Elizabeth Warren had a much tougher go of it last night; she was the target of others on the stage. She still did well, although she will have to do some more thinking about how she explains Medicare for all. One thing she demonstrated last night, as she fended off criticism, is that she can handle the glare of the lights. She’s a fighter and she’s tough.
I hear people on the left complain that the impeachment inquiry is too narrowly framed, not to their taste. I say look at public opinion polls. Millions apparently don’t agree. They’re increasingly ready to impeach Trump on the existing terms. Life doesn’t always fit the ideological scheme of the left.
We should proceed on the assumption that the working class in any undertaking, will require alliances with other social constituencies as a matter of course. The notion of the working class as the singular agent of social revolution or social progress, for that matter, finds no evidence in actual, that is, historical experience. Notwithstanding the lyrics of the Internationale and the dreams of insurrectionary radicals, social change that radically re-configures power and possibilities in favor of democracy, social progress, and socialism, has been (and will be) the handiwork of the socially many and varied, no pristine class affair.
I was thinking that if the strategic necessity of defeating Trump (and the imperative of unity that follows from that) are foremost in the mindset of supporters of Bernie Sanders’ and Elizabeth Warren, then bitterness and acrimony toward on one another should have no place in their interactions.
But here’s the rub: such a mindset, while generally embraced by both sides, still finds a group of Bernie’s supporters who aren’t yet won to this way of thinking. In fact, they are quick to attack Warren for her supposedly less than sterling credentials, while insisting that Bernie is the only “class” candidate worthy of the nomination. Not smart!
At the disruptive heart of racialized capitalism is its re-occurring process of asset stripping, land and wealth dispossession, forced migration, and confinement and segregation of people of color to designated geographical spaces — the ghetto, barrio, reservation as well as particular zip codes, cities, and towns. When I lived in Detroit, I saw the operation and effects of this pernicious and racist process at first hand.
When I visit there now, the city seems to be rebounding, and that is understandably welcomed by many Detroiters, but the rebound appears to me lopsided, uneven, and still in the hooks of the re-occurring process mentioned above, albeit in new forms and conditions. Indeed, the new centers of wealth making and economic activity, in this overwhelmingly African American city, while dynamic in some ways, fail, using my very unscientific eye test, to radiate across the city and combine with a sea of deep and endemic poverty, dispossession, depopulation, long term unemployment and underemployment, desolate neighborhoods, struggling schools, and more of the like.
All of which makes me think that any resolution of Detroit’s long crisis will require, first of all, a political fix, that is, a new correlation of democratic and progressive political power at the city, state, and federal levels, supported and nudged along by a sustained surge of grassroots activity. It goes without saying that defeating Trump and his Republican acolytes next year at the ballot box is absolutely essential.