Don’t Just Vote for Socialists, Vote for ECO-Socialists

I am a strong supporter of the DSA’s current electoral platform, and I say that as someone who is beyond disilluisioned with electoralism. However, the DSA’s current platform for getting as many socialists as possible elected to public office has been nothing but good for the organization and for socialism.

This platform of pushing for DSA members to run for office has successfully brought socialism out from the marginalized wings of U.S. politics and into the mainstream. It has brought attention to the organization and helped force the policy platform of many otherwise moderate democrats go further to the left.

However, considering the impending disaster facing our planet, species, and existence, I move that we not only work to elect socialists, but explicit eco-socialists to office.

I don’t need to remind anyone how disastrous of a state we are in. The carbon levels in the atmosphere are at their highest in the history of humankind and too many species are already on the brink of extinction. Farmworkers are being forced to work in even more complicated conditions since we are losing consistency in our crops, and we will be seeing more mass migrations as global warming gets worse.

Therefore, we cannot, I repeat, CAN NOT, take it for granted that the socialists we seek to elect are explicitly conscious of the need for an ecological, sustainable economy. The importance of electing socialists to office allows us to seize a form of state power and push for a democratized economy, which inturn can help create a more eco-friendly one, but that will not be an inevitability if we do not make it so.

Some will say that the terms “socialist” and environmentalist are inherently intertwined because the liberals have clearly aligned themselves with the carbon economy. I disagree with this logic and say we must take nothing for granted, especially not what it means to be a socialist.

A person can identify as a socialist or as pro labor but then can flip that to mean something that is not environmentalist at all. Some have taken the stance that the environment is secondary to labor. For example the AFLCIO has released all kinds of anti envromental stances, including support for pipelines and housing developments. They take the platform of “job creation” being the priority of the working class. This stance is flawed because it blatantly ignores the reality of job creation that comes from embracing a green economy. This is why cannot take for granted that a pro working class candidate is also a pro environmental one.

Support for an eco socialist candidate should not be limitus tested by one single policy either. While I support a Green New Deal we can not rely on that alone to save ourselves. An ecosocialist candidate must incorporate the realities of mass migration, conservationism, and animal rights into their pro working class agenda.

To say that the terms socialist and environmentalist are inherently intertwined risks us losing out ecosocialist candidates in favor of ones who fail to reconcile environmentalism and socialism. We must make our demands explicit and that must reflect in our electoral platform at all times. We cannot take for granted that every socialist is an ecosocialist, I think it is pretty evident that we can take nothing for granted.

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Pete Buttigieg Is Not A Genius

Many people are impressed with Pete Buttigieg’s performance during the first democratic party debate and many more are impressed with how intelligent Buttigieg appears to be. I am not one of them.

Credit where credit is due, while I disagreed with everything he said during the first 2020 presidential debate, I am objective enough to admit that he did not stumble in his responses and he did not lose any ground or footing with his base. While Kamila Harris was the clear winner in the debate and Biden the obvious loser, Buttigieg can easily be called the runner up for his cool and collective confidence throughout the night.

But here is the thing, people who applaud him are just too easily impressed by good public speaking skills and Harvard diplomas. I have met idiots with Master’s degrees, and geniuses who had dropped out of high school.

This is why I don’t give a flying fuck about Pete Buttigieg the “Rhode Scholar,” that he sells himself to be. I don’t care how many languages he speaks. I do not care that he went to Harvard, and I don’t think good public speaking and debate skills are the same as intelligence.

I am no anti intellectualist. Those who follow this blog know that! What I am is a realist, and let’s be realistic about how we as a culture treat college degrees as earmarks of status, not capability.

A Harvard diploma is not a sign of intelligence, it is a status symbol. The ability to speak another language is not a sign of intelligence, it is a skill that comes with years of memorization. Intelligence is shown in the application of ones education and knowledge. So far Buttigieg has used his alleged intelligence to protect his cities racist police force and to enable gentrification!

Our culture has a warped idea of what it means to be smart and what an education means.

Ivy leaque schools are not beacons of wisdom, they are mostly populated by trustfund legacy kids. A Harvard or Yale degree is a status symbol used to perpetuate the myth that the rich are in their class because of their “hardwork.” https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/21/what-will-help-you-get-into-harvard-super-rich-parents

Now, is a person with a college degree more educated than someone without one? Certainly, but recieving an education is not a sign of intelligence by itself, true intelligence is represented in the application of your knowledge. What good is an elite education if all it is used for is personal gain? In Buttigeig’s case, what good did his diploma do to keep him from running South Bend, Indiana into the ground? Nothing.

