I think we may have stumbled onto something, though maybe I just stepped in it. There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear. But people are connecting in ways that demonstrate to ourselves and the world how powerful we are.
One way to look at it is that we are moving from me-ness to us-ness. Individualism has been the bedrock value of capitalism from the git, but we are now evolving beyond that. In the coming phase of our human history, collective consciousness will assert its primacy. “I” will not be first anymore. “We” will be first. The we starts with our families, our partners if any, our children if any, our friends, our co-workers, our neighborhoods, our cities, our class, our country, our planet. The we has no limits. Once we allow our love to go viral, there’s no stopping us. If calling it love makes you uncomfortable, call it solidarity, a nice old word.
Marx envisioned the new society as emerging from the old because the working class, particularly the industrial working class, was increasingly forced to work collectively to produce the goods that capitalism thrived upon. They would develop class consciousness and realize the collective power of their class. And there are classical examples of how this played out, some of the purest, or best understood by me, are the strikes of the thirties, the Flint Sit Down strike that unionized the auto industry, the San Francisco General Strike that unionized the waterfront. We are still reaping the benefits of those movements, the 8 hour day, social security, overtime, the weekend. At some point, perhaps not yet, we want to take a look at what it means that those highly successful struggles were largely lead by the Communist Party.
Today, the technological development that is driving our collectivity is the internet. We are building a movement to elect Bernie Sanders as President. What is a movement? It’s a group of people uniting behind an ideal and making it viral. The nature of the viral process on the internet, from cat videos to celebrity scandals, is merely an abstract representation of what happens in a movement when people are connecting with each other with increasing rapidity, expanding geometrically. This is where Bernie, wittingly or unwittingly, is leading us.
Such a movement is unstoppable – unless it becomes divided. As always in the U. S., the greatest threat our unity is racism. The way racism will manifest itself in the coming years is how well all of us stand up to the war against Black and Brown people. Thousands of us do get that Black Lives Matter and that borders are a figment of capitalist imagination. The question becomes what are we willing to do about it?
Without a needed Congressional investigation, I can’t prove it, but I strongly believe that underground white supremacist groups are at the center of most police forces around the country, just like they used to be in the south. I also believe sections of the billionaire class (Fox News anyone? Trump?) are openly tolerating and/or the encouraging police terror in the Black community and the ICE terror in the Latino community. How our movement protects our Black and Brown contingent will determine whether or not we are successful in building a society of human connection.