by Jack Suria Linares
The following expresses a potential, and rather vague, guide for the ongoing revolution alongside a description of why those of us genuinely invested in the struggle for social are experiencing growing anxieties of love and rage. Hopefully, while it may not depict the future desired, it may provide the strength to create an immense, long lasting, flame capable of beginning a new slate.
I write this for those of us wholeheartedly invested in a political revolution capable of eliminating the ongoing exploitation of people’s labor and contributions, but more explicitly eradicating the overwhelming systemic dehumanization of people of color. We are living in a time of existential crisis that cannot be answered by a mere vote.
It was never about Bernie.
Western civilization is on the verge of collapse and unless it ends its blind acceptance of liberalism and modernity, it will die; nothing exemplifies this crisis more than the current elections and the political nominees. This is what was meant by #bernieorbust. Either we moved toward socialism or the country risks its own annihilation.
Bernie made a political decision by endorsing Hillary Clinton. The risks of a Trump Presidency would be catastrophic for the globe. Having said that, a Clinton presidency would be catastrophic in a manner of degrees. Rather than a nuclear bomb threat, the United States will continue its economic threats, drones, and assassinations of people like Berta Caceres. To put into perspective, leftwing political parties and their members across the globe have expressed a desire for the U.S. Left to defeat Trump and some have even willingly begun to mobilize voters in the U.S. for Hillary Clinton. The simple reason: they would know the political international terrain in their fight against global inequality. Lesser evil is important for those struggling internationally. No doubt, even in the U.S., social movements succeed more often than not when pressuring lesser evil. If I was in his shoes, I would have done the same.
But we are not; and this changes everything.
It is not our job to organize for a Clinton victory. That job is up to our republican friends currently at a disarray over Trump. They have continuously, and publicly, expressed their love of democracy and country; now is the time for them to prove it by organizing and voting for Clinton even if they disagree with some of her policies. Republicans need to realize that they share much more in common with centrist Democrats than their current political party. In fact, that might be the future of the Democratic Party since the Republican Party faces a crisis unlikely to recover from. And thus, in the years to come, the Left will have a genuine opportunity to build democratic organizations, expand ongoing social movements or, at best, build a social movement party. (It’s why an inside/outside strategy over the Democratic Party is the best strategy at the moment.)
But it is our job to defeat Trump and neoliberalism. In the streets and, only if in split states, at the voting booth.
It is our job to ensure that this election does not drift the energy of our current social movements, our political thoughts, and our desires for a new way of living toward reforms as if that was our end goal. It is our job to direct the energy emanating from the Sanders campaign toward organizing long term political struggles in organizations, local politicians and, most importantly, social movements.
But, in the dimmest environment there is hope. A self-described socialist almost won a primary presidential nomination! More importantly, Labor and Social Movements have never been stronger in at least half a century! We have a lot of work to do if we expect to win.
Bernie made his political tactic. Hillary will make hers after the Democratic Convention.
Republicans should make their alliances. Radicals and Leftists, we need to make ours.
Jack Suria Linares is a co-chair of the YDS-CC and a student at the CUNY Murphy Institute School of Professional Studies. He is working towards his Master's Degree in Labor Studies.