In all honesty, a college degree is simply a symbol of training. “You studied Science for four years, so here is the piece of paper that says your qualified to talk about it!” The only difference between a diploma from Harvard and a tech school trade certification is the job opportunities that come with them. That is all any diploma is, proof that you finished your training in some subject or trade.

Pete Buttigieg is not some kind of a genius just because he has a Harvard diploma. Remember, education means nothing if you do not apply your knowledge, and considering how awful he runs the city of South Bend, I do not think he is using it. A strong debate performance is not enough to convince me otherwise. I am not that easily impressed!

Why Socialism? Because We’re All Going To Die!

Many wonder why I have moved so far left. They wonder why I have embraced the terms “socialist” and “communist.”

Now, many tell me that the word “communism” is still too stigmatizing and off putting to people who have not yet been radicalized. This maybe true, to paraphrase Nelson Madela “the oppressor inevitably has control over the tone of the dialogue.”

If this is true, and assuming that it is, then one of the roads to liberation is taking control of the dialogue, and this can only be done by embracing the terms Marxist, Socialist, and Communist, without watering them down through other terms like “liberal” or “progressive.” It should be noted that when we are not talking about Stalinism when we are using the word socialism but the association between the terms Stalinist and Communist is an annoyingly nearsighted one that is not worth addressing.

We should not shy away from the truth of our goal as leftists, which is the abolition of the capitalist state and the creation of cooperative world, free from the toxic nationalism that comes with borders and the racist, colonialist, ableist, patriarchy, which upholds capitalism.

However, there is another reason why we should not shy away from the words communism and socialism, and that is the matter of our planet’s sustainability.

It can no longer be denied that the existence of the humanity and society is dependant on us creating a ecologically sustainable economy and lifestyle. This can only happen through cooperation.

The liberal notion that laws and reforms from the top down can salvage the planet are laughable. (Side note, I am in favor of the Green New Deal, do not mistake this for sectarianism) What I mean is that simple band-aid acts such as carbon taxes or emissions limits passed by bourgeoise politicians will do nothing to alter the course of our impending demise. We have approximately one decade to salvage ourselves from a climate crisis and we cannot afford mere reformism to be our savior.

These are moments when I often think about Rosa Luxemburg’s famous line, “Our choices are socialism or barbarism.” Well, the ecological disaster in our midst is barbarism. Socialism or barbarism is not merely a call to action, but a warning. A warning that a top down, non cooperative economy and social structure will inevitably doom our species and the only alternative to that is a democratic cooperative economy. IE, socialism, communism.

The importance of a sustainable, cooperative ecological economy also ties into all issues that are important to the left. Heavy polluting factories are always put in the poorest neighborhoods. Polluted water is raising the infant mortality rate, leaving working class mothers to watch their children die. Pipelines cut through rivers and tribal lands, perpetuating the imperialist colonialism that founded the U.S.

The only way to counter how capitalism pollutes our world is with its antithesis, and the antithesis is socialism.

So when people tell me, “Communism is too dangerous of a term,” or say, “Don’t call it socialism, it’s too off putting!” I say unto them that the destruction of our species at the hands of an economy controlled by the greedy few and not the hungry masses is far more off putting than a few simple words. Words which mean cooperation and liberation I might add!

When people say that leftist language is too dangerous, I say to them what Rosa said, “Our choices are socialism or barbarism.” The barbarism is about to kill us, it is time for socialism!

Venezuela and a Blow to Neoliberalism

While we must stay attentive, I think it is safe to say that the recent coup attempts in Venezuela have been spectacular failures. For the first time in a generation, people in the United States are saying no to neoliberalism.

The difficulty that Guiado and the neoliberal opposition are facing as they try to depose Maduro and the Bolivarian government is demonstrative of the fact that neoliberalism is in its death throws. It is symbolic of a shift in our political dialogue.

Since the coups in Chile in 1972, Neoliberalism has functioned on a very simple plan of action. As Naomi Klein explains in “The Shock Doctrine” the introduction of neoliberalism into a nation’s market is dependent on one factor, crisis. In short, a national crisis “shocks” a nation’s market to its core, creating a need for that market to be refounded and rebuilt. This is where capitalists and privatizers are obligated to swoop in and “fill the void,” leading to a shift from public services to a privatized market.

Such was the case in places like Chile in 1972 or Honduras in 2012, and such was supposed to be the case in Venezuela in 2019.

No matter what your opinion is of Maduro or the Venezuelan government, it cannot be denied that U.S. intervention in Latin America has always lead to disaster, and it has always been the goal to sew crisis to allow capitalist extortion to run rampant. Ever since the success of the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile, the United States has been able to interfere and introduce neoliberalism with ease.

