Art in Our Times, a poem

Art in Our Times

Piss poor excuse for a joke,

All the un-ironic irony in real life.

I have always said it,

Life is a parody of the self,

We live in Chaplin’s Modern Times,

We are the machines,

And the proles.

We are wheels,

Turning and obedient to the driver,

Circle after circle,

Loop after loop.

Never changing,

Always moving,

Who are we, you, I?

Identity in these times,

Matches no other,

Identity in the past,

Must be laid to rest.

People are tired of cliches,

They need new ones,

New tropes,

New motifs,

New characters.

We,

The artists,

The writers,

The workers!

We must create something new.

We must not merely express our times,

We must change them.

What are the times we live in?

What will our era be called?

What can one do?

to help,

to change,

to move forward?

What can one do to stop the delay?

So that art,

and liberty,

can save us all.

Liz Warren Will Sell Us Out Faster than Obama Did

Rolling Stone recently published an article titled, “Is Liz Warren Building a Grassroots Juggernaut?”

Spoiler alert, no, no she is not.

Warren is doing nothing more than copying the election style of Obama 2008, and while it is a very successful, grassroots style of campaigning, it is far from being a juggernaut because Warren, like Obama, will not use it to mobilize her base for a working class agenda.

Why won’t she do this? Because she does not have a working class agenda.

Warren believes in Keynesian, regulated capitalism. To believe in any form of capitalism is to believe in the benevolence and ethics of the bourgeoisie, which is to be inherently anti working class. Warren likes the idea of the American working class, but she fails to understand the need for socialized, radical platforms, and therefore does not understand them beyond her own conceptions of American acceptationalism.

It is true that Warren has doubled down her support for some working class programs, such as Medicare for All at the recent debates, however to quote Game of Thrones, “Words are wind.” Her hesitancy to fully, explicitly embrace Medicare for all until recently demonstrates a hesitancy towards the platform, and anyone can say they support a policy and then retract support later (as Obama did!). Compare this to Bernie who has not only been vocal about working class programs such as medicare for all, but he has also been consistent about voting for these working class platforms.

Warren is also a failure on the international front as well. She has voiced support for Israel and has voted for every single increase in military spending under the Trump administration.

Another misgiving to have about Warren is her refusal to denounce the Third Way Democrats. The Third Way think tank is a collection of investment bankers who are intentionally trying to sabotage the growing left-wing tendency of the democratic party. Their twitter account, Third Way Tweet, has begun praising Warren as sensible and smearing Bernie as a “loser.” (My eyes just rolled so hard they popped out of my skull btw). Third Way might want to actually read Warren’s platform, because there is nothing, literally nothing she has suggested, that is nothing more than a watered down version of what Bernie put forward in 2016.

I also have to say that any one who has ever been a member of the Republican party should never be trusted. Warren was a registered republican until 1996. To support one of the most racist, anti working class parties until you’re in your 40s is bad enough, but what is worse is Warren’s justification for being a Republican.

Warren says while she was registered with the GOP that she was not “politically active” and many who support her say, “yes she was a republican but that was when she was young!” She was in her forties in 1996!

I have even heard some people say that Bernie is a nice alternative to the “old white men” running for the presidency. I would like to remind these people that Warren is 70 years old!

All in all, I do not trust Warren, which hurts because I remember the days of Occupy when she seemed to be on our side. But I am not convinced she is consistent and I think she will sell us out faster than Obama did. Obama is similar to Warren in many ways. Palatable to progressives and moderate centrists alike and with a growing base. But much like how Obama failed to mobilize his base out of a need to be “everyone’s president” so do I also see Warren following the same path.

Warren is not the sensible candidate, she is the watered down version of Bernie. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I hate it when a bar tender waters down a perfectly good drink. I’ll take a shot of Bernie, pure and straight, because that is what we need.

