed, for free, to both peasants and workers, who easily understood and got inspired by them. In China, in the 1930s, the entire so-called “Shanghai School of Cinema” was born, a true socialist-realism movement that helped to educate the Chinese public about the state in which it was forced to exist.

Big and successful revolutions were constructed and then supported by the educated urban and rural poor, who were awakened and consequently outraged by their position in the society.

*

Unfortunately, the rebellion in the United States is strategically shallow. There are no great leaders, no cultural figures leading it, no extraordinary educators.

Without any doubt, there are clear reasons for rage and resistance. Racism is one tremendous one.

And, there are other ones: US society, in general, is tired as it is depressed. As it is confused. The country is robbing, literally looting the entire Planet. It tortures people in various countries. Rainforests are burning in Indonesia, Brazil, and Congo to satisfy demands for more palm oil and other raw materials. US citizens are consuming as no other nation under the sun does. They entertain themselves, often living frivolous, empty lives. And yet, almost no one seems to be happy there; no one satisfied.

People know something went essentially wrong, but they are not sure precisely what it is. Or, who should really be blamed?

There is an acute lack of solidarity. And everything is happening impromptu.

Are the ‘members of the majority’ in the US truly kneeling because they are in unison with the oppressed minorities and the brutalized non-Western world? Or are they “trying to save their own skin,” and at the end, keep the status quo intact, as has happened in Australia and their basically insincere “We Are Sorry!” 2008 movement?

There no strong “front,” there is no revolutionary program.

It appears that the country is not ready, not prepared, for a huge job of re-defining itself.

Insecurity is due to the lack of free medical care, education, and subsidized housing. Most of the people are in debt. Depression is, at least partially, due to overconsumption of intellectual and emotional junk. There is plenty of fundamentalist religions, but almost no discussion about how to improve life in this world.

Segregated, atomized, and otherwise, fragmented society seems to be unable to give birth to a truly compassionate, egalitarian national project.

Many US citizens see themselves as “victims.” Ethnic minorities definitely are. Are the others, too? Who is the victim, and who is the perpetrator? On which side of the scales sits a regular middle-class family, compliant and, by global comparison, heavily indulged in overconsumption? So far, there is no open discussion on this topic. In fact, it is being avoided by all means.

There seems to be at least some consensus that 1% of the richest is to blame, as well as the entire corporate and political system, and also banks. But what about the majority; those individuals who keep voting the system, those who are making sure to ignore imperialism, racism, inequality?

Many questions should be asked, particularly now, but they are not. The very uncomfortable questions they are.

But without asking them, without searching for honest answers, there is no way forward, and no true revolution possible.

The neo-liberal system created entire nations that cannot think independently and creatively. US is definitely one of them. People were bombarded with propaganda slogans that they are free, enjoying liberties. But when the day to act arrived, there has been nothing substantial in terms of new, revolutionary ideas. Just one enormous void. Nothing that could inspire the nation and the world.

The outrage over the brutal police killing propelled millions of people to the streets. The mood has been truly rebellious, revolutionary, geared for big changes.

But then, nothing!

Revolution is being postponed. Opportunities lost. Postpone by how many years?

The truth is – there are no shortcuts. Those who sincerely want to change the United States will have to follow the revolutionary formula from other countries. The formula is mainly based on education, knowledge, and determined, selfless work for the country and the world, called “internationalism.”

Unless the US comes up with an absolutely new strategy, formula, but right now, frankly, it seems to be extremely far from coming up with it!

*

First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook – a journal of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Six of his latest books are “New Capital of Indonesia”, “China Belt and Road Initiative”,China and Ecological Civilization” with John B. Cobb, Jr., “Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism”, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and Latin America, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website, his Twitter and his Patreon.

  • ThisOldMan

    There seems to be at least some consensus that 1% of the richest is to blame, as well as the entire corporate and political system, and also banks. But what about the majority; those individuals who keep voting the system, those who are making sure to ignore imperialism, racism, inequality?

    Exactly the question I kept asking myself after the South Carolina primary.

  • iowapinko

    Much truth incorporated within this article, as well as key questions.

    Yes, we stand at a precipice. The people have finally, at long last, come out into their streets, en masse, rejecting the unchecked rule of an oligarchic regime so out of control that it threatens the very survival of life on the planet. But, now that we are out here, there is widespread confusion as to the next step.

    I share the anxiety of Andre Vitchek that this nominal movement is in danger of losing momentum and potential. The movement has inadequate focus, leadership, strategy. It is entering a very precarious stage that will require massive community AND individual

    investment, selfless contribution, and something I no longer take for granted; a willingness to work toward a goal in the absence of a guaranteed reward.

    This transformative moment has not materialized out of the blue. It represents the product of an accumulation of rage rising up from numerous tipping points of oppression as well as the coalescence of inspiration from a number of progressive causes. It is the accidental product of MILLIONS of people experiencing, due to a pandemic, the most significant stretch of freedom and the luxury of time to think in most of our lifetimes.

    Turns out there may be a basis for the bosses’ opposition to time off for the workers. Even a few weeks of unfettered consideration can make us “dangerous”.

    I am nowhere near as demoralized as Andre, but more so AMAZED at the progress the people have managed to accomplish. Today, there are very few Gene Debs investing their lives in education and agitation; this is the WORK we need to do.

    Leadership will rise up out of this movement. Indeed, it is already happening. The Minneapolis City Council has voted to radically transform that police dept. This did not transpire in a leadership vacuum. Leadership is all around us. We need to sharpen our vision in order to see it.

  • acme

    The primary identifying feature of this particular uprising is that it is not a single group. It is fronted by BLM, but its diversity is what makes it important. The lack of uniformity, with everyone waving little red books or whatever, may be its strength. It is not a crank group of disgruntled misfits, but a nation reaching an epiphany. We hope.

  • Harbinger

    Turns out there may be a basis for the bosses’ opposition to time off
    for the workers. Even a few weeks of unfettered consideration can make
    us “dangerous” to the continuation of oligarchic oppression.

    That is a really important point.

  • Collectivist

    “Leadership will rise up out of this movement. ”

    History has shown that it always does.
    I’ve seen it.

  • SteelPirate

    Yep…

    If the workers want to win, all they have to do is recognize their own solidarity. If the workers are organized all they have to do is fold their arms and the world will stop. The workers are more powerful with their hands in their pockets than all the property of the capitalists.

    –Joe Ettor

  • Jon

    He makes valid points, but is overly negative. Note: in response to the point “where are the leaders?” Recall, Malcolm X, MLK, George Jackson, and Fred Hampton, among others. ALL were charismatic leaders who a huge following because they DID have a clear vision of where to go. All were murdered. So, instead of single, easily identified leaders, now there is the concept of horizontal leadership: “we are all followers, we are leaders.” As for ideology, the new one is coming into being–eco-socialism!

  • Vietnam Vet

    Excellent point regarding the accountability of the vast majority of U.S. voters who keep re-electing incumbents by 95%+ rates, while overall approval of Congress tanks around 22%. Voting results: creeping (and sometimes sprinting) normalization of oppression and theft over decades.