Usually the United States government has been able to interfere because of a lack of attention from those who oppose intervention. This has been the case in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Honduras and too many other nations. The fact that United States citizens are starting to resist this intervention represents a shift in the status quo for Neoliberal politics.

The failure of the coup in Venezuela is a blow to Neoliberalism itself, it is the first time in a generation that U.S. intervention has successfully been stonewalled by its own citizens, at least for now. Not since Vietnam and the fall of Saigon has free market capitalism been so humiliated.

We are by no means out of the woods, the Venezuelan embassy to the United States has been successfully evicted and Guiado is still the recognized president of Venezuela by the U.S. and several other nation’s governments, including Canada and the U.K.

However the fact that the U.S. is being challenged and is being challenged so openly by its own citizens is a blow to neoliberalism, which in my opinion is a victory for socialism. The status quo has shifted, and the chance for socialists to strike is fast approaching.

Daley and Hinkenlooper got Booed, GOOD!

Last week, several of my comrades attended the California Democratic Party Convention as delegates and I watched their live feeds. Thanks to them I got to see how much power we on the left have gained.

Hickenlooper said, “Socialism is not the answer,” and got booed.

Daley came out against Medicare for All, and got booed.

This is great news for socialists. The Democratic Party is currently the most powerful political party in the state of California, and California is the worlds 5th largest economy. The fact that these two got booed means that Leftists have gained a serious degree of influence in one of the largest states!

The California Democratic Party has swept the last 3 governors elections, all municipal offices, and the majority of both the legislature and the senate for the last decade! Within this party that is in control, there is a body of leftists who are sick of the corporate capitalist status quo.

The fact that so many in the party in such a big state are adament about pushing the agenda and candidates of the party further left is a win for socialists than cannot be underestimated.

If it were up to me I would not touch the democratic party with a ten foot pole, but the reality of winning state power is not up to me. The fact that two establishment democrats got booed for over a minute after coming on stage with anti left wing talking points at the convention of the states largest political party means that socialists are on the verge of seizing state power like never before.

Both Hickenlooper and Daley have doubled down on their anti left stances. Hickenlooper has taken to Facebook in attempt to justify his anti-socialism and Daley has even resorted to Ben Shapiro tactics and began begging Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to debate him about Medicare for All. Hickenlooper is blatantly out of touch and Daley apparently hasn’t gotten the memo that women of color do not owe him their time!

Above : Hickenlooper doubles down on anti-socialism. Below: Delaney challenges AOC to debate Medicare 4 All

So BOO to Daley and BOO to Hickenlooper! We can force the hand of corporate capitalist democrats like these if we stay attentive and diligent, and keep the pressure on as we have.

Anti Intellectualism Hurts the Left and Insults the Working Class

I have noticed time and time again at multiple meetings, protests, and other organizational gatherings that there is a haste in several leftists to abandon intellectualism and academics. Either intellectualism is synonymous with whiteness to some of these people or their is this sentiment shared by many leftists that intellectualism is inherently alienating or off putting to the working class.

I reject these notions and I implore my comrades to reject them as well.

I am not unsympathetic to leftists who have a distain for academia and the intellectual jargon that comes with certain avenues of socialist theory, nor am I blind to the exclusion that academics has perpetuated. It is true that academic rhetoric has been used as a tactic for class elevation rather than for the improvement of ones community. To put it blutnly, people under our current capitalist system view education as a method for moving up the class scale. Instead of a degree being a symbol of your knowledge it is often used as a symbol of your class.

There is also a predominance of white supremacy in all, and I repeat all, institutions born under a capitalist system. This includes our schools, universities and even our unions and leftist organizations. As such the intellectualism that is attached to these things has a predominate tendency to enable white supremacy and I am sympathetic to that fact as well.

However the notion I reject is that the working class are incapable of comprehending intellectualism, that in order of our programs to be considered “accessible” they must be dumbed down. This is the notion I reject. One reason I reject this is because distain for academia is a right wing value, and in turn enabling distain for it by the left is a validation of a right wing talking point. Our job as leftists is too disprove the right wing, not validate it. “The poor are to stupid to organize and rise up,” is an inherently capitalist right wing sentiment and when we perpetuate the idea that the working class cannot comprehend intellectual topics or jargon then we are validating this sentiment.

What is even worse is that distain for intellectualism insults the working class. “Intellectual” should not be equated with “inaccessible.” I do think this is where most leftists are coming from when they express annoyance with intellectualism. It is not that they have a distain for intellectualism itself, but rather it is that they want our program and interpretation of socialism to be as easy to understand as possible in order to foster and build a genuine mass movement. I think that is a fair sentiment.

