“The trouble with Eichmann was precisely that so many were like him, and that the many were neither perverted nor sadistic, that they were, and still are, terribly and terrifyingly normal. From the viewpoint of our legal institutions and of our moral standards of judgment, this normality was much more terrifying than all the atrocities put together.” — Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem, 1963
“Self-determination is not possible within the capitalist social framework, because the endless pursuit of profits that drives this system only empowers private ownership and the individual appropriation of wealth by design. The end result of this system is massive inequality and inequity.” — Kali Akuno, Jackson Rising: The Struggle for Economic Democracy and Self-Determination in Jackson, Mississippi
In What Is To Be Done of 1902 Lenin opposed revolutionary spontaneity because it “strips away the disciplined nature of the Marxists idea of revolution, leaving it arbitrary and ineffective.” True to himself, Lenin then returned to opposition to spontaneous revolution after WWI during the German Revolution of 1918-19 when in a spontaneous uprising against the post-WWI system Rosa Luxemburg and the Spartacist League failed in an attempt to overturn German capitalism.
The Vote – the beloved, abused, scorned, corrupted, stolen, hijacked, pointless, profound, hopeful, depressing, hard-won, cherished vote – is not the only way to take action for meaningful change. Currently, the elections operate in our nation like a cattle chute, all too often forcing us back into the deadly, no-win tracks of the two-party duopoly that serves only the moneyed class. It becomes a handy device for siphoning off the demand for revolutionary change by giving false hope that elected officials will actually enact their campaign promises once in office.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Aug 11, 2018
Nick Brana, founder, executive director of Movement for a People’s Party talks with journalist Chris Hedges about the US’ two political party system, the need for third and fourth parties and his experience campaigning for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election.
The Occupy Wall Street movement that spread across the country six-plus years ago lacked proper organization and strategy, but it deserves credit for having the right enemy – the corporate and financial ruling class. The same can be said to no small degree about the sadly Democratic Party-captive Bernie Sanders campaign, which targeted “the billionaire class” as the main culprit behind the miseries of life in the brutally class-disparate United States. Both populist phenomena – Occupy and the Sanders “movement” – failed to build lasting people’s organizations and failed to properly situate the “One Percent”/“Billionaire Class” within the specific historical contexts of capitalist class rule and capitalism’s “evil twin” imperialism. Neither offered anything like a revolutionary alternative to the nation’s unelected and interrelated dictatorships of wealth and empire. Still, both demonstrated a reasonable opening understanding of who calls the shots under what Noam Chomsky is right to sardonically call “really existing [U.S.] capitalist democracy, or RECD, pronounced as ‘wrecked’”: the U.S. corporate and financial oligarchy.
with Abby Martin
teleSUR English on Oct 11, 2017
Renowned Afro-Latinx activist and scholar Rosa Clemente sits down with Abby Martin to discuss her experiences running for Vice President, organizing under Obama versus under Trump, advice for new activists, identity politics and more.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Oct 8, 2017
George Lakey, author of Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got it Right and How We Can Too, joins Chris Hedges to discuss non-violent resistance against the corporate state. RT Corresponent Anya Parampil looks at successful non-violent tactics used in the civil rights movement.
It’s Party Time on the Titanic–and Screw the Slobs in Steerage
“So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.” — Bob Dylan, “All Along the Watchtower”
Introduction: The Party to (Literally) End All Parties
Without hyperbole, this article will make a case for organizing a political movement—appropriately called “Indispensable”—that could literally save civilization. So, I wish to state my thesis up front, so that crucial thesis doesn’t get lost amid my arguments and documentation supporting it. That would be the worst conceivable case of readers—by a writer’s own fault—not seeing the forest for the trees.
Politely walking into pens set up by police, shaking our signs and gently dispersing will not build a movement serious about root-and-branch change. Even the more militant demonstrations, in which people — gasp! — actually take the streets in defiance of authorities, both legal and NGO, are far from sufficient.
with Chris Hedges
truthdig on Jan 22, 2017
Truthdig correspondent Donald Kaufman met up with columnist Chris Hedges on Saturday at the Women’s March on Washington and discussed the significance of the event and the challenge of creating meaningful dialogue between supporters and opponents of President Trump. Drawing in part on his experience as a journalist covering resistance movements abroad, Hedges also commented more generally about the nature and birth of nonviolent revolutions and how they can sometimes begin with relatively little in the way of specific agendas.
with Chris Hedges
RT America on Jan 7, 2017
On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges discusses strategies of resistance with Michael Gecan, author of “Going Public: An Organizer’s Guide to Citizen Action”. RT Correspondent reports on the godfather of community organizing, Saul Alinsky.
September 23, 2016
The pressure to vote for Hillary Clinton is becoming ever more intense. But the left has to resist the political logic of lesser evilism that the Democrats rely on every four years.
FIRST, IT was the shaming. Now it’s fear–pure, raw terror at the prospect of Donald Trump in the White House.
Ever wonder why Presidential and Congressional election campaigns fail to meaningfully connect with civil society? Candidate rhetoric is designed to attract voters and campaign contributions. Candidates go out of their way to ingratiate themselves to their corporate paymasters, whose monetized minds want nothing to do with the civil society. Civil society leaders at the national and local levels and their nonprofit citizen groups form the bedrock of democracy. These civic leaders have significant expertise and experience and are meticulous and precise in their written and oral presentations. They do not traffic in false statements that are unfortunately routine for many candidates for federal office. And unlike most major party candidates who receive round-the-clock coverage for every campaign utterance, the civic stalwarts are too often left on the sidelines by the media during the campaign season.
The Bernie Sanders campaign isn’t alone among events in the United States capable of inspiring international solidarity. On February 15 and 16, 2003, nearly a million antiwar protesters marched against Bush’s invasion of Iraq. On May 1, 2006, more than 3 million predominantly Latino workers effectively called the largest one-day strike in the nation’s history to demand immigration reform. In 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement found common cause with the Indignados in Spain, while Egyptian revolutionaries in Tahrir Square ordered pizza for workers and students sitting in at the Madison Capitol building. And in 2014, Palestinian activists offered advice to Ferguson, Missouri, protesters about how to best withstand the effects of tear gas.