Black Agenda Report - March 18, 2020

“Democrats heavily rely on the lesser of two evilism approach that we see every election cycle, it’s all they know.”

A democracy is not just being “allowed” to “choose” your representatives, but having representatives that actually align with peoples material interests.

Folks need to marshal their rage toward building a sustainable movement of people power.”

There’s a Jacobin article circling around titled, “Where Do We Go After Last Night’s Defeat?”  published a day after Bernie Sanders’ defeat on March 11th, 2020. The author writes, “the bad news is that the Democratic Party isn’t going anywhere. The good news is that today’s common sense political demands are, almost unthinkably, democratic socialist ones.” The article goes on to rant about what the author describes as an almost undefeatable nature of the Democratic Establishment, in the historical context, as a justification for being reluctant to look outside of the realm of the two-party system for solutions to our current reality. While also implying Sanders’ movement, or rather moment, won the “battle of ideas,” as if that’s something worthy of being bragged about. As if winning the “battle of ideas” has ever fed an empty stomach, or liberated anyone. Further proving Sanders’ moment has widely led to a miseducation of socialist ideals, in which the article displays such a lack of understanding of what socialism actually entails, beyond mild liberal reforms. But, throughout the entirety of the article the author provides the perfect encapsulation of self-congratulatory American chauvinism, symbolism, and unearned arrogance, largely present on all sides of the electoral political spectrum.

The author entirely credits what he refers to as “five years of “Sandersism” for the “genuine leap forward in politics in the United States, a leap that dwarfs the past half-century of liberal stupidity and backwardness.” Unknowingly and unapologetically depicting the vast disconnect present between Sanders’ moment and electoral canvassing and colonized people and our organizing and movement efforts. Which precisely demonstrates why national electoral canvassing, specifically as it relates to bourgeois elections, cannot be categorized as “working class” organizing or movements when it is systemically disconnected from and neglects the most marginalized amongst us. The author continues the braggadocious tone to make a note about how “in five years, we’ve moved forward fifty” -- entirely neglecting to mention how state political repression and mass media anti-communist smearing following Black radical movements and uprisings in the last 60 years or so, affected the political psyche of millions of people. But also how movements and moments, such as Black Lives Matter, #NoDAPL, and others, took place within the last 5 years and were instrumental in the shift in public discourse and moving politicians, including Bernie Sanders, further left (even if only performatively), with regard to racial and economic justice and state violence. 

“The author provides the perfect encapsulation of self-congratulatory American chauvinism, symbolism, and unearned arrogance.”

The entire article is an overly wordy manifesto and reeks of liberal idealism and exceptionalism while complacently lecturing us on how our material reality is bad but not bad enough that we’re somehow above or incapable of continuing to accept our social and political subjugation through being patient and waiting for the next election cycle just to vote for the next seemingly progressive politician(s) on the Democratic Party ticket. There is no emphasis on local grassroots organizing, beyond the electorate, that is already being done by non-white people who receive little-to-no support from the white moderates masquerading as “allies” and “progressives,” who entirely physically and materially neglect organizers until it’s time to convince us to vote for their preferred candidate. The author tells us we should “reject” the “fantasy that now is the time we all throw ourselves into third-party work or militant protest activity” and that “there is nowhere for us to go.” And I must ask, who is this “us” he speaks of? C.L.R. James once wrote, “What Negro, particularly below the Mason-Dixon line, believes that the bourgeois state is a state above all classes, serving the needs of all the people? They may not formulate their belief in Marxist terms, but their experience drives them to reject this shibboleth [principle] of bourgeois democracy.” The entire article reads of an individual, who is not only merely a product of a widespread culture that lacks political imagination beyond liberal idealizations, but has not intellectually or politically struggled with persons of the Black race before, at least not ones who are poor. The author is clearly not from the same hue as the colonized and oppressed people, in desperate material need of far more than even what his beloved Democratic Party is willing to offer, on their best day. But what’s fascinating is just how confident the author is throughout the entirety of the piece with his shit-eating and ramming the politics of electoralism down our throats, despite the disappointing losses by the most popular progressive politician in America, in back-to-back elections to morally and politically inferior candidates. I pondered on the possibility that maybe this article wasn’t written for me, or us, as in non-white people—but its “colorblind” and race neutral approach, clearly depicts otherwise. However, even the worst of what the white american community has to offer is undeserving of such a disturbingly bleak and imperious political outlook. 

“Colonized and oppressed people are in desperate material need of far more than the Democratic Party is willing to offer, on their best day.”

In his famous letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. writes about the white moderate who will constantly say, “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action" who “paternalistically feels [he] can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a more convenient season." And I ask, how is this descriptor laid out by the late great MLK regarding the white moderate in the 1960s, any different than the rhetoric displayed by liberal reformists masquerading as “leftists” in the article? By telling us we need to remain patient for the US political stratosphere to miraculously adopt a conscience and allow moderate and largely temporary reforms through the electoral approach of the Democratic establishment, you’re telling the most oppressed people that you can paternalistically set the timetable for our liberation. ...
Read full report at Black Agenda Report