However, too often than not I see friends and comrades equating the idea of making our work “accessible” with dumbing it down. This is reprehensible. I acknowledge that we need a shift in our jargon, and adaptations to our rhetoric need to be made in order for our socialism to be relevant to the working class of the 21st century, but this does not mean we need to insult the working class in the process. To argue that something is inherently “too intellectual” or “too academic” for the working class is to say that the working class are incapable of complex thought and that intellectualism or academia is too good for the working class.

Nothing, I repeat, nothing, is too good for the working class.

It is also nearsighted to reject intellectualism when you are a leftist organizer because it ignores a very large part about the reality of the 21st century working class. The truth is that most members of the working class today do in fact have some degree of post k-12 education. The existence of the student debt bubble is evidence alone that most people who qualify as “working class” are indeed educated to some degree. Therefore the working class of the 21st century is perfectly capable of intellectualism or of comprehending academic rhetoric because most have already gone through the realms of academia.

My comrades who want to make things like our program and jargon more accessible to the working class are in the right to do so, yet it must be remembered that “accessible” does not mean “dumbed down.” I refuse to insult the very people I want to organize by giving them a program that condescends to them.

It is true that intellectualism has been used to intentionally exclude people, especially non white people. Many of our oppressors have used academics and intellectualism to openly exclude non males and non whites from their ranks. In short, they have used their education and jargon as a method of control rather than as a method of liberation. I think this is another place where our anti academic comrades are coming from when they express distain for intellectualism, and I am sympathetic to this outlook as well.

However I also think that to synonymize intellectualism with whiteness erases the numerous non white intellectuals, such as W.E.B Dubois, bell hooks, Angela Davis, and Cornel West, who have graced us with perspective and theory in manners that are both complimentary to the working class’ capablities AND are accessible to those in the working class who have not undergone a secondary education. We cannot counter erasure with more erasure!

Socialist programs and rhetoric in the 21st century need to adapt, and to adapt they need to be made accessible to the masses. However “accessible” does not have to equal “anti intellectual.” I said it once in this piece and I will say it time and time again until I am dead, nothing is too good for the working class!

Socialists, Communists, Anarchists of the World, PUT OUT THAT LIGHT!

I am sick and tired of the constant gaslighting that socialists of all schools are forced to deal with.

Constantly we are told by the people who have never been apart of our organizations what we stand for. Every day pundits who hate us will misrepresent us and sometimes even the most well intentioned progressives will perpetuate the stigma that “communism” is a dangerous word. Many liberals will say to us “I like your principles but I don’t like socialism because…” and then they will proceed to give some tedious illogical diatribe that will mistakenly call Putin a Soviet or end in some other illogical fallacy.

The conservatives claim we are terrorists who hate freedom, despite Leftist groups like the YPG and YPJ liberating cities such as Raqqa from ISIS. They claim we hate Americans despite the Soviet Union being the allie’s key to victory in World War II, effectively ending the holocaust I might add.

I am no anarchist, but I despise the people who call Black Block anarchists terrorists or “excessively violent” when the people making such accusations support fascists like Trump or drone enthusiasts like Obama.

So, in an act of solidarity across the spectrum of leftism, be you a Berniecrat, a Black Block Anarchist, a loyal tankie, or a run of the mill DSA member, I implore you to no longer let others tell you what you believe.

We are leftists, we are not talking points to be used as fodder for pundits who are out of touch with the realities of living in our modern, vampiric economy. We know what we are and what we are not and we cannot, must not, let those outside of our ranks be the ones who define us.

I for one will no longer allow the gaslighting of leftists to go by unquestioned. We will not be told what our own beliefs are nor will we let anyone speak for us but ourselves.

We are not threats, we are not dangerous. We are your neighbors, your coworkers, and in some cases your children. We are teachers and nurses, graphic designers and web technicians. We are state workers and we are janitors. We exist in all dimensions and in all classes of life that are outside of the billionaire bourgeoisie. We are people, and we deserve to be treated as people.

So when Fox News or Pelosi loyalists try to tell us what we are or what we are not, put out the gaslight with the raging wave that is our collective power.

I am a socialist, a communist, and a proud member of my organization. I will put out my gaslight and start a new fire, a fire that will rage and burn down the oppressive systems and state that doom us.

Do not let the gaslighting of the left continue. Put out that light and let the fire that is our rage spur a new flame, the flame that can guide the specter of communism to victory in the dark days that we live in.