The enemy is capitalism, the system. It isn’t Trump, it isn’t Hillary. Capitalism has reached a desperate phase in its development: imminent collapse. Now I know people like me have been predicting the collapse of capitalism for 150 years. But one day, we’ll be right. The essential characteristic of this phase of collapse is perpetual warfare.
One way to look at it is that the capitalist system collapsed in 1929. The only thing that resuscitated it was rise of the Nazis and World War II. Since then, in case you hadn’t noticed, the U. S. A. never demobilized, for the first time in its history.
Since that war, the country has been under siege by the National Security State, what Michael Glennon calls the double government (“National Security and Double Government”). He talks about the Madisonian Government, the one we are all familiar with, the one that was more or less mapped out in the Constitution, the President, Congress, the Supreme Court. Glennon argues that their main role is to act as a cover for the Trumanite Government, which consists of the NSA, CIA, the Joint Chiefs, the FBI, Homeland Security – in short the people who really run the country.
ABC’s “Scandal” may be fiction, but it’s based on the experiences of Judy Smith, a fixer like Olivia Pope, after she left her post as deputy press secretary to Bush, Sr. She knows where the bodies are buried. B-613 is a good metaphor for the National Security State, though in reality, it is most definitely not run by a Black man. I think the show is a much more accurate depiction of Washington politics than we get from the New York Times or MSNBC.
J. Edgar Hoover, my second cousin – yes, it’s true. I met him once when I was eight. He said, “How’s the family?” – invented a system of governance by surveillance and extortion that made him more powerful than the President. He had a file on everyone.
But that was with twentieth century technology. Now our secret police has the means to monitor every aspect of someone’s life and find the blackmail secrets. You don’t think they do this at NSA? Well, there’s no WikiLeaks emails. But as Leonard Cohen says, “Everybody knows.”
So this election business is a shell game. Even Bernie didn’t challenge the National Security State and its strategy of perpetual warfare. Had he won the election, the drones would have continued to drone. This is not to say that what he accomplished wasn’t stupendous, the transformation of political consciousness.
But how do we develop a revolutionary strategy against the seemingly invincible National Security State? We organize the working class.
We become teachers to develop a parent-teacher alliance to change the schools from being instruments of oppression to vehicles of liberation. (My book, “White Knight,” is about this effort).
We organize to revitalize the union movement. We unionize charter schools, Whole Foods, Home Depot, Walmart, Starbucks. We take over existing unions and throw out their corrupt leaders.
We join the Army. One of the main factors in the United States defeat in Vietnam was the increasing resistance to the war in the armed forces. Much of this resistance was fostered by courageous leftists on the front lines.
It’s all about, and only about, organizing the working class.