Is Liz Warren creating a campaign juggernaut? No, she is a flavor of the month who might sneak in a victory here and there, but even if she wins the nomination and defeats Trump you will see no activation of this base she built. We will get 4 more years of uninspired, pathetic attempts to regulate a class that already controls the regulations.

We don’t need regulated capitalism, we need to strip away the powers of capital. No candidate can bring us anything close to this but Bernie.

A Quick Note About Leftist Strategy

Strategy and ideology are equally important but when one gets put ahead of the other you run into problems.

Put ideology ahead of strategy you end up doing stupid shit like not voting or joining cultish fraud left groups. If all you care about is validating your analysis instead of thinking tactically to gain the most materially for the most people then you are not helping the left.

Put strategy ahead of ideology you end up selling out important beliefs. If all one cares about is getting socialists elected and not about holding them accountable, about laying out a socialist program for society, and building alternatives to capitalism all at the same time, one is not helping the left.

Leftists should have a strong idealogical core. They should also use that ideology to think and act as tactically as possible.

I don’t think it’s that complicated.

Impeach the Bastard

I am no fool. I am well aware that getting rid of Trump will not get rid of the system and culture that put him into office.

That said, if we can stonewall the bastard in any way, I say do it. An impeachment proceeding would be an almost insurmountable inconvenience.

For people like Nancy Pelosi to discourage impeachment because of a fear of what might happen is the epitome of cognitive dissonance. To impeach Trump would mean challenging the world view that the opposition can be negotiated and worked with. This has not been the case in American politics since the era of Johnson and it never will be the case for our system again.

Whether you are a socialist like me, a dedicated pro Pelosi liberal, a centrist who wants everyone to stop yelling, or a republican paving the way for Trump’s fascism, it cannot be denied that American politics is polarized.

To not do anything because of a lack of bipartisan support is what a comedian would call a “failure to read the room.” The truth is that nothing, I repeat NOTHING, will ever have bipartisan support again until Donald Trump is no longer the president. So long as the president is polarizing, so shall politics of the nation be.

Hell, even vaccines and healthcare are a hot issue. One can’t even pass a bill saying “you need to give your kids their shots,” without some kind of a public temper tantrum. To expect anything like that to not happen when confronting a literal fascist president is moronic.

Either Nancy Pelosi is out of touch with the real world, or she doesn’t want to do anything that might affect her place of power. It is probably a combination of both.

The point is if we have a chance to get rid of the fascist son of a bitch, if we have the chance to distract his white supremacist presidency from passing policy, if we can put them on the defensive instead of the offensive, why the fuck shouldn’t we!?

Like I said, I know impeachment will not magically make the country less sexist or racist, but it will put a damper on a racist, sexist oligarch’s plans to destroy our planet. That may not be the answer to all our problems, but for fuck sakes! It is better than doing nothing!

Sex and Revolution, Why The Left Needs to Talk About Sex

Many like to think that we have overcome our prudish cultural fear of sex. It would seem like we have come a long way if one thinks about the constant use of sex in advertising, the existence of thirst trap instagram feeds, and the new public acceptance of kink culture. While we have come a long way in the sexual dialectic, we still have very far to go.

The left must make sex and sexuality integral to our rhetoric and platform. Forsaking sex when talking about our society leads to a continuation of our insecurities and perpetuates the erasure of large groups of people.

Sex Sells

Sexually repressive cultural constructs in our society are still rampant. Our fear of sexual nuance leads to a lack of dialogue on the subject of sexuality. This lack of a dialogue leads to numerous social problems and leads to people developing sexual insecurities. These insecurities are extorted by the capitalists who work in advertising and marketing in order to drive unnecessary consumption for the sake of generating profit.

The use of sex to sell is rampant most in online culture. On instagram we see body building men and women, or “fitstagram models,” selling us snake oil powders and teas that are supposed to make us stronger and sexier. More often than not these models and the commercials they perform in are not only extorting our insecurities, they are selling us the idea of what sex should look like.

