Winter in America


It seems like the whole pre- and post- election discussion have been about personalities. We should be talking about the system. The name of the system is Capitalism, and virtually no one is challenging it – except Black Lives Matter and allied groups. Bernie did not oppose it nor did he challenge its most egregious aspect, imperialism.

The problem is that Capitalism is collapsing. It has reached the zenith of its centuries of growth, but it has now penetrated the farthest reaches of the globe. Capitalism can only survive by continually expanding, and it’s reached its limit.

As the system collapses, people will be faced with a choice of uniting in mutual support (Bernie) or dividing along racial lines to scramble for scraps (Trump).

Let me be perfectly clear. The vote for Trump was a racist vote, a vote for White Supremacy. I’m sure many of his voters had other reasons for voting for him. They are economically struggling. But that’s no excuse. If you can’t see the racism of the Trump campaign or try to deny it – you are capitulating to racism.

All of us white people make racist errors in our decisions. This does not make us bad people, “deplorables” as someone called them.

I’m repeating myself (like Bernie does). But the appointment of Sessions to Justice is the signal we’ve been waiting for that the word fascism isn’t too strong. Think of it. The most racist legislator in Washington will now be heading Criminal Justice system, widely perceived as the anchor of institutionalized racism. Law and order. So many people urged me to not vote out of fear, but this is what I feared, and now it’s happening. I’m sorry you weren’t afraid.

I wonder what forces Sessions’ leadership might bring out in our local police departments. No I don’t. I know what forces will be asserting themselves. The forces of white supremacy. The statement from the Trump regime couldn’t be clearer: Black Lives Don’t Matter.

I’m thinking it’s Winter in America, after Gil Scott Heron. Time to hunker down and cozy up to each other. Time to connect with friends and neighbors around protecting our most vulnerable people, immigrants, Muslims, Black people. We need to organize our cities.

I’m reading a book by David Harvey, From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution. I haven’t finished it yet, but I do recommend it, maybe even having study groups around it. He essentially says that since the industrial working class hardly exists in this country anymore, the locus of people’s power is in the cities. His model for the revolution? The Paris Commune of 1871. Back when Marxists and anarchists were allied. I’m not sure how I feel about anarchism, but I am for whatever works. We are missing venues of mass, participatory democracy. We need to harness the wisdom of everyday people.

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