I’m writing this a week before the election only to have it published the day after the election. Who knows what mood we’ll be in? Will happiness rule as we allow marriage equality for all? Will smoking dope give us hope? Will our state elections embolden those in Olympia to actually rein in the abuses of corporations and change our tax structure? On the federal level, will we have elected fascists to control Congress and the presidency? Will there be chaos and a repeat of the voting booth shenanigans of election 2000?
Who knows what shall be? Actually, we do know a couple things. We know that the military will continue to increase its foolish attempt to control the world for corporate interests. We know that the filthy rich will put rings in the noses of politicians and yank them around. We know that we the people will continue being dumbed down into apathy, distraction and an inability to comprehend complexity. Our TVs will remain on while our creativity, imagination and courage are drained away as if a vampire is slowly, methodically sucking us dry of life. These things we know one week before the election.
We also know that any notion of an actual left wing, either spiritually or politically, is more myth than reality. A true left would work toward a radical redistribution of wealth, a renunciation of military imperialism and a focused commitment on working with and healing the Earth. None of that is gonna happen as long as our critique of capitalism continues to be hopelessly compromised by our personal capitulation to the desire for more and more consumption. The left is strong on rhetoric and idealism but weak on actual practice and resistance. The left seems to be lost when it comes to finding direction into the new world it seeks. There are few role models of what a post-capitalist world might look like.
So … what will the left do after the elections? Knowing that both political parties are fronts for corporate militarism, will the left finally start organizing an alternative political party as an act of rebellion? Will labor unions finally wake up and start using their few remaining assets to build an alternative media structure? Will the middle class offer its time, talent and treasure to join efforts by Real Change to organize class resistance to the 1 percent? Will anyone give a damn about the dying of the Earth?
Come and see. The Common Good Café, at 415 43rd Street NE, will host a post-election civil, civic political discussion, “Where Does the Left Go From Here?” on Thur., Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. We’ll have Real Change Founding Dude Tim Harris, alongside Socialist alternative candidate Kshama Sawant and Democratic House speaker Frank Chopp in a panel format. There will be time for community conversation and the practice of democracy. Perhaps new dreams will be born.