Notes on a Future Politics - Part I
Publisher: Insurgent Notes
Date Written: 19/10/2016
Year Published: 2016
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20148
In the aftermath of the 2016 US election, Garvey argues that no variety of liberalism, progressivism or social democracy will be adequate for addressing the multiple global crises of capitalist society nor will they be adequate for providing a genuine alternative to the many millions of people who are drawn to varieties of populist or fascist politics.
We need to appreciate the complexity of the support for Trump so we can avoid rather simple-minded notions that what we have to do, for example, is to "Stop hate!" Over the last couple of months, I have read plausible accounts of the characteristics of Trump supporters that are all but completely contradictory. His supporters are, variously, mostly people out for the entertainment value of a spectacular event; people who have seen their towns and small cities all but disappear as companies left; people who see no place for themselves, ever, in the world around them; and men who still aspire to the Hugh Hefner Playboy life style and are stuck with what they consider to be a bad substitute. I'm sure that there are other equally useful and limited characterizations.
At the current moment, what a revolutionary left is prepared and able to communicate to large numbers of people could make a difference -- in the context of unresolved economic crisis and political upheaval -- not only in the United States but around the world (more about that to come). As we think about how we might contribute to a substantial expansion of the capacities that a revolutionary left needs to do so, we would be well advised to avoid chasing after notions of close-at-hand ruptures and, instead, to take sober measures of those forces that might be marshaled in support of an emancipatory breakthrough and the forces arrayed against the prospect of such a breakthrough.