El Mundo Con Evo! How His Interview With Jon Stewart Changed My Life

I am sure by now you are aware that there has been a right wing coup in Bolivia against Evo Morales, the nation’s socialist and first indigenous president.

There is little more I can say about this that has not already been said. I am not an expert on international relations, nor am I an expert on Latin American culture.

What I am is a socialist who believes in international solidarity, and that is thanks to Evo Morales.

Picture this: I was fifteen years old, I had already earned a reputation as an “activist” at my school because I was quite vocal about my hatred for George W Bush and rich people, which opened me up to the taunting of a right wing student body at my school.

I knew that Bush was evil, I also knew that the Democrats were being cowards for never even attempting to impeach him. This was around 2007 and the Democrats were pathetic to me. Democratic “leaders” were still not defending gay marriage and most had still yet to come to terms with the fact that invading Iraq was a mistake. I also knew that Democrats who hated the poor had no business calling themselves “Democrats.” I was taught by my parents that a “Democrat” was supposed to believe in social programs and would never cut them.

I called myself a Democrat, but deep down I knew that these pro-corporate, anti-poor Democrats did not represent me.

While I was an activist, politically speaking I felt very alone.

I knew I believed in more people owning what I called “the wealth” and having more democracy, but I had no word for what it was I believed in or what I even meant by “wealth.” Combine that with the backdrop full of my teenage right wing bullies, and you get an idea of how alone I felt. Confused, isolated, angry, and alone.

Then one night, when I was taking my solace in the humor of Jon Stewart as most on the left were keen to in those days, he had on a guest that was different from any of the others I had watched on the show.

It was Evo Morales, the newly elected president of Bolivia.

I was enthralled with that interview. For one my eyes were opened for the first time to the realities of imperialism and white supremacy. When I learned that Morales was Bolivia’s first Indigenious president I was shocked, naive as I was, I thought that by now most leaders in Latin America were indigenous or of indegenious desent.

This was not all. Evo talked about the programs of his nation, how they are reclaiming wealth and redistributing it, and how his government was fighting multi national corporations and protecting the environment.

I was only 15, but when I heard what he believed and fought for I realized that he spoke for me more than any Democrat at the time ever had.

This was how I realized that I was a socialist!

After that interview I dove deep into the red rabbit hole. From Evo Morales, I found Marx, from Marx I found Lenin, this would eventually lead me to Occupy, to Anonymous, to Bernie Sanders, and it all eventually led me to the DSA, where I am now a chapter co-chair.

All of this was started by an interview with Evo Morales on a comedy show.

The man had a level of integrity that I found inspiring, and what is amazing is after 14 years he still has that integrity. In an attempt to prevent violence he conceded to another election, despite having clearly won the first time, and when that did not appease the right wing’s blood thirst he conceded power all together, all in the hopes of saving his loved ones and party members from violence.

This is the power of socialists, the power of integrity.

I can trace my socialism back to several things, my upbringing, my family history, my experiences growing up surrounded by annoying over privileged white boys, but I owe it most to Evo Morales.

One thing he said in that interview was so simple, but it stuck with me for so long.

When Jon Stewart conceded that in America, the election system is pretty much “rigged” against the idea of a poor indigenous farmer from becoming president. Evo, with a simple yet genuine reply, said, “If it’s rigged then something needs to be done to change that.”

So simple yet so true, something needs to be done!

Watch full video here.

20 Years In Hell

20 years in hell.

6 months in purgatory.

Our was it just 1 month in county jail?

Time means nothing when your in shackles

Even though it is all they give you.

The filth and grime on the bottom of my bare foot replaces

any dignity I had.

And the cold, do not make me mention the cold,

Just the thought chills my corpse,

Not my body, I am no longer alive in this place.

They call it prison, but it is actually a morgue.

We are not people, we are corpses, and the cold preserves us.

Hell is only hot in the summer, usually it’s cold.

20 years in hell.

3 strikes your out.

20 years in hell.

The Old Songs In The New Day

The Old Songs in The New Day

The song that is playing

reminds me of a long forgotten philosophy,

a former method that was never lost

because it never could be found.

This is not literature from a street corner,

nor is it a contrived notion to put meaning

where it won’t belong.

So easy to forget,

too much to wonder,

question,

ask.

All production, all creation,

just a matter of will,

or privilege.

Discipline is such an ugly word,

and it does not echo.