    The uprising was triggered by an egregious racist knee on the neck of a black man. BLM has advanced (again) into the spotlight. All well and good, although when Nancy Pelosi and Goldman-Sachs take a knee, you know co-option is well underway.

    A racist knee has always been on the necks of people of color in the U.S., but they are not alone. An egregious racist U.S. knee has been on the necks of the Venezuelan, Syria, Libyan, Yemeni, Afghani, Iranian, Iraqi, and countless other people around the planet, for decades, resulting in vast swathes of misery and death far beyond the domestic U.S. toll.

    But as a Vietnam vet, I can attest to the fact that generally speaking, the U.S. public doesn’t give a sh$t about other people’s lives. They barely care about veteran casualties.

    But what goes around, comes around, and here we are in the middle of a perfect storm triggered by the convergence of racist, biological, climate, political and economic crises, all of which are accelerating some faster than others. It’s only going to get worse, and I can’t envision any of the incremental steps (including voting) being taken or proposed doing much to change the situation.

    And let’s talk about the most egregious racist knee on the planet these days. I’m talking about the apartheid state of Israel and their treatment of Palestinians. Israeli training has infected U.S. police with their racist warrior culture. Will BLM ever expand to embrace PLM? If not, then it’s all a bit hypocritical posturing.

  • Jon

    We must have a viable 3rd party that can actually WIN. That is why people vote as they do.

  • It’s the SOCIAL DARWINISM, STUPID!

  • Jeff

    Revolutions happen when enough people get into the streets and stay there that the society becomes ungovernable, and/or when the cops and military are also so fed up that they refuse to defend the rulers. Anything short of that is just a rebellion, not a revolution.
    Considering how good even average Americans have it materially

    I highly doubt that anything close to a majority of people in the U.S. actually wants a revolution. Hell, 80% totally support the disgusting military, and the majority believe that the cops’ responded properly to protesters, even while they beat them, attacked them with chemical weapons, and drove over them with motor vehicles. So don’t expect much from the general public in this country, at least not at this point.

  • Collectivist

    Right on!

  • mwildfire

    Much of Vitchek’s critique of US society is a right on, but his analysis is marred by his fundamentalism. When I was in Brazil for the 2002 World Social Forum, there were billboards reading “Use your mouth to oppose fundamentalism.” They meant not just religious but also economic fundamentalism, neoliberalism. And I thought, Do they realize that communists are fundamentalist too? In essence, a fundamentalist is anyone who speaks in capital letters–the Ten Truths, the One Way to Salvation, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat. Vitchek doesn’t literally use capital letters, but he betrays his blinkered view with the statement that the Soviet Union would be a thriving and prosperous country if not for the attacks from the West. But the West didn’t get serious about harassing the USSR until after WW II; by then the USSR was long since corrupted into a repressive, totalitarian regime. I think it’s fair to say Nicaragua and Venezuela and Bolivia and others could have been great countries if not for relentless (US-led) harassment–but not the USSR or PRC. Furthermore, rigid ideologies lend themselves to splintering, schisms and circular firing squads. A genuinely liberatory movement can’t speak with one voice, and it’s true that this is a handicap in forcing change against the status quo.
    I think what’s lacking is not One Ideology everyone adheres to, but a dismantling of the propaganda apparatus that conditions us to go along with the status quo, and see each other as the enemy. There are plenty of alternative media outlets, but too many still get their info from the “mainstream media.” And the alternatives are full of fascist ideologies, some likely funded by the same people also supporting the mainstream.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Andre (and Kevin) since this is in the ‘Strategize’ section of Popular Revolution, I felt inspired and invited to post this:

    “This ain’t what democracy looks like”

    “This is what EMPIRE looks like”

    New Chant for any demonstrations, marches, and protests regarding all the oppressions, issues, and tyrannies of, and caused by, this one Disguised Global Crony Capitalist EMPIRE.

  • Blaine

    Power concedes nothing without a demand. Ya Basta only means something if you have a vision of what the corrective looks like.

  • RBluhm

    Harriet Tubman stated words to the effect that she saved hundreds of people from slavery and could have saved hundreds more if they knew they were slaves. WHAT? Slaves did not realize that they were SLAVES!

    Today, in America, we the people have been cranked around six ways until Sunday by a Big Brother that has stolen our capacity to think, and the vast majority has no idea that it has been brainwashed. George Carlin was much more than a comedian. He’s still telling the truth on Youtube.

    The comments below are very good, but the problem is that we choir members know that despite what we try to explain to our fellow Americans they refuse to admit that Trump is a symptom, and the system is the disease and on and on ad nauseam.

  • Alan MacDonald

    The “corrective” Blaine, is for ‘we the American people’ to fire a; loud, public, sustained, ‘in-the-streets’, but totally non-violent “SHOUT (not shot) heard round the world” to ignite a Third American people’s peaceful and complete “Political/economic & socialist Revolution Against Empire” to lead the world toward socialist democracy as our first one did in 1776 and our second one did in 1861 — but without the muskets.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Yes, Bluhm, this deadly Disguised Global Crony Capitalist EMPIRE — which has been effin us all for more than half a CENTURY — has been using its seven-sectored Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire to totally deceive, delude, propagandize, and infantilize ‘the people’ with their ‘Ruling-Elite’, UHNWIs, 0.03%ers, and self-appointed “Masters of the Universe” and their dual-party Vichy-facade Faux-democracy (and the other six sectors) of the same damned EMPIRE.

    To which I can only say to all Americans:

    GET ‘WOKE’ &
    ‘FOLK’ THE
    EMPIRE

  • potshot

    Do you believe voters really decide elections? Candidates are vetted, bought, and sold by the oligarchy long before the first ballot is cast.

  • Collectivist

    Worth repeating:

    “There are plenty of alternative media outlets, but too many still get their info from the “mainstream media.” And the alternatives are full of fascist ideologies, some likely funded by the same people also supporting the mainstream”

  • there is a choice coming for every individual (in the US and most other countries) the choice will be between complete enslavement by the all encompassing digital system being rolled out or freedom which begins with opting out of the existing system – either choice will come with a high price to the individual. Those who are uninformed will have no choice – they will unwittingly be absorbed into the complete control enslavement system. Question everything you hear and read – do your own research – become as informed as possible – Think for yourself. There are organizations (not partisan driven) that can help you – find them.

  • Collectivist

    “And let’s talk about the most egregious racist knee on the planet these days. I’m talking about the apartheid state of Israel and their treatment of Palestinians. Israeli training has infected U.S. police with their racist warrior culture. Will BLM ever expand to embrace PLM? If not, then it’s all a bit hypocritical posturing.”

    Excellent question.

    I’ve participated, over the last five years, in organizations in objective, or subjective alliance with BLM.

    What appears to have occurred – more clearly since the recent social rebellions – are several political contradictions within BLM. The most important one (and which often develops in social/political groups is a class struggle between those who have becomed coopted by the very forces they claim to be against, and those intent on unambiguously opposing those forces.

