Perspectives: A Review of 2013
(Swans - December 16, 2013) Socialism is always nearby; but unfortunately, its achievements are usually cast in shadow by the triumphant machinations of its foe, that corpulent edifice to individualism known as capitalism. From birth until death our minds are pummeled with messages of domination and competition, yet egalitarian principles still resonate strongly within our lives and communities. Indeed, in stark contrast to their greed-serving brethren, socialist ideals have always remained popular; but no multi-billion public relations industry is needed to propagate such laudable democratic ambitions, only word of mouth allied alongside a determined class struggle. This relentless will to mutuality is but one way that humanity is able to weather the degrading toil of class war, which the ruling-class must wage with renewed efforts each and every day to undermine our natural inclination to cooperate, in their own unique way, stifling public knowledge of all examples of meaningful action that exemplify the collective forces of resistance that engender so much fear among our well-heeled oppressors.
From small acts of defiance and persistence, robust movements of progressivism regularly burst forth. Confidence is key to our strength, which is something that capitalists understand all too clearly. This is precisely why those who stand to lose so much from our well-placed optimism attempt to overwhelm us with their propaganda of futility -- be that rained down upon us though the mainstream media, schools, or within the workplace. Nevertheless, amidst this deluge of pessimism, radical leaders continue to rise to the fore, who strive at every turn to pierce the ruling lies of our epoch. Blazing such a socialist path in Seattle, Kshama Sawant is but one ordinary class fighter who has claimed this mantle from her profiteering political predecessor (a Democrat): and with regard her rapid ascension to power, she continually emphasizes to whoever will listen that a Socialist alternative's ground-breaking campaign is no fluke of history. Instead Sawant's election, as she points out, owes everything to a rising tide of community and trade union activism, and her principled and active involvement within their campaigns.
Next year we must collectively take the opportunity to amplify Kshama Sawant's electoral success a thousand-fold, using her unique position to help catalyse and strengthen grassroots activism across the United States. Let no one say that systems of injustice cannot be replaced with a humane alternative. Such pessimism only flows from the fact that progressive change agents have always been obscured from the public's historical memory by the powers that be. Now, however, with the string of electoral success to add to our movement's bow, this ever-bubbling discontent that serves as a wellspring for democracy will now once again become more visible, which is precisely why capitalists across the country are so restless. In Seattle, the endless lies perpetuated by our rulers -- with the collusion of the mainstream media -- will now be unmasked from within their crumbling citadel of power. With this renewed boost to working-class confidence, belief in the possibility of socialism will gain apace, such that new floods of optimism will further corrode the unstable foundations of capitalism. In this way the American dream can now be supplanted by the socialist dream. Already plans are afoot to stand hundreds of independent left political candidates across the country in 2014 and 2015. If such ambitions come to fruition, it is clear that collectively we will be moving closer to the revolutionary change that will tide in a living, breathing, democratic socialist future for all.
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About the Author
Michael Barker is an independent researcher who currently resides in the UK. In addition to his work for Swans, which can be found in the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 archives, his other articles can be accessed at michaeljamesbarker.wordpress.com. Please help fund his work. (back)