The struggle isn’t only to defend, but also to reform – deepen and extend – our democracy and democratic structures so that they respond better to the everyday concerns of millions.
If I have learned anything in the past decade, it is that the formation of the political consciousness of working people is a far more complicated, interactive, and many layered and leveled process than I first understood it years ago. It takes place at the cultural level as well as the economic.
Moreover, the working class itself has a hand in the process. It’s not simply a recepticle of what others say and do.
The world of the 21st century is different – as you would expect – from the world of the 20th century. One new reality that can’t be ignored or underplayed is the rise of a powerful and exceedingly dangerous right wing extremist authoritarian – neo fascist if you like – movements in every region of the world. In some countries, representatives of this movement have their hands on the levers of state power; in others, “the barbarians at the gate.”
This new reality alters and shakes up the political dynamics, alliances and demands at the national and world level. But not everyone on the left is of this mind. In their political calculus, its rise is minimized and thus isn’t a new danger worthy of immediate and sustained attention. In fact, it’s a distraction, it is said, from the struggle against US imperialism and the Biden administration.
I’m not so sure people that hold this position can be convinced otherwise. They are dug in. Perhaps life itself, that is, the further rise of this movement and the negative consequences for humanity that will surely follow, will give them pause. We’ll see. But don’t hold your breadth.