    Decentralized orgs, like BLM, afaics, are particularly susceptible to this contradiction emerging, and eventually becoming antagonistic. Many of its members are professed anarchists. Many are liberals of various stripes. Many are socialists and communists

    Usually a real internal division occurs, with any number of members forming separate groups altogether.

    Complicating the matter further are the scores of people, with no previous political orientation, who have been drawn into BLM since the rebellions began.

    Imo, the latter forces, allied with the most radical forces already active and influential in BLM, will be the decisive factors in how radical BLM becomes.

    If not, more relevant and radical orgs. will emerge.

  • Bill Rood

    People know something went essentially wrong, but they are not sure precisely what it is.

    Yes, “Something is happening, but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?” I generally like Vltchek, but he too is wrong when he says there’s no ideology.

    The ideologies are tribalism and tribal victimhood. Class consciousness/loyalty is replaced by tribal consciousness/loyalty. An approved tribe is any group that can claim to have been discriminated against in the past, such as blacks, native Americans, Latinx, women, gender non-conformists and non-Christian religious minorities including Jews. Asians are in a special category, allowed to claim victimhood only when discrimination against them is clearly egregious. No stereotyping of approved tribes is allowed, even stereotyping regularly practiced by members of that group, such as when a female or older black person crosses the street on the approach of a group of black youths, or when Israel brags that AIPAC controls the US government. On the other hand, stereotyping of non-approved tribes is permitted or even approved. Thus, whites are always racist, privileged and indebted to other tribes because it’s assumed they have personally benefited from the oppression of other tribes, even if they live in a shack. It’s also OK to talk about the parenting habits of Asians and assume that all Asians have parenting skills that result in high, perhaps even unfairly high, academic achievements of their children.

    These ideologies are guaranteed strategic failures for the less privileged members of even approved tribes, because they create disunity, even hatred, within the 99% of Americans who are not extremely wealthy. This is true even of the tribe that enjoys the highest average socio-economical status of any tribe in the US (which I dare not mention by name). There are, after all, some members of that tribe who are not wealthy or even middle class and who struggle to maintain a middle class lifestyle with adequate medical care.

  • Alan MacDonald

    I’m STILL ONLY SEEING myself and Andre addressing the single deadly cancerous disease of democratic Republics —- which for those asleep is EMPIRE, EMPIRE, EMPIRE.

    While, in the rule, era (and ERROR) of Slick Willie there was a dumb stae

  • deanosor

    I thank the author for asking some good questions, however he gets several things wrong. All revolutions are in the uncharted waters the U.S. is in, attempting new ideas, getting some right and some wrong. Yes, we begin (we are still beginning) from some very strange places with some of the problems the author mentions however the diversity of perspectives and the willingness to experiment is not one of them.

    The author mentioned anarchism and immediately dismissed it, as if the only way forward is the repressive totalitarianism that the Bolsheviks and Chinese Communists gave their people who were striving for a better, freer and less repressive world. Right now the unity the author denies existing is a combination of the Black Radical tradition and anarchism. It also includes many new ideas. The “revolutions” the author worships did not end up led by the workers and oppressed but instead ended up being run by an elite bureaucracy and with the possible exception of Cuba all have ended up as regular capitalist countries of one sort or another. The main reason for that is that they were not what people were looking for and therefore the general populations did not waste their time and lives fighting to keep them going.

  • SteelPirate

    Will have a look. On another note. I want to point something out to you. I won’t go over because I’m not invited but I want to make a point what’s happening. You put up that article at Snowflakes about capitalism. This is the first response you get.

    —-

    Preachin’ to the choir here.

    It’s really too bad that our opulent “Horn of Plenty” world operate the way it does, where human greed has the power to trump empathy. I really think that’s at the root of so many of humanity’s problems; a skewed (unrealistic) sense of self-preservation at all costs; a threat which in turn promotes excessive greed. It’s like a self-fulfilling/self-promoting/symbiotic vicious cycle.

    But I don’t think that empathy is something that can be taught or bestowed. Either that quality is in a person, or it isn’t. Either one can “go outside the self” and see the inequalities, the un-level playing field, or they can’t. IMO (and my observations).

    ————-

    This is utter and complete bulls##t and the meaning behind this is capitalism and private ownership of the means of life are not the problem. It’s the people who are bad. The people are evil… what can you do… it’s not the fault of capitalism or private ownership of the means of life. It’s not the system. This is not confusion C. This is not a case of lack of knowledge. This is how reactionaries operate. It’s a script and it’s designed to stop any criticism of the system in it’s tracks and drag the discussion into beliefs, feelings, attitudes, and “human nature.” It is sophistry in defense of business as usual and the status quo.

  • JohnDoe00

    To me, “Peace” has always been a strangely funny and ridiculous word. Never much for peace, the identical gesture held up by Winston Churchill was used to symbolize “Victory.” However late to the party, Churchill and his fellow capitalists knew however what so-called peace proponents from the 1960’s to the present day did and do not: the only peace worthy of its name occurs only after victory. Never before it.

    Many years ago, owing as much to my own late adolescent cowardice as my unbridled rage, I gave careful, serious consideration to killing a guy.

    The object of my “plan” was a fellow sailor aboard ship who, after sucker punching my dear friend Frank ___, hopped on top of him and repeatedly stuck his face into a **rat guard (**in 1978, the device’s incarnation had long aluminum strips that splayed out like a flower and prevented rats from crawling up the ship’s mooring lines). When Frank walked into our berthing area afterwards, what wasn’t swollen up like a balloon looked as if it had been carved up by a razor. Before Frank could fully recount what had happened, I went blank.

    In those days, long before a “# “ was known to anyone but a typer, believe it or not, for both good and bad, guys were often still left to handling their own affairs. If you hit an officer or someone in authority that could land you in Leavenworth – otherwise, you were expected to take care of things for yourself; the way John Wayne had shown us. But for me, the insatiable need for vengeance on this fellow intersected with a paralyzing fear of him. After a solid two weeks of emotional limbo that felt more like years, it was settled: on his fantail watch one night while out to sea I would slip up behind him and hit him with a hammer and toss him to the depths of the Pacific.

    For two days I sat with my decision – and like Dostoyevsky’s Roskolnikov I was all alone with it. What it meant for my life and what I thought of my soul and so on. For a guy from the suburbs of southern California with no experience in such darkness, the decision was a lonely one. The voices of the lives around me had become all but muted out by my decision.

    Unable to house such personal turmoil much longer, in the interests of brevity I will say it was only a random, unsolicited letter from my father that altered perhaps the course of my entire life. And this terrible fellow’s. After tucking the letter away, I walked into the chow hall where he was chewing his food. And kicked him squarely in the face. We were separated and he wasn’t dead. But gathering himself up from my assault he assured me I would soon be. We would meet on the ship’s fantail. With a Greek Chorus of the ship’s sailors gathered around us, we fought there. And following unreturned blow upon blow from me I didn’t know I had in me to administer, my now well beaten foe dropped his hands and walked away in defeat, and yes, alive.

