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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Will there be revolution in the US?- Part 1

Recently I was talking with some friends about politics and many of my friends told me that they believed a socialist or communist revolution was impossible. They insisted the system we have is controlled by right-wing Republicans, the religious right, and a large constituency of duped people who don’t understand what socialism really means. They pointed out that the Democrats seem unable or unwilling to seriously take on these political forces. They also said they saw no real socialist presence that could seriously influence the country.

Many of these people are involved in various political actions groups, representing women’s rights, health care reform and opposition to the war in Afghanistan. So they are not just bar flies or people who have given up on political activism. Yet there was a sense that they can’t fight the right’s strangle hold on our country. To challenge the status quo seemed a waist of time.

But from my stand point, how can we just give up? If humanity is really stuck in this system, what hope for the future do we have for the next few generations?

There are forces at work that make the preservation and control of the mainstream US right impossible over the next century.

The right-wing seems determined to destroy the environment for personal gain. We keep hearing that global warming is a myth. “The liberals want to destroy our way of life for problems that haven’t been proven,” so they argue. They largely rely on scare tactics to convince people that they will lose many of their modern conveniences. For example they claim people will loose the ability to buy a new homes, there will be sky high gas prices (or shortages), the loss of the right to buy and drive large vans and trucks, higher prices for food and other needs due to over regulations.

But the reality is that the results of destroying the environment will mean weather changes that will be catastrophic, causing extreme climate changes throughout the country. Ocean levels will rise and flood out certain coastal cities. There are already increases in storms such as hurricanes. Agriculture will suffer as some parts of the countries endure huge rises in temperature.

In Kansas, farmers were recently warned by a local TV news report, that the overall temperature will rise by 10˚ within the next 50 years. Present farmland will be too hot and dry to support the wheat and corn presently grown in the state.

Local farmers have resisted any “green” regulations on their farming practices. They have been warning people that any environmental regulations will raise food prices.

How much will food prices go up if scientists are right and farmers go broke because the land is too hot and dry to grow conventional crops? Food for the consumer will have to be imported from another state. That will be expensive. Can cities such as Wichita maintain themselves with water shortages and a complete collapse of our agricultural industry?

There seems to be a growing polarization of politics in this country.

This is what I hear from the anti-Obama people:

“Obama is a socialist,” “the Democrats are a party of treason,” “The Democratic Party is trying to lead the US into socialism and communism.”

In Kansas, at a recent town hall meeting on healthcare reform a working mother complained she has medical pre-conditions that keep her and her children from getting health insurance. Many in the audience shouted, “I don’t want to pay for YOUR health care.”

What I interpret in their opinions and statements amount to; ‘preserving your life is not my responsibility and I don’t care if YOU die.’

Are such uninsured people going to tolerate living in a country where a large section of the population feel that they should just go off and die to allow people the freedom to keep their earnings all to themselves?

The liberal left is fighting back. Al Franken, now a member of congress, Rachel Maddow, an MSNBC news commentator, are examples of liberal commentators who are trying to counter the right-wing propaganda machine with sharp commentary of their own. Michael Moore, an actual leftist, has made a number of films that have sharply attacked the George Bush regime, the US health care system and a number of other jabs at the US right-wing.

The internet seems to have inspired young Marxists and anarchist groups to develop new links and interaction between those who have similar agendas. The Marxist left seems to be on the rise. Foreign leftist advances have also inspired some leftists here. President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has inspired a shift in Latin American towards the nationalistic left. The successful gains of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) have been an inspiration to Maoist groups here in the US.

Will the intense polarization of the US political scene lead to civil war? There are already right-wing militias that are armed to the teeth just waiting for the US government to collapse. The rhetoric on both sides is heating up and getting personal. The tactics of the right include everything from the murder of abortion provider to the disruption and angry ranting at healthcare reform town hall meetings. Since the right-wing lost the presidency to Barack Obama, the rhetoric is vicious. Obama, who keeps trying to form a bi-partisan consensus to get his agenda through, has been called a fascist, a communist, a racist and the attacks just seem to keep escalating.

Problems in the near future, including but not limited to climate change, peak oil, and the recession, spell a growing turmoil that is not likely to end with peaceful change.

To be continued

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