The same can be said of the commercials on tv and videos that use sex to sell. Remember when you see an Axe body spray commercial or a Just For Men hair care ad and it ends with a man and a woman sensuously caressing each other, the advertisers aren’t just telling you “Buy this so you’ll have more sex,” they are also telling you “Remember, this is the only kind of sex!”

So long as the sexual dialogue is lacking then there will continue to be erasure of people outside of the heteronormative and gender binary spectrum. While we have made progress in the acceptance of gay people, we are seeing the erasure of trans people and those who identify as queer, as well as gender fluid people, non binary people, and asexuals thanks to the use of sex in advertising. The use of sex in advertising more often than not normalizes only one kind of sex, heterosexual sex.

The fact that we almost never even talk about asexual people leads to both erasure and perpetuation of further insecurities. (Am I not normal because I’m not sexual enough? Maybe if I buy this stuff I will be!). Erasure of sexuality hurts and holds people back on multiple levels.

We Can’t Talk About Sex Without Talking about Consent!

Our lack of a genuine and all-encompassing discussion of sex also holds back the growing #MeToo movement. One of the reasons we exist in rape culture is because we do not teach enough about consent. You cannot teach what consensual sex is if you can’t even talk about sex itself. This lack of understanding of consent is one of the reasons why victims of sexual violence are held back and afraid to speak up. It is a direct cause of the belittling and even life threatening attacks against victims who come forward. We have often heard these toxic, and infuriating arguments made when a victim of a sexual predator comes forward, “If she didn’t want it why did she dress like that?” Or “Are you sure you didn’t lead him on?” Etc. If we do not talk about sex, how can we properly talk about consent!?

Porn as a Public Service

Our lack of a sexual dialogue is evident in the thriving industry of pornography. Consider how the number of genres of pornography has gone up exponentially over the last decade, why has this happened? Because for literally millions of people internet pornography is the only avenue to explore their sexuality because capitalism isolates us from one another, keeping us from having the sexual dialogue we need.

The porn that a society consumes is reflection of that society, and the fact that porn genres seem to be increasing in numbers by the day demonstrates how people become isolated from talking about sexuality with each other and are desperate for outlets of expression. As a pro sex individual, I am glad that porn performers are giving people this place to explore. Porn performers and other consenting sex workers are the sexual vanguard because they are willing to express and explore their sexuality to the point it becomes their living. The services they provide allow the sexually repressed masses an avenue to explore their sexuality. Just a side note, the least we could all do is pay for our porn every once in awhile.

What Will Happen If We Don’t Talk About Sex

So long as we do not discuss sexuality in an open, public, and universal way there will be capitalist extortion of our sexual insecurities. We can fight this extortion by making a discussion of sexuality central to a leftist platform.

One of the best ways to do this is to support sex work decriminalization and to elevate the voices of sexwork organizers. We should particularly elevate the voices of organizers who identify as LGBTQA+ in order to fight back against their erasure. It also makes the most sense to elevate the people who make their living off sex as the vanguard for discussing the need for sexual liberation.

We can counter the capitalist isolation and its extortion of our sexualities. Talk about sex and talk about sexwork. Talk about consent and make sure that you do not shy away from the word sex.

Acknowledge that our social perceptions of sex are still heteronormative. Acknowledge that many still think of gender being a biological binary.

Let us fight the erasure of sexual preferences and of gender and sexual identities so that we may overcome the insecurities that the capitalists use to extort our consumption.

Let us elevate sex workers and fight for decriminalization and unionization of sexwork. Let sexworkers and LGBTQA organizers take the platform and follow their lead.

Let’s make the revolution sexy!

Misconceptions About Electoralism

There is a sentiment shared by some leftists that if one participates in electoral politics then one is inherently counter revolutionary. Many have the idea in their heads that if one is in favor of organizing for electoral politics then that person must think electoral politics is the only answer. This idea in my opinion is shallow, insulting, and nearsighted.

