The Socialist Alternative–Posted on May 1, 2016
By Chris Hedges
Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant responds to President Obama’s State of the Union address in January. (Socialist Alternative / YouTube)SEATTLE: The disintegration of the ruling political parties, along with the discrediting of the established political and economic elites, presage radical change.
This change may come from the right. It may result in a frightening proto-fascism. If it is to come from the left it must be pushed forward by dogged activists and citizens who are willing to accept that stepping outside the system will mean surrendering all hope of power for perhaps a decade. To continue to engage in establishment politics, especially attempting to work within the Democratic Party, will further empower corporate capitalism and extinguish what remains of our democracy.
Willingly entering the political wilderness requires a vision that is worth sacrificing and fighting to achieve. It means that some of those who begin the revolution against corporate capitalism will not live to see its culmination. It will mean marginalization, harassment, persecution, prison and, if the movement becomes effective, state violence. History has taught us that. But given the alternative—the planet’s ecosystem destroyed by the fossil fuel and the animal agriculture industries, greater pillaging by corporate oligarchs and the rise of a global security and surveillance system that takes from us all pretense of liberty—the battle is worth it.
Kshama Sawant, the socialist City Council member in Seattle, and her Socialist Alternative Party have begun to create change where it will first be most effective—locally. She has created a petition calling on Bernie Sanders to run as an independent presidential candidate through November on a third-party ticket. “With the rise of [Donald] Trump and the bigotry, racism and Islamophobia of the right wing, there is a temptation among people who are dejected about the low level of activism over the last few decades to feel that America is turning right-wing,” she said when we met in Seattle. “The earth-shattering momentum of the Sanders campaign belies that idea.”
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