Warren’s Redeeming Quality

I realize that I have become a relatively harsh critic of Elizabeth Warren lately, but I feel that is the point of a primary, you need to go hard for your candidate and my candidate is definitely Bernie. As a socialist, I prefer to only vote for other socialists when I get the chance.

However I do have to give credit where credit is due, to any candidate. I did so when Kamala Harris scrutinized Joe Biden for his racism and I must do so now with Warren.

While I still do not entirely trust Warren, I will admit she is my number 2 after Bernie. I have one simple reason why, second to Bernie she is the most pro-union out of the other Democratic candidates.

However, there are staunch differences between Sander’s and Warren’s unionism. Warren believes in what I call the “good relationship” model of unions, meaning she believes in allowing people to organize but that a good relationship can also be developed between the union and management. This model can help workers gain modest protections at the workplace but inevitably perpetuates capitalism and cronyism.

Bernie’s unionism is a unionism by and for the worker. Bernie’s labor platform gives much more incentive to democratized and co-op workplaces. However what can be said of both candidates is that they have been on the picket line for multiple strike actions. Both are supporting the UAW strike against GM, Warren was vocal in her support for Stop n Shop’s striking clerks, and let us not forget Bernie’s recent visit to the Chicago Teacher’s Union.

There are further questions to be answered. It has been alleged that Warren has crossed a picket line at the Las Vegas Palms casino multiple times. Considering how Warren has a track record of changing the tone of her message based on her audience, it would not be suprising if Warren was one day pro-union and the next pro-management.

Let me conclude by saying this is neither an attack nor an endorsement of Warren, I am still very much in support of Bernie. I do however think that Warren is the only other candidate who has genuinely gone out of their way to recognize unions. While I disagree with her on many things it is important to see how vital the support of labor has become once again in elections. With democratic candidates fighting it out for the support of labor, the working class has a chance to realize their class power if they use their votes to their advantage. Labor has the best chance to be heard by either Warren or Sanders, no other candidates take the working classes seriously.

The Defense of Theory

Many will say that they are not “interested” in reading about socialist theory and that they would rather just “take action.” Many of these people forsake political education in order to express themselves solely through direct action. But direct action without purpose or analysis is not direct action, it is masturbation.

The argument against theoretical discussion is usually one revolving around the premise that organizing from “lived experiences” and “action” are more revolutionary than reading.

This reasoning is not only flawed, it is right wing and a symptom of capitalism.

Let me begin by saying that direct action for the sake of direct action is a waste of everyone’s time. Symbolic gestures and protests have their place but any protest, be it symbolic or insurrectionary, must have a clear and achieveable demand. (Close the Camps! Pass a Green New Deal! Fire Racist Killer Cops! Contracts Now! Divest from GeoGroup! etc.)

Direct action that is purely “symbolic” and ideological with no clear, achievable material demand is not to the benefit of the working class, but a way for do nothing ultra-lefts and over privileged liberals to validate themselves and their own identities. Protests that are done for the sake of doing them are insults to the working class. Protest that is done with an objective goal gets the goods. Protest for the sake of protest is not protest, period.

Further, the reasoning that “lived experiences” are more important than reading or discussing theory is inherently nearsighted because it differentiates learning as something to not be considered a lived experience.

Is reading not a lived experience? Is learning not an experience? Have lives not been changed because of conversations, forums, and thoughts? The act of reading and discussing theory IS a lived experience and should be considered just as important to organizing as is blocking an intersection or arranging a picket.

I also maintain that if you want to organize your community and build alternatives to capitalism, you need to read and learn from past attempts. Past revolutions, the Paris Commune, the creation and collapse of the Internationales, the Occupy Movement, the Black Panthers and so much more, we need to look at the movements, trends, and organizations of the past and present and study them so that we may better study ourselves!

One cannot spend all their time merely discussing how to organize, it is true that some get caught up more in the theoretical than the practical but that is not an excuse to never bother to learn or discuss theory. One must also not make the mistake in thinking that showing up for every single protest is actual organizing. One must never put street theatrics ahead of the pursuit of material gains but rather must always utilize them for the sole purpose of making gains.

It is true that the best organizing comes through lived experience, and I maintain that reading and learning is a form of lived experience. Leftists who decry theory perpetuate the anti intellecutalism perpetuated by the right wing. Leftists who just want to act and not process that action are perpetuating the reactionary nature of a capitalist society. We cannot build alternatives to capitalism if we are constantly stopping everything we do to react to it. Theory is the analysis of action, it always has been and always will be.

Reading theory is just as much of a lived experience as anything else and is therefore integral to organizing.

Reading is a lived experience, to say it is not is to be anti intellectual, to be anti intellectual is to be reactionary, to be ractionary is to be capitalist. Therefore if you are anti theory, you are in fact pro capitalist.

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

Prediction: Sanders and Warren Will Both Go To the Democratic Party Convention

Here is my prediction for the 2020 Democratic Primary as of October 2019; the race for the democratic party’s nomination for president will go all the way to the 2020 party convention and it will be a contest between Sanders and Warren much like how the 1932 convention was a contest between FDR and Al Smith.

