A response to "Let's Stop Searching for a "Messiah" and Build a Movement"
Yes we need movement building, but we need something more. We need a catalyst, for a profound paradigm shift that has been gestating in the minds and hearts of the American people for years now, a terrible resolve that's been forming and deepening, a quiet transformation taking place below the surface, nearly ready to burst forth.
We've had 14 years now, since our choice of President was stolen from us by the grandson of the founder of the CIA, son of the Station Chief in Dallas on Nov. 22 1963, with the acquiescence of the candidate many of us had rallied around and the collusion of the Supreme Court. 12 years since the largest worldwide protest event in history was blandly ignored and the war on Iraq launched based on shameless transparent lies. Ten years since his Democratic challenger, imitation Irishman, fellow Oligarch and fellow Bonesman John Kerry rolled over and conceded another election. We've seen the environmental justice and food justice movements swell to global proportions, only to be branded and persecuted as terrorists. We've seen a growing groundswell of demand for fair wages and workplace justice even as our remaining unions are driven into the ground.
We've seen a phony banker-financed movement of renewal led by a CIA Protegee posing as the Second Coming of Jesus give hope and change a bad name. We've watched in horror as he guts our constitution, launches campaigns of murder around the world and compromises away our most basic economic demands with only a token resistance. We've struggled without success to turn back the open handover of our Federal government to the super-rich, establishing the principles that money is free speech but speech is not free.
Everywhere people are coming to the conclusion that we are headed for catastrophe, that issue movements, electoral movements, campaigns to petition our government or pass laws are not enough, that the forces we are up against are too great. That there is not time to win the reforms that are needed to turn back the unfolding disaster before events overtake them. Everyone is so busy defending on their own fronts - or just surviving - to find the energy to support each others' struggles.
We've had four years now to digest the lessons of Occupy. Not just the hundreds of thousands who participated but the tens of millions who were watching, hoping, thinking about joining in. Everywhere the dawn is rising on an understanding that it's all one enemy, one great obstacle opposing and blocking us on every front and dragging us down together. Occupy had some deep weaknesses, but it was the movement we were ready for and it helped catalyze these realizations.
People everywhere - activists, former activists and just plain folk - are quietly drawing deep conclusions. Tens of millions have concluded that "what we really need is a revolution." They mostly don't know what that means - the revolutions taught us in school, especially our own, don't look much like what actually happened - but mostly what stops them is the persistent illusion that we're alone, that "all those other stupid lazy people out there" don't understand or care. It's an illusion being carefully cultivated and protected by the corporate media. It's their final line of defense. When some event strips away that illusion, as the Obama Campaign and Occupy started to, when the millions find our voices together and discover each other, it will be an Emperor's New Clothes moment.
A Presidential Race can be a moment for all the movements and demands to come together, for all the streams of our people to converge. Could a bid by Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders provide us with this moment?
Every time I hear Elizabeth Warren or speak with her I am impressed by her sincerity, her passion, her deep anger at the banksters and oligarchs - and her readiness to call on us to organize and take the lead from the politicians. Her campaign could be the catalyst, the spark that brings all our movements together into one great movement, that gives us our voice, and through which we can share and build a vision of a renewed life beyond the horizons of our collapsing financial system. My deep fear is that a presidential bid by Elizabeth Warren could be used as a final attempt to steer us into another dead end, to circle the herd and corral us again - but I am thinking she won't and couldn't stop the forces her campaign would unleash.
Or Bernie Saunders' campaign could be the catalyst.
Or the spark could be some outrageous act to stop them or steal our victory again.
Or events could overtake us before election season is in full swing, and the catalyst could be a new spontaneous Occupy-like movement triggered by some outrageous shock or affront, like that triggered by the Bank Bailouts in 2009.
A presidential win for either Warren or Saunders would require a mass mobilization to blast our way into the Democratic Party process, to check their efforts to block our candidate from the media and debates, to block our voters from the polls and steal their votes. It could end with millions marching on Washington demanding the validation of the outcome when they steal it. It's climactic moment could be when our brothers and sisters in the police and military refuse their orders to fire on us.
It would not be something that could be contained by a Party Machine. And it would not be something that could be stopped on Inauguration Day. Obama pulled that off once, and many have reflected on it deeply since then. It won't work a second time.
Inauguration Day could be the day of Jubilee, the opening of a new stage in the battle between a newly energized and awakened people and the forces that are oppressing us. The organizing would just be getting started, and would roll on until every workplace, every neighborhood and every block of every city, town and village, every school, and every military and police barracks is organized around the demand for democracy and the tasks of making it work.
It could happen with amazing rapidity, because it's been so long delayed.
Like the American Revolution - the one you probably don't know about because they deleted it from our histories. It was hardly dreamed of in the Spring of 1774, but by mid-Summer the whole of Massachusetts at least was in ferment and organizing and by October we had swept British rule from most of New England and replaced it with direct popular rule - without bloodshed. Descriptions of that process look remarkably like Occupy and much less like the revolution of the Tea Party Patriots. (See www.revolution1774.org/)
We must not be afraid to throw ourselves into this battle, whatever form it takes, whether it is mass protests in the streets or a people's presidential campaign. Whatever the form, when the millions take up the cause it will be the battle for democracy, for our lives, for the survival of our children and their children's children, with everything on the line.
There will be no excuse for sitting it out.