Sunday, February 28, 2021

The revolution is here and I don't like how it looks

Radical activists are always pondering what 'the revolution' will look like. What are the events that could lead to a radical change of society, and what strategy would facilitate that change. I've taken a rather passive approach to this question-- that at some point a large fraction of society will become disillusioned with the status quo, at which point I would like my ideology to have a prominent position in the discussions about how to change our institutions.

Well, it looks like we've reached that tipping point, and I regret to say that my favorite movement is not in a position to make many gains. Here's how I see the landscape at the moment. For the past couple decades, a wing of the plutocracy has been building up an authoritarian ethno-nationalist movement in their effort to solidify and expand their power in the USA. This ethno-nationalist movement has finally reached the point where they thought they could grab power, which led to Trump's post-election coup attempt. The establishment liberals repelled the initial assault, but have not been able to mount a decisive counter-attack (e.g. convincing Republican leadership to turn against Trump), so the liberals and ethno-nationalists are now locked in a existential struggle. 

The liberals have a few avenues open to them -- the most straight-forward that I see are efforts to secure and expand representation for ethnic/racial minorities, and trying to peel conservatives (and opportunists) away from their alliance with the ethno-nationalists. The problem is that many people seem to deny that the game has changed, and everyone is falling back to their old games and priorities...such as fighting over exactly how high the minimum wage should be. Meanwhile, the multiethnic coalition (i.e. Democrats) is toying with increasingly authoritarian measures itself, such as expanding surveillance and soft censorship (via social media platforms). Regardless of whether the ethno-nationalists or the multiethnic capitalists come out on top, I think we're in a 'revolutionary' period in our society where norms and institutions will rapidly change.

I don't see libertarian socialism having much of a place in the debate right now, nor having much relevance to the big picture strategies of the moment -- except perhaps as a response to ethno-nationalists getting the upper hand.

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