I base this analysis on my lifetime of political activism and my experience as a professional political organizer. I should note here that I am an explicit Sanders supporter, but this is not about who I think should win. This is a prediction for how I think the winner will be decided.

Here is why I see this primary going all the way to the convention.

Biden will most likely drop out after the first few election results come in. It is possible he may stay in the race until the convention as well, but I doubt it. He most likely will stick it out for the first few primaries but I guarantee that the results will not be great for him and he will be forced to eat crow.

Biden has slipped since each debate and he will continue to slip until his name recognition has depleted all it’s usefulness. Remember, the only thing Biden has going for him is name recognition, his policies are still exponentially unpopular compared to Warren or Sanders.

Warren supporters are set on electing Warren. They cannot be budged. They are dedicated to Warren and will stay dedicated, I do not see Warren supporters coming into the Bernie camp anytime soon. In fact most Warren supporters rank Bernie not even as their second or third options.

The 20-22% that Warren currently has cannot be shaken from supporting her. Her washy answers about her past views on gay marriage and her speeches to conservative groups in the 90s have not turned anyone in her base against her. They will leap to her defense at any point. To them it is all just proof that “people can change.” Warren will always have at least 20-22% support of Democrats throughout this election and that number is likely to go up when Biden drops out.

Not all of Biden’s supporters will flock to Liz Warren though. I honestly think there will be a split of Biden’s current 22% between Sanders and Warren and it will be fairly even. While their platforms are vastly different, some in the Biden camp will be attracted to Bernie’s pro working class rhetoric, while others from Biden’s camp will follow Warren because of her association to the Obama administration, the only other thing Biden has going for him besides name recognition. The people in Biden’s base who support him because he was Obama’s VP will most likely find more comfort in Warren than Sanders.

The split of Biden’s base between Warren and Sanders will be factors that carry them both into the convention.

Warren and Sanders are polling closely in all of the early election states and as the primary draws closer with each day the differences between the two will become more prevalent but for many it still represents a difficult choice that Democrats seem fairly evenly split on.

One candidate preaches comprehensive systemic change, the other preaches increased regulation. This is one of the biggest divides amongst registered democrats, do we outright abolish or reform capitalism? The two candidates who best represent the two sides of that question are Sanders and Warren. Between their equal levels of popularity, both are representative of the state of the left’s electoral challenges.

The democrats are no longer just capitalist liberals, in fact the party is now made up more of progressives and socialists than ever before. This is what makes it hard for some people to choose between the two. Socialists have their heart on Sanders because we need to stick with our own. The progressives who identify as Warren supporters support her for a number of reasons, the biggest being the desire many have to see a female president. Yet despite being representative of an oppressed community, it does not change the fact Bernie Sanders still has a better track record with fighting for oppressed communities.

This is what will carry on into the convention, it is no longer an argument of going left as Democrats but the argument is how far left will we go. Warren is a baby step to the left and Sanders is a giant leap. We can have Warren’s progressivism or Sanders’ socialism and because the support between Sanders and Warren is so close the decision will most likely be left to democratic convention delegates.

Because the democratic party itself is in such disarray and split between the capitalist and socialist elements the odds that one candidate will be unanimously rallied behind before the time of the convention are unlikely. Both front runners (sans Biden) have a dedicated base that will stay with them until the primary reaches its bitter conclusion. Sanders and Warren supporters cannot be budged.

Warren’s poor performance in the 4th primary debate complicates the equation though. Most people in her base think she performed with grace and patience but those outside of her base feel like she took a bad beating and did not reply strongly enough to the attacks against her. The argument most people have seems to be, “If she can’t handle Klobuchar or Buttigeig, how the hell can she handle Trump?” However her base, as always, remains unshaken and loyal to their idea of her. The debate performance was definitely enough to slow down her momentum but it will not be enough to reduce the loyalty of her followers.

Biden supporters will eventually have no choice but to pick between Warren and Sanders and that will result in a pretty even split. Warren and Sanders will both do well in their home states and the states that tend to always vote blue will most likely go to Warren, but Bernie is likely to build the most momentum in rural states and states that Trump won. The south is more likely to carry for Bernie this time but those states will also most likely be split evenly between Sanders and Warren. California, Ohio, and New York are the golden tickets though, and those are anyones game.

The key to winning this primary is not just in mobilizing in your states primary, the key will be getting your delegates to the convention. Democrats who want to support their candidate would be smart to mobilize their convention delegates as well as their campaigns, asap.

Conceited Notion

Here we are,

Another conceited notion

At hope for humanity.

Wrapped in delusion

And on the other side ignorance.

Where heart doesn’t exist there is only stone.

No one cares when you break stone,

No one should.

Stone has no use except for building,

Heart brings us family, light, and love.

But who cares about any of that,

Just another poetic disposition from the cliche starving artist.

Just another conceited notion, that people might actually be good.

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