    Admittedly, there is no clear moral to this story. What there is however is a clear understanding that unlike the personal conscience that prevents most of us from preventing acts of barbarism – even in the face of it, capitalism has no such conscience. It will use our inherent humanity against us even as it displays a willingness to do whatever it needs to to survive. “It knows,” as another poster recently noted, “that we aren’t willing to do the things that it is to survive.” This is what we’re up against. And for the working-class, any “Peace” worthy of the name sure as hell ain’t coming before the “Victory” that allows for it. ✌🏿

  • Collectivist

    Hmmm. . .

    Some cogent points there, Sp, as always

    .But, I have yet to discern that the commenter is reactionary.

  • GypsyFreyja

    I share your concerns and hope you are correct, iowa. While I am a tiny bit encourage by what is going on, I think the author is correct in saying all of the energy, enthusiasm, rage and desire to transform this country into a wholly just and equitable society will fizzle out (as it did in the ’60s and 70’s) once we go back to being employees and consumers. Without a crystal clear vision from trusted leaders, and thousands of leaders as backup, there will be no way to stitch together all the fragments of each specific movements within our society. I listen to current leaders and am inspired by some of them but, with a few exceptions, that’s all they seem to be doing is talking….and writing books for more consumption. A lot of what I hear is: “Why don’t they/we….”, “Why aren’t they/we…”, “What does it take for….”, etc. Worthy questions indeed but hardly a rallying call to action. If there is not coalescence around specific goals and how to achieve them and if there is no effort to educate the people where they live and work (door knocking, parking lots, etc or by other means outside of oligarchy controlled MSM), then it is not a revolution but merely groups individuals airing grievances who will be pacified or ignored completely.

    It is entering a very precarious stage that will require massive community AND individual investment, selfless contribution, and something I no longer take for granted; a willingness of activists to work toward goals in the absence of a guaranteed reward.

    While I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, I think the last part is vitally important, for we cannot know what would be the outcome of any collective action. I would, however, change

    individual investment

    to individual sacrifice as sacrifice is what we will have to be willing to do in order to achieve anything of substance. However, sacrifice is word we do not want to use let alone hear. How much is one really willing to sacrifice of oneself for the sake another without a

    guaranteed reward

    ? Especially if it takes decades of self-sacrifice, possibly deprivation, relinquishment of some individuality, life imprisonment? A look at current US political prisoners says a lot about our country and how those who have followed revolutionary thought and/or actions are not welcomed. The PIC and militarization of the police forces didn’t happen by accident nor merely for profit. The oligarchy has anticipated an uprising for decades and they are prepared. It is a part of the capitalist cycle and they fully understand that fact.

    I bring up these points not to be discouraging nor a Debbie Downer. On the contrary, I think we must fully acknowledge that the undertaking of a truly transformative revolution will have consequences, good and bad, before it can come to fruition. IMHO, if we stand together and support each other, it can be done.

    “A wall is just a wall; It can be broken down.” Assata Shakur

  • GypsyFreyja

    I share your concerns and hope you are correct, iowa. While I am a tiny bit encourage by what is going on, I think the author is correct in saying all of the energy, enthusiasm, rage and desire to transform this country into a wholly just and equitable society will fizzle out (as it did in the ’60s and 70’s) once we go back to being employees and consumers without focused leadership. Without a crystal clear vision from trusted leaders, and thousands of leaders as backup, there will be no way to stitch together all the fragments of each specific movements within our society.

    I listen to current leaders and am inspired by some of they say but, with a few exceptions, all they seem to be doing is talking.…and writing books for more consumption. A lot of what I hear is: “Why don’t they/we….”, “Why aren’t they/we…”, “What does it take for….”, etc. They/we, of course, being us. Worthy questions indeed but hardly a call to action.

    If there is not coalescence around specific goals and how to achieve them and if there is no effort to educate the people where they live and work (door knocking, parking lots, etc, or by other means outside of oligarchy controlled MSM), then it is not a revolution but merely groups individuals airing grievances who will be pacified or ignored completely by our government.

    It is entering a very precarious stage that will require massive community AND individual investment, selfless contribution, and something I no longer take for granted; a willingness of activists to work toward goals in the absence of a guaranteed reward.

    While I wholeheartedly agree with this statement, I think the last part is vitally important, for we cannot know what would be the outcome of any collective action. I would, however, change “individual investment” to individual sacrifice as sacrifice is what we will have to be willing to do in order to achieve anything of substance. However, sacrifice is word we do not want to use let alone hear. How much is one really willing to sacrifice of oneself for the sake another without a guaranteed reward? Especially if it takes decades of self-sacrifice, possibly deprivation, relinquishment of some individuality, or life imprisonment? A look at current US political prisoners says a lot about our country and how those who have followed revolutionary thought and/or actions are not welcomed. Not to mention the ones who have been murdered. The PIC and militarization of the police forces didn’t happen by accident nor merely for profit. The oligarchy has anticipated an uprising for decades and they are prepared. It is a part of the capitalist cycle and they fully understand that fact.

    I bring up these points not to be discouraging nor a Debbie Downer. On the contrary, I think we must fully acknowledge that the undertaking of a truly transformative revolution will have consequences, good and bad, before it can come to fruition. IMHO, if we stand together and support each other, it can be done.

    “A wall is just a wall; It can be broken down.” Assata Shakur

  • Geez man. Beyond the entire point of the story, buried in there is the little tiny random event that you mentioned which broke the mental pattern that had consumed you.

    Like the story I mentioned about the freaky way a few random words broke the determination of men who had decided they were going to violently take what was not being given, and consequently avoided a gang rape – or worse, so it sounds like your dad’s random letter interrupted your determination and prevented a murder.

  • SteelPirate

    Your correspondent is a Democratic Party hack and cheerleader supreme for the party. The worst of the worst when is comes to marginalizing the political left. That tune can be heard in one note. Beyond that…your correspondent has spent a lifetime being full of shit. In other words. A “progressive democrat.”

    “Gluttony, over-population, abuse of earthly resources, Capitalism Gone Awry, selfishness… all lead to an eventual “dead end.” I can see the light dark at the end of the humanity tunnel.”

    “Well, I certainly believe that those who think differently than I do about my politics are sure they are right about their politics. Like my beliefs are real to me, their beliefs are just as real to them, whether in actuality either of ours is ultimately true or false.”

    Capitalism has not “gone awry.” Capitalism was always what it is. And her “beliefs” don’t have a f##king thing to do with it.

  • mmckinley

    No, we need a viable FIRST party. Half the Democrats are disgusted progressives. And nearly two-thirds of independents have been such for years. Together they constitute well over half of the electorate, the makings of a New Revolutionary Party with a potential majority greater than Republicans and Democrats combined.Thousands of people are organizing quietly throughout the nation right now, in several quite viable, emerging fronts. It’s time for an historic new split. I believe it will begin in earnest just after the election of 2020 (the groundwork is happening now), swell into a movement by 2022, and overwhelm American politics by 2024. This is NOT the revolution developing in the streets right now. But it will be a part of that revolution, intimately connected. Democracy is much, much more than voting at the ballot box, much more than any party, or more even than any ideology. Exciting times!

