Defeating Single Issue Politics
|October 27, 2013||Posted by Staff under Book Reviews, Editorials|
Obama needed a billion dollars to win re-election. Who would believe that he got it from poor people? He has supported virtually every war; every policy that Wall Street demands; and every repressive piece of legislation that the Republicans want. He would allow fracking directly underneath the White House, if an oil company magnate instructed him to do so.
Neither party proposes tax reforms that would shift wealth from the 1% to the masses. Neither party proposes to end our imperialist assaults throughout the world. Neither seeks meaningful change to our imprisonment of ¼ of the convicts on the face of the planet. Neither seeks to prevent the complete destruction of the environment, which is progressing at breakneck speed.
We all belong to groups that espouse the issues of our choice: immigration reform; labor unions, environmental protection, abortion rights, gun control, affordable health care, educational opportunities, gay marriage, co-ops, etc. The lists seem endless. Nonetheless, until the advocates of these various issues/struggles unite around a politics that support ALL of them, they are kidding themselves.
Winning the struggle for same-sex marriage is a hollow victory if the earth around us has become unsustainable and toxic.
I certainly don’t want to throw water on other people’s pleasures: some like sports, some like co-ops, some like unions, or immigration struggles, or anti-prison work, etc. When people work on those issues, it’s great that they are enjoying themselves, and seeking change.
To the extent that people see anti-capitalist work as supporting authoritarian, un-democratic bureaucracies, we’ve lost the fight.
Active opposition to rapacious capitalism requires an alternative vehicle for democratic control. Douglas Lummis, in his book “Radical Democracy” described the broad spectrum of contexts in which democratic principles prevailed under the most astonishing circumstances. The creativity and substance of his vision need to be adopted by Americans to control our lives.