New Year’s speech of Elizabeth Warren

This is a terrific speech, delivered on New Year’s day in Boston. Deserves reading and circulating. Had I not contacted Working Families Party earlier to volunteer to work on Warren’s campaign here in New York, I would probably have done so upon reading this inspiring speech. WFP endorsed Warren a while back. Hopefully she will win the nomination, but if that doesn’t happen, I will, without bellyaching, do whatever I can to support and get the vote out for whoever the nominee is.


John Lewis

If you’re feeling dispirited, read this; if you’re not, still read it!

Really wrongheaded

John Bellamy Foster is an interesting and insightful analyst of capitalism. His work on its ecological crisis is notable. But his strategic and tactical skills seem limited. In a recent (rather long) interview, he insists that the immediate task is to “unite the revolutionary left” and to effect “no compromises with neoliberalism.” This strikes me as really wrongheaded, given the fact that the main challenge at this moment is to unite a broad and diverse democratic front/coalition to check the immediate danger of white nationalist, mysogynist, xenophobic, anti-democratic and anti-working class right wing authoritarianism from consolidating and extending its power over state and society in the coming elections.

I wouldn’t pay any attention to Foster’s prescriptive advice were it not for the fact that some others on the left seem to share this view. Thus it can’t be ignored entirely.

That said, I don’t think it should take up too much of our oxygen in the coming months. There is a much bigger world out there to win.

Voted present

It was only a few weeks ago that Hillary took a lot of heat for saying that people shouldn’t be fooled by Tulsi Gabbard. Last week TG voted present on two impeachment articles. Advantage Hillary!

Things to avoid

Here are a few things to avoid in the coming year.

* A belief that the danger of co-optation is reason to keep a distance from reform struggles and electoral politics.

* An understanding that politics has few complexities, change is solely driven from the ground up, and stages of struggle are for the fainthearted and “reformists.”

* A notion that differences within elite circles on foreign and domestic policies are of no strategic or tactical significance.

* A belief that the two main parties of capitalism are carbon copies of one another.

* An attitude that the left’s role is to double the bet and up the ante no matter what the circumstances.

* A commitment to a politics that subordinates the struggle for racial, gender, and other forms of equality to the exigencies of the class struggle.

* A disposition to under appreciate the role of labor.

* A habit of creating false oppositions between electoral forms of action and direct action.

* A tendency to elaborate strategy and tactics apart from a concrete examination of the balance of class and social forces at a given moment.

* An insufficient appreciation for the struggle for democracy.

* A penchant to squirrel itself away in self enclosed organizational silos disconnected from broader forms of social organization and action.

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