  • Vietnam Vet

    Agreed, especially as regards class divisions. In the 1990s while working for the East Palo Alto police department in IT tech support I was shocked to overhear conversations between officers at shift changes and learn that black officers were MORE racist than their white warrior buddies.

    Another example is the co-option of the Black (mis)Leadership Caucus in Congress by Democrats, effectively neutralizing any policy or spending reform that would significantly benefit people of color. You can tell the BLM movement is similarly being co-opted when Nancy Pelosi and corporate America “takes a knee.”

    Not clear to me how much more “radical” BLM (or any other group for that matter) can become. Protests are already petering out. Co-option is underway. The state has shown it is ready to use force to quell open riots of the scale mounted so far, and to plant agent provocateurs to stoke negative public opinion of any violent direct action.

    Lessons from the Occupy movement in terms of focus, staying power, and effectiveness are not good. That said, these are different times with the pandemic and fundamental collapses of the capitalist system.

    Frustration and rage can only mount with working and middle class folks as economic thumbscrews are tightened and they find more time on their hands due to unemployment. Something has to give, but I have no idea what, and that is frightening.

  • Vietnam Vet

    The vast majority of individuals (and voters) have already made this decision. The problem arising is that it is extremely difficult to have meaningful discussions with folks who are either un-informed or as likely, mis-informed. As Mark Twain famously said, never argue with a stupid person – they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

  • Collectivist

    “That said, these are different times with the pandemic and fundamental collapses of the capitalist system”

    Requiring different strategies and tactics.

  • Collectivist

    Got it.
    Thanx.

  • Jon

    Indeed! I’m fully on board and up to speed more or less with this effort. The sixties (in which I was deeply involved) was the dress rehearsal for NOW when EVERYTHING is on the table, including the continuation of life itself.

  • Vietnam Vet

    Different than what’s already been tried like horizontal leadership, consensus decision making, consciousness raising, building community, boycotts, simplified lifestyles, … what’s new and different?

  • SteelPirate

    This is rampant. In one way or another this is the majority of what you see out here in these discussions no matter what angle it comes from. “Human nature and beliefs.” Awful, awful, awful. We need to address it everywhere.

  • Collectivist

    Let us ponder that a bit. . .

  • mmckinley

    The demand for abolition is entirely new, especially in its extent across many, many people. Abolition of the guardians of capitalism, the enforcers of its slavery and exploitation, recognizing at last that these systems (the police, the prisons, the military) are violent systems of control, of criminalizing the people, our democracy, even whole nations, and occupying and terrorizing them, and as such are producers and perpetrators of the crimes from which they supposedly protect us. Entirely new is the realization that this abolition movement is connected necessarily to the past abolition of race slavery, which is still not complete. Abolition of the guardians of capital would be a knife plunged deep into the heart of capitalism, a truly revolutionary act that would change everything. Capitalism cannot exist, let alone prosper, in its continuous concentration and monopolization of wealth, without these enforcers. But make no mistake; this current rebellion is only the beginning of revolution. We must keep focused on our immediate objective—abolition of police, prisons, and military control of democracy—as we go into the inevitable and necessary quiescence and regrouping. Just as we need to keep our eyes on the larger objective, of tearing capitalism out by the roots. Abolition is our key, immediate demand. What will replace it all, from the elimination of poverty to systems of community support, a renewed commons, a regenerative and sharing economy, will come later. Social healing and evolution take time, patience, and focused determination.

  • IconoclastTwo

    “Lessons from the Occupy movement in terms of focus, staying power, and effectiveness are not good. That said, these are different times with the pandemic and fundamental collapses of the capitalist system.”

    This is something I’ve been thinking about for years and I’m not sure if I’ve gotten good answers to this as yet, so I’ll still bring it up. Wasn’t one problem with Occupy that underlying assumption that capitalism is physically concentrated but these days it isn’t? ie, lets say that NYC and DC were completely occupied with justifiably enraged Americans. How much would that actually stop capitalism if you’re not going to disrupt the communication links that keep markets going, keep the commanders giving orders to the military and police, et cetera?

  • Vietnam Vet

    I think of capitalism as not being concentrated anywhere in particular, but rather semi-autonomous nodes interconnected via a distributed network with an intentionally designed high degree of survivability and security, SWIFT being a prime example, the internet being another. Extremely tough to disrupt, even for state actors at the level of Russia or China.

  • Nylene13

    Stop eating meat.

    Eat a veggie burger instead.
    Meat is not healthy for our Health or the Environment.

    Learn to make delicious homemade bread and healthy soup.

    Stop buying fancy expensive clothes. Buy work clothes, denim jeans, overhauls, jean jackets and clothes made from hemp cloth.

    Grow a backyard garden. Shop at farmers markets and worker owned food co/ops.

    Buy beautiful useful things from artists. Handmade pottery, for example. Learn to make something beautiful yourself, that you can trade or barter with.

    Working at home may become the new normal after this. Get to know your neighbors.

    Do meaningful and necessary work.

    Organize.

  • richardprofumo

    Living through the plague in late stage capitalism you know it ain’t easy! Or course we have the fight and build. The first war we have to win is the war inside. Battles come and go. Some we’ll win some we’ll lose but can’t loose the war inside. If the revolution “will not be televised then TURE THE T.V. OFF! Its rotting your brain.
    Move your money from banks to a credit unions. Rely on public transportation! If you can handle it
    get out the coffee shop and move the front lines. Make sure your in touch with a bail bonds man. The proclamation of the deed!

  • Mr. Vitchek says what I — and many other Marxians — have been saying for years.

    Such is the tragic, irreversible, hence ultimately apocalyptic ecogenocidal tragedy inflicted on ourselves and our Mother Earth by the defeat of the Soviet Union and the Neoliberal co-optation of China.

    And — just as some congenital disabilities are incurable — neither can a population methodically dumbed down from birth to congenital ignorance, self-obsession and moral imbecility ever recover its humanity without proper leadership.

    Which our Capitalist Slavemasters will never again allow.

    Thus Moron Nation with its Moronic Majority and empire of slave-states is forever — that is, until our species is no more.

    Thus too — bottom line — we are doomed.

    End of story.

  • SteelPirate

    Your screed is apologist drivel for the continuation of capitalist social relations and private ownership of the means of life. Cleverly worded sophistry in defense of business as usual and the status quo you claim to oppose in your commentary. I remember from a few months back you defending the owners,business for individual profit on a “smaller scale”, and the wage-slavery that goes with it.Your commentary is devoid of all understanding of the foundations of capitalist social relations and devoid of any understanding of historical material reality.

