We Can’t Build Real Power by Defending Democrats. We Must Organize From Below.

The United States Constitution is in crisis: Its anti-democratic structures create a dangerous environment. crisis of legitimacyAn inability to address a series of social crises. This is a problem that is endemic to liberal democracies. The contradictions between political democracy and the tyranny and control of capital on the other hand become more pronounced.

Part of the crisis that we face is the disconnect between the horror and urgency of recent events and the gross inaction by politicians, especially Democrats. A gunman shot and killed two children and their teachers in Uvalde in Texas, less than two weeks after a white supremacist attack against Black shoppers in Buffalo.

A leaked Supreme Court decision in an abortion case in Mississippi, which was made just one month after these mass murders, threatened to reverse 50 years of legal precedent and end abortion rights. As June came to an end, many people were once unable to believe that it could happen. Roe v. WadeOfficially, the decision was overturned. The decision was all the more jarring for its disregard of the health of millions who can become pregnant and the basic right to decide one’s own future.

In the same week, RoeIn the end, it was overturned Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, shocking testimony at the January 6 congressional hearings described former President Donald Trump’s attempts to join the insurrection at the Capitol and confirmed that he knew that his supporters were armed and calling for the death of the vice president.

All this happens against the backdrop the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic; at most six natural disasters in a month from floods to droughts and heatwaves driven by climate change; inflation stemming out of the war in Ukraine; an economy teetering in recession; an urban crises in housing prices, homelessness, and others.

The party in power is doing little to stem this onslaught. The congressional approval rating is a result of repeated inaction on key issues. just 16 percent as of June. The credibility crisis of the Supreme Court is similar to that which has been experienced since its 1857 ruling. Dred Scott v. SandfordThis case reversed decades-old precedents around Black citizenship.

This problem is structural. The Constitution was created to limit the democratic participation of the average person. Rural conservative voters have been influenced by the fundamentally anti-democratic structures of the Senate and the Electoral College and the Supreme Court. rich. It’s not just a bug; it’s baked into the design of the U.S. political system. Even with Democratic control of both Houses of Congress, anti-democratic measures such as the filibuster have prevented the majority party from taking any action. The Supreme Court has also been dissolved. capturedA far right movement that is unconcerned about broad social legitimacy and the nicetiesDemocratic procedure.

At the presidential level, Joe Biden’s dithering in the face of historic circumstances is leading to a crisis of legitimacy not just for his administration, but for the very structure of constitutional governance. These mounting failures have caused the U.S. political discourseRecognizing the intractable contradictions that lie at the heart of our Constitution is a key factor in shaping our culture.

Left Strategies

If activists and organizers on the left want to survive the next decades and make history more humane, they need to be able to take stock of the present moment. While the crisis of legitimacyWhile the number of these concerns is increasing, there is currently no organized mass left-leaning force that addresses them all. Some We will continue to argue for a U.S. socialist democracy through the very structures that are failing around us. Others on the left have remained loyal to the Democrats’ strategy.

At present, the most vocal and visible groups that point to these political failures and offer a “revolutionary” alternative, if odious for its inhumanity, are on the far right. The insurrection of January 6th and Trump’s continued legitimacy speak to the deep desire for a radical break from democracy on the right.

It is notable that the far right is turning away from seeing itself as extensions of the state and defenders of the established order to being in conflict with the “deep state” and liberal elites. Far right militia membership was also a factor in January 6. grewAfter the Capitol insurrection, groups like the Proud Boys were formed. infiltratedThe Republican Party of Miami, Florida. The far right has been in the news recently attacked public libraries& led violent marches within liberal bastions like BostonPhiladelphia

On the other side, the left lacks the organizational structures and political articulation necessary to counter the rise in right-leaning U.S. politics. We lack the ability to offer an alternative to the current direction, as many left-leaning people confuse ideas of pragmatism with political power and defense of a declining political order.

In the short term, the prospects for change in a positive direction are grim, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The possibility of rewriting history in a liberatory manner is possible with a little coordination, organization, and consistency by the left-leaning sections.

Democrats flounder

While many feel the aforementioned crises acutely; however, politicians remain detached from the concerns and fears of regular citizens. The unprecedented attacks on the government by the far-right, the violence against Black shoppers, and the climate crisis, and the reversal RoeDemocrats and the Biden administrations have no other political strategy than to continue calling for more money and more votes.

