Revolution, Reform and the Way Forward

It’s necessary to process some insights which I think are very difficult for many to process, because they require a conception of how broad the universe of belief systems is.

Human society is a very large and complex thing, and we struggle to understand it. By virtue of its very nature, different people get subjected to different aspects of it. That, plus different individuals’ preconceived biases, all interplay to create a world in which different individuals firmly adhere to vastly different ideologies.

And the thing is, for each adherent’s belief system, said system perfectly explains various things that life experience has demonstrated to the believer are beyond the shadow of a doubt true. These things are often the very same ones that have played a disproportionate role in that individual’s life.

The easiest and most natural conclusion for an individual to draw is that he or she (and his or her ideological comrades) are merely acting logically and rationally, while the entire rest of the world is either lying, evil, naïve, ignorant, or foolish.

And so it is on the issue of reform versus revolution. The reform camp sees the various revolutions that have gone very wrong (and there is no shortage of such examples, alas), the numerous examples of elections having demonstrable consequences, and comes to one conclusion. The revolution camp (disclaimer: this is the one yours truly aligns with) sees how political orders inevitably become ossified, how revolution played an indisputable role in securing the freedoms that do exist in bourgeois society, and comes to quite the opposite conclusion.

And the thing is, there is an iron-clad historical narrative, supported by clearly-demonstrated facts, to back up both Weltanschauungen.

Which brings us to the subject of the coming election. Adherents of Establishment politics, be they liberals or (never-Trump) conservatives, see the coming election as the critical thing, the only practical way of unseating Trump. That is despite all the evidence that history has already for the most part moved on from that old political order, like it or not.

Such is the natural outcome of mankind being for the most part a rationalizing, not a rational, animal: intellectual facilities are engaged, not to replace the emotional world of gut feelings with one of logic, but out of a desire to find a more lofty pretext with which to justify pursuing those gut feelings. The evidence in favor of the (to Establishment types) revered status quo being already mostly dead points to an unpleasant truth, therefore in the name of ignoring the truth, the evidence in favor of it is also overlooked.

The presence of such people is in turn an unpleasant fact that many radicals refuse to face. That is unfortunate, as our numbers are small: we are vastly outnumbered by adherents of Establishment politics. Complaining about how unfair this state of affairs is does nothing to challenge the indisputable fact that it is the current state of affairs.

What it all boils down to is that while it probably will take a popular revolution to unseat Trump, such a revolution cannot happen until electoral politics first fails, or at least shows all signs of failing to, achieve this same outcome. Trump’s successful interference with electoral politics appears to be the most likely motivator for vast masses of liberals and centrists to be radicalized into pursuing change via direct action. Absent that, we will simply lack the numbers needed for a successful insurrection.

Until this happens, it is the duty of radicals to quietly prepare for the opportunity and to wait for it. When the opportunity manifests, it will be our duty to not push people away from the struggle because they’re upset about the bourgeois concern of the election being meddled with. Revolutions must be pursued with the masses that actually exist, not the masses that radicals might wish existed.

There is a chance we won’t get there after all. Mind you, Trump definitely wants to give cancelling or indefinitely postponing the election the old college try. The question is how much support from the rest of the Republican Party there will be. Moscow Mitch definitely did not sound very enthusiastic about that idea when it was floated. Maybe he perceives that there’s limits to how much they can push things, particularly in light of how much unrest there has already been this summer. Maybe he has enough lingering garden-variety conservatism in him to still be repelled to some degree by fascism. Who knows? What matters here is what he does more than why he does it.

I’m following some insider Establishment type pundits, and they all say that the world may start moving after Labor Day; individual Republican politicians may perceive Trump as doomed and their personal chances as being better if they turn on him. If this happens, it will be a tipping point, and tipping points happen suddenly, unexpectedly, and rapidly.

But if Trump’s party does not turn on him (and, please note, the GOP has proven itself to be quite receptive to the idea of being a fascist party in recent years), then he very likely will be able to successfully cancel, postpone, or sufficiently invalidate the election to stake a claim to continuing in office.

If that happens, norms and laws (up to and including the U.S. Constitution) won’t help very much. Widespread popular insurrection will be the only option. It is the duty of those of us capable of seeing this to prepare for it, and to realize the nature and limitations of the sort of insurrection that will be possible.

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