  • SteelPirate

    Individualist lifestyle choices have zero effect on changing the capitalist power structure. The capitalists will sell people all the personal and lifestyle choices they want for the right price.

  • Nylene13

    Not if we don’t buy it.
    Sounds like you don’t want to believe that what you do matters.

  • SteelPirate

    Says the guy who wants to depopulate this rock to ten million and go back to the hunter-gatherer primitivism. Not surprising that a reactionary that wants to cull and depopulate the herd refers to the public as sheep. The last vestige and wail of a reactionary coward too gutless to even think about taking a stand against capitalism and private ownership of the means of life. If the people are sheep why aren’t you bleating.

  • SteelPirate

    Poor people and the struggling do not have the luxury of picking and choosing their lifestyle and consumer choices. The only concern is surviving by any means necessary.

  • Nylene13

    Of course. That does not mean that the rest of us can’t start making better choices.

    We must change the way we live.

    Besides, a good homemade veggie burger is cheaper than a meat burger. Not to mention Healthier. And better for the Environment.

  • SteelPirate

    Again…”making better consumer choices” has zero to do with challenging the capitalist power structure and it has zero to do with politics. It belongs on a lifestyle forum for disaffected middle-class turd blossoms.

  • dmorista

    As always Mr. Vltchek, despite making many points from a leftist perspective that I agree with, shows that he really does not understand the situation we face in the U.S. In addition he lards his article with insulting, and often absurd comments, about American culture and the people who live here. In this particular article, in just the first 7 paragaphs, there are
    these gems: “For years and decades, the US (and European) elites and their mass media, as well as their educational plus ‘entertainment’ outlets, have been systematically de-politicizing the brains of their citizens. Pornography, consumerism, and sitcoms instead of deep, philosophical books and films. Massive – often booze and sex-oriented – travel, instead of roaming the world in search of knowledge, answers, while building bridges between different cultures … Citizens in the Western countries were told that the ideologies, particularly the left ones, became ‘something that belongs to the past,’ ‘something heavy,’ unattractive, and definitely not ‘cool.’ Western masses accepted it easily, … It went so far that most of the people in North America and Europe reached the point when they were not even able to commit themselves to almost anything, anymore, from the Communist movements to marriages and relationships.” If I copied and pasted in all the negative tired rhetorical statements and ridiculous BS in his article, my quotation it
    would be 5 or 10 times as long. It is as if his entire vision of life in the U.S. (and Europe) is gained from reading or watching material peddling the most severe Anti-American propaganda and stereotypes. And, of course we all know that everywhere, outside of
    the U.S. and Europe, the general populace spends most of their free time absorbing “deep, philosophical books and films.” and then sitting around discussing those books and films with brilliant insights, all within the milieu of their much more sincere personal relationships and political affiliations (what a laugh).

    The U.S. is a declining hegemonic power, whose ruling class is losing its grip on the world
    socioeconomic and political order. They are clearly a vicious bunch, labelled by Jimmy Dore as a “rapacious oligarchy”, and they have been looting our country for several decades now, as life here just gets worse and worse. But anybody who lives here knows we have the typical range of people, including many people who sacrifice their own well-being to care for children and older relatives, often at great financial and personal cost to themselves. And of course we have our share of unpleasant louts who do spend a significant amount of time watching pornography, or far worse who are active armed fascists. But, we hardly need to be lectured by an arrogant foreign snit telling us that we have a one-party state, that does its best to present the very limited political choices as actually being politically different; as Gore Vidal once observed “the U.S. has one political party, the property party, with two right wings”. Similarly we don’t need to be told that the “mass media” in the U.S. is designed to draw people away from any serious contemplation
    of reality.

    Surprising most of us “the people” showed a willingness to move, and have turned out at demonstrations in well over 800 cities and towns; places that probably number in the
    thousands if we include the many places out in the hinterland where people stand with signs at highway intersections and meet in small towns. It is true that the U.S. has plenty of leftists, but no functional operating political left; and leading this apparent grass-roots impulse shared by a large section of the population to try to change our society would be a major accomplishment for the left in American politics if it were to happen.

    Of course, Vltchek also ignores the massive literature of leftist analysis turned out by academics and other writers in the U.S. and Europe, the extremely lively web presence of leftist analysis, and the many fine documentaries that are produced and distributed in a variety of ways. As Richard Wolff points out in some of his talks he, as a Marxist intellectual and economist, spent 40 years without most people showing much of an
    interest in Socialism or Marxism. Now, over the last 10 years, this has changed radically; Wolff, as well as Noam Chomsky, cannot respond to more than a small part of the requests they get to come and talk with audiences all around the country.

    In the U.S. we face an extremely powerful right-wing with a large number of supporters; the corporate controlled media operates a pervasive propaganda and psyop program; the police are heavily armed and deploy tens of thousands of spies, informers, and agents provocateurs against left-leaning organizations; and of course the ruling class would mobilize the military against the progressive people if they really felt threatened. Vltchek also does not understand the degree of cooptation of the leadership of organizations demanding change.

    Let’s be clear about this, all the important reformist leaders and many emerging leftist leaders in past decades were murdered. In addition to JFK, RFK, MLK, Malcolm X, Thomas Merton, and Fred Hampton, we can also add JFK Jr., Mel Carnahan, Hale Boggs, and Paul Wellstone. In an earlier article here at Popular Resistance on June 22, “Do Not Belittle US Protesters By Calling Their Uprising A Color Revolution” he showed his lack of understanding of the difference between the current day coopted formerly PR industry leaders of Black Lives Matter (BLM), and the many thousands of common people in the streets supporting the general BLM line.

    Paul Street wrote an excellent analysis of the background of the 3 women who lead BLM in “What Would The Black Panthers Think Of Black Lives Matter?” June 18, 2020, posted here at Popular Resistance. Street’s article was mistaken about how much money had been given to BLM by the typical Liberal funders, but other than that was right on the money. I provided comments to both articles (Vltchek’s and Street’s) that discussed the funding of BLM as compared to that channeled to other African American organizations.

  • I will agree with your “difficult to have meaningful discussions with folks…”
    Where I differ, somewhat, is that I am not “trying to have a conversation”. I am simply making a statement that people can do with what they want.
    If I do not mention things to people that are important for them to be exposed to, then I am not doing the right thing. I prefer to share information that ‘I view as important’ and provide people with the opportunity to explore the information should they choose to do so.

    I will also differ with your statement that many people have already made ‘this decision’. It is my perception that most people have very little if any idea that a decision will need to be made – there is still some time. Because there is still time – albeit quite limited, I have chosen to bring up this subject for people to chew on and research should they determine this is a valuable expenditure of their time.
    There is nothing further I can do for people in this regard.

  • Jon

    Alan, On the contrary, many of us understand that, but regard it as unnecessary to constantly say it BECAUSE it is already understood. The question is HOW to dismantle this empire with as little collateral damage as possible.

  • Jon

    In response to “It is my perception that most people have very little if any idea that a decision will need to be made,” the old and useful union slogan “Which side are you on?” puts it squarely to people. They only need to “get” what sides we are talking about, and I think most people know that, at least in rudimentary form.

