Months after the start of this rebellion -- triggered by the murder-by-police of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May -- the spirit of the movement for change seems to have been put on pause as people start to come to grips with both the reality of the situation and what a revolutionary future might mean. The field is left open for the triumph -- once again -- of fascist authoritarianism.
Extremely modest reform efforts have been put forth here and there, the idea being to curb the enthusiasm of the rabble for defunding or otherwise interfering with the institution (and profit center) of modern policing. A ban on chokeholds should be enough to quiet the masses, right? Well, except for the fact that that isn't how George Floyd was killed, and such holds are already banned in most places, it's great. It's symbolic but great.
The defund the police movement is so far failing almost everywhere, not because it's the wrong thing to do but because it is not understood much beyond its advocates, and where some efforts to redirect police funding toward social services have been attempted, the police unions (primarily) have fought bitterly and as so often happens have sabotaged such efforts.
It's a stalemate in which the forces of maintaining "order" at all costs (that is, dominance by the police) run roughshod over practically everything else, and the rise of pro-police vigilantism -- such as in Kenosha, Portland and elsewhere -- complicates efforts to build something better on the ruins of the present.
Previous efforts have faced just such a stalemate and just such reaction. Revolution stalls out every time.
I've said in other fora that it's partly because there's no Marx, no Kropotkin, for our era, and none of the high and mighty would be nobles and oligarchs who rule us and own the government and the police have the slightest interest in serving the People. We, the People, rabble that we are, exist to serve them. Period.
And they are terrified of what might happen to them if the rabble not only gets the guillotine but figures out how to use it. Preventing revolution then becomes a primary objective -- while exploiting and looting the rubes when not consigning them to "disappear."
For its part, it appears that Black Lives Matter as an organization heavily funded by certain oligarchic interests has largely turned away from the more radical proposals and demands which gave energy to the early protests. They haven't entirely turned against the anarchist activists (aka: "Antifa" the Dreaded) who act up and act as a vanguard in many cities around the country, but they disagree with the tactics employed and dismiss the largely white youth who throw themselves on the line night after night. What are they accomplishing on behalf of the larger movement?
Not enough, apparently.
I think we're beyond the point at which a "movement" of any type is sufficient to deal with the existential problems we face. It's no longer about movements, politics, or traditions. For many millions, it's about survival.
The systems and institutions people have relied on during times of trouble are breaking down. Lack of income means that hunger and homelessness are becoming the fate of many more people every day. The failures of government are partially responsible for making matters worse rather than better, but there's a failure of vision as well.
What kind of world do we want? And what will it take to get there?