Thursday, February 9, 2017

Making It Impossible for the Ruling Clique to Govern

Things are still so fluid, there's no way to tell how the unraveling will occur. But there will be an unraveling, no doubt about it. And many innocents will suffer.

That much is clear.

One of the keys to a successful rising is making it impossible for the ruling clique to govern. This was the key to bringing down the various targets of Color Revolutions, and indeed what led to the collapse of the regimes brought down during the Arab Spring and particularly the Ukraine not so very long ago.

It isn't that hard to do.

But note, efforts along those lines were tried in this country with the occupation of the Wisconsin state capitol in the winter of 2011 followed by the Occupy Movement in the fall of the same year. They received a lot of press and widespread admiration but they failed to bring on the Revolution, and in Wisconsin, the occupiers failed utterly in their goal of preserving, protecting and defending the gains made by their progressive political ancestors, gains being threatened by Scott Walker and the ascendant Rs.

The Wisconsin debacle should have been a lesson, but I'm not sure it was, as the failures mounted after the Capitol occupation was abandoned. It was as if the opponents of Walker and the Rs kept pushing the same nonfunctional button and expecting it to somehow work. It didn't. The wires had been pulled. But the Ds didn't notice. Or were they counseled not to notice?

The trick of  making it impossible to govern requires understanding how government works and knowing where the vulnerable pressure points are.

It seems that regime opponents rarely do, at least not when they start out. Resistance is typically inchoate at first, but then it coalesces around an "idea."

In Wisconsin, the "idea" was to Preserve the Status Quo. Oops. To me, that is a recipe for disaster in a revolutionary era. The status quo is fine for those who benefited from it, but under the circumstances, many were and are not benefiting from it, and that's why so many wanted it overthrown or undone. That's why the Rs were able to fully capture the political and governmental apparatus of a formerly Progressive state.

Enough Wisconsinites had had enough of "progressivism" to throw it all out and essentially revert to prior brawling, corrupt, and vile government practice. The Status Quo just would not do any more.

I tried pointing this out to some Wisconsinites who were absolutely convinced that Walker and his cronies and the Rs in the Lege would be brought down this time because reasons. I said no, it was becoming more and more unlikely that any political action would bring these people down, simply because there were enough Wisconsinites satisfied enough with the New Politics and Governance that they weren't about to change it, particularly not to go back to the status quo ante.  No, get over it, it's not going to happen. If you really want change, you have to go forward from where you are. You can't go back to where you used to be.

It seems axiomatic, but for whatever reason, the Ds and the progressives in Wisconsin never seemed to understand that simple premise. In politics, you can't go back.

That's one reason I had such high initial hopes for Occupy. They were focused on what was wrong in the present ("Shit's fucked up and bullshit!") and setting out on a path to fix it. Well, it didn't work out quite that way.

Part of the failure was operational. Much of the effort was focused on creating a model for a New Society based largely on Anarchist principles. Well... that can only go so far, and any resulting society will by nature be small-scale. In most cases, the Occupations themselves were too large and diverse to be run on an Anarchist model, though the effort to do so was maintained as long as possible. The models in Europe worked well enough, didn't they? Well, no, if you were paying attention, you saw them coming apart, and you saw them easily dispersed by the authorities and prevented from re-forming.

The operational model was a failure, though the ideas were right, and they continue to be vibrant all these years later because most of the forward looking ideas have yet to be addressed.

What were those ideas? I'll get to it in time -- or try to. This is not really about Occupy so much as it's about the current Resistance (which includes some of those ideas, just as it includes Black Lives Matter idea and many other elements of Resistance efforts.)

The current Resistance is still inchoate -- and probably will be for some months to come -- but it is coalescing around a few Big Ideas, including defending the rights of women, minorities and immigrants. There's a bit too much defense of the status quo, unfortunately. That can change. I hope it will.

The status quo wasn't working for far too many Americans. That's why we're in the political and economic mess we're in. Millions upon millions of Americans were forced into poverty during the Economic Crisis -- which has never ended for most of them. That impoverishment was due to policies, none of which have been rescinded. Most of them are due to get worse during the Trump regime.

I have yet to see a Resistance idea that addresses that fundamental problem. When I do, I'll cheer.

Mass imprisonment of (mostly) black and brown men was a feature of the status quo. That's slated to get worse, potentially much worse, under the Trump regime. What is the Resistance idea to address it? I don't know.

Rule by an out of touch elite was a feature of the status quo. That's not getting any better under a Trump regime -- which is nothing but a kleptocracy headed by the kleptocrat in chief. What is the Resistance idea regarding the kleptocratic elite who rule us? I have no idea.

And so it goes. These are among the ideas that can form the foundation for making it impossible for the ruling clique to govern, and that's a necessary factor in a successful Resistance.

The Dems are almost useless in this struggle, for they are the Party of the Status Quo -- whatever that may be. But they can be (maybe) useful within the ruling clique as a poker, shiv, etc. Otherwise, they should be ignored -- or defeated, right along with the Trumpists.

We need something better.

It's a long row to hoe, but it's more necessary than ever.

Despite all, the Hippies were right.

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