  • Jon

    Hey Loren, Despair is not a wining strategy! Unlike you, apparently, I’m not giving up.

  • “rudimentary form” – yes, I do believe most people understand that something is very much ‘off’ with their world. However, to make an informed decision, we need to understand what we are deciding on more fully than an ‘off’ feeling or being agitated by distracting and confusing propaganda. This is the circumstance that it seems too many are in – something’s wrong but I’m not quite sure what it is. (If I don’t know what it is, how can I wrap my mind around it and formulate an appropriate response?)
    As far as what “sides we are talking about”, in my view, the first thing people need to decide is what is most important to them – a sense of security (or reduction of fear) or freedom to be a unique individual. When this decision is made, then individuals can decide what actions they wish to pursue. As I’ve stated previously, neither choice is without great cost.

  • Jon

    Good comments, Kelly. In reference to your statement ” (If I don’t know what it is, how can I wrap my mind around it and formulate an appropriate response?)” It has been wisely said, “theory without practice is impotent, but practice without theory is blind.” Great revolutionaries combine both coherently. There is a dynamic tension between a leader and those led. The best of leaders will learn from those they lead and translate the particulars into generalized theory that they will recognize as theirs and gladly follow. The key: voluntary pursuit of worthy goals. That is what is required to escape “One empire, under surveillance, with deceit and oppression for all.”

  • Nylene13

    Becoming a vegetarian and growing a backyard garden and buying food at a worker owned food co/op has EVERYTHING to do with challenging Capitalism.

    That you can’t see it just shows how deeply e-meshed in Capitalism you personally are.

  • I have no intention of giving up.

    But now it’s merely a matter of consciousness and conscience — with no hope whatsoever of any meaningful victory.

    Bearing in mind I remain at age 80 the devout student of history I have been since my 10th year, here are the sources of my convictions:

    (1)-The oft-parroted shibboleth that falsely claims “the moral curve of the universe arcs toward justice” is not only an even-more-malevolently ruinous Big Lie than “American Democracy”; it is also — at least to anyone with a real knowledge of history — possibly the greatest, most absurd deception of this ever-more-obviously apocalyptic age. Indeed — at least since the advent of patriarchy — any alleged “moral curve” of our species runs in exactly the opposite direction, toward ever more technologically maximized tyranny and deliberately sadistic ecogenocide.

    (2)-History proves there are four — some would count them as five — absolute prerequisites for successful revolution. However numbered, these are (a)-leadership and organization; (b)-ideological discipline sufficient to foster, grow and perpetuate revolutionary solidarity; (c)-mastery of extant military technology; (d)-support by at least one major foreign power.

    (3)-Save for an insignificant number of localized exceptions, and precisely as Mr. Vitchek asserts, none of these requirements — say again NONE — exist in the United States.

    (4)-With the Soviet Union defeated and destroyed, and China hopelessly co-opted by Wall Street, there is no possibility of ever evolving any of these requirements in the United States — at least not in time to save our species from extinction and our Mother Earth from reduction to a bug planet.

  • Unfortunately one of our malicious censors — whether at Dickus or PoopRez I know not — killed my previous meticulously polite, carefully reasoned, thoroughly documented response to you in which I explained why at age 80 I fight on as a matter of conscience despite the fact I know we — our species and our planet — are ecogenocidally doomed.

    Given that as a Marxian I am now apparently no longer allowed to cite proven history on this website, suffice it to say U.S. imposition of the atomic age made humanitarian revolution forever impossible anywhere on this planet.. We know our Capitalist Masters will either suppress any such revolution as they have already suppressed and co-opted the Soviet, Chinese and Vietnamese revolutions, or they will quickly nuke it to oblivion — employing neutron bombs to minimize the property damage and maximize the profits (much as they are doing with Covid 19).

  • Alan MacDonald

    Thanks, Jon, for your support and confidence that this Empire is understood and that, ‘right now’ as we speak, is being corrected by all the people like you who know everything that is to be known about this seven-sectored Empire that you are likewise working to expunge and/or surgically/non-violently ‘excise’.

    Your comforting advice to me makes me proud that you also are on the vast majority team of fully informed people progressively progressing to revolt against this most deadly Disguised Global Crony Capitalist Empire — but, BTW, your pedantic BS and excuses for inaction on the seminal cancer of this Empire reminds me of all the fully informed and courageous people in America who have taken the same strong stance against racism over the last few centuries that you and your kind of gutless prevaricators have been taking against racism (which is, of course, one of the many mere symptoms of EMPIRE — you dolt).

  • Alan MacDonald

    dmorista, when you expose this series of crimes as such: ”

    the U.S. Empire has been oppressing and murdering mostly Third World
    peasants and workers, while extracting everything possible out of their
    lands, roughly in the tradition of the European empires that preceeded
    the U.S. Empire. Of course, all empires in history have functioned to
    rob their subject peoples to transfer wealth to the elite” all of this history and tyranny of Empire is certainly true, BUT —- this is not just the “U.S. Empire” (as you mention), but rather the world’s first; effectively-Disguised, truly-Global, Crony-corrupted, and Capitalist-fueled EMPIRE — as Prof. William Robinson first diagnosed and exposed in 2014:

    “The U.S. state is a key point of condensation for pressures from
    dominant groups around the world to resolve problems of global
    capitalism and to secure the legitimacy of the system overall. In this
    regard, “U.S.” imperialism refers to the use by transnational elites of
    the U.S. state apparatus (hard & soft powers) to continue to attempt
    to expand, defend, and stabilize the global capitalist system. We are
    witness less to a “U.S.” imperialism per se than to a global capitalist
    imperialism. We face an EMPIRE OF GLOBAL CAPITAL, headquartered, for
    evident historical reasons, in Washington.” [Caps added]

    Global Capitalism and the Crisis of Humanity, 2014 Robinson, William Cambridge University Press

    Which is why my newer demonstration, march, and protest signs since 2017 have simply said on two sides to join Bernie in:

    “Our Revolution”
    TO DUMP
    EMPEROR TRUMP

    and on the other side for the younger generation:

    GET ‘WOKE’ &
    ‘FOLK’ THE
    EMPIRE

  • JohnDoe00

    Yeah, well, the point is “murder” is an altogether arbitrary notion, watered with political, religious and social distinctions. Once freed of them, there are many more than willing to do far worse than a mere “murder.”

  • dmorista

    Mostly agreed with. I read that book of Robinson’s, as well as many of his articles and I have watched some talks he gave at a couple of conferences. He is a leader of a school of thought that espouses the view that Trans-National Capital has become more powerful than the nation states that are associated with them. He and Sklar argue the point forcefully. The relationship between state and the formations of capital is fluid and changes over time. In the 1760s the British East India Company led a coalition of Indian minor states in a war with the French East India Company with its own coterie of allies and won that “war”. Robinson also wrote an article in the last year or two calling attention to the global rise of fascism and suggesting some actions we should take in response.

