Weekly Update: 15 May
A Beautiful Resistance #2: The Fire Is Here is getting closer! We will provide updates for the journal shipments soon. In the meantime, it’s never too late to order a copy!
And, writers, get your thinking caps on, because the call for papers for Issue #3 is just over the horizon. And in the meantime, you can always send us your writing for publication here on the site.
Coming This Week
This week, we have on the docket “The Revolution Is Never Easy” from Sable Aradia, as well as “The Violent & The Dead” from Rhyd Wildermuth on homelessness, global warming, and shit. Later in the week, look for “The Art Of BreastFeeding” by Linda Boeckhout, and a poem from Hunter Hall. And as always, surprises are bound to show up at the last minute.
The University of Michigan have released a fabulous history lesson: the Labadie Collection of public domain political posters “covering social protest movements such as Anarchism, Civil Liberties, Colonialism, Communism, Ecology, Labor, Pacifism, Sexual Freedom, Socialism, Women, and Youth/Student Protest. Some are from the first half of the 20th century, but the majority are from the 1960s and later. Many are undated.”
I have a feeling you will be seeing many of these posters here on Gods & Radicals in the future.
Since Fascism is ever on the rise throughout the world, the White Rose Society is reforming, with local chapters throughout North America and the World. The original White Rose Society “was a non-violent, intellectual resistance group in Nazi Germany.” Their principles are clearly stated and interesting to read. If you like & support these principles, then you may wish to get involved.
Have you ever been called for Jury Duty? Jury Nullification — “the power that jurors have to find a defendant not guilty even if they think that he committed the crime” — is a very important tactic we have at our disposal to fight unfair, discriminatory, and racist practices in the US legal system. Despite its power, it remains little-known or used. This interview with Paul Butler is a great introduction to the topic.
Was he a madman? A charlatan? Or one of the 20th century’s most insightful voices on consciousness? Whatever you think of Wilhelm Reich, the fact remains that his treatment by the US government is a fascinating case study. In 1956, he was arrested, his laboratory in Maine destroyed by police officers with axes, and 6 tons of his books & laboratory notes were burned. He died in prison less than two years later.
Election season has arrived here in the United States. For this radical, it stirs up a hornets nest of conflicting thoughts and feelings. The anarchist in me abhors the very concept of choosing my master, even if we take the American Dream literally and fetishize the Republic as a form of government. We can’t really do that, of course, because we know corruption is rampant, elections can be hacked, and the unification of state and market power that has created much of the suffering in the world will not yield its power without a struggle.
But at the same time, I have to acknowledge the fact that of the 3 mainstream candidates still running, each will affect this suffering differently. This more pragmatic & utilitarian approach demands that I act intelligently, toward manifesting the outcome I prefer, using whatever paths forward are available to me. So sure, I can rationalize voting, particularly when one candidate stands out in my mind as being less harmful than the others.
Yet, I harbor no illusions that even if the most progressive candidate wins the general election and becomes President, they will face quite a lot of resistance from capitalist power structures. Despite the many failures of the neoliberal model of capitalism that has been in force since the early 1970s, the capitalists will not want to revert to a Keynesian mode of capitalism that existed from the end of World War II until then, and is (more or less) represented by one current campaign and message.
In other words, none of the current candidates are radical candidates by any stretch in the context of American politics over the past few decades. As Noam Chomsky reminds us, progressive ideas & positions “would not have surprised President Eisenhower, who said, in fact, that anyone who does not accept New Deal programs doesn’t belong in the American political system. That’s now considered very radical.”
Furthermore, let us not forget what happened in Greece, where a leftist (by comparison to other candidates) came out of nowhere with wide popular support and won the election, only to capitulate soon after to the demands of capital.
No matter who wins the presidential election, work will need to continue well beyond election day. Merely winning an election does not provide a mechanism to dismantle the existing power structures, unless the popular movement has the ability to defeat the counter-revolutionary tactics of disinformation, military action (or the threat thereof), and economic terrorism with the capitalist infrastructures and austerity, all of which will be waged in full force against any effort — “legitimate” or not — threatening their hold on power.