Friday, July 14, 2017

Pizza And Class Struggle - The Young Socialists

Here's the Twitter page of the Democratic Socialists of America group at Hay High school in Buda, TX.

Their Twitter handle is @HaysSocialists. Here's what they wrote as their tag line:

With 25,000 or so members the Democratic Socialists of America is the largest Socialist organization in the US, but two-thirds of the new members have joined since the election, which conceivably could have ended with a Democratic Socialist as president.

The Socialism of these new members is largely undefined. They don't know that much about Socialism but they do know they don't like Capitalism and they want a more just and equitable system.

The mere fact that the use of the word Socialism in this country has become widespread and people aren't afraid to identify as Socialists, considering that not long ago Socialism was essentially a dirty word, must seem discouraging to the people who had been fantasizing that they had eradicated Socialism, but I don't hear them complaining about it. Although I identify myself on Twitter as a retired Socialist truck driver I even have some Twitter followers who are out and out conservatives and none of the conservatives I interact with on social media hurls epithets at me about my Socialism. They accept the fact and have moved on.

And in the  former Soviet states majorities wish they had Communism back.

Socialist Malala Yousafzai graduated from high school this week in Afghanistan, where attending school almost got her killed. Surviving that murder attempt and standing up to radical Islam makes her a darling of the US media and she spends that social capital on advocating for the education of girls, but she hasn't disavowed or tried to obscure her Socialism in order to further her career as people like Amy Goodman who produces and hosts the Democracy Now program do. In this picture Ms Yousafzai was speaking at a Socialism conference in Pakistan in 2012.

Along with the upsurge in Socialism there's a rejuvenation of ingenious and bold thinking going on. One example is this argument for why the Left needs to arm itself.

The concept dovetails nicely with the story of how protestors beat the cops at last week's big G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. The article is written by and for anarchists but applies to the broad Left. A third of all the cops in Germany were in Hamburg to protect the ruling class from the peasantry but the cops had to retreat as the protestors took control of a big part of Hamburg. I saw live TV shots showing a large contingent of protestors roaming the streets breaking windows at will. The cops and shop owners had left.

The matter of who has the upper hand and who doesn't is decided by public consensus which usually changes slowly but can change all in an instant, too. It's agreed upon that the authorities are to be left in charge of things and handed enough power to keep things under control. The protestors reversed the usual dynamic at the point at which the police collectively feared the people. The article explains how it was accomplished and also how this particular incident can be universalized. (Note: Socialism and Anarchism are close ideological cousins. Both are Marxist in analysis but whereas Socialism attempts to seize the power of the state to implement its program Anarchism seeks to eliminate the state and return power directly to the people.)

The actions of a few demonstrated what a fine line there is between them having the upper hand and us having it, and how tenuous their hold on their power is. It's only power we've ceded to them, after all, and we can easily take it back.

Not a cop in sight:

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