    In addition to the rest of these situations, we see the rise of East Asian capital, led by China, to the increasing level of world leadership. The incompetent and vicious response of the U.S. ruling class to the Covid-19 outbreak contrasts very sharply to the response of the various East Asian societies. The U.S. has, once again, been revealed for the decaying socioeconomic edifice, captained by cruel and incompetent a**holes, that it has sadly become. I have visited China, and it is impressive. An up and coming Global Hegemonic society that exudes power, confidence, and competence; 22,000 miles of high-speed train trackage all built since the 2007 – 2008 financial crisis and done so as a Keynesian response to that crisis. But the common people in the U.S., whatever their failings are not at fault for all this. Our ruling class is a criminal enterprise to be sure.

  • … you thinking gossip… 😔

  • Jay Hansen

    What? Revolution has to meet some abstract requirements set forth by a collection of smart people speaking amongst themselves in someone’s genteel parlor?

  • Jay Hansen

    So go ahead and die already. Let your body catch up with your spirit. You HAVE given up.

  • RickW

    As an aside, my hometown one year (many years ago) thought that the citizens who grew their own veggies ought to be paying taxes on what they grew, because it was “not fair” that those who didn’t have gardens were forced to pay more at supermarkets. They soon enough discovered the people were “displeased” and the notion “died aborning”.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Yes, dmorista, and thanks for your support on these issues.

    I’m strongly considering getting Vitcheck’s book, “Exposing Lies of the Empire” — I’ve been pushing Amazon to do a Kindle version, but at $35, I may just wait for the movie!

  • Jon

    Loren, you concluded: “there is no
    possibility of ever evolving any of these requirements in the United
    States — at least not in time to save our species from extinction and
    our Mother Earth from reduction to a bug planet.” Put differently, you are saying “I’m giving up all hope for success.” I rest my case.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Jon, I don’t view what Loren is doing as giving-up at all, but rather as a faith in things somewhat miraculously working out in a somewhat different time, space, “analogy-thinking” continuum, which I wrote to a guy named tidelander on WaPo:

    As Paul Newman may have once said in a boxing film,
    “Someone Up There Doesn’t Like Me” — or maybe that was what Kurt Vonnegut meant when he said, “God signed” and nature replied, “They’re finally gone”.

  • Alan MacDonald

    Kevin, congrats on your and Margaret’s site going viral!

  • tomonthebay

    Fixed a delicious venison stew today. Lots of meat and veggies. Great combo.

  • bccarver

    how about the natives all go back to their homelands and live off the land. Stop eating western food, eat your berries and salmon . Stop selling salmon to white guys, stop selling drugs, stop smuggling guns and cigs across borders, stop murdering your women and girls.

  • Nylene13

    Which is why we should have community gardens.

    And the children and old people and disabled should get free veggies.

    Instead of supermarkets.

    I can dream, can’t I???

  • deanosor

    That is so racist, i’d tell you to go back to Europe, but i wouldn’t want to wish the likes of you onto the mostly good people of Europe.

  • GMOs Live Long & Prosper

    Yes homemade bread is awesome with some ham and cheese in between!!

  • bccarver

    europeans are the most disgusting people ever to have inhabited the planet. you fucking idiot. i am definitely a racist , against any idiot of any colour, you and the rest of the tyee cult are destroying Canada. Go suck tRUDEau`s dick.

  • bccarver

    with the upcoming UBI you and your tyee cult mates can fulfill your dreams.

  • Nylene13

    I suppose it must seem an impossible dream to city people.

    I don’t know how people stand it-living in cities.

  • mmckinley

    Ever read the book The $25 Tomato? Growing your own vegetables rarely saves money in any significant way, and often is an expensive luxury. It’s a good hobby, though. Fun.

  • mmckinley

    I think he is.

  • Nylene13

    I have not read that book. I do not understand the premise.

    If you have a garden, you take an existing bucket and put existing dirt into it. You plant some tomato seeds. You water and feed the tomato plant some compost.

    Then you get tomatoes. It is good to plant more than one tomato to attract bees and butterflies and such. And to get lots of tomatoes to make it worth your time.

    I suppose you are talking about STARTING a garden. That takes work, and some money to start, but you should think of a garden as a long term project.

    Think of Gardening as Jogging.

    You have to buy jogging shoes and jogging clothes and it takes time.

    So you can argue jogging costs you money.

    But the results are worth it.

    I will have to read the book.

  • Nylene13

    My reply to you seems to have been banned. Can’t imagine why!
    Anyway I will check out the book.

    I can only imagine that it is about buying a single tomato plant, and keeping it on a balcony.

    A garden, that you grow from year to year-is a whole different thing.

    I will see if I can find the book.

  • zak1

    “The $64 Dollar Tomato”? Sounds like a book about the Pentagon budget!

    Maybe if you added two or three zeroes … lol

  • Nylene13

    Truth.

  • iowapinko

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Gypsy. This especially resonates with me:

    “If there is not coalescence around specific goals and how to achieve

    them and if there is no effort to educate the people where they live and

    work (door knocking, parking lots, etc, or by other means outside of

    oligarchy controlled MSM), then it is not a revolution but merely groups

    individuals airing grievances who will be pacified or ignored

    completely by our government.”

    Absolutely agree. And, in some localities, this is ongoing. My daughter lives in Minneapolis (a couple blocks from where George Floyd was murdered), so I hear more of the on-the-ground narrative of organizing efforts. (Unicorn Riot, on YouTube has very excellent coverage of Minneapolis protests, if you’re interested).

    Community-wide and neighborhood groups are in active process of fighting for alternatives to traditional policing models, and they have City Council support that has opened the way for very real systemic change. And the agenda is by no means limited to the police dept.

    I was active with the Sanders campaign here in iowa., and had the opportunity to interact with volunteers from across the nation. These interactions are a source of my optimism concerning the development of a movement capable of creating authentic systemic change. The commitment to, as you so correctly state , ‘sacrifice’ is more present in these “kids” worldview than in any age cohort we’ve seen for a long, long time. I think we have a ‘radical’ cohort coming of age and I believe we will begin to experience a cascade of young, new leaders rising up from there.

    “if we stand together and support each other, it can be done”-very wise counsel.

  • GypsyFreyja

    Thank you for the heads up on Unicorn Riot, iowa. Love the name and I will definitely check them out.

    I am glad to hear that there are community and neighborhood groups fighting not only to be heard but for their rights to actively participate in what impacts them in their communities and neighborhoods. I hope they are successful and can provide an example for other communities. I also think governing decisions from the governed is, most of the time, the best way to go.

    ‘sacrifice’ is more present in these “kids” worldview than in any age cohort we’ve seen for a long, long time. I think we have a ‘radical’ cohort coming of age and I believe we will begin to experience a cascade of young, new leaders rising up from there.

    While it is a shame on our country that they should have to do so, it is good to know. That they are willing to sacrifice bring a smile to my face and my to heart.

    Again, my friend, you are too kind.