During the recent Toronto budget debacle, I was down at City Hall for the protest on September 26th. One of those semi-organized leftist temper tantrums. A referendum on Rob Ford’s agenda, so to speak, which in all fairness actually got the Ford brothers to back away from some of their more draconian cuts. If he’s lucky, his lasting legacy in the city of Toronto will be little more than a giant waterfront ferris wheel. That being said, the protest itself was a tad… underwhelming. I honestly do wonder what unionized labour really thinks of this new generation of “activists”. Playing hacky sack and singing “this is what democracy looks like”. I fucking hope not.
At one point during the protest a friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, ran to the nearest Tim Hortons in a mad panic to go number two. After shitting, he realized there was no toilet paper in the stall. He then noticed the copy of the Communist news-rag being handed out at the protest (actually, some “Marxist” was selling the damn things for 50 cents a piece) he was still holding. Crisis averted.
So, this is where we’re at? Global capitalism is visibly self-destructing before our very eyes and the only thing the “communist” party is really good for is literally wiping your ass with. Iceland is basically a third world country, the Greek currency is no longer the Euro but feta cheese, American investment banks are using TARP funds to lobby for the repeal of Dodd Frank while their presidential candidates argue over who can cut taxes the fastest. Jamie Dimon just handed over a 4 million dollars to the NYPD on the same day they locked up 700 occupy Wall Street protesters, and the neo-liberal answer to climate change is to create financial exchanges where carbon tax credits can be traded, securitized and transformed into derivative contracts. There is no serious, organized opposition to any of this. The left’s answer is to make an unsustainable system more user friendly. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. The welfare state is a Band-Aid on a cancer.
Dalton McGuinty was just elected our Premier. There’s nothing really more to say about that except to point it out.
The idea that human beings have inherent value beyond what they are capable of acquiring through the process of renting themselves out in the labour market isn’t even an argument that’s given much consideration anymore. The message is clear; you are not a human being; you are an economic unit with limited human rights guaranteed only to ensure you have a fair shot at earning dough by prostituting your body and mind. Your life is a pursuit of fiat currency. Hopefully you can amass enough to feed yourself. Depending on what country (or neighbourhood) your parents fucked in, this may be possible.
It’s about time the Left took responsibility for their failings. The inability of a frightened group, shamed into compliance by modern day McCarthyism is directly responsible for this new phenomenon of right wing populism. That’s as true for Rob Ford as it is for Sarah Palin. People are pissed off and for good reason. As long as the left isn’t ready to step up and offer a coherent and factual explanation for what they stand for, opportunists will capitalize on that frustration. The “unwashed masses” aren’t always good at articulating their collectivist rage. Until someone has the balls to say that “global capitalism is reaching is its apocalyptic zero point” or that “’the institutionalization of envy’ may not be sustainable” other nonsense will fill that void. And the Barack Obama’s, Dalton McGintiys and other centrist, corporatist neo-liberals are just as much a part of that non-sense as their right wing counterparts.
It is precisely because the Soviet Union is dead and buried that the time for genuine, socialist movements to organize themselves at a grass roots level has come. Meaning not with the goal of incorporating themselves into the electoral process but of replacing the whole damn thing.
Eventually governments will no longer be able to bail out banks, and central banks will no longer be able to bail out governments. People forget that The United States doesn’t actually have any money. They have a printing press and they can print enough dough to bail out the entire fucking planet but eventually the money itself won’t be worth anything. When the inevitable loss of confidence occurs and world rejects the global reserve currency (the US dollar), all hell is going to break loose. No one is going to tolerate a situation where their wages stay flat and 95% of their tax dollars goes to servicing interest on the national debt. All the while governments slash social programs and investment bankers hand out millions to private police forces to maintain “order”.
As Slavov Zizek put it in his latest book Living in End Times “it is better to take the risk and engage in fidelity to a Truth-Event, even if its ends in catastrophe, than to vegetate in the eventless utilitarian-hedonist survival of what Nietzsche called the last men”.
In other words, it is time for a unilateral rejection of any sort of liberal or leftist ideology based around victimhood. No longer should politics be relegated to a passive, spectator sport involving the pursuit of the “least bad option”. If people on the left are fed up with picking the lesser of two evils, they better step up to the plate with a better idea. The end of capitalism is going to be forced upon us sooner than we think, the only question is “Will we be prepared for it?”.