The song had no echo either.

It gets repeated

and fades more and more

into the background each day.

As the song started long ago,

it won’t stop for a very long time.

It is hard to create

when creation is a burden.

I say we all create.

To make something

something totally from the self,

no matter what motive,

no matter,

another song,

another creation,

another question,

and another echo.

This time it lasts

just a little bit longer.

Yes Bernie Is Pissed Off, That’s Why I Like Him

Everytime I see a pundit on CNN or MSNBC they talk about how Bernie is either an undesirable candidate because he is “too angry.”

I get particuallarly annoyed by these people for a number of reasons, one of the biggest being that they aren’t more angry at the system and powers that be.

You liberals talk of big game about “resistance” and “dumping Trump” yet you seem to think civility towards the enemy is more important than calling them out with righteous outrage. Do not forget this is an enemy that wants all non-whites and non-christians dead, by the way!

What also annoys me is that these people are clearly making a comfortable living going onto these “news” networks and talking all this shit, while the rest of us are left homeless, in debt, or hungry. Unlike them we have to actually work for our living and we are barely even living!

What annoys me most though, is the fact that Bernie is not just an angry old man, but that is what they are trying to sell him as to us.

He isn’t screaming at kids to get off his lawn or telling them to turn down the rap music. He isn’t complaining about slang or whining about inevitable change, unlike some other old white men candidates (cough cough Joe Biden cough).

Bernie is not just angry, he lives and works with a righteous anger, and he is damn right to be angry.

Liberals talk about how outraged they are about kids in cages, about racism and sexism and so forth, but if witnessing the autrocities of our system and does not fill you with rage, then I think that says alot more about what a shallow asshole you are than it could ever say anything about Bernie.

I think that if you claim to be anti Trump but are not filled with rage by what his policies reap, then you don’t actually care about others, you just want to be seen as if you care. You don’t actually want to do the work it takes to be anti Trump, you just want to be validated as such.

If you challenge Trump without challenging your own sense of identity and privilege then you have no business telling Sander’s supporters anything, period.

These pundits can’t understand why Bernie is so mad, and why would they? They live in comfort and get paid to just talk for a living while the rest of us are out here trying to organize to save the planet, to protect ourselves at work, to stand up against racism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism, and we do so all while we are trying to pay our debts and rents and to eat.

We are trying to do all of that while trying to liberate our immigrant and black and brown friends and family from the clutches of the American police state.

Bernie is to.

He sees us. He sees human suffering, and that makes him furious, as it should.

If you cannot understand why Bernie is so angry then you are one of the reasons why he is so angry. You are one of the people who perpetuates a system that is built on pain, suffering, and exploitation.

If Bernie’s anger bothers you, then I question your integrity. Anyone who is not filled with fury by the state of human suffering in this world is not someone who I think can ever be called a good person.

Yes, Bernie is angry, he is angry that people, like pundits, will let human’s suffer, and I love that old son of a bitch for it!

#Bernie2020 #NotMeUs

What The ‘Democratic’ in DSA Actually Means

In a recent article In These Times editor Joel Bliefuss commented on the Democratic Socialists of America’s 2019 Convention. Bliefuss summarizes some of the tensions people felt going into the convention but concludes that things are looking optimistic for the organization. Bliefuss also pays particular attention to one of the resolutions passed by the convention’s delegates, the “Class Struggle Elections” resolution. The language of the resolution commits DSA to centralize class and labor solidarity in our electoral work henceforth.

While the article maintains an overall positive tone about the DSA convention Bliefuss misinterprets the language of the resolution and as someone who served as a delegate at this convention and supported this resolution I must correct this misinterpretation.

Bliefuss summarizes the majority of the resolution correctly, his misinterpretation focuses on one piece of language from the resolution:

“The resolution included a caveat that says DSA’s ultimate goal is to break with the Democrats “and their capitalist donors,” and “form an independent working-class party,” rather than reform the party from within.

A new party? It’s socialist Dems who are already changing the nation’s political conversation…”

Bliefuss is interpreting the language to mean that DSA is moving to break with the Democratic party as a whole with this resolution, this is not the case. There is truth in that the DSA is often arguing amongst ourselves about how much we want to get involved with the Democratic party, but the language “form an independant working class party” does not mean “DSA is going to become a third party.” And our “break” with Democrats “and their capitalist donors” means we seek to do things 1. Differentiate democratic socialist candidates from liberal democrats and 2. break with the capitalist element of the Democratic Party. Blieffuss’s analysis reflects that he interprets a break with capitalist democrats to mean a break with the democratic party all together, this misinterpretation comes from a place that hyperbolizes the language of the resolution.

