It’s been a stressful year as we’ve experienced the explosion of the COVID-19 pandemic. The consequences of which have provided further evidence of the failure of capitalist economic systems in a dramatic way.
Recent years been stressful as politics and policing at all levels have become increasingly violent, oppressive and moving toward austerity at the same time as the continued transfer of massive wealth to those already wealthy.
The Red Nation Statement on the US Elections 2020 articulates much of what I have been praying and thinking about, and learning.
The recent US election highlights the widespread disgust of the type of in-your-face white supremacy exemplified by Donald Trump. The large voter turnout, especially among Black and Indigenous working poor showed that large sections of the population reject his politics. But it also underscores the extensive support for those very same politics from a significant share of the population. Trumpism is not going away anytime soon.
Thus, while Trump’s defeat is cause for celebration, the roots of white supremacy in the United States are deep and must be confronted. These roots sprout not only fiends like Donald Trump, but a whole political establishment in the service of settler colonialism and world domination. A Biden presidency means a continuation of the very same neoliberal policies that brought us Donald Trump to begin with. These are the politics of war and aggression abroad, and of austerity and police repression at home.
US imperialism is in crisis. This drives the capitalist system towards austerity, increased suffering among the working poor, repression at home and imperialist aggression, subversion and wars abroad. This is not something new and is not something that Trump created in the last four years, although he intensified it. Obama also intensified the suffering, the repression and US aggression abroad during his administration.TRN Statement on US Elections 2020 Posted on November 15, 2020 by the Editorial Council
My friend Christine Nobiss recently organized “Capitalism is the Pandemic“, that included flying this banner over New York City.
With any crisis there is revolutionary opportunity. We don’t just “make” revolution, it has to be manufactured. It has to be organized. It will not be a continued uprising in the streets. An insurrectionist approach, while valid in its expression, is unsustainable.
What is the way forward? The change that we need requires that the masses of people in this country grasp that capitalism cannot be reformed and that it is headed into ever deeper systemic crisis. Poverty, climate change, police repression, state surveillance, are systemic problems. Already this understanding is reaching larger sections of the population, especially among the most oppressed. Calls for defunding and even abolishing the police spread quite broadly last summer. Steps in that direction are being taken up throughout the country and organized by various groups. These steps weaken the repressive apparatus and allow for broader democracy.
This understanding of the actual social reality in the US is key to building the forces needed to change it. The battle of ideas against the ideology of greed and individualism, and the need for communal organization are key. Communalization is both an Indigenous legacy and an ongoing set of practices that the US settler colonial project has tried to destroy from its inception. But these efforts to maintain a different world endure and point us all, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, towards a better future. Indigenous peoples, peoples of tribal nations, peoples of Maroon communities, peoples of the land have lived before capitalism and against capitalism. They have cultivated relations with each other and the land that do not rely on conquest and surplus but bring abundance and joy and dignity to all. These communal forms should be developed and become schools for freedom. We call these schools for Indigenous socialism. Join us in the struggle to create a better future.TRN Statement on US Elections 2020 Posted on November 15, 2020 by the Editorial Council
My friend Ronnie James has stated this core idea that “capitalism cannot be reformed.“
“I’m of the firm opinion that a system that was built by stolen bodies on stolen land for the benefit of a few is a system that is not repairable. It is operating as designed, and small changes (which are the result of huge efforts) to lessen the blow on those it was not designed for are merely half measures that can’t ever fully succeed.
So the question is now, where do we go from here? Do we continue to make incremental changes while the wealthy hoard more wealth and the climate crisis deepens, or do we do something drastic that has never been done before? Can we envision and create a world where a class war from above isn’t a reality anymore?”Ronnie James
As The Red Nation states above, “the need for communal organization” is key. The concept of Mutual Aid is an example of communal organization. Ronnie is a key person in Des Moines’ Mutual Aid work. And has been teaching me about it. I’ve been blessed to be able to participate in the free food store.
I’ve been working for some time now on this diagram, to help me understand the relationships among these things.