I am pro electoral politics but I am not some naive fool who thinks that we can solve all of our problems simply with reforms and elections. I believe that in order to bring about total revolution we need to be organizing on all fronts relevant to the working class in the time we live in, and yes one of those fronts is electoral.

However, I believe we must also be constructing alternatives to capitalism through local acts of mutual aid and solidarity, that we must have an internationally focused analysis and support fights for liberation all over the globe, and that we must organize the workers, tenants, and patients of the world to overthrow the capitalist system.

I do not think electoral politics can solve much but I do believe that it can 1. Help with mass base building and 2. Can be used to put up resistance to right wing influence. While electoral politics will never bring about the totality of revolution it is a way to reach millions of people at once. Reaching this many people with a working class platform is essential to laying the foundation for revolution. Not only this but participating in elections inconveniences the right wing.

The system is inherently built to protect the right wing because the interests of the right are the interests of capital, however electing leftists to all ranks of public office puts up road blocks to right wing policies. The more we can make things harder for the right wing the better. I do not understand why some on the left forsake this!

For example when abortion bans are introduced to legislatures, the presence of leftists can offer open vocal challenges to these bills and even organize their defeat. This in the short term is a genuine material victory for the working class, their rights to reproductive health are safe for another day. In the long term, if organized properly, their campaign will have built a base that can be mobilized when needed. An example of how to properly utilize the base you have built is best personified in the Bernie campaign. Bernie has used his network to alert his base about ICE raids and strike actions, this is what elected officials should be doing!

The other thing to remember is that no leftist should view one single tactic as a panacea. No single tactic will bring revolution and revolution itself is not a panacea (remember, revolution is not the end but the means to an end!) This is why it is imperative that we be present on all fronts. The number of issues that are connected to the realities of capital create so many different fronts that need to be organized. The attacks on women’s choice, the attacks on sex workers, the attacks on black lives and immigrants, the attacks on unions, the attacks on tenants, and the attacks on genuinely democratic elections are all places where the left must be taking action.

I find it insulting and genuinely shallow that some people think because I am in favor of organizing for electoral politics that I must only believe in electoralism and reform as our means.

No, I believe in electoralism and reform as a tactic of base building, inconveniencing the right wing agenda, and winning short term material goals. I believe that true revolution can only be achieved when the left is built into a massive front united against capital! I do not see electoral politics as a panacea, nor do I fetishize the idea of spotenous revolution, as many leftists do.

Another thing to remember is that infiltration is a lost art to the left. Snu Tzus Art of War makes a clear argument that spies are a necessary tool to win any war, and make no mistake because we are in a class war. We on the left have no spies, no insiders, no informants. We constantly have to worry about the likes of the FBI or local police infiltrating our ranks, the agents of the state should be just as worried about us spying on them. Yet they are not, all because so many on the left do not touch electoralism and reform.

I am willing to concede that electoralism and reform is not sexy. It is not as romantic as ultra left reading groups larping about the russian revolution, it does not feel like as much of an immediate material gain when compared to local acts of mutual aid, it is not as cool to post on social media as a sit in or mass arrest is, but internal base building is essential and electoral work streamlines base building.

Yet once again I must reitierate, I do not see electoral gains as a panacea. I see them as a short term base building gain and a short term material gain when we use elections to put up blockades to right wing attacks on the working class. To act like I believe in no other tactic, no other hope for a massive revolution is insulting, gaslighting, nearsighted, shallow, and just over all counter revolutionary. We can never expect to defeat the right wing if we are still having trivial arugments about whether or not to vote! While we continue to have these conversations, the ice caps melt and all who are not white cis males are attacked by the day.

We cannot afford to reject any area where we can achieve a genuine material gain, be it in the short or long term. We must build our base, our platform, and mobilize. What many on the left forget, we are still in the phase of building our base.

So abandon this shallow outlook. I am not asking you to embrass electoralism, I am demanding you stop assuming that someone using one tactic means the only believe in that one tactic. We cannot afford to be nearsighted, we have too much work to do.