The language in this part of the resolution is very general and open to interpretation, which I think lends itself to Bliefuss’ hyperbole. However as a delegate I feel the language was kept general for a good reason, it is too early for DSA to decide to form it’s own party, any third party with less than a million active, dues paying members is doomed to fail in the United States.

The language of this resolution allows us flexibility, and gives us the chance to decide for ourselves how we want to build an independent working class party. We have multiple options, the two most likely being we can either take over the democratic party by filling it with socialist delegates and abolishing its anti-democratic safe guards such as the super delegates, or we can wait for the Democratic party to collapse on itself while we build DSA to the point where we can become the new party of the working class.

The author then goes on to cite the various other DSA members and endorsed candidates who have won elections recently, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, most of whom ran and won their elections as democrats. Bliefuss’s conclusion about their success stories is however mistaken. “Most of these pols have run as Democrats (without “capitalist donors”) and won by turning out registered Democratic voters.”

This is a misconception of the current political landscape. It was not just a matter of motivating the democratic party base, most of whom will vote for the democrat’s candidate no matter who is running, these candidates won by motivating the unmotivated, by pulling in non voters and giving them a reason to vote.

While the article is mostly complimentary and attempts to paint the DSA and our convention in an overall positive light, Bliefuss misinterprets one of the conventions most important resolutions and uses a disprovable argument to justify his interpretation. He does not misinterpret the whole resolution, but he does make over generalizations about one, very small, caveat of the resolution. DSA did not resolve to become a third party, we resolved to create a working class party, what that will look like will be for the organization to decide as it marches into the future.

Love Trumps Hate, Unless You Are Bernie Sanders

Recently Bernie Sanders underwent an immediate operation to unclog an artery and have a stent put in.

When it was announced his campaign was suspending events until his recovery, the #StillwithHer & #LoveTrumpsHate sphere of twitter did not hesitate to show their true colors despite the fact that their great leader, Warren, was incredibly gracious and supportive to both Bernie Sanders and his staff when the news of his operation broke. As much as I criticize Warren I extend my compliments to her, that was a cool thing to do.

It was much cooler than how her following handled the news.

“Hope the old bastard dies.” Tweeted more than one enthusiastic Warren supporter.

Others tweeted the equivalence to this:

Others still wished him well but did not hesitate to show their ablism and agism in the process:

Others were just got plain idiotic, weird, even sociopathic:

And others are convinced that the Sander’s campaign is conspiring to downplay things:

The funniest part about this is that many of these people commented that his campaign was done and that he was as good as dead before the news broke that Bernie has once again passed a fundraising record, over $25 million in donations for the the 3rd quarter of 2019, all of them small personal donations.

Bernie has once again emerged with his head held higher than ever before over the clamor of his idiotic opposition. Not only is he recovering speedily but he is resuming his campaigning as if nothing had happened, and the memes have just been cranking out ever since.

What I take most from all of this was how the event once again put the hypocrisy of liberals on display. The same group that is claiming to want to see a united country, the people who have been begging for civility in this election because they fear how polarization will force them to confront their privilege, they were either celebrating a man’s possible death, or they were making ridiculous conjectures with no actual source of information, a very “Fox News” move of you, liberals.

These are the same people who decry the baseless faux news of Fox, who cry foul whenever Donald Trump sneezes on twitter. They talk about equality and post rainbow flags on their profile during pride month. They will say black lives matter and call Greta Thunberg a hero, but do not be fooled.

These are the people who make up the core base of the democratic party. They are the people who are holding the left back more than our reactionary capitalist oppressors ever could because they are the road blocks to making things like the democratic party truly left and truly democratic. No one wants to be associated with hypocritical idiots like these, no one wants to join a party with people like these in its ranks.

Bernie is about motivating the unmotivated, his tactic is to give the non voters a reason to vote. Bernie is still the most popular candidate amongst no party preference voters, the largest voter demographic in the country. Warren can count her popularity amongst loyal democrats, and folks, these tweets are from the people who are loyal democrats.

