09 October 2004

AN EXCHANGE

--- Anne Marie Teters wrote:

> Hell yeah. The war. The war that is centered
> around economic imperialism....that is radically
> polarizing extremists. What can I do?
> am

SDF: The first thing I think we need to do is to create a movement alternative to the two-party system, that offers continual struggle against the war until it is over. You have two parties, one (the Republican) to drag the US into the quagmires, the other (the Democrat) to blackmail us with the first while surreptitiously becoming more and more like the Republicans.

I've been spreading Howie Hawkins' argument:
A Democrat might beat Bush, but no Democrat is going to beat Bushism, which is to say the corporate oligarchy’s bipartisan consensus. If a Democrat wins the presidency in 2004, there will be no change in the basic US geopolitical political strategy of military basing and control of oil in the Middle East and Central Asia to keep Western Europe, Russia, China, and Japan from becoming potential rivals to US hegemony will not change. Nor will there be any change in the basic neoliberal policy of motivating workers to work harder by imposing hardship and motivating the rich to invest with corporate welfare incentives.

I've been working through a group called the Green Alliance:

& I've also been trying to make linkages between that work and my work for Food Not Bombs:

My own idea of the "meeting of the movements" comes in the form of a movement proposal, for a "Campaign to Establish a Right To Live Off Of The Land":

But all of that appears to me to lay the groundwork for the new society that will have to come about after the war is over.

What will really end the war? My own suspicion is that the "antiwar" movement is at present too weak and in tow to the Democratic Party to really present an effective challenge to the war both Bush and Kerry have declared themselves in favor of continuing. Hopefully there will be a collapse of the dollar and that will put an end to the war -- or so Marc Weisbrot predicted three months ago:

Besides that, I suppose we can wait until all of the oil is extracted from Iraq's soil and the empty shell of a desert nation is left behind. By that time, I'd imagine, global civilization will be in permanent decline.

I suppose the alternative is what I've been calling "ecosocialism" -- by which I mean the notion of a global sustainable society. Why "socialism"? My own personal tastes are much more like the anarchists than those of the socialists of old -- but my feeling is that it will have to be "socialism" because --

1) It will have to be everywhere. We cannot have a world where one part is sustainable and the other part isn't.

2) It will have to be powerful enough to defeat the capitalist system on whatever battlefield is left once the capitalist system itself has milked the world dry for the sake of profit.

3) It will have to guarantee all of us some basic human rights. The struggles continue today because not all are guaranteed human rights under capitalism.

4) We won't have a lot of choice as to its form. I would prefer a libertarian socialism; but the main task of the ecosocialist future will be to clean up the global messes which the capitalist system will have left behind.

So, in endorsing all anticapitalist movements, I put it out there that I will take what I can get as far as an end to the capitalist system is concerned. This is the very opposite of sectarianism, because it welcomes socialism, anarchism, pacifism, Green radicalism etc.

I suppose the answer to the "what can I do?" question is that I really don't know and that you'll have to develop one yourself through your own explorations. I hope this answer contributes something to them.

Regards,
Sam

2 Comments:

Anonymous anne marie teters said...

I have worked for FNB and it was great for a few months, until a male usurped consensus and decided he was in charge and moved the group 20+ miles away from the serving location. Also, in this particular Eugene FNB, a woman was at risk of being kicked out of the collective if not linked romantically with one of the main males in the group.

Alternatives to the two party system would be great. The mainstream on both sides demonizes anything in the third party realm as disastrous and akin to communism. The media is a great tool, to consolidate power in the hands of those who already have it and to distract us with mindless, meaningless drivel.

I've become a cynic. People always told me that I was young and idealistic, but I was certain that we could change the world. Now I'm not so sure. My nihilism is showing through, and I tell you, it's a comfort in this unjust, cold world.

ha ha

5:04 PM  
Blogger Anne Marie said...

The world of the future will have to be designed by women. At least let us see 50% of the design power in their hands.

A world of the future will have to have a smaller population. Luckily GMOs have been shown to cause sterility in 3 generations, so that will help out greatly.

A world of the future will have to have energy sources that do not destroy it. Fossil fuels are out. Corporations will pollute up to the limit of the law and then beyond it, so we are fighting for our actual lives when we force change that decreases the amount of harm corporations are allowed to do to the public good (like with pollution and other externalities).

This type of public policy shift will only take place when we have moved beyond a two party corporately owned governmental system, which not only keeps us at a 50/50 deadlock, but is more or less uniform in who it serves (the rich).

"Socialism" is wired up to so many peoples knee-jerk reactions that I doubt that old tired concept will ever get off the ground (but good luck). The great examples of socialist democracies such as Cyprus and the Scandinavian countries aren't what people in America think of when socialism is the topic. Rather, their fear and nationalism gets pricked as they think of China where The Party functions more or less like The Elite, sustaining an army of wageslaves, literally. They think of dictatorships and suddenly forget the awesome power Monsanto and other multinationals have in their own precious psuedo democracy.

Instead of getting into the capitalism/socialism duality tug-of-war which is against my instincts and my Taoist part, I would greatly recommend working toward legitimizing other political parties so the conversation can be freed up from black/white thinking (or in this case blue/red). This is why, in 1991, I helped get the Green Party on California's ballot. We need to vote third party every time. Campaign third party, work in the third party. At least that's what I think, and what I do.

It would be delightful to see the third parties work together to win some elections. We'll see.

For now: Cindy Sheehan for Governor of California!

12:31 PM  

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