This week’s letters show us that the new political period will require a lot of thinking on the part of those that want to remake society for the better. Readers shared their views on the way forward for the socialist movement and their critiques of neoliberal diversity politics. In particular, “Ocasio-Cortez, Socialism, War and Austerity” and “The Diversity Hustle” provoked thoughtful responses.
In “Ocasio-Cortez, Socialism, War and Austerity” Glen Ford points out the limitations of the “socialism” promoted by new faces in the Democratic Party like Ocasio-Cortez but argues that the growing space for left ideas indicates a growing political crisis for the ruling elite.
Chris Driscoll writes:
“From the great global split-up of the socialist movement a century ago until now, there has been a knock-down drag-out mostly acrimonious fight between reformist-socialists and revolutionary socialists for the hearts and minds of the working class. And with the global economic melt-down of 2008, this fight has flared up again with a vengeance. So far, the reformists are winning in the belly of the beast, the United States, the cosmopolitan center of the hegemonic global American Empire. On the bright side, a majority of youth now favor socialism over capitalism. On the dark side, most of them have turned to social-democracy, reformist-socialism-now-morphed-into-pro-capitalism, for information about what, exactly, socialism is. Revolutionary socialism, often also called communism, has also experienced a revival and an upsurge in numbers, but not nearly so much as reformist social-democracy.
“After all, the social-democrats are not providing the youth with truthful useful information, but with lies. The social-democrats are telling the youth everything can be repaired, everything fixed and put to right with a few reforms of the capitalist plutocratic imperialistic system. And that is the ultimate lie. Reforms cannot fix capitalism, imperialism, the plutocratic form of government nor can they fix a global empire hellbent on conquest or destruction. These are not fixable, reformable institutions. They are designed to do a specific job for the capitalist class and they do it well, or at least as well as they are able.
“So, here we are, with an opportunity, that is, the opportunity presented by the creation over the last decade of tens of millions of new socialists eager to learn about socialism. Yet our major competitors for the hearts and minds of the increasingly socialist working class, the reformist social-democrats and their close allies in the capitalist class, the liberals, are so far doing a better job of winning those hearts and minds than we are, than revolutionary socialists are.
“Luckily, the solution is readily available to us in books and in the collective experience of our class in the history of class struggle. We have all the stored knowledge of how to struggle against and beat the capitalist class and how to move on to create a socialist workers state, government and economy. Our strategy, our tactics, our plans, must come from that experience and we must study that experience and teach it to others. That’s the solution. It’s hard work, it’s not easy, and we have plenty of enemies trying to defeat us, including social democrats, but it’s no more a lost cause then it was for the Chinese people in the first half of the last century, or for the Soviet peoples in 1917, or the Cuban or Vietnamese people after World War II. They faced all the same enemies and all the same barriers as we do, but they won.”
“The Diversity Hustle” by Teodrose Fikre exposes the how Democratic Party identity politics uses the pain of marginalized people to advance a destructive agenda.
Dean Allen Jones writes:
“How long will we be expected to become excited about the election of the first black dog catcher? When will this society reach the point where the concept of the ‘first black’ in anything is a historical relic of the distant past?”
Lee Einer writes:
“We used to call this ‘tokenism’ and we knew it for what it was. How did this word vanish from the lexicon? It seems that until recently it not only vanished but took the concept with it.”
Beverly Rice writes:
“The powers-that-be (PTB) hit the jackpot when they decided to employ the diversity hustle to cement their fascist agenda. What better way to do evil than to front your endeavors with those considered ‘Good Guys,’ whom the sheeple will follow w/o question thanks to Operation Mockingbird's successful obliteration of truth in media? Thanks to independent media's internet presence, a few more people are abandoning the hustle but sadly there are millions who are so brainwashed by the presstitute media and the narrative heard since birth of ‘Democrats good, black Democrats even better’ that chances are very good the diversity hustle will continue to work voodoo on its ignorant, captive audience.”
Independent media like BAR will need our readers to keep engaging in the ideological struggle alongside us to overcome the ideological control of the ruling elite in this period of crisis. With this in mind let’s work together on another week of strong comments.
Jahan Choudhryis Comments Editor for Black Agenda Report. He is an organizer with the Saturday Free School based in Philadelphia, PA.