I am a registered democrat, this is true, but the only reason I reregistered as a democrat was to make sure I could vote for Bernie in 2016 and I shall do so again in 2020. That said, he level of “cringe” that it makes me feel is beyond words, and that feeling is caused because as a socialist I believe in humanity and in responding to the material needs of the masses, not to be loyal to any individual elected official.

The True Left is socialists, anarchists, and communists. We put humanity first, there is no humanity in any of these tweets. We challenge ourselves and force ourselves to confront our internalized sexism, racism, homophobia, and yes even our internalized ablism and agism. The problem with liberal democrats is that they refuse to confront these things, both in themselves and in the system. Because they refuse to challenge their own internalized ways of thinking, it leads to bullshit like this, it leads to people who will preach “give peace a chance” while conjecturing about the death of one of the most integral, hardest working public servants in U.S. history.

I registered democrat so I could vote for Bernie, but my loyalty is only to the people who Bernie’s platform will help, not the party and not even Bernie himself. My loyalty will never be to the democratic party so long as these people are its base. As socialists we must either take over the democratic party and purge its problematic elements, or we must build our own organizations to the point that we can have a viable alternative to the democratic party that is not a just another third party fringe slate. Whatever the case, what we need is a mass movement socialist party.

Bernie Sanders still has my vote, and liberals have once again furthered my distain for their ideology. May the heart of Bernie Sanders and the rhythm of our movement beat on! #NotmeUs

Marx is my Jesus

Recently at a socialist night school I attended on Imperialism a fellow student said that Marxism, “denies people the sense of spirituality they need to become truly enlightened and gaining the ability to truly unite as one.”

First of all, that’s bullshit. Second of all, no. Third of all, what!?.

Copping to my bias here, I both love Marx and I am not some personality cult loyalist who blinds himself to nuance in his analysis because of a dedication to any single thinker. In other words, I’m no purist.

That said, I am a Marxist, and Marxism offers me more spirituality than church or astrology ever did combined. I have tried to find meaning through buddhism, Christianity, Astrology, psychedelic drugs, and yoga. I can appreciate all of these things but it was socialism, communism, and Marxism that made me realize that there is a way to get us to realize we are all one.

We are talking about bringing liberation, democracy, and autonomy to the planet’s most ignored and exploited classes of people. We are talking about a school of thought whose goal is the overthrow of our oppressive masters. If that isn’t powerful and spiritual I do not know what is.

Another issue with this take is the erasure of the spiritual and religious Marxists who do in fact exist and exist in large numbers. The Democratic Socialists of America has a religious socialist caucus and there are thinkers such as Cornel West who define their spirituality as the source of their socialism.

Let us also not forget that a certain preacher named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was perfectly fine with the word, “socialism.”

I do understand to a degree where the person is coming from. I cared little about praxis and theory at one point in my life and was more interested in macrophilosphic questions and “expanding my consciousness,” which I did through psychedelics and transcendental meditation, and am grateful for those experiences.

I am not a christian and I do not believe in astrology(no disrespect to those who do, seriously, you do you, they are just not my thing) but I do believe in transcendental meditation and in “opening the third eye” so to speak. I have meditated to the point of hallucination, tripped on mushrooms and LSD in isolated and natural settings, I have fasted until epiphany, and all of it lead me to Marxism.

Those who have undergone spiritual awakenings can assuredly relate. When one opens their third eye we see that we are all indeed one planet, all one people. When the third eye opens we see how so many labels and cultural constructs are not only arbitrary, but oppressive to.

But while psychedelic experience and spiritual awakenings guide us to these all important epiphanies, they do not show us what to do next.

This is what led me to Marxism, after I realized that we are all one I saw that we must unite in revolution to make the world what we want, I knew what we needed but the how and why was lacking. I had no material analysis because I was so focused on the metaphysical one, but when one has their metaphysical awakening, one also wants to tell the world how to make that other world we saw in our epiphany possible.

Reading Marx helped me find the way to apply my spiritual experience to the real world.

I will admit that since I am not a church goer I do still need and want the ritual and community that comes from things like church. This is just another way that socialism and Marx has given me a spiritual outlet. Songs like Bread and Roses, Solidarity Forever, and The internationale inspire feelings in me that the hymns at my boyhood church used to do before I lost that faith.

To say Marxism and socialism leave no room for spirituality is easily refutable. Marxism IS my spirituality. Socialism is my church, Marx is my Jesus, and Communism is my heaven.