For example, in a recent feature on California Sen. Dianne Feinstein published by The Cut, the senator asked the periodical’s readers to trust heron the inability of establishment Democrats to take decisive action. Meanwhile, establishmentWhile Democrats make repeated appeals to their constituents for their unwavering trust, behind the scenes, they continue to block any meaningful reform. Famously, former President Barack Obama’s only intervention in the 2020 Democratic primary elections was to block Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders from gaining the party’s presidential nomination.

More recently, Vice President Kamala Harris responded “Do what?” when a CNNReporter asked her about voter demands for bold action in the face mounting crises. A whopping 64 percent of Democratic voter now supports the idea. oppose a second termFor President Biden. Even Republicans have been shocked at the Democrats’ inability to take meaningful action.

If this weren’t bad enough, some voices on the left continue to call for popular movements to support the Democrats, even in the face of the party’s historical failures to act. They offer “lesser evil” arguments and a strategy of “building a left pole” (aka “popular front”) that never emerges — all while our historical trajectory slides toward fascism and climate catastrophe.

Other voices continue to back this strategy, but they place more emphasis on progressive candidates. SomeThe left should support Sanders’ candidacy in my opinion. This is a winning strategy. 2024This strategy has been tried and failed twice. There have been some victories — figures like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are notable — but nothing approaching the urgency of change needed given the scale of the crises that we face.

Hope is found below

A radical mass movement from left to transform the crises and challenge them is more urgent than ever. Even a modest amount of organized left presence could change this dynamic rapidly. Students, unions, and social groups could organize mass demonstrations against abortion rights or to blockades fossil fuel infrastructure. This would increase the cost of these political failures on elites and press for change. These kinds of transformative movements are possible. As long as the left strategists continue to direct us to the Democrats, and support for a crumbling system we will remain stuck in this political and historical morass.

There are many other options and sources of inspiration. We can learn from movements all over the globe that promote a more positive, hopeful, and humane future. In ChileFor example, the organizers of disruptive street-focused social demonstrations and the organizations that helped them to happen are involved in creating a new constitution for that country. The country was forced to move away from its U.S.-supported dictatorship and toward a more democratic, though still capitalist, order by feminist movements.

Colombia is home to a nationwide general strikeIn 2021, protests against proposed neoliberal changes shut down the country and forced ministers to resign. The changes from President Iván Duque Márquez would have increased consumer taxes, passing the cost of social programs onto the poor, and privatized parts of the nation’s health care system, all at the height of the COVID crisis there. Students, labor unions, and Indigenous movements formed a national strike committee after protesters were brutally attacked by police, including sexual assaults. They forced the government into a retreat and changed its course during the national crisis.

Similar victories have been seen in the U.S. against very difficult odds. In 2018, West Virginia saw a teacher strike that sparked a movement. Gov. Jim Justice offered teachers only a 1 percent raise, and threatened their funding for health care. Teachers organized strikes over social media and face-to face, even though they were illegal. Unions attempted to get teachers back to work after some negotiations. They refused and waited for a week more for a 5 per cent raise, which they eventually won. This led to a nationwide teacher strike in 2018, which was a midterm election year that changed the dynamics and contributed to minor blue waves in congressional representation. Teachers in Republican-controlled states like West Virginia and Oklahoma, Oklahoma, North Carolina, struck for better pay, better working conditions, and better public education for their students.

These gains can be achieved by all of us. We can make positive changes quickly by focusing our efforts on mass action in the streets and neighborhoods, on disruptive social demonstrations that hurt the ruling class and their two political parties, and on building organizations that can foster and sustain popular power at the bottom for the long-term. It is important to remember that so long as capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy and imperialism are the basis of the social order, we won’t see fundamental change. Revolutionary struggle against these structures and the legal system protecting them is essential.

This type of change will require us to acknowledge our failures and recognize that our political system is in peril. The 18th century constitution was designed to limit popular democracy and preserve power for the wealthy slave-holding classes. Now, 2022 is the year we are seeing the bitter results of this system.

It would be a mistake to say that we face a crisis similar to the Civil War. However, our crisis is not the same as the Civil War. As long as our strategies continue to accept the legitimacy of our current order we will continue our slow slide towards fascism, climate crisis, and social chaos. These traditions must be broken and replaced by a movement that is rooted in the present. This will change the course of history. popular powerThese oppressive structures can be ended from below and a future worth fighting for.