Recently I’ve come to feel that, in addition to all the errors my flesh is prone to, I fundamentally have misread the situation for socialist politics in America ca. 2011. I thought the prominence of the Marx-as-capitalist-seer attitude during W.’s presidency odd, but was also very concerned about concrete obstacles to organization from the War on Terror (the other side of the coin). Although I am unlikely to ever regain the intellectual high ground due to past events, things like eating and being physically well despite lack of riches continue to be on my agenda for the foreseeable future and so perhaps I can be forgiven a look into the Leftist Crystal Ball.
Data point: Indymedia seems oddly lucid these days (without me, of course) and so I wonder if the Marxist ought to “go big or go home” with respect to 2012 and thereafter. The Wisconsin protests and similar phenomena suggest that a certain critical politics from the 90’s — call it “Winnebago unionism” for its insufferable jointure of labor-aristocracy privilege and populist tastes in argument — is out. Perhaps the time has finally come for the Hardt-Negri “micrological” autonomist approach to organizing.
The Party is also showing positively disturbing signs of wellness; and although Russia is unlikely to go back to state capitalism anytime soon, their fraternal ties with labor movements in the Third World surely merit some praise and attention. If you haven’t tried this brain-teaser yet, take a look at their magazine Political Affairs and decide how up-to-date you are. Perhaps this suggests a break with the “Maguffey’s Reader” leftism of IWW enthusiasts and, despite my qualms about keeping up with the Kotzebues, a nostalgic and systematic appreciation of leftist consumer culture from the New Deal era.
“Gee, our old LaSalle ran great” – no it didn’t, and the ironic point of Norman Lear shows forth today.